Have you heard the news? After 16 years of minor changes and evolutionary updates, Nissan has finally turned its attention to the Frontier for a complete redesign of the truck that’s set to knock your socks off when it reaches your local Nissan dealer. While many expected the update to come in 2021, Nissan delayed the release until 2022. But the new Frontier was worth the wait as the automaker unleashed every ounce of innovation and capability in its reach. That innovation comes with a completely redesigned appearance, more power under the hood, and a luxurious interior equipped with the latest technology. Here’s a first look at the Frontier nearly two decades in the making.
Blast From the Past No More
The Nissan Frontier was first introduced in 1997 to replace the Hardbody truck that dwindled in popularity after over a decade in the American market. The first-generation Frontier came equipped with a four-cylinder engine that left drivers wanting more power from the compact truck. Nissan responded in 1999 with the addition of an available V6 engine. The first-generation Frontier remained in production for nearly a decade as an affordable and capable compact truck.
Nissan introduced the second-generation Frontier in 2004, which marked the Frontier’s shift into the midsize truck class thanks to its larger size. Over the next decade, the truck saw only modest upgrades to the powertrain and interior. Nissan fans in the United States hoped for an all-new truck after the 2015 introduction of a third-generation Frontier (known as the Navara) for international markets, but Nissan instead stuck with minor updates to the second-generation design for the better part of a decade.
With the Frontier remaining remarkably unchanged for 16 years, the truck seemed entirely forgotten in Nissan’s lineup – until 2021, that is. Rumors circulated that Nissan was working on a completely redesigned Frontier and, lucky for us, those rumors proved true. “The all-new 2022 Nissan Frontier stays true to its heritage while addressing modern midsize truck buyer needs,” Nissan announced. But would Nissan’s promise to keep the Frontier true to its heritage mean the truck would remain stuck in the past?
Welcome to the 2022 Frontier
Nissan spared no expense at redesigning the Frontier to transform it from its antiquated state into an aggressive and rugged truck ready for any adventure. Ironically inspired by the Nissan Hardbody it replaced in the late 1990s, the 2022 Frontier is one of the most aggressive and imposing midsize trucks on the road thanks to its wide and elevated stance as well its new exterior design. This includes a distinctive front grille, chiseled hood, and rugged vertical fenders in the front. All-new precision lighting and muscular rear fenders top off the design of the new Frontier. This athletic stance reaches a new level on trims like the Frontier PRO-4X, which offers LED headlamps, daytime running lights, and fog lights, as well as grille accents in Lava Red.
Did someone say trims? The 2022 Frontier can be equipped with two-wheel or four-wheel-drive and is available with a King Cab or a Crew Cab, which determines the available trim options. Many off-road enthusiasts have their eyes on the PRO-X and PRO-4X trims, which are designed for rugged off-road adventures. The PRO-4X is equipped with an Off-Road Mode that makes use of Nissan’s Intelligent Around View Monitor. This tool works at low speeds and gives the driver a clear view around the vehicle, which is ideal for tight trails where the driver would typically rely on a spotter to help navigate around obstacles.
Sure, the all-new 2022 Frontier looks rugged but can it deliver on its promise to be the perfect truck for everything from daily commutes to off-road adventures? Nissan made sure of it. With drivers praising the standard 3.8-liter direct-injection V6 engine that Nissan added to the current Frontier in 2020, the automaker knew not to change a good thing and equipped the 2022 Frontier with the same engine. This gives the truck best-in-class 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
Nissan made a few tweaks to the suspension and steering to improve its overall handling, whether cruising down the highway or hauling a heavy load. And, speaking of hauling a heavy load, the 2022 Frontier remains a capable workhorse with a towing capacity rating of up to 6,720 pounds. While this capacity falls short of some competitors, the Frontier redeems itself with a larger available payload of 1,610 pounds and an available high-utility bed that features a spray-on bed liner and the versatile Utili-track Channel System that makes hauling cargo incredibly easy.
Aside from the Utili-track Channel System, the Frontier can also be equipped with over 85 Nissan and NISMO accessories that take its capability even further. Drivers can add items such as off-road step rails with removable steps, a NISMO suspension kit, ladder racks, tents, off-road auxiliary lighting, or a sports bar to the Frontier. Nissan promises more accessories are being developed, which keeps gear-junkies anxiously waiting to see exactly what Nissan has in the works for their all-new rugged beast.
Comfort, Tech, and Convenience
The 2022 Frontier bids a fond farewell to the outdated cabin and technology found in previous model years in exchange for a more modern interior that matches its fresh new design. Connectivity, convenience, and comfort are at the heart of the new Frontier, and it shows with the 8-inch color touchscreen display that comes standard on all trim options. However, Nissan didn’t stop there and added the option for an even larger best-in-class 9-inch display. There is also a 7-inch configurable Advanced Driver Assist Display that displays vital information in the instrument cluster.
The tech and driver-assist features are other big upgrades that bring the 2022 Frontier into the 21st century. “A long list of advanced technology and safety assist features make each ride more confident, including five new class-exclusive features,” Nissan reports. The 2022 Frontier offers an available wireless smartphone charging station as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot that enables drivers to stay connected wherever they travel. These two premium features are found on the PRO-X and the PRO-4X, both of which also come with a 10-speaker Fender premium audio system.
As the first automaker to offer Around View Monitor technology, Nissan equipped the Frontier with the exclusive Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Off-Road Mode that gives drivers a birds’ eye view of the Frontier. This view works in conjunction with the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of advanced safety features like Rear Automatic Braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist, Blind Spot Warning, and Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection. The Frontier also comes with class-exclusive features like Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and available upgrades like Intelligent Driver Alertness, Rear Door Alert, Intelligent Cruise Control, and Traffic Sign Recognition.
Are You Ready?
Are you ready to blaze a new trail in the 2022 Nissan Frontier? While you still have a few months to wait before you will find the 2022 Frontier at your Nissan dealer, there’s still plenty to be excited about as Nissan promises the Frontier is the right-sized truck for any job and every adventure. With its all-new rugged design, powerful engine, innovative tech, and class-exclusive safety features, there’s no doubt that the 2022 Frontier will deliver. And, after 16 years of waiting, it’s certainly about time.