The 2022 Nissan Frontier represents the first redesign of Nissan’s midsize pickup in several years. Although it still shares some bones with its predecessor, the changes are enough that it’s finally a serious competitor again. This includes updated styling, a high-quality interior and a refined, powerful engine and transmission. It’s not perfect, but nothing in the segment, and has a number of highlights that could make it the perfect truck Yours special needs.
In particular, the Frontier is a really good truck driver. It has a quality and stylish interior that is comfortable with great visibility. It has a remarkably sleek and powerful V6 with an equally sleek transmission. It also offers impressive handling with steering that would make some sporty cars jealous. These aspects add up to a truck that trades some maximum capacity (space, towing and payload) for a more enjoyable daily drive. If this sounds like you, then Frontier should be at the top of your shopping list.
What’s new for 2022?
The Nissan Frontier is almost brand new for 2022. The engine and transmission are a carry-over from the 2021 model year, and are built on a significantly updated version of the older Frontier platform.
How are the Frontier interior and in-car tech?
This is one of the areas where the Nissan Frontier shines. Most of the competition has monotonous or cheap interiors, and the Frontier manages to dodge both disadvantages. It has a chunky, square-off dashboard to match its rugged exterior, and the plastics are impressively high-quality and tight fitting. The Pro-X and Pro-4X models also feature nice red stitching, embroidered logos, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. Above all, all Frontiers come with highly comfortable seats that provide plenty of support. Visibility is also great, with tall windows and low sills.
All frontiers get at least an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display with a 9-inch unit on the higher trim. They all use the same interface, with minimalist menus and large icons that make it easy to navigate, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Both the screens are bright, clear and responsive. We’re also very pleased that the climate and stereo functions are easy to use with traditional buttons and knobs.
How big is the marginal?
On the outside, the Frontier is the smallest truck in the midsize segment. Length wise, it has the shortest wheelbase and overall length (even when comparing crew cab/long bed configurations), and is the narrowest. Its overall height is in the middle when compared to other medium sized trucks.
Coming to the cab and bed options, the Frontier can be housed in an extended cab (King Cab) or a full four-door crew cab. The King Cab only comes with a longer bed option (72.7 inches), but the Crew Cab can have either a shorter (59.5 inches) or longer bed option. The combination of crew cab and long bed is a feature shared only with the Toyota Tacoma and GM’s Colorado/Canyon twins
Inside, the Frontier is on the smaller side of the spectrum, which is understandable given its small exterior dimensions. By numbers, it’s an inch or two short, though head room and shoulder room are pretty solid. Legroom is really where things get on the tight side. Front occupants should feel fairly comfortable, although knee room is a bit comfortable. Adults can fit in the rear seats of the crew cab and be comfortable for younger jabs, but the lack of leg room will make them uncomfortable on longer trips. The straight seat back doesn’t help either. The extended cab’s rear seats are only suitable for a few pets or friends who are really small (or really need somewhere to go).
What are the Frontier fuel economy and performance specs?
The new Frontier offers only one powertrain: a naturally aspirated 3.8-liter V6 paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Output is 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful engine in the segment. It has the second highest torque after Ford Ranger. As always, there is a choice of rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
Unsurprisingly, the more frugal of the two options is the rear-drive Frontier. It achieves 18 mpg in city, 24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. Four-wheel drive brings the number down to 17/22/19. This puts it on a par with some major competitors like the Toyota Tacoma and Jeep Gladiator, but slightly behind most versions of the Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado.
For carrying luggage, the Frontier has towing and payload capabilities at the back of the pack. Towing at 6,720 pounds max is the worst in the segment. The payload is second worst at 1,610 pounds (the Chevy Colorado is less).
What’s it like to drive Frontier?
This is the second attraction for Frontier. The V6 offers solid acceleration, but what’s really impressive is how smooth it is. Even though it swirls a bit to provide power, it never sounds tense, and the sound you hear is low volume. The nine-speed transmission is also smooth when not pushing hard, though a little slack and roughness is visible if you push it.
It’s only a little disappointing because Frontier is a very good handler. The steering is an old-school hydraulic assist system that gives feedback that has seemingly disappeared from most modern vehicles across segments. The body roll is light and the truck feels stable. The ride is even smoother, though still a bit truck-like, including on rough dirt roads.
The small size and excellent visibility mean the Frontier is easily mounted in tight spaces. Be prepared for a little more effort than usual in doing this, as the steering is a bit heavy.
What other reviews can I read for Nissan Frontier?
2022 Nissan Frontier First Drive Review | return from the woods
We’re the first time behind the wheel of a completely redesigned Frontier, and we’re pleased with the results
How much does the 2022 Nissan Frontier cost, and what are the features available?
The Frontier, as it only has a V6 engine option, starts slightly higher than the competition at $29,015. This is for the base, two-wheel-drive, King Cab S model. Despite its bare-bones look and trim, it’s reasonably equipped. It has the peppy engine of course, but it also gets modern convenience features including remote locking with push-button start, an 8-inch infotainment touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. $1,500 in a crew cab, $2,700 in four-wheel drive, and a combination of the two would add up to $4,500.
The two trims of the Note are the off-road-oriented Pro-X (RWD) and Pro-4X (4WD). Both get Bilstein shocks and matching springs, a rear anti-roll bar, 17-inch wheels, all-terrain tyres, fender flares, LED fog lights, red toe hooks and embroidered seats with red stitching. They also get the details including proximity key, dual-zone automatic climate control, 9-inch infotainment system with navigation, power seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. The Pro-4X also gets aluminum and steel skid plates, a locking rear differential and hill descent control.
You can find the starting prices for all the trim levels below, along with full details of the 2022 Frontier features, specifications and local pricing here. autoblog.
- S: $29,015
- SV: $31,715
- Pro-X: $35,415
- Pro-4X: $38,415
What are Frontier Safety Ratings and Driver Assistance Features?
At the time of this writing, the 2022 Nissan Frontier has not been crash tested by a third party.
Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and driver inattention monitoring. Available as options or in other trim levels, rear automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, rear-cross traffic warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, 360-degree cameras, parking sensors and Traffic sign recognition.