2022 Nissan Frontier Preview

Thom Blackett | Feb 04, 2021
  • Redesigned, inside and out
  • S and SV trim, with available PRO-4X off-road package
  • New PRO-X rear-drive model with 4WD look
  • Improved ride and handling
  • Quieter cabin
  • Significant safety and technology updates
  • Pricing to come, closer to the 2022 Frontier release date in the summer of 2021

Introduction - Find the best Nissan deals!

The Toyota Tacoma may need to make room for an old rival, as the redesigned 2022 Nissan Frontier debuts with the capability, technology, and style required to shake up the midsize truck segment.

2022 Nissan Frontier Pro4X Gray Front Quarter View

After a 17-year wait, the Nissan Frontier finally gets a badly needed overhaul for 2022. Behind the truck's bold new styling is a potent V6, rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or four-wheel-drive (4WD) configurations, extended-cab (King Cab) and crew-cab body styles, and a choice between S and SV trim levels. The rugged PRO-4X 4WD model returns, too, joined by a new PRO-X RWD version for buyers who want the go-anywhere looks without the go-anywhere capability.

Those familiar with the outgoing Frontier will likely be pleased to learn that the dated and sparse interior is gone, replaced by a more contemporary design with seemingly superior materials and a generous assortment of the latest safety and connectivity features. 

Exterior Features - Find the best Nissan deals!

As with its predecessor, the 2022 Frontier will be available with an extended cab and a standard 6-foot bed, or in crew-cab configuration fitted with a 5- or 6-foot bed. Exterior dimensions have hardly changed, though the 2022 Frontier's wheelbase is shorter by about five inches.

2022 Nissan Frontier Pro4X Gray Rear Quarter View

Dimensions aside, you'd be hard-pressed to see many similarities between the new and old Frontier. The overall boxy shape remains, but the new 2022 Frontier wears flares and bulges on the fenders and hood, a large grille bookended by sleek headlights, and a new dampened-assist tailgate with FRONTIER clearly stamped into its sheet metal. 

In PRO-X and PRO-4X guise, the 2022 Frontier gets Lava Red-accented badges, tow hooks, and center caps for its 17-inch alloy wheels. These versions also have all-terrain tires, LED headlights, and not a bit of chrome. All trims offer new LED lights for the truck bed.

Nissan is also spicing up the Frontier's color palette for 2022. The typical white, gray, and black paint colors return, accompanied by Bolder Grey Pearl (similar to Toyota's Cement Gray) and Tactical Green Metallic that is, according to Nissan, "inspired by tech-savvy backcountry gear."

Numerous accessories, such as running boards and exterior lighting, will be available when the 2022 Frontier goes on sale or soon after that.

Interior Features - Find the best Nissan deals!

More than a simple update, it seems Nissan designers approached the 2022 Frontier's cabin with a clean sheet of paper. In place of hard, shiny plastics and a tiny infotainment screen are what appear to be higher-quality materials, generous storage in the door pockets and under the rear seat, and an all-new instrument panel topped off by a well-integrated 8- or 9-inch touchscreen display.

2022 Nissan Frontier Pro4X Dashboard

Drivers of the redesigned Frontier may notice the restyled shifter is in a more comfortable position and that a new customizable 7-inch gauge cluster allows them to decide what information it will display.

Inside of the PRO-X and PRO-4X, red-accented stitching on the seats, dashboard, and door panel inserts set the truck apart. All trim levels should deliver a quieter ride courtesy of acoustic-laminated windows and additional insulation throughout the vehicle.

Under the Hood - Find the best Nissan deals!

Power for the 2022 Frontier comes from a 3.8-liter V6. It makes 310 horsepower and 281 lb.-ft. of torque, delivered to the rear or all four wheels through a 9-speed automatic transmission. Nissan introduced this powertrain in the previous-generation Frontier, making it available for the old truck's final two years in production.

Fuel economy figures weren't available as this article was published. For reference, the 2021 Frontier RWD with the same powertrain earned EPA estimates of 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, while the 4WD Frontier comes with ratings of 17 and 23 mpg, respectively. Unlike some of its competitors, Nissan won't offer the 2022 Frontier with any other engines.

When properly equipped, the new Frontier can tow up to 6,720 pounds and accommodate a 1,610-pound payload. Trailer sway control is a helpful safety feature that is standard for 2022.

Interestingly, Nissan opted to build its new Frontier on the frame of the previous model, referring to it as "one of the most durable in the midsize truck segment with multiple quality and durability awards." However, most of the components linked to that frame are new or updated, including more responsive steering, hydraulic cab mounts designed to provide greater ride comfort, and multiple suspension parts that improve handling.

All 4WD Frontiers continue to use a part-time shift-on-the-fly system, though they now also feature hill descent control. PRO-X and new PRO-4X trims add premium off-road shocks, but Nissan reserves skid plates and an electronic locking differential solely for the PRO-4X.

Safety Systems - Find the best Nissan deals!

Airbags and available rear parking sensors made up the bulk of the previous Frontier's safety systems. That changes drastically with the 2022 model.

Nissan Safety Shield 360 will be available on the new Frontier. That's a fancy name for a collection of safety and advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) intended to help you to avoid a collision. Among them are automatic front and rear braking, pedestrian detection, and automatic high-beam headlights that turn off when oncoming traffic approaches. Blind-spot warning and lane-departure warning are also part of the package and help drivers stay in their lane or merge safely.

When it arrives, the 2022 Frontier will be one of a growing number of vehicles to offer traffic-sign recognition, a rear-seat reminder system to help avoid unintentionally leaving a child in the truck, and adaptive cruise control.

Infotainment and Technology - Find the best Nissan deals!

Technology is another area where the old Frontier was desperately lacking. Again, the new model makes up for those shortcomings and then some.

For 2022, Nissan's midsize truck will come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, type A and C USB ports, plus the instrumentation and infotainment systems mentioned above. Optional upgrades include a wireless phone charger, Siri Eyes Free voice control, Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and a pair of 110-volt power outlets. Music lovers may want to spring for the available 9-speaker Fender audio system.

Nissan also announced the debut of a 360-degree exterior camera system with moving object detection and an off-road mode. That last bit is available exclusively on the PRO-4X and may prevent body damage by providing the driver with a top-down view of the truck while navigating through tight spots.

2022 Nissan Frontier Competitors - Find the best Nissan deals!

Competition among midsize pickup trucks is as intense as it's been in years, thanks to the re-introduction of the Ford Ranger and launch of the new Jeep Gladiator. Though not a hard-core off-roader, the Honda Ridgeline continues to hold appeal thanks to its refinement and versatility, while the Chevrolet Colorado stands out with its aggressive ZR2 model.

Of course, the Toyota Tacoma continues to lead the pack. Perhaps the 2022 Nissan Frontier, with its rugged new look, powerful V6, and ample list of features, can upset the pecking order.

Nissan is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of February 4, 2021, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.

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