The 2022 Nissan Frontier Looks Tough and Buff
It took almost two decades, but Nissan finally gives the Frontier pickup new looks for 2022.
George W. Bush was just finishing up his first term as President of the United States when Nissan last redesigned its Frontier midsize pickup. Nearly 20 years later, the entry-level Nissan truck finally sports brand-new bodywork, albeit draped over warmed-over underpinnings.
That's no bad thing, though, as Nissan's continued to tweak the Frontier's frame and powertrain lineup over the years. Notably, the Frontier welcomed a very new 310-hp 3.8-liter V-6 and nine-speed automatic transmission under its hood for 2020. The combo replaced the truck's previously available 261-hp 4.0-liter V-6 and five-speed automatic gearbox, as well as the base 152-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.
As expected, the outgoing Frontier's six-cylinder engine and nine-speed transmission carry over to the 2022 model. A four-cylinder engine remains a no-show. As such, we doubt the new Frontier's base price will come in under that of the 2021 truck's $28,185 starting sum. Those willing to sacrifice some punch for extra cash in their pockets will have to look at other mid-size truck options such as the four-cylinder Chevrolet Colorado or Toyota Tacoma, which start at $26,395 and $25,680, respectively.
2022 Nissan Frontier: Quiet Riot
With its square fenders, upright mug, and blocky styling, the 2022 Frontier looks the business, and its 310-hp engine ought to deliver it. Nissan's updates are more than just surface level, and the latest Frontier benefits from thoroughly redesigned insides, which are more stylish, and tech-laden. Gone is the old truck's outdated interior. In its place is a markedly improved cabin with squared-off design details and standard items such as a 7.0-inch gauge cluster display and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that's both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible.
An even larger 9.0-inch infotainment setup is optionally available, as are safety and convenience items such as a wireless phone charger, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, automatic high-beam headlights, and automatic forward and rear emergency braking systems. Nissan also fits the 2022 Frontier with hydraulic cab mounts, extra sound insulation, a reworked rear carpet structure, and acoustic laminated glass on the front doors as a means of further suppressing road vibrations and exterior noises from entering the truck's cabin.
2022 Nissan Frontier: Macho Machine
Like its predecessor, the 2022 Nissan Frontier is available in extended-cab King Cab and Crew Cab body styles. The smaller King Cab packs a six-foot bed and comes in entry-level and mid-grade S and SV trims. The larger Crew Cab, meanwhile, comes strictly with a five-foot bed in base S guise, however, the King Cab's six-foot piece is an available option on the SV trim. Opting for the Crew Cab Long Bed stretches the truck's wheelbase to 139.8 inches—a 13.8-inch growth spurt over all other King and Crew Cab models.
The real head turners of the 2022 Frontier model line, though, are the top-line Pro-X and Pro-4X models. The former is a new addition and brings the more butch styling of the off-road-oriented four-wheel-drive Pro-4X model to a two-wheel-drive setup. Nissan limits both trims to the Crew Cab body style and the standard bed. Sorry, King Cab and Crew Cab Long Bed customers. Nissan's giving you an ultimatum: look rad or have a bigger bed.
While both Pro-X and Pro-4X trims add Bilstein shocks, a Dana-sourced rear axle, LED headlights and fog lights, fender flares, and special 17-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires, only the more capable Pro-4X sports a total of three steel skid plates (the Pro-X has just one), an electronically locking rear differential, and an available surround-view camera with a dedicated off-road mode. The latter bit leaves the truck's surround-view camera displayed on the infotainment screen to help the driver spot any obstacles or obstructions around the vehicle when the four-wheel-drive system is in its low gear.
Despite carrying over much of its forebear's mechanical pieces, the 2022 Nissan Frontier seemingly fixes our biggest complaints about the outgoing truck: Its tired styling, middling infotainment system, and limited advanced safety features. That said, we might suggest adding a six-speed manual to the menu (a stick shift Frontier Pro-4X sounds like an absolute riot). Look for the 2022 Nissan Frontier to go on sale this summer.