Many years later than one would have expected since the current generation arrived nearly two decades ago, the all-new 2022 Nissan Frontier has finally been revealed with styling, features and power that will likely make the the long wait worth it.
Nissan’s press materials harken back to the Nissan “Hardbody” pickups of the 1980’s in their language about the blocky and muscular squared up styling of the new Frontier and rightly so. Tall, wide and imposing in its stance, the old Hardbody of 1985 is the first thing that came to mind when I saw this thing.
While the old Frontier wasn’t weak in the knees, this new one sports a confident new face, muscular forms and chiseled features to be sure. We are of course being shown the brawniest PRO-4X variation here with LED headlamps, foglamps, daytime running lamps and taillamps.
The cab silhouette is blockier and more contemporary as is the rear three-quarter view with FRONTIER stamped into its tail-gate. In all, I think this is the design the current Titan really should have had, maybe it might have been more of a sales success.
Cab configurations will remain the same as now with a King Cab and Crew Cab. At this time no single cab will be offered. Its all steel bed will be available as now in both five and six-foot lengths depending on the cab. That’s a six-foot with King Cab and either one with the Crew Cab.
As its chassis and platform as more or less an evolved version of the last generation key dimensions of wheelbase are virtually identical. Suspensions have been re-tuned with more roll control and new jounce bumpers. The cab gets new hydraulic rubber mounts for better isolation.
Its remaining hydraulic rack and pinion steering is now substantially quicker and we’re told offers better on-center feel. Worth mentioning but hardly news, standard are four-wheel disc brakes, notable only because the number one competitor Toyota Tacoma still has drum brakes at the rear axle.
The one and only powertrain for 2022 is the same 3.8-liter direct injection V6 and 9-speed automatic transmission which made its debut for the 2020 model year. It sports best-in-class horsepower at 310 and torque of 281 pound-feet. This brings towing capacity up to 6,720 pounds and standard is Trailer Sway Control.
The optional electronically controlled shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive system comes with 2WD/4HI/4LO modes and is available with a software/hardware program 4-wheel limited-slip system. Hill Descent Control is standard on all Frontiers with 4-wheel drive.
New for 2022 is a PRO-X model for two-wheel drive Frontiers that brings all of the same exterior, suspension, tire and wheel, as well as interior upgrades as the PRO-4X except for the four-wheel drive version’s electronic locking differential and skid plates.
And all-new interior carries with it shadows of past design cues but with a more modern layout for expected technology both built-in and brought along by the driver. Center stage is a touchscreen infotainment system offering up to 9-inches. Nice. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all and top audio comes by way of Fender.
A modern instrument cluster offers digital display center between two dials. It’s an upgrade for the Frontier but you find the same cluster in many other Nissan models. Other significant interior upgrades include a new center console with room for phones, lots of ports and connectivity and even the availability of a wireless charger. Storage space has been increased in the center console and door pockets as well.
With the top-grade PRO-4X you see here, lots of accent color and rich fabrics are along for the ride, but hard materials and trims appear to remain class average. New however is improved sound deadening including front-door acoustic laminated glass.
Pricing and more detailed specs will be along closer to launch and on-sale date of summer 2021.