New Nissan Frontier staying competitive in popular mid-size pickup segment

Dave Kunz Image
Saturday, October 16, 2021
New Nissan Frontier staying competitive in the market
The new model pays tribute to the hardbody pickups from back in the day and has a lot of upgraded features compared to the previous redesign.

There's a new Nissan Frontier pickup truck for 2022, and a truly new one hasn't happened in a very long time. The previous redesign was back in 2004, three years before the first iPhone came out.

The old Frontier managed to stay nice enough all those years, but the company has decided to launch this new one for the increasingly competitive mid-size pickup truck market. The new model has lots of modern tech either standard or available, along with a standard V6 engine and new 9-speed automatic transmission. There are multiple configurations possible including two cab sizes and a choice of two or four-wheel drive. The base price for the new Frontier is $27,840.

And if you know your Nissan trucks, this one's design pays a bit of tribute to the hardbody pickup of the '80s and '90s. There is a family resemblance, if you squint.

Nissan had to stay up on things in this segment, especially with the reimagined Ranger doing well in Ford showrooms, itself on the heels of the second-generation Chevy Colorado. Ford had previously given up on mid-size trucks, but the Colorado and its GMC twin, the Canyon, became surprising hits a few years back.

Lots of buyers like the choice of a mid-size, and the sales leader by a mile is Toyota's Tacoma, which was new in 2015. For 2022 the TRD Pro model gets a few upgrades, including a suspension lift. The Tacoma should continue to perform well and stay on top of the sales charts.

They're called mid-size pickup trucks, but their capabilities these days are quite impressive. In fact, a lot of customers who buy a full-size pickup could probably get by just fine with a mid-size one.

As this segment progresses, the trucks competing in it get stouter and more robust.

The new Frontier, for example, boasts standard horsepower of 310. That was within the full-size truck territory not too long ago. Its cargo capacity maxes out at 1,600 pounds, and if you need to do some towing, the Frontier can pull up to 6,720 pounds, another figure that used to be exclusive to full-size trucks.

Yes, these are no longer the "baby" trucks they used to be, and we're about to see a number of truly compact trucks on the market. But the mid-sizers are what some buyers call "right sized" - neither too big nor too small, and able to get the job done in a modern era.