The 2022 Nissan Frontier is fashionably late to the modern mid-size-pickup party, but its bold bodywork and adoption of popular technology could make it the new hotness. With a futuristic face and blistered fenders inspired by the original Nissan “Hardbody” compact trucks, the freshly designed Frontier no longer looks like a blast from the past–its predecessor went largely unchanged for 16 years. Likewise, the new generation’s interior goes from drab to pretty damn nice thanks to a more stylish layout and additional features. Power is provided by a 310-hp V-6 that pairs with a nine-speed automatic transmission and rear- or four-wheel drive. Off-road enthusiasts will also appreciate the Pro-4X trim that has a beefier suspension, an electronic locking rear differential, and other rugged add-ons.
What’s New for 2022?
After waiting more than a decade-and-a-half, Nissan finally reveals the third-generation Frontier for the 2022 model year. Sure, it still rides on a frame that dates back to the early 2000s, but the suspension has been revised and the rest of the truck is considerably improved.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We think the SV trim level has the best mix of standard features and value. Our ideal version starts with the crew cab—the larger of the two available cab sizes—and four-wheel drive. This combination adds $4600 to the bottom line. An 8.0-inch touchscreen (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat are standard, but we’d upgrade our truck with the Convenience and Technology packages. Together they add adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear automated emergency braking, heated front seats and steering wheel, a trailer hitch, lights in the cargo bed, and a spray-in bedliner.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 Frontier inherits Nissan’s new naturally aspirated 3.8-liter V-6, which made its debut on the last-generation 2020 model. The engine generates 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. It pairs with a nine-speed automatic transmission and rear- or four-wheel drive. Our first driving impressions revealed that the Frontier’s V-6 provides adequate thrust and smooth operation. We drove the off-road-oriented Pro-4X model that’s ready and willing to tackle rugged terrain, even if it’s not as capable as the lifted Chevy Colorado ZR2 or the Jeep Gladiator. We also appreciated the Nissan’s new quicker and more direct steering and the myriad other chassis enhancements that have helped the truck feel more composed and refined on the go.
Towing and Payload Capacity
The Frontier’s towing capacity maxes out at the same 6720 pounds as the previous generation, so it still falls short of rivals such as the Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Jeep Gladiator that can all pull at least 7650 pounds. The Nissan’s maximum payload does increase by 160 pounds from 1450 to 1610 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The rear-drive Frontier is rated at 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. With four-wheel drive, those figures drop to 17 mpg city and 22 highway. Once we can run the new Frontier on our 75-mph highway route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can evaluate its real-world mpg. For more information about the Frontier’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Thankfully, the new Frontier delivers an interior design and materials that look like a big improvement over the outdated and plastic-laden cabin that plagued its predecessor. Not only did Nissan add snazzier trim pieces and soft-touch surfaces that were much needed, the company also introduced more contemporary features. The gauge cluster now offsets its analog gauges with a larger 7.0-inch color display. A heated steering wheel and heated front seats are also available. Speaking of seats, the Frontier continues to comfort our backsides with Nissan’s supple Zero Gravity thrones. Interior cubby storage includes a bin on top of the dashboard and a place to store items under the back seat. The truck offers two wheelbase lengths that provide a short and long cargo bed, with the former measuring just under 5 feet and the latter extending just over 6 feet.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The new Frontier’s infotainment system operates through a standard 8.0-inch or optional 9.0-inch touchscreen. A pair of physical knobs for adjusting the stereo’s volume and tuning settings are present and located below the screen. The most desirable standard connectivity features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and several charging outlets that include a USB-C port. The Frontier can also be had with a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless smartphone charging. The sound system can also be upgraded to a nine-speaker Fender unit for additional cost.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Unlike its predecessor, the 2022 Frontier offers an assortment of driver-assistance technology as part of Nissan Safety Shield 360. Highlights include automatic high-beams, automated emergency braking, and class-exclusive rear automated emergency braking. For more information about the Frontier’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Other key safety features include:
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available lane-departure warning
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Nissan offers competitive limited and powertrain warranties compared with other mid-size pickup trucks. However, almost every competitor—apart from the Honda Ridgeline—also includes some type of complimentary scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance