2022 Ford Ranger vs 2022 Nissan Frontier Comparison Review
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2022 Ford Ranger vs 2022 Nissan Frontier Comparison Review

If a full-size truck is too big to fit an urban lifestyle, and the new compact trucks, too small to be truly useful as a truck, then a mid-size pick-up is the Goldilocks choice, being just the right size..

Ford and Nissan have been selling smaller trucks (once considered compact, now grown into mid-size), for decades. Ford took a break selling the Ranger in Canada and the US, but brought back a version that had been available for the rest of the planet for several years. 

Meanwhile, Nissan had been peddling the same Jurassic-era Frontier for at least a decade, before introducing this almost entirely new version for 2022. While neither of these trucks are sales leaders in the segment, they’ve both seen increases, even while some competitors have faltered. Of course, EV trucks are coming to Canada as well, with likely smaller models down the road. 

So, how does Nissan’s latest effort measure up against the venerable Ford? We take a closer look at their styling, interiors, and performance – followed by specs for each truck.


  • Top pick: Frontier
  • Top feature: It’s boxy and butch-looking, just as a truck should be

2022 Nissan Frontier | Photo: Amee Reehal 

The Ranger isn’t a bad-looking truck, and our XLT tester had both the FX4 off-road package and the Splash graphics that add some black stickers that contrast boldly against the yellow paint. If anything, the only failing for the Ranger’s look is that it’s a bit dated, and simply too common now.

The Frontier has some harder edges and a more chiseled face with squared-off corners giving it a tougher appearance than the softer, rounded Ford. From the front, the Nisan’s steel skid plate and red tow hooks reinforce that this PRO-4X trim is ready to leave the pavement behind and go bash through the wilderness. 


  • Top pick: Frontier
  • Top feature: It’s comfier, better-equipped and more practical

2022 Ranger interior vs 2022 Frontier interior | Photos: Ford, Nissan 

Both trucks can be celebrated for their simplicity. Owners won’t need to spend hours with the manual just to figure out how to turn on the heated seats in either of these machines, which is a refreshing change when so many vehicles have become so complex. 

Ford Ranger interior is showing its age

In the Ranger’s case, its simplicity can be chalked up to age having been designed in a simpler time. The audio system’s volume and tuning are managed by simple knobs, while the climate control has old-school buttons. Our tester even had a traditional key to be inserted into the ignition in order to switch the truck on.

2022 Ford Ranger | Photo: Ford 

Ford’s SYNC infotainment system is displayed on a small touch screen. It’s easy to use and gets the job done well, but otherwise, there aren’t any frills in the Ranger.

New Nissan Frontier interior is more premium

Despite being new, the Frontier’s interior doesn’t look all that different from the Ranger’s, with traditional gauges, knobs and shifter, but Nissan has fitted nicer materials throughout, plus a much larger, brighter touch screen for the infotainment system. 

2022 Nissan Frontier | Photo: Amee Reehal 

The Frontier’s list price was within a grand of the Ranger, yet the Nissan wore handsome leather seats, had a heated steering wheel, a killer sound system, and even wireless smartphone charging.

Frontier drivers will also benefit from Nissan’s excellent Zero Gravity seats that minimize driver fatigue, and truly do work as promised even after long trips. The rear seat splits and folds, plus flips up to allow access to a small storage bin, and while the Ranger’s rear seat also flips up, it does so only as a single unit, limiting its usefulness. 


  • Top pick: Ranger
  • Top feature: Numbers don’t lie, and the Ranger tows and hauls more

2022 Ford Ranger Tremor | Photo: Ford

The Frontier has a 3.8-litre V6 that throws down a class-leading 310 horsepower. It’s enough oomph to get the Nissan up to highway speeds without much effort, and there’s still ample power for passing, but it needs some revs to get there, Plus, the Frontier weighs in more than a 100 kg heavier than the Ranger, limiting its performance.

Ford Ranger engine provides more torque than the new Frontier

The Ford, meanwhile, uses a smaller 2.3L inline 4 cylinder that’s turbocharged to dispense with a decent 270 hp. The little turbo engine puts up 310 lb-ft of torque versus the Frontier’s 281 lb-ft. Around town, especially when pulling away from a stop, the Ranger feels livelier than the Frontier. 

Unfortunately, Ford’s 10-speed automatic is hell-bent on being in the tallest gear possible all the time in the interest of efficiency but dulling responsiveness. Nissan’s 9-speed automatic is well-matched to the engine, and offers smooth shifts.

2022 Nissan Frontier | Photo: Amee Reehal 

Unsurprisingly, the Ranger’s lighter weight, smaller engine and over-eager transmission netted it better fuel efficiency with an observed consumption rate at 11 L/100 km, versus the Frontier’s observed 12.3 L/100 km. 

Driving impressions

The Ranger’s steering is more car-like than the Frontier’s, which is very slow and surprisingly heavy especially at parking lot speeds. Around town, the Ford feels happier, zipping through traffic easier, but while both trucks have very stiff, truck-like rides, the Ranger, with its FX4 off-road suspension bounced around wildly. 

Worse still, off-road when things got really bumpy, the Ford felt like it was going to bounce itself right off the trail, where the Frontier’s PRO-4X suspension managed the bumps with greater composure.

2022 Ford Ranger Wildtrak | Photo: Ford 

Payload and towing capacity comparison

Even mid-sized trucks must be able to do heavy work sometimes and the Ranger offers a 730 kg payload versus the Frontier’s 558 kg. Similarly, although both fitted with trailer tow packages, the Nissan tops out at 2,840 kg, compared to the Ford’s notably greater 3,401 kg.

Being four-door versions of each model, they both had short boxes. For the Ranger this means 1,524 mm true box length versus the Frontier’s 1,496 mm (among the shortest in the class). Both trucks can be specified with shorter cabs and longer, 6-foot boxes.

The Ranger’s box is also deeper than the Frontier’s, but while they both wore spray-in box liners, the Nissan also had a clever adjustable cleat system, LED box light and a 120V power plug in the bed, all lacking from the Ford.

2022 Nissan Frontier | Photo: Amee Reehal 

Verdict & specs: the best mid-size truck?

Buyers basing their truck purchase strictly on the payload and towing capabilities will choose the Ford over the Nissan in this test, but it still pales compared to a full-size truck. The Ford also offers slightly better fuel efficiency and around-town drivability than the Nissan, but falls short of the new compact trucks like Ford’s own Maverick, or Hyundai’s Santa Cruz.

Meanwhile, the Nissan offers tremendous value, providing a very well-equipped truck with the features that make living with the truck every day a better proposition than the Ford. The Frontier feels like a truck, offers better off-road prowess and while not providing class-leading towing, is nevertheless competitive in the segment. 

Both trucks are worth a potential buyer’s consideration, but it’s the Frontier PRO-4X we’d want to live with for the long haul. 

If you’re shopping for a used truck, here are 10 things to keep in mind during your research. Or go straight to our inventory of used, certified pickups here.

Specs: 2022 Ford Ranger SuperCrew XLT 4X4 vs 2022 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab PRO-4X 


2022 Ford Ranger SuperCrew XLT 4X4

2022 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab PRO-4X

Base Price



As-tested Price




2.3L I-4 Turbo

3.8L V6


10-speed automatic

9-speed automatic


4-wheel-drive with low gear

4-wheel-drive with low gear

Peak Horsepower

270 hp

310 hp

Peak Torque

310 lb-ft.

281 lb-ft

Fuel Economy

11.9 / 9.7 / 10.9 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb

13.7 / 10.6 / 12.3  L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb

Pick-up Box Length

1,524 mm

1,496 mm

Pick-up Box Depth

531 mm

493 mm

Pick-up Box Width (between wheel wells)

1,138 mm

1,130 mm


730 kg

558 kg

Towing Capacity

3,401.9 kg

2,839 kg

Standard wheel - inches



Ground clearance

226.06 mm

238.76 mm


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