2022 Nissan Frontier Review
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2022 Nissan Frontier Review

Completely redesigned inside and out, along with an all-new 3.8L V6, Nissan’s small truck competitors may offer more engine choices, higher towing capacity, or better fuel economy figures, but the Frontier still has a lot in its favour.

Key Features:

  • More horsepower than the last generation
  • Comfortable seats
  • Standard advanced safety technologies

Direct Competitors:

  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Ford Ranger

Nissan hadn’t updated its Frontier midsize pickup truck since its second generation for 2005, but now there’s a completely new one for 2022. It rides on an updated, fully-boxed version of the outgoing truck’s frame, but everything else is new to it, including the styling, interior, and engine. 

In the U.S., Nissan briefly put the new engine in the old truck until this new version was ready, but it was never sold that way in Canada.

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X | Photo: Amee Reehal 

The Frontier has never bitten hard into the lead Toyota has in the midsize segment with its Tacoma, and it’s likely not going to upset that balance this time around. But the much-needed update should gain it some traction among smaller-truck buyers, who should shop it against the competition, which also includes GM’s Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon that’s redesigned for 2023, and Ford’s Ranger we compare to the Frontier here, as well as Honda’s SUV-based Ridgeline, and the pricier, niche-aimed Jeep Gladiator.

For a better idea of all the midsize pickups available, also check out Small Trucks: 9 Best Compact Pickups in Canada.

New Nissan Frontier price for 2022

Note: pricing below is when 2022 models arrived; 2023 Frontier pricing is slightly different. The 2023 model starts at $40,998 – up from 2022 despite any real changes.

The Frontier comes in King Cab, with rear-hinged back doors and with six-foot bed, started at $39,998 in base S trim. From there, the SV was $41,498; the SV Convenience at $43,498; and the off-road-ready PRO-4X starting at $45,598.

The Crew Cab has four conventionally-opening doors. You get a six-foot bed with the SV, at $43,998; and the SV Sport at $45,398. The PRO-4X is $47,498, and the PRO-4X Luxury is $49,498, both with a five-foot bed. All models then add a $1,950 delivery fee.

2022 Frontier interior & features

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X | Photo: Amee Reehal 

The King Cab seats four people, with forward-facing rear seats that can be flipped up out of the way for extra interior cargo space. Crew Cab models hold up to five. Their rear bench is split 60/40, and the seatbacks can be folded down for a flat cargo surface, or the cushions can be lifted to reveal storage space under them.

The Frontier’s interior looks better than before but still a little dated, with a lot of hard plastic even in the upper trim levels. However, it does come with a lot of features. The base S trim includes push button start, 8-inch touchscreen with satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, A and C USB ports, and in-cabin microfilter. 

Beyond that base S, all other trims add standard dual-zone automatic climate control, power driver’s seat, and heated front seats and steering wheel. Upper trim levels add such items as leather upholstery, 9-inch touchscreen with navigation, and Wi-Fi hotspot.

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X | Photo: Amee Reehal 

The seats are supportive, and they’re more upright than on the Tacoma. The Toyota’s chairs are placed close to the floor and can become uncomfortable on longer drives for many drivers. But the Frontier’s steering wheel only tilts and doesn’t telescope, which may make it harder for some taller drivers to find the perfect seating position.

Performance & drive impressions

New 301 horsepower V6 replaces two outgoing Frontier engines

All Frontier models use a 3.8-litre V6 that makes 301 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque, with a nine-speed automatic transmission. That engine replaces the two previous choices, of a 2.5-litre four-cylinder, or a 4.0-litre V6 that made 261 horsepower. 

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X | Photo: Amee Reehal 

The new engine is officially rated at 12.3 L/100 km in combined city/highway driving. That’s a considerable improvement over the old V6, rated at 13.9 L/100 km, but the Frontier is still thirstier than most of its midsize competitors.

Drive impressions & Frontier towing capacity

Acceleration is strong, and the nine-speed transmission shifts smoothly, although it can sometimes hunt for a gear on hills. The hydraulic steering is heavy and you’ll get a workout turning it at lower speeds. 

On the flip side, it feels well-controlled and confident when you’re hauling a load. Depending on the cab configuration and trim, maximum towing capacity ranges from 6,240 to 6,490 pounds, and payload from 1,100 to 1,430 pounds.

For a look at more small truck towing options, read our resource Truck Towing Capacity & Payload: Small & Midsize Pickups.

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X | Photo: Amee Reehal 

All Frontier models are part-time four-wheel drive, activated by a dial on the dash into two-wheel, 4High or 4Low. With no 4Auto setting, 4x4 should only be used on loose, off-road surfaces. 

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X is designed for the rough stuff

The PRO-4X, which comes in both King and Crew Cab, comes outfitted for rougher stuff off the asphalt with an electronic locking rear differential, extra skid plates, all-terrain tires, Bilstein shocks, and a 360-degree camera that automatically comes on when you’re travelling at very low speeds off-road to help navigate over obstacles. 

Its tires and suspension can make it feel a bit bouncy on pavement, but it’s still acceptable, and of course makes up for that with its ability when you want to explore the great outdoors.

Verdict: is the redesigned Nissan Frontier worth it?

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X | Photo: Amee Reehal 

The Frontier’s starting price is more than that of the Chevrolet Colorado or Ford Ranger, but the Tacoma’s prices are higher. Depending on the truck, Nissan’s competitors may offer more engine choices, higher towing capacity, or better fuel economy figures, but the Frontier still has a lot in its favour.

All trims come standard with a number of advanced driver assist features, such as adaptive cruise control, front and rear emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure alert, hill descent control, automatic high-beam headlamps, trailer sway control, and driver alert function. 

For its strong engine and numerous features, those considering the midsize competitors, or even a full-size truck, should have a look at Nissan’s new Frontier. 2022 Frontier specs below.

Planning to buy a used truck?

Before you buy a pre-owned pickup, make sure to read our guide Buying a Used Truck: 10 Things To Keep in Mind – where we discuss factors like truck sizes, reliability considerations, things to avoid (like lift kits and air suspension) and more.

2022 Nissan Frontier Key Specs 

Below, some key specs for the entry-level King Cab S trim:

  • Engine: 3.8 L V6 engine with DIG
  • Power: 310 hp @ 6,400 rpm
  • Transmission: 9-speed automatic transmission
  • Wheelbase – mm: 3,200 
  • Overall length – mm: 5338.1
  • Overall width – mm: 1,853.5
  • Overall height – mm: 1831.5
  • Track width – mm: 1,570
  • Bed length – mm: 1,861
  • Bed width – mm: 1,130
  • Bed depth – mm: 494
  • Minimum running ground clearance – mm: 204.6
  • Maximum towing capacity (lbs.): 6,510
  • Maximum payload capacity (lbs.): 1,400
  • Fuel economy: City and highway combined, L/100 KM: 11.6
  • Cab type: King Cab
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