Nissan overhauls the 2022 Frontier with fearless looks & new specs

Never has a mid-size truck deserved such a long overdue redesign: bolder looks, more power, and new interior.

Release date: Summer 2021

New engine with more power

After being sold on our market unchanged for over a decade, the Nissan Frontier compact pickup finally gets a full model redesign for the 2022 model year. While it still rides on the same architecture as before, it houses an all-new 3.8-liter V6 good for 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque.

It’s mated to an equally new nine-speed automatic gearbox. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder and six-speed manual transmission are now things of the past. The Frontier also retains a hydraulic power steering setup for improved feel and precision during off-roading.

Built for off-roading

New Pro-4X includes off-road specific gear like a rear-locking limited-slip differential, Bilstein performance shocks, off-road tires and skid plates to protect its oil pan and transfer case.

While the US market will have a choice of two-wheel or 4-wheel drive configurations, Canada gets standard 4-wheel drive across the lineup. King and Crew cab configurations are back, with available five or six-foot beds.

2022 Nissan Frontier
2022 Nissan Frontier. Photo: Nissan

Redesigned Frontier interior

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Changes were also applied inside, where the new Frontier gets a much more modern and refined interior. Pro-4X models get unique colour combinations, while the entire lineup receives an all-new infotainment system with 8- and 9-inch screens. The system will incorporate a slew of off-road specific apps as well a Wi-Fi hotspot and Android / Apple CarPlay connectivity.

The towing rating however drops from 6,720 to 6,490 pounds. Same story for max payload, it slightly dips from 1,460 to 1,400 pounds. While no pricing has yet been announced, Nissan says the new Frontier will hit showrooms as early as this summer.

2022 Frontier vs outgoing model: completely different beasts

Editor’s Note: In case you’re wondering (and you should be wondering), here’s what the outgoing Frontier looks like compared to the new one – two completely different trucks, both inside and out:

2020 Nissan Frontier2022 Nissan Frontier
2020 Nissan Frontier (Top. Photo: Nissan) vs 2022 Nissan Frontier (Bottom. Photo: Nissan)
2020 Nissan Frontier2022 Nissan Frontier interior
2020 Nissan Frontier (Left. Photo: Nissan) vs 2022 Nissan Frontier (Right. Photo: Nissan)

Key specs: 2022 Frontier pickup

Body configurationsKing Cab, Crew Cab
Drive configuration4-wheel drive
PlatformHeavy-duty fully boxed ladder frame
Powertrain3.8-litre direct injection V6
Torque281 lb/ft
Transmission9-speed automatic
Towing capacityU.S. – 6,720 pounds/3,408 kilograms – S 4×2
Canada – 6,490 pounds/2,944 kilograms – S 4×4
Payload1,400 pounds/635 kilograms – 4WD S
Brakes4-wheel vented discs, ABS
SteeringEngine speed-sensitive power rack and pinion
Wheels16-inch steel or 17-inch aluminum-alloy
Tires265/70R16, 265/65R17 or 265/70R17
WheelbaseStandard Wheelbase (SWB): 126.0 in./3,200 mm
Long Wheelbase (LWB): 139.8 in./3,550 mm
Overall width73.0 in./1,853.5 mm
Overall lengthStandard Wheelbase (SWB): 210.2 in./5,338.1 mm
Long Wheelbase (LWB): 224.1 in./ 5,692.1
Bed dimensions
Length: 58.9 in./1,495.5mm – SWB Crew Cab PRO-4X 73.3 in./1,861.5mm – LWB Crew Cab and standard King Cab 72.6 in./1,845.5mm – King Cab Pro-4X
Width: 61.4 in. (at C-Channel)
Depth: 19.4 in

Interior and exterior 2022 Frontier pictures:

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William Clavey
Automotive journalist from Montreal, William is passionate about anything on four wheels. See his work in various outlets including Jalopnik, DriveTribe, TTAC, TractionLife, and others.