2022 Nissan Frontier

2022 Nissan Frontier

by Benjamin Yong

Following a short hiatus from Canadian dealers, the Nissan Frontier is back in 2022 form sporting an entirely new look, powertrain and more. While still riding on the same frame as before, standard four-wheel drive and the availability of a PRO-4X off-road variant that we tested, as found on bigger brother the Titan, means there should be something here for most customers and enthusiasts. Read on.

“The all-new 2022 Frontier builds on Nissan’s six-plus decades of mid-size truck leadership with a bold new exterior, adventure-oriented interior and the latest driver assistance and connectivity technologies,” says Marc-André Nault, vice president of sales operations at Nissan Canada Inc., in a news release.

Bearing a lot of aesthetic similarities to the aforementioned Titan, the Japanese automaker says inspiration was also drawn from the boxy ’80s and ’90s Hardbody pickup. A large rectangular black mesh hood takes up much of the front fascia real estate, flanked by similarly shaped interlocking LED headlights. A contrasting skid plate and chunky wheel arch flares give it some street cred, and the wraparound vertical taillamps sit above a cool multi-piece rear bumper.

Both five and six-foot beds are sold depending on the specific model, the former doing a good job balancing agility and practicality. The new dampened tailgate with closure assist is a nice touch, as are the embedded LED lighting, factory-sprayed bedliner and Utili-Track Cargo System featuring aluminum cleats designed to slide around a series of channels along the wall and floor. Simply attach tie downs to the built-in loops and even the most awkwardly shaped cargo can be secured easily.

A slick Tactical Green Metallic paint option is being debuted — taking after the colour of “tech savvy backcountry gear” — though our press vehicle was sprayed in a striking coat of Red Alert that complemented the PRO-4X’s red grille emblem and tow hooks, and looked great against the tinted rear windows and all the other various dark bits of the exterior.

I wouldn’t exactly call the inside of the truck luxurious; however, the mostly black cabin has all the modern tech and accessories like a nine-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, wireless smartphone charging pad, Wi-Fi hotspot, heated steering wheel and front seating, big five-litre capacity armrest console cubby, moonroof and more. As always, the Zero Gravity seats provide comfortable support.

In addition, this is first application of an enhanced version of the Nissan Around View Monitor 360-degree camera. Not only can it now detect and highlight moving objects on screen, but activates when the PRO-4X is in 4LO gearing and moving slowly to help avoid scrapes and dents during tight trail manoeuvres.

All Frontiers utilize the 3.8-litre V6 engine, making 310-horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque, introduced in 2020. A capable if not the smoothest nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the outgoing five-speed and is relatively snappy to change gears. The ride is fairly quiet for a pickup as the rear carpet has been upgraded and acoustic laminated glass fitted to the front doors.

Every trim is loaded with hardware specific to tackling challenging surface conditions. The shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive system possesses 2WD/4HI/4LO modes operated by an electronically operated part-time transfer case. Hill start assist and hill descent control make traversing steep terrain an easier task, allowing you to focus on just steering. PRO grades receive extra equipment on top including an electronic locking differential and heavy duty Bilstein suspension.

The 2022 Nissan Frontier is manufactured at the company’s Canton factory in Mississippi, and starts at $39,998 for the S King Cab and $47,498 for the PRO-4X Crew Cab.

Specifications:

Base price (MSRP): $47,498
Type: pickup truck
Layout: front engine, 4WD
Engine: 3.8L V6
Transmission: 9-speed auto
Power: 310 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque: 281 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Brakes: front/rear disc with ABS
Fuel Consumption (L/100km, city/hwy combined): 14.3/11.8