While not the completely new truck many of us have been hoping for, the 2022 Nissan Frontier offers bold new looks, tons of new tech, and impressive utility.
The current second-generation Nissan Frontier has been on the market since 2005. It’s seen some quality updates over the years, but not a proper refresh. Naturally, Nissan draped its tried-and-true midsize truck frame and drivetrain with all-new bodywork and loaded it with the latest tech for 2022.
The truth is that buyers are unlikely to care that the underpinnings aren’t completely new, as the Frontier has been thoroughly upgraded to compete with the best midsize trucks on the market today.
2022 Frontier Bold New Look
The 2022 Frontier looks like an all-new model and fits the styling of Nissan’s new, modern direction. A huge front surface area punctuated by a massive grille and big, distinct headlights are the first things that grab your attention.
Then you notice the bulging hood, with lines taken from the Frontier’s big brother, the Titan. And the profile is a whole different look too. Muscular fenders and taller truck-bed sides make the truck look considerably larger and more sporty than the current Frontier generation.
Frontier’s PRO-4X and PRO-X models get even more aggressive fender flares, painted alloy wheels with Lava Red center caps, LED headlights, fog lights, and LED daytime running lights.
Under the hood, it has the same 3.8L V6 that was first introduced in the 2020 Frontier. It offers 310 horsepower as well as 281 pound-feet of torque. The V6 is backed by a nine-speed automatic transmission and offered with a 2WD or shift-on-the-fly 4WD transfer case.
Frontier also gets disc brakes all around (something class leader Tacoma still doesn’t have, with drum brakes in the rear). Nissan is putting its best foot forward with this feature, as strong stopping power is super important on and off road.
Inside the 2022 Nissan Frontier
A full refresh of the interior truly elevates the Frontier to be a real competitor on the U.S. truck market. A largest-available-in-class, 9-inch color touchscreen dominates the dash, while a 7-inch Advanced Driver Assist Display sits behind the steering wheel.
Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with available Wi-Fi, ensure you’re always connected. You’ll find lots of USB-A and USB-C ports as well as 12V outlets throughout the 2022 Frontier’s interior. And available wireless charging and 110V outlets ensure all your personal electronics stay charged.
New Interior Looks
The looks of the all-new interior, Nissan said, are “inspired by adventure gear.” It looks rugged, modern, and utilitarian to us, which we have no doubt will appeal to a wide audience, especially those seeking outdoor adventures.
You can choose from basic Charcoal or Sandstone for the interior, or, even better in our opinion, the PRO-4X/PRO-X Charcoal With Lava Red accents (in cloth or leather). The PRO-4X/PRO-X models also get special instrument panel and door panel accents as well as upgraded LED interior lighting.
Refined Space, Storage
Besides the good looks, the new interior should be a genuinely nice place to spend time. Only getting behind the wheel ourselves will offer real insights here. But it should be a quiet and relaxed place to be.
Front-door acoustic laminated glass, added insulation, and improved rear carpet should all help reduce road noise inside the cab. Hydraulic cab mounts are said to reduce road vibrations by 80%. Coupled with the new standard Zero Gravity seats, which are said to “provide initial softness with lateral support,” long hours to your next adventure destination should pass with ease.
We could always use more storage for our gear, and Nissan has considered this in the 2022 Frontier. The center console has a massive 4 L of storage space, while the door pockets offer even more room. We get 6.5 L of storage in the front-door pocket and 5.7 L in the rear-door pocket. The little storage bin atop the instrument panel is a nice touch for sunglasses and the like.
Nissan Frontier Off Road
The hot trend right now is truly rugged and capable off-road vehicles. Nissan answers this call on several fronts.
First off, all 4WD Frontier models get Hill Descent Control, and all models get Hill Start Assist. Available on 4WD models is also a four-wheel limited-slip system that aids in traction on low-grip surfaces. The suspension has been updated over the outgoing setup and includes urethane jounce bumpers to help smooth the ride after big impact events, whether big potholes on your local city street or big rocks off road.
The 2022 Frontier also gets an Intelligent Around View Monitor system with Moving Object Detection and Off-Road Mode. These features greatly enhance obstacle spotting and ease of driving off road.
The big go-anywhere story is the new 4WD-only 2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X. This top-spec, off-road model gets a rear e-locker, Bilstein off-road shocks, a Dana rear axle, and full skid plates. It also gets 31.6-inch AT tires wrapped around 17-inch alloy wheels. This is the 2022 Frontier adventure model we’d want in the backcountry.
2022 Nissan Frontier: A Workhorse
While the Frontier will no doubt be a good around-town everyday vehicle and weekend adventure companion, it’s also set up to do work. In particular, the bed offers more capacity, with higher sidewalls as well as an available spray-on bed liner for durability.
To secure all your adventure gear, the bed comes with four tie-downs, and you can option it with the Utili-track Channel System for the ultimate in versatile load securing. Also inside the bed are optional LED cargo lights to easily find your gear in the dark. A new dampened tailgate-assist system takes the weightlifting requirement out of raising and lowering the tailgate.
The Frontier can tow your camper trailer or anything else up to 6,720 pounds (on 2WD S or SV Frontier models). Trailer Sway Control also comes standard on the 2022 Frontier, which greatly aids in towing confidence.
The Frontier can also carry up to 1,610 pounds. That’s right in line with all Frontier’s midsize competitors.
Frontier Models, Accessories, Pricing
There are lots of 2022 Frontier models to choose from, in both 2WD and 4WD, but they all come with four doors. You can also choose between King Cab and Crew Cab, and 5- and 6-foot bed options.
And if you want even more choices, you’re in luck. The Frontier comes in four grades: S, SV, PRO-X, and PRO-4X. The PRO-4X is the ultimate sporty off-road version of the Frontier, while the PRO-X gives you all the sporty looks in a 2WD package without the off-road upgrades.
We all love to make our vehicles our own, and Nissan plans to offer more than 85 OEM accessories at launch for the 2022 Frontier. These include such things as a sport bar, off-road step rails with removable steps, a NISMO suspension kit, off-road auxiliary lighting, ladder racks, and even tents.
No word on pricing yet, but we expect to see prices starting just shy of $30,000, with top-spec Frontier PRO-4X models hitting close to $50,000. Expect to see the 2022 Nissan Frontier hit dealer lots this summer.
To find your local dealer and order up your own Frontier, click here.