The Nissan Frontier is a compact or mid-size pickup truck available since 1997.
Nissan Frontier Name and Introduction
Like many Nissan models, the Frontier name is used in specific markets, mainly North America, while the nearly identical counterparts are sold in other markets as a Navara or NP300. The first sign of the Nissan Frontier came in 1997, when Nissan updated the D21 Hardbody truck to the D22 (Navara, NP300, Hardbody, PickUP, or Frontier - depending on the market). This was the first time Nissan released a pickup truck option to the United States and Canada markets. It was built at the Nissan factory in Smyrna, Tennessee and was first available only as a 2-door truck with a regular or King cab. A 4-door version was later introduced in 1999.
Engine and Performance
The Nissan Frontier started with two engine choices, a 2.4: KA24DE inline-4 gasoline engine and a 2.7L TD27 inline-4 diesel option. Both were paid to a 5-speed manual transmission. It was available in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive variants. In 1999, a 3.3L V6 VG33E engine was added to the lineup. And then two years later, a supercharged version of this engine was available for those looking for more power, although the 210 horsepower rating still left something to be desired. In 2001, Nissan redesigned the Frontier, offering a more aggressive exterior look to appeal to younger buyers. Most body panels were updated, along with different tailgate and lights in front and rear.
Second Generation Updates
The second generation Nissan Frontier was released in 2004, first unveiled at the 2004 North American International Auto Show. This generation moved to the new Nissan F-Alpha platform, a fully boxed ladder frame. It also used design that more closely resembled the larger Nissan Titan truck. In North America, the standard engine option now moved up to a 4.0L VQ40DE V6 engine, producing a more respectable 261 horsepower and 281 lb ft of torque. Perhaps more importantly, the towing capacity was now a solid 6,500 pounds, allowing the Frontier to step in as a workhorse to be used for recreation and commercial purposes. A smaller 2.5L QR25DE inline-4 was also still available as an option for those who don’t need the additional power. This engine produced 152 horsepower and 171 lb ft of torque. Transmission options included a 6-speed manual and 5-speed automatic, while the Frontier still came in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive variants. In 2009, Nissan released many new features on the Frontier truck sold in North America. A new 3.0L V9X V6 turbodiesel engine was added to the lineup, producing an impressive 240 horsepower and 369 lb ft of torque. A 2.5L YD25DDTi was also available, along with the usual VQ40DE engine at 261 horsepower. Other changes included 17-inch and 18-inch wheel options, a smoother design in the engine hood, and upgraded interior materials. While some markets received a new D23 third generation Nissan pickup truck, the North American Frontier model did not follow suit. Instead, it stuck with the D41 lineup.
Third Generation Nissan Frontier
The third generation Frontier (D41) was released in 2022 model year, on the Nissan F-Alpha platform. It uses a 3.8L VQ38DD V6 engine producing 310 horsepower, paired to a 9-speed automatic transmission. The wheelbase is 5 inches (13 cm) longer than the previous generation. It can handle 1,610 pounds (730 kg) of payload and 6,720 pounds (3,048 kg) towing capacity. Trim levels include the base S, SV, Pro-X, and Pro-4X, with definition characteristics being four-wheel drive and the Kind Cab offering. The Pro-4X included electronic locking differentials, a major improvement for those who tackle challenging off-road or slick conditions.