After roughly 16 years, the 2022 Nissan Frontier has gotten a complete makeover and plenty of power to boot.
The all-new Frontier has a best-in-class 310 horsepower through a 3.8-liter direct injection V6 engine that bolts to an improved 9-speed automatic transmission which delivers 281 lb-ft. torque to 16-inch steel or optional 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
Beyond the engine bay, the biggest changes are in the body. Engineers turned to the iconic and off-road dominant Nissan Hardbody of the 80s and 90s for inspiration on a bold and aggressive new look.
The result is a truck that looks much more suited to compete in a popular midsize segment long dominated by the Toyota Tacoma. For an even more aggressive look, the specially-equipped 4WD-only Frontier PRO-4X and new-for-2022 2WD-only Frontier PRO-X feature LED headlamps, LED Daytime Running Lights, LED fog lights and Lava Red grille accents.
Beyond its hard chiseled and more determined appearance, the truck’s capabilities have improved.
Matched to the engine is a 9-speed automatic transmission designed to maximize efficiency and provide strong acceleration. With an expanded lockup area, a new high-response electro-hydraulic system, long input shaft and a 99 percent wider gear range (versus the previous Frontier 5-speed design), “the transmission offers quick, crisp and direct shift response throughout the entire gear range,” Nissan reports.
Nissan also retuned Frontier’s hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering gear for 2022 to provide better on-center feel, reducing driver fatigue on long trips. Steering gear ratio has been increased by 16 percent, leading to a faster response with less steering effort.
Frontier’s front and rear suspensions have been engineered to “offer best-level ride and handling both on- and off-road.” New hydraulic cab mounts reduce road vibration by 80 percent, while new urethane jounce bumpers – the only in class – provide improved damping for a smoother ride. In addition to a larger front stabilizer bar, a rear stabilizer bar reduces body roll and increases traction. Standard 4-wheel ABS disc brakes are designed to provide confident stopping power.
Frontier 4WD models feature a shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive system with 2WD/4HI/4LO modes operated by an electronically controlled part-time transfer case. Frontier 4WD models are available with a 4-wheel limited-slip system, which helps transfer power to the drive wheels with more grip on low traction surfaces. Hill Start Assist is standard on all models, and Hill Descent Control is standard on all 4WD models.
The PRO-4X model adds an electronic locking differential, Bilstein off-road shock absorbers and underbody skid plates.
Frontier is available with a high-utility bed that includes a factory-applied spray-on bedliner and Utili-track Channel System. The UtiliTrack system provides cargo hauling flexibility through the use of three special “C” cross-section rails mounted in the bed. In addition, four fixed bed tie-down hooks help provide additional cargo securement.
A dampened tailgate assist – new for 2022 – is standard on all models. Inside the bed are two standard stop lamp lights mounted on the back of the cab and two new available LED cargo bed lights.
Frontier’s towing capacity is rated at up to 6,720 pounds (maximum, when properly equipped). New for 2022 is standard Trailer Sway Control, which detects sway and automatically applies the brakes to eliminate it for a more confident towing experience.
The all-new interior of the 2022 Frontier features the largest-in-class 9-inch color touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which are standard on all models.
A standard, largest-in-class 7.0-inch Advanced Driver Assist Display offers configurable information directly in front of the driver. New trim, finishers and meter accents are inspired by adventure gear.
Frontier provides 4.0 liters of center console storage – almost double that of most mid-size pickups – as well as 5.7 liters of rear-door-pocket storage and 6.5 liters of front-door-pocket storage. Storage is also provided at the top of the instrument panel.
Added insulation, improved rear carpet structure and new front-door acoustic laminated glass are all designed to help reduce interior road noise. Standard Zero Gravity seats provide initial softness with lateral support to help reduce long-range driving fatigue.
Modern tech and safety features
The 2022 Frontier features a long list of advanced technology and safety features including wireless smartphone charging and NissanConnect with WiFi Hotspot, available on PRO4X/PRO-X models.
Standard on all models are two front USB ports (one Type-A, one Type-C), two front 12V outlets and Siri Eyes Free. Two 110V outlets with 400-watt capability – one in the rear, one in the bed – are available on SV and PRO-X/PRO-4X models. Fender Premium Audio with nine speakers is available on SV and PRO-X/PRO-4X grades.
The 2022 Frontier is the first application of Nissan Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Off-Road Mode. Nissan was the first automaker to offer Around View Monitor, which creates a birds’ eye view by stitching together views from four cameras mounted on the outside of the vehicle.
The new Off-Road Mode available on Frontier PRO-4X functions while the vehicle is moving forward at slow speeds and the 4WD system is in 4LO, ideal for negotiating tight trails without having an external spotter to avoid potential body scrapes or dents.
Available safety technology starts with Nissan Safety Shield 360, featuring Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and class-exclusive Rear Automatic Braking.
Class-exclusive Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and Tire Pressure Monitoring System with Easy Fill Tire Alert are standard. Additional available features include Intelligent Cruise Control, class-exclusive Traffic Sign Recognition and Intelligent Driver Alertness. Rear
Door Alert is standard on all models. The all-new Frontier features eight standard airbags.
Various models and features available
The 2022 Frontier King Cab is offered in 2WD and 4WD S and SV grades. The 2022 Frontier Crew Cab is available in 2WD and 4WD S, SV SWB (standard bed) and SV LWB (long bed), along with the Crew Cab PRO-4X (4WD only) and new-for-2022 PRO-X (2WD only). The PRO-X grade provides the same design touches as PRO-4X but does not include certain 4WD-related content (electronic locking differential, underbody skid plates). Seven option packages will be available.
A 5-foot bed is standard on all Crew Cab models, with a 6-foot bed optional on Crew Cab SV Long Wheelbase models. A 6-foot bed is also standard on all King Cab models.
Available exterior colors include Glacier White, Gun Metallic, Super Black, Red Alert,
Cardinal Red Metallic TriCoat, Deep Blue Pearl, Baja Storm, Tactical Green Metallic and Boulder Grey Pearl – colors intended for fun and adventure. Interior color options include Charcoal, Sandstone and the PRO-4X/PRO-X’s Charcoal with Lava Red.
More than 85 Nissan and NISMO accessories are approved for the 2022 Frontier, including sports bar, off-road step rails with removable steps, NISMO suspension kit, off-road auxiliary lighting, ladder racks and tents. More accessories are in development, and additional details will be available closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date.
The all-new 2022 Nissan Frontier goes on sale in summer 2021.