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2022 Nissan Frontier Revealed As U.S. Market Ford Ranger Competitor

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When Ford Authority reported on the all-new Nissan Navara last November, expectations were high that some variant of the truck would replace the long-running U.S. market Frontier, which Nissan had only minimally updated since its introduction for the 2005 model year. Instead, the 2022 Nissan Frontier is a substantially freshened version of the outgoing model, updated with lots of new tech and features to better position it against the Ford Ranger in the American mid-size pickup segment.

Although the 2022 Nissan Frontier will continue to ride on the same Nissan F-Series Alpha platform, it features all-new bodywork, a redesigned suspension, and a new cabin.

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On the suspension front, Nissan added new urethane jounce bump stops, a stiffer anti-roll bar up front and a rear anti-roll bar out back, while revising spring and damper tuning. Nissan says the new setup reduces road vibration by 80 percent and contributes to a smoother ride. Steering will be governed by a traditional hydraulic-powered rack-and-pinion unit rather than an electric motor, although Nissan says its ratio is quicker than the outgoing model.

Powering the new Frontier is Nissan’s naturally aspirated 3.8L V6. The carryover six is rated at 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission that can be optioned with a part-time four-wheel drive system.

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The 2022 Nissan Frontier gets its biggest boost in the form of an all-new cabin, with all versions receiving laminated front side windows, more sound-deadening material, additional storage space, Nissan’s Zero Gravity seating, and a 7-inch digital instrument cluster backed up by analog gauges. An 8-inch center infotainment system is standard, although a larger 9-inch unit is available. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability is standard. Additional interior options include a Fender Premium Audio nine-speaker sound system, a wireless charging pad, Wi-Fi hotspot, heated steering wheel and heated seats.

In terms of safety technology, only forward collision warning comes standard, but the Frontier has a class-exclusive automatic rear braking system available, which is bundled with Nissan Safety Shield 360. That equipment suite also features automatic emergency braking, a blind spot warning system, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams.

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Debuting on the 2022 Nissan Frontier is the Nissan Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Off-Road Mode. The Around View Monitor blends the view from four cameras together to offer drivers a bird’s eye view of their surroundings, while the new Off-Road Mode, available on the Pro-4X trim, eliminates the need for an outside spotter.

Four trim levels will be offered at launch: S, SV, Pro-X, and Pro-4X. The Frontier comes standard with a five-foot bed, and can be ordered with a six-foot bed, in both King Cab (extended cab) or Crew Cab configurations, depending on trim.

Exact pricing and equipment offerings will be announced in the future, but given Nissan’s decision to stick with the outgoing model’s platform, it’s likely that the 2022 Nissan Frontier will be positioned as a value player in the segment. The truck will be built at Nissan’s Smyrna Assembly plant in Tennessee and is slated to arrive in summer 2021.

We’ll continue bringing you the latest about new Ford and Lincoln rivals in order to stay plugged into the competitive landscape, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for continuous Ford news coverage.

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Written by Edward Snitkoff

Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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10 Comments

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    • It’s alway good to know what the competition is offering and you’ll always learn something. I never knew these were USA built in TN.

      • GeorgeS is right on, if one is not aware of the competition, what they’re making, how they perform etc., they’ll get run over. Competition is good for the consumer, if you will purchasing nothing but a ford, thank ford’s competitors for keeping the pricing honest.

    • From the “About Us” link at the bottom of any page you’re viewing on this site:

      “Ford Authority is an independent publication owned and operated by Motrolix LLC. In addition to Ford Authority, Motrolix also owns and operates the following properties:

      GM Authority
      Cadillac Society
      Ford Authority is not owned, operated or supported by Ford Motor Company, its brands, subsidiaries, or partners.”

  1. This write up says, “””””Powering the new Frontier is Nissan’s atmospheric 3.8L V6.””””” I was under the impression this V6 was a twin turbo set up. I doubt (seriously doubt) if this is a twin turbo set-up it will have anywhere near the life of Nissan’s “old” 4 banger-they just kept going.

    • Thanks for pointing that out. It was supposed to say “naturally aspirated” and it has been updated to correct that error.

  2. Frontiers have the largest turning circle of any truck in their class. This makes them awkward for parking or driving in tight confines. I generally like mine but hate this shortcoming.

    • You are correct, but if you compare with others in the class it’s not that bad.
      2021 Frontier: 21.6
      Colorado: 20.6
      Ranger: 21.0
      Tacoma: 20.3
      for ref only F-150 26.5
      Gladiator: two counties

  3. Love my Ranger Lariat Crew Cab, but Nissan did a great job updating the Frontier. Will I trade My Lariat for one? No, but have already encouraged others to take a look. My only disappointment with the Ranger is no moonroof available from the factory or aftermarket. Power rear sliding glass would have been nice too. Otherwise, a super package, if only the dealer would respond to my phone calls and text messages to schedule service.

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