2021 Nissan Frontier Review

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2021 Nissan Frontier Overview

The Nissan Frontier compact pickup truck has been long overdue for a full redesign, as the current generation has been on the road since 2005, and 2021 is its lucky year. The next-generation Frontier will compete against other small trucks like the Ford Ranger, Honda Ridgeline, and Toyota Tacoma.

As of this writing, Nissan hasn’t revealed official images of the Frontier, but based on spy shots of camouflaged test vehicles, there aren’t likely to be any surprises in terms of exterior styling. We expect design cues borrowed from the bigger, stronger Nissan Titan pickup, such as bold lines along the doors and similar placement of badging.

The 2020 Nissan Frontier got a new powertrain despite the fact that it’s the last model year in the generation, gaining a 3.8-liter V6 engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission. Nissan has stated that this powertrain will carry over to the new Frontier. Expect rear-wheel drive (RWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) configurations. Fuel-economy ratings and other specs will be revealed closer to launch.

Not much is known about the Frontier’s cabin design or features, but Nissan’s made a lot of progress in those areas since the Frontier was last updated. Expect basic but comfortable seating, and a competitive base infotainment system.

The outgoing Frontier lagged behind rivals in terms of safety, both in crash-testing and technology, and it’s a safe bet that will change with modern design and features. Nissan hasn’t yet revealed a feature set, and the Frontier hasn’t yet been evaluated for crashworthiness, but we expect a long list of standard and optional safety features, in line with the value-oriented positioning of Nissan’s most recently redesigned cars and SUVs.

The outgoing generation of the Frontier was on the expensive side for the segment, though it’s unclear if Nissan will maintain that status with the new generation. If Nissan comes in at a competitive price point, it’ll be a great choice for buyers who want a truck’s utility but don’t need heavy-duty capability. The 2021 Nissan Frontier will be built in Mississippi.

Updated

Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.

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