2021 Toyota Tundra vs 2022 Nissan Frontier

2021 Toyota Tundra
2021 Toyota Tundra
$34,125MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Nissan Frontier
2022 Nissan Frontier
$28,690MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Toyota Tundra
$34,125MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Nissan Frontier
$28,690MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Toyota Tundra is 7.3 out of 10, while the 2022 Nissan Frontier scores 8.3 out of 10. Given these ratings, the 2022 Nissan Frontier emerges as the better choice, offering a blend of modern design, advanced off-road capabilities, and superior comfort and technology. While the Tundra holds its ground with traditional truck attributes and a powerful V8 engine, the Frontier's advancement in design, performance, and features make it the more appealing option for contemporary truck buyers.

Overview

MSRP

$34,125

MSRP

$28,690

Average price

$41,669

Average price

$30,229

Listings

1043

Listings

1677
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

7.3 out of 10

Expert reviews

8.3 out of 10
Pros
  • Powerful engine
  • Spacious
  • Good towing capacity
Cons
  • Limited bed and cab configurations
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Outdated technology
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Impressive technology
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Steering feels heavy
  • Poor fuel economy

2021 Toyota Tundra Reviews Summary

If you’ve been paying attention to any new truck ads, you’ll likely see items being promoted like a massive touchscreen or even a six-way multi-function tailgate. Like the rest of the automotive industry, the truck segment is charging ahead with many new innovations, incorporating new in-car technologies. But this seems like overkill for a segment whose main purpose is to tow, haul, and get work done.

The window sticker for this Toyota Tundra says “2021,” but its design and underpinnings date back to the mid-2000s. It’s the oldest truck in a segment where companies are constantly one-upping and updating. So does the Tundra’s age hinder it among full-size pickups? Not really. In fact, it might be its best attribute. The Tundra might be an old design, but the engineers at Toyota have kept the Tundra relevant with some key updates and special editions.

2022 Nissan Frontier Reviews Summary

As they say, “better late than never.” After 17 years, we can finally call the Nissan Frontier an all-new truck. Mostly. While the 2022 model looks, feels, and drives completely differently from the 2021 model, it still rides on the same platform as that previous-generation truck, albeit an extensively modified version.

Old bones or not, it’s nearly impossible to confuse the 2022 model year Frontier with the old truck. Updated styling, an enhanced powertrain, a comfortable cabin, and real off-road capability combine to give it a notable advantage against a set of aging competitors from Ford, General Motors, and Toyota.

Popular Features & Specs

Engine

5.7L 381 hp V8

Engine

3.8L 310 hp V6

Drive Train

4X2

Drive Train

4X2

Seating Capacity

6

Seating Capacity

4

Horsepower

381 hp @ 5600 rpm

Horsepower

310 hp @ 6400 rpm

MPG City

13

MPG City

18

MPG Highway

17

MPG Highway

24
2021 Toyota Tundra
2021 Toyota Tundra
$34,125MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Nissan Frontier
2022 Nissan Frontier
$28,690MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Toyota Tundra
$34,125MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Nissan Frontier
$28,690MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 Toyota Tundra is 7.3 out of 10, while the 2022 Nissan Frontier scores 8.3 out of 10. Given these ratings, the 2022 Nissan Frontier emerges as the better choice, offering a blend of modern design, advanced off-road capabilities, and superior comfort and technology. While the Tundra holds its ground with traditional truck attributes and a powerful V8 engine, the Frontier's advancement in design, performance, and features make it the more appealing option for contemporary truck buyers.

Overview
MSRP
$34,125
$28,690
Average price
$41,669
$30,229
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.6
4.5
Expert reviews

7.3 out of 10

Read full review

8.3 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Powerful engine
  • Spacious
  • Good towing capacity
Cons
  • Limited bed and cab configurations
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Outdated technology
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Impressive technology
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Steering feels heavy
  • Poor fuel economy
Summary

If you’ve been paying attention to any new truck ads, you’ll likely see items being promoted like a massive touchscreen or even a six-way multi-function tailgate. Like the rest of the automotive industry, the truck segment is charging ahead with many new innovations, incorporating new in-car technologies. But this seems like overkill for a segment whose main purpose is to tow, haul, and get work done.

The window sticker for this Toyota Tundra says “2021,” but its design and underpinnings date back to the mid-2000s. It’s the oldest truck in a segment where companies are constantly one-upping and updating. So does the Tundra’s age hinder it among full-size pickups? Not really. In fact, it might be its best attribute. The Tundra might be an old design, but the engineers at Toyota have kept the Tundra relevant with some key updates and special editions.

As they say, “better late than never.” After 17 years, we can finally call the Nissan Frontier an all-new truck. Mostly. While the 2022 model looks, feels, and drives completely differently from the 2021 model, it still rides on the same platform as that previous-generation truck, albeit an extensively modified version.

Old bones or not, it’s nearly impossible to confuse the 2022 model year Frontier with the old truck. Updated styling, an enhanced powertrain, a comfortable cabin, and real off-road capability combine to give it a notable advantage against a set of aging competitors from Ford, General Motors, and Toyota.

Video
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
5.7L 381 hp V8
3.8L 310 hp V6
Drive Train
4X2
4X2
Seating Capacity
6
4
Horsepower
381 hp @ 5600 rpm
310 hp @ 6400 rpm
MPG City
13
18
MPG Highway
17
24
Look and feel
2021 Toyota Tundra
6/10
2022 Nissan Frontier
8/10
The 2021 Toyota Tundra had a distinctive and somewhat awkward design compared to newer trucks in the market. Developed in the mid-2000s and released for the 2007 model year, it mirrored the era's evolving "biggie-biggie" design language. With its massive grille combined with disproportionately small headlights, the Tundra’s exterior aesthetics seemed oversized in odd ways. The "Cement" paint color with blacked-out wheels and badging lent a relatively modern touch to the otherwise dated exterior. The cabin followed a similar old-meets-new theme, dominated by hard plastics and large monotone panels, a styling hallmark of mid-2010s trucks. Control accessibility was a notable strength, with all buttons and dials within easy reach, offering a simplified user experience contrasting sharply with the more sophisticated interiors of contemporary competitors like the Ram 1500. Toyota tried to keep the interior current by incorporating a standard 7-inch infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa, essential updates given the consumers' loyalty to their smartphone brands. Trim levels for the Tundra varied from SR to the luxurious 1794 Edition, each offering different sets of features. The basic SR trim came equipped with 18-inch steel wheels, halogen headlights, heated power side mirrors, and an easy lift-and-lower tailgate. In contrast, the SR5 CrewMax, which served as our test vehicle, included features like power-adjustable front seats, alloy wheels, a larger 8-inch touchscreen, and the Trail Special Edition package. This nearly-$3,000 package added off-road tires, a spray-on bed-liner, in-bed storage boxes, and all-weather rubber floor mats, enhancing the vehicle's practicality without considerably modernizing its overall look or feel. Higher trims like the Limited and TRD Pro provided more comprehensive content, including alloy wheels, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, and advanced off-road capabilities, respectively. The Platinum and 1794 Edition trims catered to luxury seekers with features like heated-and-ventilated front seats, unique badging, and luxurious interior trims. For 2021, Toyota also introduced the Nightshade Edition within the Limited trim, adding dark exterior touches and black wheels for a more sophisticated aesthetic appeal. The 2022 Nissan Frontier, in contrast, embodied the company's “Nissan Next” initiative, marking a substantial departure from its predecessor's design. Stout and rugged, the new Frontier’s design echoed the iconic Nissan Hardbody pickups from the 1980s and 1990s. Lead designer Hiren Patel likened the process to sculpting a block of metal, resulting in a truck with a distinctly machined look. The Frontier was available in nine diverse exterior colors, ranging from Tactical Green to Boulder Gray Pearl, and offered interior trims in charcoal and sandstone. Our test truck donned the Baja Storm color, paired with exclusive charcoal leather seating available on the off-road-ready PRO-4X and 2WD PRO-X trims. The 2022 Frontier was slightly longer than its predecessor, mainly in the nose, yet managed to maintain a compact profile suitable for garages and parking spaces. Despite the marginal growth, it was designed to compete mainly with other midsize pickups like the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, and Toyota Tacoma. The Frontier offered practical configurations with a King Cab featuring a 6-foot bed and a Crew Cab that could come with either a standard 5-foot bed or an optional 6-foot bed on specific trims. This practical design approach extended to the truck bed, where options like a spray-in bedliner, LED lighting, and a three-channel tie-down system added to the functionality. The PRO-4X trim included styling and functional elements that enhanced its off-road prowess, while the simplified yet rugged aesthetics appealed to truck enthusiasts who valued both form and function in a vehicle.
Performance
2021 Toyota Tundra
6/10
2022 Nissan Frontier
7/10
The 2021 Toyota Tundra came with a standard I-Force 5.7-liter V8 engine, producing 391 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. Previous models offered a 4.6-liter V8, which was discontinued after 2019 due to its lower efficiency and power. The Tundra’s V8 was paired with a six-speed automatic transmission featuring a manual tap-shift function. Available in rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive with low range, the Tundra provided a towing capacity of up to 10,200 pounds and a payload capacity of 1,730 pounds. While this towing capacity trailed behind trucks like the Ford F-150, which could tow up to 13,000 pounds, the Tundra offered strong and confident acceleration, smooth over varied surfaces. The traditional shifter design offered intuitive use, and the vehicle's six-speed automatic was responsive, although modern competitors with more gears could manage fuel more efficiently. The Tundra excelled in cruising comfort, especially on highways, despite its slightly vague low-speed steering. The 2022 Nissan Frontier's performance centered around its new 3.8-liter V6 engine, initially unwrapped in 2020. For 2022, this engine produced a class-leading 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, ensuring the Frontier could handle highway speeds and passing maneuvers with ease. The truck's nine-speed automatic transmission managed power efficiently, delivering strong acceleration and prompt shifts. The Frontier had tow mode for better performance under load, although its towing capacity maxed out at 6,720 pounds and its payload capacity at 1,610 pounds. These figures, while not class-leading, were sufficient for most midsize truck needs. The truck was available in either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive modes, with 4-Hi and 4-Lo for more challenging terrains. However, its hydraulic rack and pinion steering system provided a heavier feel, which was preferred by some traditional truck enthusiasts but made city driving more cumbersome. Off-road, the 2022 Frontier in PRO-4X trim excelled with features like hill-start assist, hill-descent control, an electronic locking rear differential, Bilstein shock absorbers, and multiple skid plates. The Frontier’s best-in-class approach angle of 32.3 degrees reiterated its off-road credentials. Notably, the 2WD PRO-X trim offered the same aggressive styling without the off-road functionalities, catering to those who admired the looks but didn’t need the capabilities.
Form and function
2021 Toyota Tundra
8/10
2022 Nissan Frontier
9/10
The 2021 Toyota Tundra offered practical cab and bed configurations catering to diverse needs. The Double Cab featured conventional rear doors and came with either a 6.5-foot or 8.1-foot bed, while the CrewMax, which we tested, sported a four-door layout with a 5.5-foot bed. The CrewMax's interior was exceedingly spacious, offering first-class-like rear legroom even with the front seats pushed back. The rear seats folded up to create a large, protected cargo area. Optional in-bed storage lockers provided added utility, although they were less capacious compared to competitors like the RamBox system. Front passengers enjoyed ample room and storage options, including a vast center console with deep compartments and multiple holders. An optional power rear window offered improved sightlines and ventilation, and could also accommodate longer items when necessary. The 2022 Nissan Frontier boasted exceptional comfort, particularly in its front seats, thanks to Nissan’s lauded Zero Gravity seats that significantly enhanced driving comfort. While the Frontier felt spacious and robust up front, the rear seats in the Crew Cab configuration provided just adequate headroom and legroom, suitable but not expansive. The King Cab's rear seats, however, were less practical, suitable only for small items or occasional short trips without much human cargo. The Frontier’s interior was thoughtfully planned, with eight cupholders scattered throughout the cabin and additional storage under the rear seats in the Crew Cab. Its interior comfort and storage solutions placed it ahead of competitors like the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.
Technology
2021 Toyota Tundra
8/10
2022 Nissan Frontier
10/10
The 2021 Toyota Tundra saw significant technological upgrades in its later years, particularly with the 2020 overhaul of its infotainment system. Standard features included Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 7-inch touchscreen, with an 8-inch upgrade available. Amazon Alexa, multiple USB ports, Bluetooth, and a three-month trial for WiFi hotspot capability were also included. The standard six-speaker stereo system was upgraded to a seven-speaker system in SR5 Double Cab and nine-speaker system in CrewMax, with an optional JBL premium audio system offering 12 speakers, including a subwoofer and amplifier. In comparison, the 2022 Nissan Frontier made ambitious strides in tech, featuring a standard 8-inch touchscreen on S and SV trims and a superior 9-inch version on the PRO-4X. These screens were easy to navigate, bolstered by physical knobs and buttons for essential controls, ensuring user-friendliness. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were standard, though they required a wired connection. Additionally, the Frontier offered options like a wireless phone charger, a Kicker tailgate audio system, and a 10-speaker Fender stereo as part of the Premium Package. This package also bundled leather and moonroof, while the Convenience Package and Technology Package added further ergonomic and safety enhancements.
Safety
2021 Toyota Tundra
9/10
2022 Nissan Frontier
7/10
The 2021 Toyota Tundra included Toyota Safety Sense P as standard, featuring forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. Optional features included front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The Tundra also had eight airbags, a tire pressure monitoring system, trailer sway control, and an integrated trailer brake controller. The 2022 Nissan Frontier had yet to be crash-tested by the NHTSA or IIHS, but it was expected to outperform its predecessor. It came equipped with Nissan Safety Shield 360, offering standard features such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a driver attention monitor, and intelligent forward collision warning. Other standard safety features included eight airbags, trailer sway control, and rear-door alert. Optional features in the Technology Package included traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and rear sonar, enhancing safety further.
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