2023 Nissan Frontier

2023 Nissan Frontier
2023 Nissan Frontier Rear Angle View
2023 Nissan Frontier Dashboard
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2023 Nissan Frontier Review: Square-Jawed Hunk

by Michael Butler

Nissan has a long legacy of building tough compact and midsize trucks for the US market, and the 2023 Frontier pays tribute to that fact with its brawny looks that tip the hat at the boxy Nissan Hardbody of old. Now in its third generation, with the new model entering the market last year, the Nissan Frontier's competitors aren't taking the fight lying down. Both the Honda Ridgeline and Ford Ranger are less attractive than the Frontier, but it's not just about looks: Nissan's pickup is plenty of truck, despite being the smallest in the stable.

All 2023 Frontier models are equipped with a tried and trusted naturally-aspirated V6 engine producing a healthy 310 horsepower, 281 lb-ft of torque, and a nine-speed automatic transmission that allows for rear or all-wheel-drive configurations. A maximum towing capacity of 6,720 pounds is impressive. Whether you go for the S work truck or the all-out Pro-4X off-road focused machine, the Frontier offers solid value for money.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 9 /10
  • Performance 9 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 8 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2023 Nissan Frontier Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Frontier?

The Frontier was all new for 2022, so changes for 2023 are kept to a minimum. That being said, customers in the US can expect the new Nissan Frontier pickup truck to gain a Midnight Edition appearance package on the crew cab SV trim. This package adds a ton of tasty appearance upgrades, including blackened exterior and interior trim pieces and a set of 17-inch Black alloy wheels. Inside, this package includes a heated steering wheel and front seats. Higher up in the trim lineup, the Pro-X, and Pro-4X trims gain Wireless Apple CarPlay.

Finally, the long wheelbase SV Crew Cab now gets the SV Convenience Package as standard, which adds a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, a spray-in bedliner, and more.

Pros and Cons

  • Still feels fresh, inside and out
  • The Midnight Edition is back
  • Refined interior
  • Actual off-road ability
  • It's not massively maneuverable in tight spaces
  • Not the most spacious cabin
  • Driver assistance features are optional
  • Some rivals are more refined

What's the Price of the 2023 Nissan Frontier?

As expected, Nissan Frontier prices are a little higher than last year but are highly competitive given the impressive specification of the new models and the larger, more powerful engine than rivals. The range kicks off with the King Cab in S trim with an MSRP of $29,190 as a 4x2 and $32,390 in 4x4 guise. The Crew Cab in S trim retails for $30,490/$33,490. In SV trim, the King Cab retails for $31,890/$35,090, while the Crew Cab goes for $33,290/$36,290 for 4x2 and 4x4, respectively. The SV LWB model is only available as a Crew Cab. It costs $36,120 in 4x2 and $39,120 in 4x4 guise. The PRO-X is only available in 4x2 Crew Cab format with an MSRP of $35,720, while the PRO-4X is 4x4 only and retails for $38,720. Midnight Edition crew cabs cost $35,080 for 4x2 and $38,080 for 4x4. These prices exclude destination and handling fees.

Best Deals on 2023 Nissan Frontier

2023 Nissan Frontier Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.8L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
3.8L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
3.8L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
3.8L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Nissan Frontier Trims and Specs

2023 Nissan Frontier Handling and Driving Impressions

There's no getting around the fact that the Frontier is a truck meant to be hardy, capable, and functional. It feels relatively big, especially in town and around tight bends, but Nissan's updated steering system provides a well-balanced feel that is light enough for city driving and weighty enough for long-distance highway cruising. It can be a little tougher to steer around the school parking lot, however. At low-speed driving, the Frontier offers a smooth and stable ride, with minimal bounciness, and out on the highway, it tries really hard to be comfortable and refined. Road noise and vibration are kept to a minimum, but refinement is better in some of its rivals.

Off-road, the Frontier will happily climb over bumpy obstacles, sail through sand, and tackle mud. Its AWD system can maintain momentum through even the thickest of sand and mud, and the traction control system has been tuned to keep this truck in check, even when things get out of hand. The Frontier gets standard Hill Descent Control which further aids its off-road abilities. Overall, the Frontier is a well-balanced truck that inspires confidence on and off the beaten path.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Nissan Frontier A Good Truck?

When we first test-drove the third-generation Frontier last year, we were struck by how confident this machine was. Its bold styling and comfortable ride and interior are stand-out points and continue to impress us, even after we experienced it the year before. The exterior of the Frontier looks better than most competitors, and the boost in interior comfort and technology is also praiseworthy. We also appreciate the fact that the Frontier can play many different roles, from work truck to family hauler and off-road pro. On the road, the Frontier is a well-balanced and comfortable machine to pilot, and that silky smooth V6 engine offers great power and smooth operation. The Frontier combines a ton of value, practicality, and good looks into a package that works really well and would definitely be on our list when shopping in this class.

What New Nissan Frontier Model Should I Buy?

For those looking for the least expensive work truck that's going to do the job and go the distance, the base model Nissan Frontier with the appropriate drivetrain and cab and bed size is a no-brainer. SV trim is the daily-driver and weekend workhorse model, and most will happily live without the Technology Package and its added safety features. However, the Convenience Package is attractive for those that put in a lot of miles and use a truck to get out into the world at the weekend. The Premium Package is a little over-the-top for a truck-based on value for money, but we can't deny how good the Fender audio system is and how much we like LED lighting inside and out. If you're all about that midsize truck life, it's worth considering whether the Premium Package upgrade is the way forward. You could be better served moving up to PRO-X trim and its extra convenience as standard, including a 10-speaker sound system, and off-road ability.

Those who take their off-roading seriously will aim for, and should aim for, the PRO-4X. The upgraded off-road system mixed with the comfort and convenience for long weekend trips with passengers is well thought out but starts getting into more expensive territory. If a truck bed isn't necessary, we would be looking at small off-road crossovers with big abilities like the Ford Bronco Sport.

It's worth pointing out that Nissan prides itself on its standard safety systems but has chosen to make the more advanced tech optional here. The idea is to keep the cost down for those that eschew advanced technology and prefer value. However, we would like to see blind-spot monitoring as standard and would consider adding the package mainly for that.

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