Buy one while you still can.
The midsize truck segment has returned in full force. Some automakers - we're talking specifically to you, Ford - believed midsize trucks were no longer necessary but were soon proven wrong. Today, there's a new Ford Ranger and longtime players like the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon twins and Toyota Tacoma remain popular choices. And there's the Nissan Frontier.
The Japanese automaker unveiled the completely redesigned 2022 Frontier earlier this month but the outgoing generation, which went on sale for 2005, is going out on top. J.D. Power has named the 2021 Frontier as the most reliable model in the midsize pickup segment as part of its annual US Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS). Owners were surveyed about their 2018 to 2021 model year Frontier.
The VDS measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PPH) during the first three years after purchase. The lower the score, the higher the quality. The Frontier earned a 166 PPH score, and this is the third straight year it's taken the top spot. Impressive.
"The Vehicle Dependability Study is a great validation of a vehicle's true quality because it comes after three years of real world, everyday use," said James Moss, vice president of Customer Satisfaction for Nissan North America. "Earning the top spot in the competitive midsize truck segment is an immense point of pride for us."
For 2020, the outgoing Frontier received a new engine, a 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6 with 310 horsepower and paired to an also-new nine-speed automatic transmission, finally dropping the old 2.5-liter inline-four and 4.0-liter V6. The update, however, came at a cost (literally): an $8,000 price increase. The new engine carries over to the redesigned 2022 Frontier which goes on sale next summer.
It's extremely rare for vehicles to remain on sale as long as the outgoing Frontier. That rock-solid reliability and pre-2020 low pricing made it the ideal choice for thousands of buyers. They weren't interested in fancy-schmancy features, but rather a tried and true truck. We're going to miss it but are equally excited to get behind the wheel of its successor.