The 2021 model is nearly the same as the 2005 truck.
The Nissan Frontier has managed to survive relatively unchanged since the 2005 model year. The fact that a now 16-year-old vehicle remains on sale is almost unheard of these days when automakers launch refreshed or completely redesigned models faster than ever. But the Frontier has done its job extremely well by appealing to midsize pickup truck buyers who aren't interested in spending a lot of money and want something basic and dependable.
Last year, the Frontier received a new 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6 with 310 horsepower and mated to an also new nine-speed automatic transmission, finally ditching the ancient 2.5-liter inline-four and 4.0-liter V6. That update also came with a significant price increase of nearly $8,000.
Think of the 2020 Frontier as simply a stop-gap measure until the completely redesigned truck arrives, which will also have the same powertrain. But for model year 2021, The Car Connection has confirmed the Frontier will remain identical to the 2020 model. The alternative was simply to skip the 2021 model year altogether.
"The all-new 2022 Nissan Frontier will debut in early 2021," Nissan spokesperson Kevin Raftery confirmed. "A model year 2021 Frontier will be produced until the 2022 model production commences at Nissan's Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Mississippi." A few days ago, we reported the new Frontier will debut alongside the also all-new Pathfinder on February 4.
Even before that announcement, we saw images of the 2022 Frontier and its overall more modern design. The new Frontier will definitely be a much better rival to the Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma thanks to its powertrain and more modern, tough-looking exterior design. The interior will be a much-improved experience as well, thanks to a completely redesigned dash layout. Owners will also benefit from Nissan's Safety Shield 360 suite of driver-assist systems.
Chances are, the 2022 Frontier won't go on sale until later this year, presumably in the fall. Until that time, the 2021 Frontier remains on sale at dealerships nationwide.