First Drive: 2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X

First Drive: 2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X

by Michael Satterfield - 08/25/2021

The outgoing Nissan Frontier had a great run, from 2004-2021 they sold over one million trucks in North America, the little truck did so well that in 2020 Frontier sales made up 7% of all Nissan sales in the USA. To put that in perspective the Ford Ranger was less than 5% of Ford's total sales, while the segment leader the Toyota Tacoma accounted for nearly 13% of Toyota's annual sales in the US. Needless to say, Nissan couldn't really afford to mess up the next generation of the Frontier. 

First Drive: 2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X

Since the rest of the world moved on to a new chassis in 2014, this new Frontier is the first-ever North America-only version since its introduction. But while Frontier's handsome new design looks the part, does it really have what it takes to take on the competition in the midsize class? After driving it for a week, yes and no. The $27,840 base price on the King Cab S model comes in at a few thousand more than the Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, and Chevrolet Colorado, only Honda Ridgeline boasts a higher base price. 

Nissan doesn't offer a four-cylinder option, so its standard 3.8 liter V6 is likely the reason for the bump in the base price. The 3.8 was introduced last year and offers 310 horsepower with 281-lb-ft of torque, which makes it the most powerful midsize pickup currently on the market. The Tactical Green Frontier Pro-4X model that I have been driving is the top tear trim level and fully loaded come in at less than the base price on the Tacoma TRD Pro which is impressive. 

The beauty of the Frontier Pro-4X is the simplicity, the conventional suspension, and basic electronic dial shift four-wheel-drive means there is no learning curve to going off-road, simply select 4-Hi or 4-Lo and drive. The Pro-4X also gets a lockable rear differential and hill descent control. Compared to the Tacoma TRD Pro and Chevrolet Colorado Z72 that I have driven, the Nissan Pro-4X will have no problem keeping up on the trail and is surprisingly comfortable both on and off-road. 

First Drive: 2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X

Nissan offers the Frontier in two body styles, King Cab and Crew Cab, and three trim levels, S, SV, and Pro-X (4X2) and Pro-4X (4X4). The options are fairly limited with most popular equipment being bundled in packages. With Nissan Connect you get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a 7" touch screen. What you won't find at any trim level is a power passenger seat, air vents for rear passengers, or advanced cruise control with lane-keeping. While the lack of technology is a little surprising, the price point and quality of the new Frontier will likely make up for having to manually adjust a seat for most buyers. 

First Drive: 2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X

2022 Nissan Frontier Specifications

PRICE                             $28,990 - $38,390

LAYOUT                     Front-engine, 4WD, 4-5-pass, 4-door pickup truck

ENGINE                             3.8L/310-hp/281-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6

TRANSMISSION             9-speed automatic

CURB WEIGHT             4,451 - 4,773 lb

WHEELBASE             126.0 - 139.8 in

L x W x H                     210.2 - 224.1 x 73.0 - 74.7 x 71.6 -72.9 in

EPA FUEL ECON             17 - 18/22 - 24/19 - 20 mpg