By Greg Morrison – Bumper2BumperTV
PROVO, UT, — At a time when others in the midsize truck segment seem intent on enlarging their holdings and footprint, Nissan is trying very hard to stay true to a manageable sized vehicle.
The 2022 model of its Frontier pickup comes in either a king cab or the more popular crew cab configuration in recognition of how pickup trucks are used these days.
A driver who wants just two seats and a cargo bed to haul things will have to look far and wide for that arrangement.
What you get in the Frontier is a distinctly Nissan look with a bold front end, sharing the brands updated logo.
Under the hood where the work gets done there is a 3.8-liter V6 engine that was introduced in 2020.
On paper it is rated at 310 horsepower and 281-pound feet of torque. It has been tweaked to make up for the lack of a sport mode, commonly found in many crossovers and SUV’s.
So, they did calibrate the engine and transmission to have somewhat of a built-in sport mode. As a customer, you don’t have to do anything to activate sport mode except when the vehicle senses you’re driving a little more aggressively. It will switch into that mode to give you more power on demand and hold different gears longer.
That engine is mated to a new nine-speed automatic transmission that handles the torque band from the low end all the way to cruising speed with little effort.
This Frontier has ample room in the front seat for passengers of varying sizes. There is enough room in the rear for adults, but don’t expect to stretch out back there.
The interior cabin, while not whisper quiet, dampens outside noise to the point that conversation can occur without having to shout.
But how much work can it do?
Well, the standard bed is five feet long and comes with work lights built in for the times when they are needed.
The top-grade option we liked is the 115-volt outlet in the cargo bed which can serve multiple uses.
With an on demand four-wheel drive system, the Frontier is capable of serious off roading as we found in the mountains north of here.
Combined with hill descent and hill climb assist the Nissan Frontier felt confident as we made our way through some tough terrain.
For those who only need two-wheel drive the Pro X trim level meets that need while offering the rest of the power and technology available on the Frontier.
Our impression of the latest generation of the Frontier is that Nissan is maintaining the legacy of the original hardbody platform with a lot more style, power and tech capability than expected.
Pricing for the 2022 Nissan Frontier starts at $27,840.