Car buyers looking for a modest, affordable pickup truck model can look no further than the 2021 Nissan Frontier.
The Nissan Frontier is a compact pickup truck model that has been in production by Nissan since 1997. The Frontier currently sits in its second generation, where it has been since 2005. Unfortunately, this means that the touch hasn’t been redesigned since 2005 and its current style isn’t sitting well with the general public any longer. Also, Nissan has already alarmingly announced that the upcoming 2020 model will be built on the same platform, meaning an all-new Nissan Frontier won’t happen until, at least, the 2020 model year. With an aging style, a cramped interior, and a low hauling capacity, Nissan has work to do with their current Frontier model.
What can we expect from the 2021 Nissan Frontier midsize pickup?
The lack of change with this model over the last 14 years is puzzling, to say the least. It’s safe to assume that a complete redesign is coming very soon, hopefully for the 2021 model year. For the price, the Nissan Frontier actually comes with a decent number of standard features. However, if Nissan wants this model to remain competitive in a small compact pickup truck market, they will need to address the boring interior, and low towing capabilities.
What users tell us about the Nissan Frontier
Critics were harsh on the current Nissan Frontier model. It ranks near the bottom of its class in virtually every publication. Consumers and experts both criticized the weak, 152 horsepower base engine on this model that is simply not powerful enough on any pickup model. The low initial asking price for this model looks appealing on the surface, until you realize that you will have to spend thousands extra for the optional 261 horsepower engine that is needed to make this model drivable. It’s also in Nissan’s best interest to expand the cabin and allow for more passenger leg room in the back seat.
Nissan Frontier Facts
The safety scores on the current Frontier model are acceptable. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2019 Nissan Frontier a score of ‘Good’ on multiple crash tests, and a score of ‘Average’ on their rear crash tests. Nissan is likely to expand on this models standard safety features in the coming years.
The fuel economy averages on the current Nissan Frontier model fluctuate based on the engine and transmission combination that is being used. The Frontier’s standard-most powertrain averages 19 city and 23 highway miles per gallon, which are decent scores for its class.
The layout of the interior in the current Nissan Frontier is considered simple and solid. However, a new design for the interior is desperately needed.
The Nissan Frontier’s exterior has been based on the same exact platform since 2005. Any cosmetic changes to this models exterior since then have been minimal. It’s safe to say that this style is officially old and boring.
Driving off the lot with the standard-most Nissan Frontier model gets you a 152 horsepower four-cylinder engine. There’s tons of ways you can shuffle this model’s various engine and transmission options, but the consensus seems to be that Nissan’s 261 horsepower V6 engine is the best option for the Frontier. Still, more powerful engine options with better towing capacities should be coming for this model. You will probably be able to get a 300 horsepower engine with automatic transmission.
The current Nissan Frontier model received a predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5 by J.D. Power and Associates. It’s tough to predict what scores this model will receive in the coming years, but this has historically been a reliable model.
2021 Nissan Frontier price and expected release date
Nissan has yet to formally release the 2020 Nissan Frontier, so the 2021 Nissan Frontier is not likely to be unveiled until late in the 2020 calendar year. We expect this in September 2020. The MSRP for the 2019 Nissan Frontier starts at $19,090 and the upcoming models are most likely to be similar to that figure. However, if Nissan chooses to use the 2021 model year to start a new generation Frontier, the price many go up.