2023 Nissan Frontier The Nissan Frontier is the successor to what used to be called the Nissan Hardbody. The pickup took Nissan out of its Datsun years and became a staple of the small truck market.
Introduced in 1998 and lightly updated over the course of a decade, the Frontier began to define its current style in 2001 when it acquired a more rugged appearance that primarily involved cropped flare well wheels, plus a thicker-looking grille and front air dam.
These models do quite well with the standard 148-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine; the 168-hp, 3.3-liter V-6 engine is a viable option for those towing or hauling heavy loads.
Most of these vintage Frontiers are regular or King Cab (extended) body styles, although the Crew Cab model was introduced in 2000.
Nissan fans have been waiting a long time for the automaker to redesign its Frontier, and on Thursday the cover finally came out of its new mid-size pickup truck. It was revealed along with the redesigned Pathfinder, with both vehicles set to go on sale this summer as 2023 models.
The Nissan Frontier is a mid-size pickup truck manufactured at the automaker’s factory in Mississippi.
It is distantly related to the Titan full-size pickup truck and the Frontier offers good cargo capacity as well as off-road capability. The base frame and powertrain are from 2004—almost old enough to drive on their own.
With the Frontier, Nissan can compete in the growing mid-truck segment, including the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, and GMC Canyon—all much newer.
Nissan is attractive, in part, for its low price. Not much has changed with the Frontier in the last model year, and Nissan has been silent on a replacement since showing the concept at the Detroit auto show.
2023 Nissan Frontier Redesign
Rivals Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger are finally getting a competitive redesign. The current Nissan Frontier is old fashioned in the automotive years, arriving on the market at the end of George W. Bush’s first term as president.
Since then, the midsize pickup segment has changed more than American politics, its entrants increasingly serving as suburban family cars, as well as work trucks and off-roaders. In that first role, the old truck struggled, but not to worry: the redesigned Nissan Frontier 2023 is finally here.
A further update of the sharp new style and attractive interior. Alongside these profound changes is a suite of new safety features and technologies, integrating standard forward collision warning, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and more.
A standard 3.8-liter V6 and nine-speed automatic transmission send 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet (231 kilowatts and 381 newton-meters) to the rear or all four wheels, depending on configuration.
Remember, that engine arrived in 2020, giving the previous-generation Frontier the only significant update in its 17 years of production.
Nissan says the 2023 Frontier takes inspiration from the legendary Hardbody compact truck that was marketed from 1986 to 1997. We’re not sure if we understand what they’re talking about, except maybe the new truck’s raspy, flared front fenders.
Even without the retro links, the 2023 pickup looks distinctively Nissan-like, thanks to the shape of the front grille and beltlines that tie the Frontier to its big brother, the Titan. Like the facelifted 2021 Armada, Frontier uses a curved headlight design with LED accents in the form of a vise.
The truck seen here – the Pro-4X model – features a high clearance front bumper with an unusual vertical slash where it meets the wheel arches, leading us to draw some comparisons to the current Chevrolet Silverado 1500.
The aforementioned front fender gives way to the Titan-like door skin and the rear fender that juts out over the bed meets the cabin, ending with C-shaped taillights that slightly echo the headlight design. A tailgate stamped with a subtle ducktail spoiler and the word “FRONTIER” sign invites more Titan inspiration.
The 2023 Frontier is a big change from its predecessor, which is why we were a bit surprised to learn that it uses the basic chassis and cab structure of an old truck. It can be seen from the shape of the windshield, roof, and rear windows, as well as door openings.
However, Nissan’s stylists obviously took great care to ensure that almost every square inch of sheet metal and glass is different from the previous truck – the new one looks much more contemporary and attractive.
Looking at the specification chart, the joint bones become clearer. The King Cab (Nissan word for “extended”) and crew-bed truck with a wheelbase of 126.0 inches, an increase of only 0.1 inches over 2021.
Meanwhile, the 139.8-inch wheelbase of the crew bed is 0.1 inch. shorter than before. At 210.2 inches long, the standard 2023 pickup measures 4.7 inches larger from bumper to bumper – the same can be said about the length of the 2023 crew cabin bed at 224.1 inches long. The width also goes up 0.2 inches, to an even 73.0.
2023 Nissan Frontier News
Nissan introduced the new Frontier for 2005, and the same basic truck continues to be offered today, a decade later.
The current Frontier is based on the company’s F-Alpha architecture, which was first introduced for the larger Titan pickup. This frontier is larger and slightly heavier than the one it replaces. Because of this, Nissan markets its smaller pickup as a medium size.
With the 2005 redesign, Frontier made some major advances in safety. For several years, the Frontier was rated “Good” in many tests by IIHS—unlike compact trucks like the Ranger and the last-generation Colorado and Canyon. Since then, however, not much has been done in crash testing.
For 2007, the Crew Cab model with a longer bed was first offered, giving the Frontier almost full size proportions. In 2009, Nissan gave the Frontier a mid-cycle refresh, with a slightly different front-end styling and revised interior trim.
A more focused off-road PRO-4X model was also released. Recently, Frontier received a slight increase in fuel economy, and a new Desert Runner pack. Bluetooth is standard on most models, and Nissan is expanding the availability of dual-zone climate control, navigation, rearview cameras and rear parking sensors.
2023 Nissan Frontier Looks Like
Like its predecessor and the larger Titan, the Nissan Frontier 2023 will again feature the rugged and stylish Pro-4X variant.
Along with Lava Orange interior and exterior accents, the Pro-4X gets an electronically locked rear differential, underbody skid plates and specially tuned Bilstein shock absorbers.
The 2023 model will also add an Off-Road mode for the 360-degree camera, which works at low speeds when the case transfers in 4-Low. The front-facing camera helps the driver see obstacles on the road, preventing damage and scratches.
If that’s anything like the truck that came out, the Nissan Frontier 2023 should offer surprising off-road capabilities.
In fact, the 2020 Pro-4X’s suspension performance on rough terrain is the same as the more expensive Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, mainly because of the finely tuned Bilstein. Here’s what Nissan hopes to do well enough, as the Frontier is a hidden gem among factory off-roaders.
2023 Nissan Frontier Specs
The new Frontier is more of a heavy update of the current model than an actual redesign, but there’s still a lot to look forward to for anyone considering upgrading.
The mid-size pickup’s handsome body-on-frame platform can trace its roots to the 2005 Frontier, but there have been many revisions since then, especially in the areas of suspension and safety. The 2023 model is also about 4.5 inches longer than the current model, with the bed also made deeper.
Also carried over from the current model is a combination of a 3.8-liter V-6 and a 9-speed automatic transmission, which on the current model was only added for 2020. Peak output is 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque, and buyers have a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive.
Towing capacity is a maximum of 6,720 pounds (when properly equipped), and Trailer Sway Control is standard throughout the range. This feature automatically brakes when it detects shake.
Hill Start Assist also comes standard across the range, while a 4WD model also comes standard with Hill Descent Control. This last feature will be useful for anyone who likes off-road driving.
Speaking of off-roading, a tough version of the Pro-4X will be offered from launch. It adds an electronic locking differential, Bilstein shocks and protective elements including a slip plate.
2023 Nissan Frontier Interior
Beneath the new techno-chic styling is a new interior that leads right into the Toyota Tacoma’s stylish cabin, notably with Lava Red accents appearing liberally on the Pro-4X. The beam-like structure houses the instrument cluster, apparently cutting through the middle stack before appearing as fascia panels stitched in front of the passenger.
Identical HVAC outlets for front seat passengers and a thermostat flanked by a 12-volt outlet and four-wheel drive selector create visual symmetry and an eye-catching design.
The Frontier will come standard with an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, the largest standard screen any pickup manufacturer has to offer – only the base Titan’s identically sized display will match it. In addition, the midsize truck will offer a 9.0-inch screen, providing a very important distinction in its class.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be standard, as will USB-A and USB-C ports on the front. Wireless charger, Wi-Fi hotspot, and surround-view monitor will be optional. Nissan says the center console is almost twice as big as most midsize trucks, with a capacity of 4.0 liters, while the added rear door pockets also increase storage.
The interior of the Frontier 2023 is a major upgrade over the current model. A 7.0-inch screen is located in the instrument cluster as standard and a 9.0-inch screen is available for the infotainment system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard.
The Safety Shield 360 range of electronic driver aids from Nissan is available and worth adding. It features all the usual safety aids such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot and rear traffic warning, and high beam assist.
Another valuable feature is the surround-view camera system with Motion Object Detection and Off-Road Mode. The Off-Road mode is designed for the Pro-4X and helps navigate difficult situations by displaying the surroundings when the vehicle is traveling at slow speeds and the 4WD system on low settings.
2023 Nissan Frontier Exterior
While the exterior is very different to the old truck, the cabin looks a bit more similar – the shape of the door panels, for example, are almost exactly the same as the themes we’ve seen since 2005. And the hard plastics look like they’ll be plentiful in new trucks, including the dashboard top, holster box.
Hand, door panels and center console. The padded plastic shows up on the armrests, dashboard fascia, and console-only grip handles if our eyes are to be believed.
But the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, and Toyota Tacoma also feature Rubbermaid-spec interiors, so the Frontier should at least be competitive in its class.
2023 Nissan Frontier Tech
Unlike its rarely equipped predecessor, the Nissan Frontier 2023 includes several advanced safety and driver assistance features. Forward collision warning is standard, while automatic emergency braking and intelligent cruise control are optional.
Fully loaded, Frontier’s Nissan Safety Shield 360 technology suite also includes lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and class-exclusive rear automatic emergency braking. Nissan’s Pro-Pilot Assist technology isn’t available, meaning there’s no lane-centering or cruise control linked to navigation, but otherwise, the new Frontier is a huge improvement over its predecessor.
However, the basic Frontier lags behind the Ranger, which offers automatic emergency braking and standard collision monitoring, and the Tacoma, which also includes adaptive cruise at no cost.
However, the Frontier is more advanced than the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, neither of which included any collision warning or intervention features on the base model. In fact, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise aren’t available on any of GM’s mid-size trucks – not even the luxury-oriented Canyon Denali.
2023 Nissan Frontier Engine
In addition to several structural components, the 2023 Frontier also includes a carryover powertrain, the standard 3.8-liter V6 introduced last year.
Offering class-leading power and more than adequate low-end torque, the V6 should be a good choice for pickup buyers, and its nine-speed automatic transmission does a great job of selecting the right gear for the job.
In our testing of the 2020 Frontier Pro-4X, we found the V6 engine to be more controllable than the wheezy 3.5-liter V6 from the Toyota Tacoma or the high-powered 3.6-liter engine found in the Chevrolet Colorado, both of which require significantly more revs to run. gathering momentum.
Unfortunately, its husky engine doesn’t have a towing number or a large payload for the Frontier 2023. Nissan says the midsizer can carry up to 1,610 pounds of payload or tow up to 6,720 pounds.
The Tacoma, for example, can carry 1,620 pounds in bed and tow a 6,800 pound trailer, while the Ranger can tow 7,500 pounds and haul 1,920 pounds. The Chevy Colorado gas pulled in 7,000 pounds, while the available diesel upped the ante to 7,700.
Frontier beat its Bow Tie competitor in payload, however – Colorado can only carry 1,569 pounds. It also beats the Honda Ridgeline in both metrics.
Helping to modernize the somewhat sketchy handling characteristics of the old Frontier is the work of a larger front stabilizer bar and a new rear stabilizer bar, with an exclusive class urethane joounce bumper that improves damping performance on bumpy roads or through corners.
Nissan says the 2023 Frontier also gets a hydraulic cab mount, which reduces vibration and violence by up to 80 percent. A reset hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering arrangement delivers 16 percent faster ratios, improving responsiveness from steering.
Frontiers today didn’t do well with the 152-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which felt overwhelmed even on the limited models available. But the 261-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 offered with this generation is powerful and smooth, with plenty of torque and relaxed character with the automatic transmission.
An extended cabin body style option and a crew cab are offered, as is four-wheel drive. Many Frontiers get a standard spray Bedliner, while the Utili-track duct and tie-down system are useful for securing smaller heavy items like engines or small ATVs.
Both stood out in the market when they were introduced but have since been adopted by other truck makers.
For 2017, the Frontier remains largely unchanged apart from a new body-colored rear bumper on the base S trim level and a new Work Truck package for the model which adds utility-oriented features such as a spray Bedliner and rubber floor mats. The 2018 model gets a standard and AC rearview camera.
In recent years, Nissan has moved Frontier production from Tennessee to a newer truck, SUV, and commercial vehicle plant in Mississippi.
For 2020, Frontier ditches the old 2.5-liter inline-4 and manual in favor of a new 310-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 with a 9-speed automatic transmission, and a one-time part-time four-wheel-drive system. again optional.
2023 Nissan Frontier Price
The Nissan Frontier 2023 will come in four different classes (S, SV, Pro-4X, and Pro-X), two cabin styles, and two-bed lengths. The King Cab pickup is offered with two- and four-wheel drive in either S or SV trim, paired exclusively to the 6.1-footbed.
The crew cab will come with two or four-wheel drive in the S and SV trims, while four-wheel drive will be standard on the Pro-4X. As the name suggests, the Pro-X crew cabin offers many styling updates from the Pro-4X, but with two-wheel drive. And the Frontier SV crew cabin will offer a 5.0 or 6.1 foot bed; all the other four doors only get a short box.
We think Frontier 2023 should achieve similar fuel economy ratings to its predecessors – 18 miles per gallon city, 24 highway, and 20 combined with two-wheel drive and 17 city, 23 highway, and 19 combined with four-wheel drive.
However, nothing official has been announced regarding efficiency or price. On that front, we expect the new Frontier to offer an attractive balance of value and features, with prices going up only slightly from 2021.
Plan to spend around $28,000 for the basic two-wheel drive S King Cab, going up to $40,000 or more for the Pro-crew cabin. 4X.
- S$28,000 (est)
- SV $28,000 (est)
- Pro-X $36,000 (est)
- Pro-4X $39,000 (est)
2023 Nissan Frontier Release Date
The official release schedule hasn’t been published yet, but it’s likely the same as the previous model, the release date will be in the summer.