Fans of the mid-sized truck market rejoiced at Nissan’s news while back about its release of an updated Frontier. This truck used to be quite popular but it never quite could catch up to the likes of the Toyota Tacoma. Enter in the 2022 Pro-4X Frontier. This updated truck features all of the modern conveniences and tech we’ve come to want with a good sense of ruggedness.
Its boxy-like styling helps give a rather masculine and tough look and this Pro-4X version adds a lightbar in the bed as well as some running boards. While they may help it look cool, the running boards lower the effective ground clearance and the lightbar is not a roll bar – in other words, Nissan makes no claim it will help keep the cab intact in the event of a rollover.
We love the all-terrain tires included by Nissan that sit on 17-inch alloy wheels, which helps not only add to its rugged look but also has the tangible benefit of providing some great off-road traction for most scenarios. You’ll also find a factory-installed skid plate for lower protection as well as tow hooks to allow for easier recovery.
Under its hood is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that develops 310 horsepower and 281 lo-fi of torque. It’s more than enough for just about any chores you can expect a truck this size to do. It provides decent acceleration and still has plenty of torque for off-road and some modest hauling. Power is delivered by way of a 9-speed automatic transmission. There’s an on-dash mode selector that goes between 2-wheel high, 4-wheel high, and 4-wheel low. Fuel economy is rated at 20 miles per gallon combined city/highway.
On-road, the Frontier Pro-4X provides a rather predictable ride and handling. It has a modest body roll (expected) around hard corners but still provides a solid sense of driver confidence. There are no issues with passing slower vehicles, it stops well and does almost everything really well. But remember, it’s still a truck, not a sedan or crossover SUV so therefore it still very much drives like a truck.
Off-road, which is where the Pro-4x thrives, you’ll be rewarded with a good amount of front and rear wheel articulation, good traction with the stock tires, and a 4×4 drive system that’s up for almost any task. There’s a factory e-locker in its Dana rear-axle as well as Bilstein shocks. We’d love to see Nissan improve its ground clearance in future models as this one has only 9-inches – that’s not bad but not as good as other trucks in this class.
Interior cabin noise is mostly quiet, however, a strong right-foot will create quite a bit of engine growl. The only complaint here is the extra-heavy feel to the steering. Regardless of what speed you’re going, it has a heavier-than-normal feel to it. Hopefully, Nissan will tweak this on future models.
Inside, the front seats are Nissan’s “zero gravity” models, which are rather comfortable and provide solid body support, even for long road trips. However, we can’t say the same thing about the rear bench seat as it’s definitely a lot more firm and not as forgiving for passengers who may want to enjoy a long road trip. There is plenty of legroom and a middle arm-rest with integrated cup-holders. Additionally, you’ll find a good amount of storage under the rear seat and some behind it.
Nissan has tossed in a load of tech, including its “shield 360”. It has rear cross-traffic alert, pedestrian alert, frontal collision alert with emergency braking, blind-spot monitor with alert, lane departure warning, high-beam assist, and automatic rear-braking. Adaptive cruise control, road sign recognition with driver alert sensor are an additional upgrade.
Its 8-inch infotainment screen is powered by a great-sounding Fender audio system. It has support for corded Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s integrated navigation, AM/FM/XM Satellite radio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Audio, and USB audio. Nissan’s biggest Achilles heel is its dated-looking graphic user interface in all of its current vehicles and this Frontier is no expectation. While it’s easy to use, it’s in dire need of an update to look more current.
Nissan includes a 3/-year / 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and roadside assistance,, as well as a 5-year / 60,000-mile warranty on the powertrain. Pricing on the Frontier starts at $27,000 and can bolster its way up to $37,000 depending on trim level and configuration.
In the end, Nissan not only did a great job refreshing this truck it presents a very strong value proposition compared to the Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, or the Jeep Gladiator. The Frontier is in a great value spot in its pricing. Shop around, drive the competition and you’ll come to really appreciate what the Frontier offers.