By Veeno Dewan
The Nissan Frontier pickup has been a solid performer for Nissan and for 2022 was reintroduced with new engineering upgrades, cosmetics, and interior features. So, no significant changes this time around for 2023.
When it comes to the styling of the Nissan Frontier, there is now a more edgy squared-off look to the design with an attractive defined look. Meanwhile front and rear LED exterior lighting is standard. A choice of body configurations is available with either a King Cab or Crew Cab, five-foot or six-foot bed. The King Cab (extended cabin) can be had with the long bed; and the crew cab is available with either bed depending on the trim. Added to the bed on all trims for 2023 is a smoother operating damped tailgate and the bed height has been increased by 2.6 cm. The motivation behind the Frontier is a 3.8-litre V6 engine paired with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. This engine makes 49 horsepower more than the previous generation.
The Frontier model range starts out with the base King Cab S at $40,998, while the Crew Cab begins in SV trim for $46,098. The off road focused Pro-4X starts at $47,498 for the King Cab, and $49,498 for the Pro-4X Crew Cab version (As tested>) The most expensive model is the PRO-4X Luxury Crew Cab, priced at $51,498. Freight and PDI is $1,995.
New for 2023 is also the SV Crew Cab Long Wheelbase model. Midnight Edition with exterior black out trim, black 17-inch wheels, black grille, emblems, rear badging, and interior accents
All trims include standard adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and emergency front and rear braking. In terms of load and towing ability, the Frontier can tow up to 6,490 lbs when properly equipped, and a trailer-sway control system is standard, which automatically activates the brakes if the trailer begins to waggle. Cargo capacity is up to 1,430 lbs.
The interior is all new and is a significant improvement over the last generation with better driver ergonomics, design, and comfort. Comfortable seats front and rear are present, and the instrument cluster looks nice with a sporty design. An eight-inch centre touchscreen is standard; while a nine-inch screen is available, which is the biggest in this truck segment. A new centre console places the shift lever more conveniently closer to the driver. Interior storage is good, and there is handy extra storage under the rear seats.
Equipment levels are good. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as are Type A and Type C ports, and two 12-volt outlets. A 360-degree birds-eye camera view, which has an off-road mode while moving up to 10 km/h is also available. Wireless phone charging, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and NissanConnect, also arrive on some models. The rear legroom and shoulder room in the four door Crew Cab is adequate while the King Cab models have smallish folding rear jump seats that are more cramped. The Pro 4X adds a substantial number of extra features such as the updated 3.8-liter V-6 engine with 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. Backed by a nine-speed automatic transmission and a four-wheel-drive system for true off-road anility. Also added is n electronic locking rear differential and a switch to choose between Tow or Haul modes, Bilstein monotube shocks that are optimized for off-road performance as well as a rear-suspension stabilizer bar. The package also adds 17-inch wheels, and all-terrain tires. Also included in the package are Pro-4X embroidered seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, chrome door handles, and Pro-4X carpeted floor mats.
In terms of safety, Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of driver aids is standard across all trims, and includes: forward collision warning, intelligent cruise control, lane-departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and rear auto braking.
On the road, the Frontier offers decent enough handling with its rack and pinion steering and some off-road ability with its 2 Wheel and 4-wheel drive modes. The engine has strong low- to midrange power and is smooth in operation. The transmission shifts though it has a slight delay on passing. But nothing of great concern. A four-wheel limited-slip system transfers power to the wheels that need it when traction is compromised. Hill-start and hill descent assists are standard. Even over potholes, and rougher than normal roads, the Frontier remains largely composed. The Frontier offers fuel economy numbers of 13.7L/10.6L/12.3L city/hwy/combined.
To sum up, the previous improvements really elevate this truck. Overall, the Crew Cab is the one to get of you need to seat five. Highly recommended as an excellent truck for work or play.
2023 Nissan Frontier priced from: $40,998 – , $51,498 plus options, freight and PDE. PRO – 4X rice as tested – $57,543.
More info at www.nissan.ca