2022 NISSAN FRONTIER TEST DRIVE
The last time Nissan redesigned the Frontier YouTube was just getting ready to launch and the first iPhone was still 2 years away. That’s the type of product cadence that would make even Toyota jealous. I’ve always been a fan of this truck so I’m very curious to see what Nissan has been cooking up over the past 2 decades. So no surprise, here in the new Frontier; the cabin’s design and tech level have been significantly enhanced and the new powertrain – which in an peculiar move was actually introduced on the old Frontier for the 2020 model year – adds a 9-speed auto in addition to a more efficient, smaller displacement V6 that makes more horsepower. Stick shifts and 4-cylinders are gone but just about everything else concerning the Frontier’s resume looks very familiar. There’s still the King Cab model with the small rear doors and a 6’ bed or the full 4-door Crew Cab with the 5’ bed or optional 6’ bed on midlevel SV trims. And this PRO-4X remains the top dog Frontier but this time around you can get it without the 4 – in other words it’s now also available in 2-wheel drive. The wheelbase is the same, towing capacity of 6,270 pounds is about the same and max payload of 1,230 pounds has increased by 4 bags of Quikrete. It is 5” longer, 2” wider and 1” shorter in height, the bed is deeper, there are now 2 front two hooks, and 18” wheels have been shelved in favor of 16” and 17” sizes exclusively. In Baja Storm with red accents it looks great – like a baby Titan. The PRO-4X is the most aggressively styled model and is the most capable in terms of off-road adventures with all-terrain tires, Bilstein shocks, a locking rear differential for times when you get stuck and 3 steel skid plates to protect the family jewels. And then on the comfort and convenience front the 2 available PRO packages add in such niceties as a bass-rich, Fender premium audio system, a moonroof, heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, an around view monitor, wireless charger, remote start, a spray-on bedliner, 4 tie-down cleats, and LED bed lighting. On the tech front, another optional package sprinkles in high beam assist, blind spot warning, intelligent cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and other assistance features leading to an as-tested price of $44,710. For a fun comparison, that’s $15,000 more than the last Frontier SV I tested about a decade ago. https://testdrivenow.com/2022-nissan-frontier/
I do love the new styling; the rugged look is back; and the 3rd row access is really brilliant. In a segment dominated by the Highlander and Explorer with others like the Pilot, Atlas, Telluride and Palisade also raking in the sales, the Pathfinder has a lot of work to do to climb back into the 3-row fray. And it’s safe to say this redesigned model is poised to rejoin those heavy hitters. It’s got the look, the size, the tech and the price to bring families back to a storied nameplate with 35 years of heritage. Two- or 4-wheel drive, V6 power, 7- or 8-passenger seating, prices ranging from under $35,000 to just over $49,000 – these are the foundations of just about every SUV in this segment. And now that the Pathfinder has swapped out its CVT for a geared transmission, increased interior volume, dialed up its off-road credentials and significantly raised its tech level and cabin appeal – it should definitely make it onto your shopping list.
A significantly updated, body-on-frame, 3-ton SUV that prefers premium gas and nets 15mpg. Meet the new 2021 Armada. I really like what Nissan has done with the updated styling and the new badges and Armada lettering look great. And I watch enough Kids Baking Championship to actually understand this beautiful color’s name: Coulis Red Pear. This big touchscreen with its crisper graphics, wireless phone projection and over the air updates immediately adds some much needed modernity. Likewise, the driver display has been updated and this rear view camera mirror is best I’ve ever seen – so big and crystal clear.
It’s stout, refined and quiet – all traits you’d expect in a luxury SUV. It doesn’t feel trucky at all – the ride is smooth and the handling is more than competent despite the big weight it’s managing – all without any trick suspensions or drive modes which is both impressive and outdated at the same time. MSRP as-tested is $71,250 and that doesn’t get you LED interior lighting or a hands-free liftgate; the latter unavailable at any price. If you can live without some of the newness and unavailable features and aren’t scared off by the gas mileage it’ll save you thousands when compared to a comparable Chevy Tahoe.
When the Pathfinder was last redesigned in 2013, SUVs were trending decidedly more car-like and that upset some Nissan loyalists who felt like their beloved Pathfinder had lost some of its edge. But now with this all-new 5th generation model adventure is back on the menu. My time behind the wheel has been limited but Nissan has done this cabin right and based upon everything I’ve seen they’ve got themselves a legitimate contender. It’s more family friendly and the interior dimensions have been tweaked in all the right ways with more cargo room, a wider 3rd row and seating for up to 8. And hey, it has wireless CarPlay so you know I’m good with the tech. Pricing, including destination, ranges between $34,560 for a base Pathfinder S 2WD to $49,240 for a 4WD Platinum. Telluride, Highlander and Explorer now have some tougher competition. The new Pathfinder lands in showrooms early this summer.
Nissan has designed their best-selling Rogue to meet the needs of today’s young families. This two-tone Blue/Black example with a smattering of options checks in at $40,060. That’s eye opening but keep in mind that the Rogue is not a compact SUV but rather a midsize. It’s been redesigned with newfound presence that’s evocative of something more rugged yet upscale…look closely and there’s a hat tip to Land Rover in the body. The cabin is special. This is a huge leap forward both in terms of its appearance and the features that Nissan has stockpiled in here. Now, it is nearly 40 grand so let’s not act like they’re giving the store away or anything but it is extremely well-equipped and contains all of the features I would want in my new car. This is smart, well-executed, sized right and brimming with goodies people will love. Count me in.