The Nissan Frontier introduced nearly 15 years ago is still on sale. It hasn’t been updated since 2009. At this week’s Tokyo Motor Show, the automaker confirmed that it will finally update the truck to better take on new competition like the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator.
Ivan Espinosa, corporate vice president of global and Japan product planning for Nissan, confirmed we’ll get a new Frontier in 2020 to Automobile:
It has been a long time coming, but Nissan executives assure us that new Frontier midsize pickup is coming and we will see it soon. “It is a priority for us,” said Ivan Espinosa, corporate vice president of global and Japan product planning.
We will see the renewed pickup next year. Nissan officials have not decided if it will be shown at an auto show or a separate event. Either way, a new truck will be most welcome. The current Frontier dates back to the 2005 model year, with a refresh for 2009. The Xterra SUV, which was based on the same body-on-frame platform, has long been discontinued. Despite its age, the Frontier continues to prove popular, outselling the GMC Canyon and Honda Ridgeline, and is close to the Ford Ranger’s sales in the U.S.
The fact that a 15 year-old truck can still scrap it with the new Ford Ranger probably says more about the Ranger than the Nissan, but it’s impressive nonetheless.
Alfonso Albaisa, global vice president of design for Nissan, also teased that the design of the new Frontier would be more extroverted than the rest of Nissan’s newest lineup, teasing a “strong” look with the “spirituality of adventure.” I honestly think the current truck still looks great, and I worry a new design might get a little bloated. We’ll see!
Automobile also reports the new pickup will still be based on the same basic platform as the current Frontier with updated electrical architecture and chassis components, and everything else required for modern “safety, driver-assist, and connectivity technology.”
It will also graciously get a much-needed power upgrade, though Nissan declined to go into details. The current truck is available with either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making a measly 152 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque, or a 4.0-liter V6 making 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft.
The current optional five-speed automatic transmission is expected to also get a much-needed upgrade with a couple more gears thrown in, and here’s hoping the currently-standard six-speed manual transmission sticks around.