Although the 2020 Nissan Frontier is now a vehicular fossil this pickup truck remains a popular and useful work truck. The Frontier has remained virtually unchanged since its 2004 debut for the 2005 model year, unlike the full-size Nissan Titan. Contractors and tradesmen love the Frontier’s versatile cargo box and durable interior. Although it does not have high-tech driver assistance or many modern infotainment options, the Nissan pickup truck still has excellent tow ratings and is affordable for off-road use. The truck’s new V-6 engine and comfortable ride make up for its shortcomings. The 2020 Frontier is not considered contemporary by many, but it remains a competent and budget-friendly tool.
What’s new for 2020?
The next-generation Frontier will be unveiled by Nissan in 2020. This preview shows the powertrain that Nissan plans to use on the 2020 model. The new 310-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 replaces both the four-cylinder and 4.0 liter V-6 options. The only transmission available is the new nine-speed automatic. The lineup has been simplified by Nissan to only three trim levels: SV, S, and Pro-4X. All Frontier models get better standard features like a tilting steering column and leather-wrapped shift knob.
Pricing and Which One To Buy
The 2020 Frontier’s starting price has increased by $7500 over the previous model year. The new standard powertrain is the main reason for the increased cost. All Frontier models are still available with an extended King or four door Crew Cab, which pairs with a five foot cargo bed. However, crew-cab models can also come with a 6.1 foot bed. We’d recommend the King Cab because the space in the back of the Frontier four-door is so small. We’d recommend the base model because it offers such good value.
Engine, Transmission, & Performance
Every Frontier now has a 3.8-liter V-6 with 310 horsepower and 281 Lb-ft torque. The engine is available with either rear- or all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission. We will not be able to determine how the new powertrain will impact the truck’s performance until they have tested it. We don’t think the Frontier’s handling and ride will change significantly, if any. Although the Frontier’s last version was comfortable on most roads, it felt a bit looser due to excessive body motion and lazy steering feedback. Although the soft suspension and slow steering are great for trail duty, they don’t work well during evasive maneuvers. The setup did a better job of protecting passengers from any impact, but the most difficult roads resulted in squeaks or shudders throughout cabin. The soft-feeling brake pedal was too slow and made it difficult to stop.
Towing and Payload Capacity
The Frontier isn’t able to tow as much as either the Jeep Gladiator (7650-pound maximum) or Canyon/Colorado (77000-pound maximum), but it can still pull 6700 pounds. A Nissan pickup can carry around 1400 pounds of payload in its cargo box.
Fuel Economy and Real World MPG
The 2020 Frontier can achieve up to 18 mpg city-wide and 24 mpg highway. Models with four-wheel drive get 1 mpg less. We tested the version that was 3 mpg less than its highway estimate. It earned 20 mpg using our 75-mph fuel economy route. Visit the EPA website for more information on the Frontier’s fuel economy.
Interior, Comfort, & Cargo
The 2020 Frontier’s interior design was created in 2005 and has a limited number of options. The hard-plastic habitat can be used by tradesmen as well as trail explorers. Although it is uninspired, the switchgear is simple to use and effective. It’s a shame that no amount of money can buy you a telescoping steering steering wheel, cooled front chairs, wireless charging, or a heated steering steering wheel. Although the Frontier’s crew-cab offers decent front-passenger room, its crew cab’s back seats have limited legroom. This is similar to the Toyota Tacoma’s cramped space. The pickup’s two cargo beds may be smaller than its competitors, but it has plenty of interior storage. Our crew-cab test truck was able to hold a respectable 10 bags in the back seat. Although the Frontier’s interior storage space isn’t particularly innovative, it has ample places to store any loose items. A cubby is located above the central stack, and a tray is below for smaller items.
Infotainment & Connectivity
The truck’s outdated infotainment system, which is bare-bones, is just as outdated as the rest. The new touchscreen, which measures 7.0 inches, is standard. However, it does not include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or Wi-Fi hotspots, all of which are available on the top-ranked competitors.