It took a long time, but Nissan fully updated the Frontier for the 2022 model year. This is our quick and to-the-point 2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X review.
The 2022 Nissan Frontier is an impressive truck, even more so in the top Pro-4X trim level. Our Editorial Director Sean McCoy got his butt in the seat of this new truck early for a first drive review in the Colorado Rockies, and I (Motors Editor Bryon Dorr) spent a week living with it in Portland, Ore. We both came to similar conclusions but found a few different specific takeaways.
Spoiler: We named the 2022 Frontier the Mid-Sized Truck Adventure Vehicle of the Year.
Here’s What I Found
- Plenty of power with best-in-class 310 horsepower
- Sharp, rugged new exterior styling
- The suspension feels firm, but plush when hitting hard road edges and speed humps
- 1,230-pound payload capacity
- Clean quality Fender audio system
- Heated steering wheel and front seats are quality luxury features
- Lots of hard plastics on the interior, but touch points are soft enough and feel durable
- It has a dead pedal, unlike the Gladiator
- Large door pocket cup/bottle holders
- Quality tall greenhouse lets in lots of light and makes the truck feel bigger than it is
- Center console phone charging pad behind gear selector works quickly and is in a great location
- Good rear passenger legroom
- A bit of a rough idle
- There are big blind spots from the B and C pillars
- Turning radius isn’t great (21.67 ft.)
- Rear seats are very upright and not adjustable, which offers poor headroom
- No manual transmission option
- Apple CarPlay is through plugged-in cable only
- Little dent for your knee in the door helps with legroom, but hard plastic surround would be better if it were made of soft material
- Steering wheel tilts but doesn’t telescope
- Poor shadows on surround-view camera during the day
- Very little storage under the rear seats
2022 Frontier Pro-4X Review
The Nissan Frontier has been on the market for 24 years (1997-2021) in North America while seeing very few updates to the truck in that time. From 2005 to 2021 alone, Nissan sold over 1 million Frontiers on this continent. Sales numbers stayed pretty strong throughout its life, as the rugged truck was value-priced.
For 2022, Nissan brings us an all-new Frontier mid-size pickup. This new truck offers up the tech we expect from a modern vehicle while retaining the rugged, no-nonsense sensibilities that the Frontier is famous for. This includes a modified version of the full-boxed frame that was found on the last-generation Frontier.
The 2022 Frontier Pro-4X is directly aimed at competing with the Ford Ranger FX4, Chevy Colorado Z71, and Tacoma TRD Off-Road. However, can’t hang with the likes of the Ford Ranger Tremor, Chevy Colorado ZR2, or Tacoma TRD Pro when the trail gets super-gnarly, mostly due to those trucks’ next-level factory suspension setups.
The 2022 Frontier will be offered in KingCab and CrewCab configurations, and in four trim levels; S, SV, Pro-X (4×2), and Pro-4X (4×4).
The top-spec Pro-4X is what we spent some time with, which means the truck had 4WD, Bilstein shocks, skid plates, front tow hooks, a rear locker, and some unique badging inside and out.
The Pro-X model of the Frontier offers the same, but without the 4×4 system. Think of the Pro-X as the desert pre-runner version of the Frontier.
Only one engine option is available on the 2022 Frontier, a 3.8L V6. It puts out an impressive, and very usable, 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque.
What the new Frontier does not offer, that some of the competition does, is a powered passenger seat, rear HVAC vents, or advanced cruise control with lane-keep assist.
The new Frontier pulls strong, shifts smoothly, and has quality brakes. The steering is a bit heavy and the turning radius is a bit large, but it gets the job done. The truck is a great size for around-town errands as well as fitting down off-road trails.
Nissan refers to the new Frontier’s interior as “modern” and “utility-centric.” We’ll agree with the utility-focused part at a minimum, as we found the interior to be basic but functional. The 9-inch color touchscreen is vivid and pretty intuitive to use, and is also the largest on offer in the midsize truck category.
The front seats are pretty comfortable, but the rear seats are not. The rear seats are too vertical, have no angle adjustment, and offer little headroom, but they do offer a good bit of legroom.
While we got the truck off the pavement, we didn’t get to truly experience it off-road. We have no doubt that it would perform admirably when the trail gets technical, and we look forward to experiencing that sometime soon.
Nissan Frontier Pro-4X: Conclusions & Pricing
All in all, the new Frontier is a quality rugged truck that is equally at home around town, on a road trip, or off-pavement in the mountains. The new styling and modern comfort, convenience, and safety features are all very welcome and should entice a lot of new Nissan truck buyers.
Pricing for the 2022 Nissan Frontier starts at $27,840, while the Pro-4X starts at $37,240 and can top out at just over $43,000 (excluding the $1,175 destination charge). The base price is slightly higher than nearly all the competition, besides Ridgeline ($36,890), but it comes with more standard features (like a V6).
The fully loaded Pro-4X model we tested comes in less than a base Tacoma TRD Pro ($45,935), with a top-spec Tacoma price easily climbing over $50,000.