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The midsize pickup truck is one of the most competitive automotive segments. Like many others, the Nissan Frontier is an excellent option and has many good traits. However, there are some significant reasons not to buy the 2022 Nissan Frontier. What makes it fall short of its rivals?

A reason not to buy the 2022 Nissan Frontier is its cramped rear seat

2022 Nissan Frontier midsize truck posed on dirt trail
2022 Nissan Frontier midsize truck posed on dirt trail | Nissan

One of the most essential features of any modern pickup truck is the rear seat. While trucks used to be used for a driver and as much cargo as possible, they’re now commuting, passenger vehicles. Each model has different cabin sizes that decide how comfortably a rear passenger can sit. According to Car and Driver, the 2022 Nissan Frontier has a cramped back seat even in its most extensive Crew Cab form.

Compared to more roomy competitors, the Frontier is behind in this department. While some people might not mind, those who often travel with a full party will be disappointed. A cramped rear seat isn’t only bad for passengers but for a driver who stores things inside the cabin. After all, a wide-open truck bed can’t hold everything in the rain, snow, or other harsh conditions.

The Frontier has poor fuel economy, even for a pickup truck

2022 Nissan Frontier pickup truck driving on a dirt road. The Pro-4X trim level is best for off-road driving.
2022 Nissan Frontier driving on a dirt road | Nissan USA

Firstly, the 2022 Nissan Frontier only has one engine option. It comes with a naturally-aspirated 3.8-liter V6 making 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. While the engine is excellent, it would be nice to have more options. Especially when you see the fuel economy it provides. Those looking for a more fuel-efficient vehicle need to steer clear of Nissan’s midsize pickup truck.

Moreover, the Nissan Frontier gets 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Those numbers drop even more to 17 in the city and 22 on the highway with four-wheel drive. That’s lackluster even for a midsize truck. Other trucks offer diesel or hybrid engines to increase fuel economy, but the Frontier does not. For instance, the Ford Ranger gets 20 city and 24 highway mpg.

Heavy steering and non-telescoping steering wheel are detrimental

The front 3/4 view of the gray-and-white 2022 Nissan Frontier Project 72X at the Chicago Auto Show
2022 Nissan Frontier Project 72X front 3/4 | Matthew Skwarczek, MotorBiscuit

In addition, both Edmunds and CAD noted overly heavy steering while driving. This means controlling the Frontier can be difficult, and turning in a pinch might prove difficult. According to Edmunds, “…the very heavy steering is a head-scratcher. It requires a considerable amount of effort to maneuver the Nissan through a parking lot or over a trail at low speeds.”

Finally, the non-telescoping steering wheel seems like a huge oversight. In 2022, most vehicles tend to come standard with this feature. It’s a convenient function that helps tons of people drive more comfortably. Especially when operating a big pickup truck like this, drivers should always be in the optimal position to handle the giant machine. No telescoping steering wheel is another reason to avoid the 2022 Nissan Frontier, along with heavy steering.

Is the 2022 Nissan Frontier a good pickup truck?

While there are some significant reasons not to buy the Nissan Frontier, it is still an excellent midsize pickup truck overall. Specifically, it has a smooth ride quality, incredible storage space, an improved interior from prior model years, and a tremendous off-road trim level. However, look elsewhere if you’re looking for a spacious rear seat, good fuel economy, or a modern steering wheel. Those are the three most significant reasons not to buy the 2022 Nissan Frontier.


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