Trucks & SUVs

3 Reasons to Avoid the 2020 Nissan Frontier

Experts have finally been able to get their hands on the 2020 Nissan Frontier, and while they do have positives to say after testing it, they found a few negatives as well. Check out why it may be worth waiting for the 2021 Nissan Frontier instead. 

Is the 2020 Nissan Frontier a good truck? 

Yes, the 2020 Nissan Frontier is a great option to buy. It received some serious mechanical updates that the people at Cars.com enjoyed. For example, they mentioned enjoying the new 4.0-liter V6 engine with 381 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. 

2020 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X
2020 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X | Nissan

But this new engine raises the starting price of the Nissan Frontier to about $26k when it used to be an economical truck. The 2019 Nissan Frontier, which is known as a valuable working truck, starts around $19k, and there may not have been enough tech and interior updates to make the higher price on the 2020 model worth it. 

1. The Nissan Frontier feels outdated 

According to Cars.com, the 2020 Nissan Frontier feels outdated. The interior hasn’t received a significant update in a long time, and that’s pretty noticeable.

The cloth seats seem plain, the dashboard is made with cheap, plastic materials, and the buttons are large and chunky. It could make you miss your truck from 12 years ago. 

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The screens are backlit with an orange light that makes it difficult to read what’s on the display in the daylight. On top of that, the tech is outdated, especially when it comes to the infotainment center. 

You’ll only find a 5.8″ screen in the Nissan Frontier that can’t connect to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. However, the Nissan Frontier can connect to phones via Bluetooth. It may feel like you’re using a system from 2016 instead of a modern one. 

The 2020 Nissan Frontier also lacks a variety of modern safety and driver assistance features. It does have cruise control and offers optional parking sensors, but you won’t find forward collision prevention, lane-keeping assistance, and more features that come standard on other trucks. 

2. The Nissan Frontier doesn’t have the best ride 

The 2020 Nissan Frontier is noted for not having the best seats, and it doesn’t provide the most comfortable ride. The suspension is bumpy, and passengers tend to get bumped around. Car and Driver also noted that the 2020 Nissan Frontier has a cramped backseat with limited legroom. But, on a positive note, there are enough storage bins to store your tools. 

2020 Nissan Frontier parked in grass
2020 Nissan Frontier | Nissan

Also, the 2020 Nissan Frontier doesn’t have a smooth transmission. Drivers at Cars.com reported a jerky ride as you accelerate. The Frontier seemed to downshift too quickly, too, causing the truck to lurch forward and slow down unexpectedly. However, once you pass 3rd gear to cruise at highway speeds, the ride is fine. 

3. The 2020 Nissan Frontier isn’t better on gas 

The 2020 Nissan Frontier only gets 18 mpg in the city and up to 24 mpg on the highway. The new V6 engine didn’t improve the fuel economy at all. Plus, 4×4 makes the fuel economy even worse. 

A Nissan Frontier on display at an auto show
A Nissan Frontier on display | Scott Olson/Getty Images

When driven by Cars.com, the 2020 Nissan Frontier actually had a worse fuel economy than advertised. On their test loop, the truck only managed to get about 17 mpg, which was worse than the 2016 model they also tested.