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We’re spending an exciting week behind the wheel of the new Nissan Frontier to learn everything about it. The 2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X has a lot to digest and a few surprising first takeaways. Check out what we’ve learned so far. 

2023 Nissan Frontier: What’s new? 

The 2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X off-roading on a dirt trail
2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Nissan Frontier is primarily a carryover model. It was just redesigned for 2022, so it’s still fresh and modern. But there is a new Midnight Editon appearance package, and wireless Apple CarPlay is standard on the Pro and Pro-4X model. 

Plus, the 2023 Frontier SV Crew Cab long wheelbase model gets the Convenience Package, Which includes a heated leather steering wheel, heated front seats, a spray-in bed liner, under-rail bed lighting, and the Utili-track system with two tie-down cleats. 

The Midnight Edition adds 17-inch black alloy wheels, black outside mirrors, a lower bumper, grille, and black exterior badging. You also get black interior accents, a black headliner, LED foglights, headlights, and daytime running lights. 

We’ve taken the 2023 Frontier around Asheville, North Carolina, to do some errands around town and light off-roading tests so far. 

1. The 2023 Frontier has heavy steering 

One of the first things you’ll notice about the 2023 Nissan Frontier is how heavy the steering is. It’s pretty stiff at lower speeds and may take some muscle to maneuver, especially in tight areas. It slows the whole process of turning around down. 

But it doesn’t take long to get used to and might make your biceps look pretty good. The steering is lighter and more direct at higher speeds. 

2. The Frontier has confident brakes 

We’re working to fully compare the 2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X to the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and can confirm that the Frontier has better brakes. Stopping on the pavement, in the gravel, and on sandy dirt is easy. 

It’s much easier to slow down and control than the Tacoma on the pavement and in the wild. But one of the biggest 2023 Tacoma includes the outdated brakes. The 2024 model may have corrected this issue. 

3. The new Frontier is fast 

The 2023 Nissan Frontier has a standard 3.6-liter V6 engine with 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in roughly 7.6 seconds. Edmunds agrees that it provides smooth and instant power through the nine-speed automatic transmission. 

It has plenty of power to merge into traffic and pass others on the highway. It has confident handling and feels stable around sharp curves. Basically, it’s athletic and easy to maneuver for errands and daily commutes. 

But this is hampered by the heavy steering at lower speeds. Also, it has a turning radius between 21.65 to 23.88 feet long. The Tacoma has a turning radius between 20.3 to 22.5 feet long and is much easier to quickly whip around. It’s easier to turn around on off-roading trails too.

4. The Frontier is bigger

The 2024 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X interior with lava red accent stitching
2024 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X interior | Nissan

The Frontier is a larger midsize truck, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It has more passenger and cargo space to offer than the Tacoma. It feels better for taller drivers, and adults can actually fit in the rear. 

At 5’1″, the step-in height is a little tall, but it’s nothing new for a short truck enthusiast. Also, the large hood is difficult to see over when the seat is adjusted all the way up. This might not be an issue for taller drivers. 

There are storage trays everywhere! There’s one in front of the cup holders and above the infotainment system. There’s one behind the cupholders that serves as a secure wireless phone charging pad, and the center console is pretty deep. 

It’s easy to fold the rear seats up and flat as needed, and the door pockets and pretty big. There are tons of places to store your gear. 

5. The 2023 Frontier feels good in the wild 

The 2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X parked near trees
2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

While the 2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X doesn’t have off-roading modes for snow, rock, or sand, the basics work just fine. 4X4, 4WL, Hill Descent Control, and Hill Start Assist work just fine for adventuring. 

Shifting into 4X4 stiffens the suspension and enhances control for confidence and precision. The tires provide tons of gripe and allow you to sense the surface conditions in various challenging or slippery terrain.

You can also go a bit faster as the Frontier is quick to dampen and settle impacts. The truck effortlessly glides over larger dips and impacts but can seem a little jittery over rough pavement sections. 

The truck is very resistant to slip and has plenty of power for climbing. We were impressed by our first off-roading test, but the 360-degree camera could have a better resolution. 

We’re still learning about the 2023 Nissan Frontier, so stay tuned for the latest updates. Our week is just beginning!