Consumer Reports Doesn’t Recommend the 2022 Nissan Frontier, But Owners Love It

If you’re considering a new midsize truck, the 2022 Nissan Frontier is an excellent option. However, many reviewers dislike the Nissan pickup. Furthermore, with many rivals offering amazing choices, finding the right model can be challenging. Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend the 2022 Nissan Frontier, and it’s one of the most well-respected experts in the automotive industry. However, owners say they love their time with the Frontier, so is it really that bad?

Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend the 2022 Nissan Frontier

A 2022 Nissan Frontier shows off its off-road capability as a mid-size truck.
Nissan Frontier | Nissan

Although Consumer Reports didn’t give the Frontier its coveted “recommended” label, few midsize trucks earned that title. Only the Honda Ridgeline, Ford Ranger, and Ford Maverick are recommended by CR. However, the 2022 Nissan Frontier isn’t far behind. Ranked fifth out of nine reviewed models, it beat many other popular options. For example, Nissan’s smaller pickup beat the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado. What doesn’t CR like about it?

First, CR gave the Frontier almost the lowest possible predicted reliability score. This is based on previous model years when owners experienced some trouble spots. It’s worth noting that nearly every truck in its class has poor predicted reliability. Next, the ride quality of the Frontier feels like you’d expect a truck to feel. In short, that’s not a good thing. CR describes it as “stiff and jittery,” even compared to competitors.

Next, the rear seat of the pickup is much less spacious than its rivals. Unfortunately, rear seat space is a significant ask for most midsize truck buyers, and the Frontier just doesn’t get it done. CR says it’s uncomfortable; very upright seats will make any backseat riders want their experience to be short.

Owners love the midsize truck

A Nissan Frontier shows off its capability as a mid-size truck.
Nissan Frontier | Nissan

Despite its less-than-stellar reviews, owners love their time with the Nissan Frontier. According to Consumer Reports, overall owner satisfaction is quite high, even compared to rivals. Specifically, 72 percent of previous or current owners claimed they would buy another Frontier. That’s higher than popular models like the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, and Chevy Colorado.

Although CR doesn’t have specifics, the owners ranked the truck in several categories. They are driving experience, comfort, value, and styling. Overall, a vehicle’s biggest compliment is that an owner would buy it again. With most owners making that claim, what makes them enjoy their trim with Nissan’s midsize truck offering?

What does Consumer Reports like about the Nissan Frontier?

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Although the Frontier isn’t recommended, CR still loves many things about it. Moreover, chances are high that customers willing to repurchase it would share the publications’ opinions. There are many positive takeaways, like the standard refined 3.8-liter V6 engine making 310 horsepower. Next, rear-wheel drive is standard, but available four-wheel drive makes the Frontier excellent for trucking duties and off-roading.

Speaking of off-roading, the Pro-4X trim level is an excellent choice. It provides off-road features like Bilstein shock absorbers, extra skid plates, a locking rear differential, all-terrain tires, LED headlights, and more. For just under $40K, it’s an affordable way to hit the off-road trails in a midsize truck.

Highlights for CR also include braking, transmission, and controls. The publication says the Frontier braked in a much shorter distance than rivals in most of its tests. In addition, the nine-speed automatic transmission delivers smooth upshifts and responsive downshifting. Lastly, the controls are easily reached from the driving position. It also uses physical knobs and buttons that are easy to locate and use on the fly, in addition to its eight-inch infotainment touchscreen.

In conclusion, one of the most prominent reviewers, Consumer Reports, doesn’t recommend buying the 2022 Nissan Frontier. Despite its problems, owners love the midsize truck. More than half of the surveyed owners would buy the pickup again if given the opportunity. As a result, it’s difficult to argue against both CR and owners. Every vehicle has its positives and negatives, but we think ownership and spending time living with the 2022 Nissan Frontier is the best quality indicator.

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