Critics and Buyers Don’t Agree On the 2020 Nissan Frontier

If you’ve been doing your research on the best 2020 compact pickup trucks, you may have noticed that Nissan Frontier isn’t the critics’ favorite. While its rivals have become more upscale and tech-savvy, Nissan’s Frontier has primarily stayed the same. But even so, the Frontier still has some fans.

Why people seem divided on the 2020 Nissan Frontier

2020 Nissan Frontier | Nissan 001
2020 Nissan Frontier | Nissan

The Frontier is among your best options if you’re looking for a no-nonsense pickup. Nissan’s Frontier has remained tried and true, which is why some reviewers have criticized the truck. A few road testers have said that there are huge downsides to the Frontier. The downsides relate to its fuel economy, old infotainment system, and shabby interior finishings.

But even with these criticisms, the Frontier doesn’t seem like a lost cause. According to recent data, the Frontier was the fifth best-selling midsize truck of Q3 2020. This ranking placed the Frontier right in front of the Honda Ridgeline. While Frontier sales are considerably down overall compared to last year, this last quarter shows that the Frontier still has some appeal.

What makes this pickup a popular option with some buyers?

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Like we mentioned earlier, the Frontier appeals to those who want a simple worker-truck. The most significant change for the 2020 model is that Nissan updated the pickup’s powertrain. The 2020 Frontier features a 310-hp 3.8-liter V6 linked to a 10-speed automatic transmission. 

“Yep, Nissan has plopped the engine and transmission of the ’21 model into the ’20, and is providing it standard in a trimmed-down lineup for however long the company decides to run the production lines this year before switching over to the ’21. This means that a powerful new 3.8-liter V-6 replaces the old 4.0-liter mill, and the transmission grows four more gears to a total of nine forward speeds. But can a heart transplant in an old body make much of a difference in the old workhorse? Turns out, it can’ 2002

Most critics aren’t too impressed with the Frontier’s performance on-road. However, the Frontier does get points for its off-road capabilities. It comes with rear-wheel drive, but four-wheel drive is available on each trim. If off-roading is your main priority, you’ll want to consider the Frontier Pro-4X variant. The Pro-4X off-road package includes Hankook Dynapro AT-M all-terrain tires, Bilstein off-road shocks, and a sturdier Dana rear axle. 

Interior elements

2020 Nissan Frontier interior
2020 Nissan Frontier interior

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As we’ve also said before, the Frontier is a solid choice if you don’t value new in-car tech. Unlike many of its rivals, the Frontier doesn’t provide any advanced safety features. Furthermore, the Frontier doesn’t offer modern infotainment apps like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Instead, the 2020 Frontier keeps things simple with Bluetooth as one of its most notable features. 

What the Frontier does get credit for is having a comfortable cabin overall. You’ll appreciate it for its accommodating seats and generous legroom. Plus, the Frontier features two body styles. The King Cab carries four people, and the Crew Cab holds five.