Does the Nissan Frontier Offer a Diesel Engine Option?

Midsize trucks are a competitive segment. Not many of these lighter American trucks have the option of a diesel engine. For those die-hard diesel enthusiasts out there, this is a little disappointing. Is there a Nissan Frontier with a diesel engine?

Among these midsize trucks is the Nissan Frontier. The Frontier is Japanese carmaker Nissan’s American midsize truck. It stands at a contender with competition like the Honda Ridgeline or the Chevrolet Colorado. Most of these midsize trucks offer only a gasoline engine. Who wouldn’t want a nimble truck with the extra oomph of a diesel motor?

Nissan Frontier Desert Runner

In 2014, there was a Frontier Desert Runner Concept. It was inspired by the 2010 partnership the Nissan created with the iconic diesel company Cummins. That partnership forged the diesel motors deen on the Nissan Titan. But what was this diesel-powered Nissan Frontier Desert Runner?

This 2014 concept featured a 2.8 liter Cummins diesel motor controlled by a new 8-speed automatic transmission. A look through the transparent hood revealed a robust carbon-fiber engine cover. The red Cummins logo, stamped over the motor, is echoed in the red on the exterior of the midsize truck.

I’ve been hard-pressed to find any info about this truck ever making it past that concept. It seems that, for whatever reason, Nissan decided not to release this little diesel machine to the masses.

Is there a diesel Frontier?

You can’t find one in the States. There isn’t enough demand for a small truck powered by a beefy diesel engine. Nissan produces them elsewhere, however. Latin America is one of those places.

The NP300 Frontier is widely available in Latin America. I’ve seen them casually parked in the car park of a Walmart in Costa Rica. They’ve also been spotted navigating winding mountain roads through the jungle. So, yes. There is a diesel Frontier, just not in the U.S.A.

In other parts of the world, Nissan produces loads of these diesel Frontiers. But in Europe, Africa, and Australia the Nissan Frontier takes on its global title –– the Nissan Navara.

Nissan Navara

The Nissan Navara is the global presenting Nissan Frontier. It is commonly equipped with a diesel motor. The Navara is a Nissan Frontier with that novelty that comes with being available abroad.

Because of the increased demand, the diesel engine is pretty standard for the Navara. In spite of its popularity on other continents, the light truck with a diesel engine isn’t exactly the truck that mainstream America is looking for. Due to that fact, the Navara is one more vehicle that U.S. residents will have to view from afar.

Does the 2020 Frontier have a diesel option?


The 2020 Nissan Frontier Is Basically the Same But With 2 Big Exceptions

With the demand for midsize pickups growing, Nissan has upgraded its American Frontier. For 2020 the engine is a new 3.8 liter V6 with the addition of a nine-speed automatic transmission. While it doesn’t boast much in the way of modern upgrades or fancy technology, it is still a decent midsize pickup truck.

Although it hasn’t changed much since 2005, the Nissan Frontier is still a pretty smooth ride for its class. That and its durable interior make this Frontier an appealing work truck. There is no diesel engine in sight, however, unless Nissan surprises the states with a diesel option in its 2021 release. The diesel versions of the Nissan Frontier will remain exclusive to other global locations.