The Nissan Frontier has been in production for quite some time. While its competitors continued to improve their products, Nissan pretty much stayed at a standstill as far as upgrades go.
Overview of the 2020 Nissan Frontier
Initial production of the Frontier began in 1997 to replace its other pickup, which their North American consumers lost interest in. As Newswheel.com explains, the truck started out as a compact pickup, but as time went on, it evolved into a midsize truck.
Nissan implemented a few changes in the beginning, but there has been nothing major done to the Frontier since 2005. It’s because of the lack of upgraded activity to Nissan’s pickup, that it’s gotten a lot of criticism.
However, despite the lack of redesigns, the Frontier received a couple of awards. One from Edmunds.com, who listed it as their top pick for the recommended compact pickup in 2011. Also, in 2010, JD Power and Associates gave it an award for being the top-ranked mid-size truck when it came to quality.
IIHS also listed it as one of its top picks for safety, while the NHTSA gave it many five-star ratings for passing their crash tests with flying colors frequently.
The 2020 model proves to be different for the Frontier. Nissan plans to make a move to upgrade their truck in the most interesting way possible.
What is the smart move Nissan is taking for this model?
The 2020 model promised to bring a major change to the Frontier. Nissan changed the current engine and replaced it with a 3.8-liter V6 motor that will put out 310 hp. It’s only 49 more hp than the previous one, but it’s enough to make a huge difference when it comes to the pickup’s performance.
To go along with that, Nissan also replaced the transmission unit in the truck. It will now sport a new nine-speed automatic transmission, which will be exclusive to their new engine.
Another change they’ve made to the new model is offering higher quality materials in the cabin area. While it’s not a major change, it helps give the interior a more fresh look and give it some durability. Even the price is getting an upgrade. It promises to cost even more for this model.
Why is it so genius?
The fact that Nissan is upgrading the power train isn’t what makes this a genius plan. Since they’ve announced a redesign for next year’s model and said that this year would get a new engine and transmission, they’re eliminating one of the toughest hurdles automakers face.
According to information pulled from Consumer Reports data on the redesign years of vehicles, the first year of the changes is rough on vehicles. An associate Director of their data integration team, Anita Lam, said that the first year brings a lot of reliability issues and it can “take time for automakers to work the bugs out…” in these redesigned vehicles.
This means that by offering the new power train this year, they can work out any issues now before they release the redesigned model. Once the changes take place, which probably won’t be much, there’s less of a chance for them to take major hits on reliability points, thus increasing their chances of retaining customers.
Nissan’s move to change the engine and transmission, the two hardest-hit elements of a redesign, before a major upgrade comes to the truck, will likely gain reliability points. This will reflect well with potential buyers.