The Nissan Frontier Surpasses the Ford Ranger as Sales Dip
Fresh off of a redesign for the 2022 model year, the Nissan Frontier is enjoying legitimate success. In fact, in terms of sales, the Frontier is actually outpacing the Ford Ranger. Does that mean the Frontier is better than the Ranger, or is Nissan’s midsize truck winning because it’s newer?
Are Nissan Frontiers selling well?
As a midsize truck, the Frontier is selling well. In 2022, Nissan managed to move 76,185 units. That’s up from 60,697 sold in 2021 and 54,817 in 2020. Sales might be related to the fact that the Frontier got a redesign for the 2022 model year.
The redesigned Frontier now features a 3.8-liter V6 engine that makes 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. So although there are no longer engine options, you do get a standard V6. Other improvements to the steering and chassis make this midsize truck feel more refined. After all, it had been over 20 years since Nissan gave its small pickup a true update.
How many Rangers has Ford sold?
In 2022, Ford sold 56,987 Ford Ranger trucks. That’s down from a high of 101,485 back in 2020 and slightly over 90,000 in 2021. As it stands, in 2023, Nissan sold more Frontier models, with Ford sales in decline for the year.
It’s not too hard to see why the Ranger might not be selling as well. When the Blue Oval reintroduced its midsize truck in the States, we actually got an older version than the rest of the world. Because of that, the Ranger might feel a little dated compared to the 2023 Frontier.
The current Ford Ranger also lacks a true off-road competitor to the Nissan Frontier PRO-4X. That is supposed to change in the near future, though. According to Car and Driver, the Blue Oval is planning a Ranger Raptor, which is expected to arrive in 2024.
Is the 2023 Nissan Frontier better than the 2023 Ford Ranger?
Being a newer truck, it can be easy to say the 2023 Frontier is better than the Ford Ranger. But it really comes down to what you want from your midsize pickup. The 2023 Nissan Frontier can tow up to 7,650 lbs and haul up to 1,610 lbs. So while the Frontier can out-tow the Ranger, the Ford truck can haul more with a rating of 1,860 lbs.
Both trucks offer up to a six-foot bed and have multiple cab configurations. So that is likely a plus depending on what you are looking for.
Of the two, the 2023 Ranger is certainly cheaper. But most folks will probably be looking for a step or two above the base trim. And at that point, these midsize trucks become more similarly priced.
At the end of the day, it might come down to whether you want a truck from a domestic brand or if you are willing to expand your search. Pickups do command quite a bit of brand loyalty, with folks often sticking with the same manufacturer for years.