It’s finally happening: the Nissan Frontier is getting a fresh remodel for 2021. The Frontier has been something of an oddity in the truck market. Despite its ancient interior and stale design, it continues to impress both consumers and critics alike. The Frontier has even managed to outsell some of its updated competitors in recent years.
Will the new Frontier be just as good as the old one? We’re expecting it to have all the latest technology offerings from Nissan like standard smartphone integration. What else is going to be different for the latest model year? Here’s what we know about the latest Nissan Frontier so far, thanks to Autoblog.
Built like a ‘baby Titan’
Sources say that the new Frontier won’t even be recognizable from the original one. Instead, it will be built on a frame that mirrors a shorter Titan. In the past, a representative from Nissan also said that the new Frontier will have a “futuristic style.” It could be a combination of the two, but we won’t know for sure until pictures are released.
The Nissan Titan also got a remodel for 2020. Its V8 engine was updated and more technology features were added. It also has new headlights and new grille designs, similar to the Titan Warrior concept’s appearance. Some sources believe that the 2021 Frontier will look similar to the Warrior.
Cab options in the Nissan Frontier
The Frontier’s lineup may also be slightly different from previous years. Currently, you can get either a King Cab or a Crew Cab configuration. However, according to recent sources, the King Cab option will most likely be discontinued.
Nissan has also hinted that an off-roading trim will also be added to the lineup. Many speculate that it will share the same 5.6-liter V8 engine in the current Titan. This engine can produce 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque.
New powertrain options
There’s a very good chance that we won’t see the current five-speed manual transmission in the 2021 model. It will probably have a standard nine-speed transmission like the Titan. Even with the available five- or six-speed automatic transmissions, this is a big step up for the Frontier.
Currently, the Nissan Frontier comes with a four-cylinder engine capable of 152 hp. Higher trims have a V6 engine that can produce 261 hp. For 2021, the Frontier will probably get a 3.8-liter V6 engine. Power estimates haven’t been released yet, but we can guess that it will be in the 300-hp range.
This will likely increase the Frontier’s towing capacity, which maxes out at 6,720 pounds with the available V6. In addition to providing more muscle, Nissan also promises that the new engine will get better gas mileage. The current Frontier gets an average score of 19 MPG combined.
The history of the Nissan Frontier
The Nissan Frontier is now 16 years old. Even though it’s obviously showing its age, the current Frontier still packs a lot of power for a midsize truck. It’s also been the most affordable option for many years. All the new features may raise its price, but it’s safe to expect even better performance as well.
With the growing popularity of the midsize truck segment, it only makes sense that the Frontier is finally getting an update. A representative from IHS Markit also stated that the Frontier will have these improvements primarily because consumers want them. The older Frontier offered a simpler trucking experience, but Nissan’s customer base seems to be in favor of the changes. We’ll see if die-hard Frontier fans are still satisfied when the truck is released next winter.