Can you believe the current Nissan Frontier has been around for 15 years? That’s right: The second generation was introduced way back in 2004 as a 2005 model. With the mid-size pickup truck market losing quite a bit of popularity during that time, the Japanese manufacturer could afford not to make major changes, but with the competition going back to the drawing board and upping its game in recent years, something had to be done.
According to Automotive News, we should expect to see the next-generation Nissan Frontier in the fall of 2020 as a 2021 model, offering “futuristic” styling that “still looks like a truck.” Also, it appears the optional 261-horsepower 4.0-litre V-6 will be replaced by a new 3.0-litre engine rated at approximately 300 horsepower (which would be right near the top of the class), while the automatic transmission will receive two extra gears for a total of seven.
Sounds interesting, right? There could be a big caveat, however: the report claims Nissan will merely update the current F-Alpha platform instead of basing the truck on its newer Navara pickup, which is sold overseas. The latter rides on a five-link coil-spring rear suspension, which means increased production costs, plus it’s not available with four full doors and a six-foot bed, a configuration North American customers love.
Nissan probably wants to keep the Frontier at a low entry price to help it stand out from other mid-size pickups, even if ride and handling characteristics are compromised, not to mention the truck’s capabilities.
Following a slight drop in 2018, sales of the Nissan Frontier in Canada fell 15.6 per cent during the first quarter of 2019 on a year-to-year basis — still good enough to outsell the Ford Ranger 959 to 755, but for how much longer?
— LC Media