2020 Nissan Frontier has more muscle under the hood

The 2020 Nissan Frontier is the last of the breed. But before bidding farewell, Nissan is giving potential buyers a taste of what’s to come in the next-gen Frontier due in late 2021. This includes a smaller yet more powerful V6 engine and new automatic gearbox.

Without a doubt, the Frontier is a longstanding name in the pickup segment. However, the current 2020 Frontier is still based on the second-gen Frontier platform introduced back in 2005.

That’s right. The Nissan Frontier has survived the SUV and crossover apocalypse, and it’s still going strong. However, compared to rivals like the Toyota Tacoma, Honda Ridgeline, and new Ford Ranger, the Frontier is visibly outdated and is in dire need of an update.

And yes, there’s an all-new Frontier waiting in the wings. But before that, Nissan’s final hurrah for the Frontier is to give it more muscle and pulling power.

What engine is powering the 2020 Nissan Frontier?

Standard in the 2020 Nissan Frontier is an all-new 3.8-liter V6 motor which, according to Nissan, was assembled using 93-percent new or redesigned parts. This new V6 is smaller than the previous model’s 4.0-liter V6 mill, but it produces more power despite having a lower displacement.

“From its roots tracing back more than 60 years, to the current model, Frontier has had a lasting impact on the compact and mid-size truck segments in North America,” said Tiago Castro, director, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, Nissan North America, Inc. “As Nissan transitions to the next chapter, we celebrate both a proud past and a bright future with the heart of the next Frontier,” added Castro.

True to form, the 2020 Frontier’s new V6 engine is good for 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. With direct injection technology, it produces 49 more horsepower and is reputably more economical than the previous model’s V6.

This new engine is connected to a nine-speed automatic gearbox replacing the previous model’s antiquated five-speed unit. Sadly, you can’t have a manual stick with this new engine.

How much is the 2020 Nissan Frontier?

Unfortunately, Nissan has yet to announce pricing for the 2020 Frontier. But as expected from new and updated models, we reckon a slightly higher base price starting at around $21,000 for the Frontier S extended cab and around $27,000 for the Frontier SV.

Is the Nissan Frontier a reliable pickup?

Brian Murphy and his Million-Mile Nissan Frontier

Remember, the 2020 Frontier is still based on the second-gen platform from 2005, and it’s still here amongst the newer and fresher competition. So, yes, the Frontier is essentially a simple and reliable roundabout offering impressive levels of everyday comfort and practicality.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at Brian Murphy’s 2007 Nissan Frontier. Murphy is a delivery man from Chicago and is the proud owner of a ‘Million-Mile’ Nissan Frontier King Cab with a four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual. The truck passed the million-mile mark late last month and is a living testament to the Frontier’s toughness and durability.

In order to commemorate this 13-year feat of loyalty, Nissan is giving Murphy a new 2020 Frontier equipped with the new V6 engine. “I never imagined I’d be given a new truck, especially since my Frontier is still running strong,” said Murphy. “It will be a real treat to have an efficient V6 engine, but I guess I’ll have to find another way to exercise now that I’ll have an automatic transmission and power windows.”

You can expect the new Nissan Frontier to arrive at dealerships in spring 2020.