With the teases of a new Nissan truck over the past two weeks, speculation was running rampant that it could be the next-generation Frontier midsize truck. That anticipation was stoked by the debut and imminent production of the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, as well as Nissan showing us the Frontier Diesel Runner concept. We received a few phone calls from Nashville clarifying the situation emphasizing that the tease was NOT necessarily for the new Frontier but for the global Navara. The current North American-spec Frontier and Navara share a lot of sheetmetal and specs, but there are some significant market-specific differences. So, the 2015 Nissan Navara NP300 gives us a glimpse, if not a wholesale look, at what we can expect for the 2016 Nissan Frontier.
The trucks bring a much more modern look to Nissan's global hauler, with a more pronounced side beltline and a more rounded, stylized front-end. Nissan is claiming a lighter overall curb weight and performance and efficiency improvements. Whereas the mainstay engine of the U.S. Frontier lineup is the VQ-series 4.0L V-6, the bread-and-butter mill for the Navara is a 2.5L turbodiesel I-4. The last-generation Navara offered the 2.5L in two states of tune: 144 hp and 263 lb-ft,,and 174 hp and 297 lb-ft, mated to either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. The 2.5L diesel continues in the new Navara but gets a power bump to 161 hp and 297 lb-ft, and 188 hp and 332 lb-ft. The stick remains a six-speed, but the automatic gets seven ratios for improved responsiveness and fuel economy.
Nissan representatives have told us in no uncertain terms that the company's first priority for the North American market is the next-generation Titan, so the chances a new Frontier will beat a new Titan to the showroom in the U.S. are likely zero. In terms of how much will be shared between the NP300 Navara and the next Frontier is pure speculation. Expect slightly different styling, and considering Nissan's announced collaboration with Cummins on the Titan, as well as the showing of the Diesel Runner concept, there's a very good chance that if the new Frontier is offered with a diesel option, it will be a Cummins instead of the YD25DDTi diesel used in the Navara.