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  • 2020 Nissan Frontier First Look

2020 Nissan Frontier First Look

A New Heart For An Old Soul

Feb 6, 2020

The midsize truck market has been red hot as of late with sales running through the roof and manufacturers clamoring to either enter the space or bring fresh product to market. Despite not receiving a major update in 15 years, Nissan's Frontier remains one of the favorites in an increasingly crowded field. Thankfully, after years of listening to the rumor mill churn, Nissan will be introducing an all-new Frontier for the 2021 model year.

Photo 2/6   |   003 2020 Nissan Frontier Engine

However, before that happens Nissan is giving the current generation of Frontier one more breath of life by replacing both the 2.5L I-4 and 4.0L V-6 engines currently offered with an all-new 3.8L direct injected V-6 and 9-speed automatic transmission for the 2020 Frontier.

This isn't merely a new engine offering either. Nissan is giving us our first glimpse of the 2021 Frontier as the 3.8L V-6 will power the next-generation Frontier when it finally makes its appearance sometime in the coming year. For now, the 3.8L V-6 produces 310 horsepower, which is best-in-class, and 281 lb-ft of torque. For comparison, the previous 2.5L I-4 produced 152 hp while the 4.0L V-6 made 261. Those 49 additional ponies will definitely be felt in the driver seat. While no official numbers have been released as of yet, we're told fuel economy will exceed that of the outgoing I-4. This new engine will be built in the US at Nissan's Decherd, Tennessee, engine plant.

Photo 3/6   |   002 2020 Nissan Frontier Engine

Sorry purists, there's no longer a manual transmission option for Frontier, leaving only the Jeep Gladiator for those who desire a mid-size pickup with a third pedal. Replacing both the 5-speed manual and 5-speed automatic transmissions is a new 9-speed automatic. This new transmission is similar to the transmission introduced on the 2020 Titan, however it has been optimized for use in the mid-size Frontier.

Not surprisingly, the Frontier lineup is being simplified for the 2020 model year. Trucks will be available with either two or four-wheel drive, in either King or Crew Cab configurations, and with just S, SV, and Pro4X (Crew Cab only) trims being available. Although it's the final year for this generation, Nissan has also added a few thoughtful features. New for 2020 is standard push button start, while all trucks receive standard power windows, power door locks, leather shift knob, and manual tilt steering.

Photo 4/6   |   004 2020 Nissan Frontier Engine

We're excited for the 2020 Nissan Frontier. With the heart of the next generation pickup and the proven bones of the outgoing model this is certainly going to be a truck that Frontier diehards and mid-size buyers will be clamoring for. Now, bring on 2021!

Photo 5/6   |   005 2020 Nissan Frontier
Photo 6/6   |   006 2020 Nissan Frontier

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