2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X Crew Cab Test Drive | WUWM 89.7 FM
All of the pickups were boxes on big studded tires with a big floor-mounted gear lever, metal bed, and a rusty tailgate (after a few years) that crumbled like an exasperated teenager in the family couch. Pickup trucks were tough and manly and cheaper than sports cars which also identified their owners as high quality.
Sorry partner, but a lot of that is long gone as multi-seater cabins and modern technology conspired to sweeten vans and make them today’s family station wagons.
Nissan knows this, of course, but is nowhere near letting its Frontier go in the same direction. Last year it poured out a new 3.8-liter V6 developing 310 horsepower with 9-speed automatic transmission in the Frontier midsize (a close clone of Ford’s Ranger in terms of size and function). This gave Frontier the most powerful engine in its class, along with a smooth shifting tranny to start – so a saddlebag full of power, but with refinement.
READ: 2021 Ford Ranger XLT SuperCrew 4×4 review
The entire Frontier 2022, aside from that engine and that transexual, has been redesigned and redesigned to tackle this growing mid-size pickup truck market ruled by Toyota’s Tacoma.
Unlike last week’s smaller, sleek and refined Hyundai Santa Cruz, a compact crossover / pickup, Nissan has gone for the muscular styling that has dominated the market since the 1960s. It works, but isn’t big enough. to make a slaughterer jump in his cabin like riding a horse all at once. This one added the nice off-road style running boards ($ 750), but they were hardly needed. No, the tested Frontier Pro-4X Crew Cab, designed for off-road enthusiast pickup owners, is low enough for easy daily access.
Where the clogs should be, Frontier offers nubby R17 off-road tires on painted alloy rims, but mated to Bilstein off-road shocks, road riding is surprisingly smooth and glute-easy. A rear suspension stabilizer definitely helps too. The family won’t hesitate to drive at Frontier due to the usual (bloated) pickup truck ride quality, and the driver will appreciate the vertigo provided by this V6 as so many other midsize cars opt for turbo 4 cylinders. . Nissan only offers the V6.
Handling is surprisingly quick and responsive, as Nissan engineers revised the rudder ratio for more precise handling – especially helping to avoid discoloration of freeway lanes. Not a lot of play in this wheel. The downside is that the steering is quite heavy in Frontier, very truckish and not at all like a crossover. Gym rats might like this while the rest of us might use a slightly lighter feel.
Useful, of course! Frontier has a five foot bed with spray liner, which is part of the $ 1,990 Pro Convenience Package. This package also adds Nissan’s sleek Utili track system with four adjustable tie-down cleats. This tailgate is also cushioned so that it doesn’t collapse too quickly, along with the tailgate locks, but no luggage covers like the Santa Cruz.
This one added a grizzly bear-resistant sports bar ($ 1,095) right behind the cab. It adds off-road panache, but also includes a light on the top to make it easier to load the bed at night. Nissan also includes side bed lamps here. And while I loved Hyundai’s bumper-infused steps, this one has an easy-to-fold step over the driver’s side tail under the bumper.
The Frontier’s interior looks heavy, which means muscular, black, and useful off-roading. There’s a button on the dash to engage the 4WD system, a large nine-inch touchscreen, large radio and climate buttons, and the usual steering wheel hub with cruise and screen controls. ‘information.
I liked the functionality of it all and the black (definitely more charcoal gray) leather seats were soft and comfortable enough for city driving. Hip support was good, but the seats could use more lower back support, and the rear seats, while roomy enough for a couple of adults, could use some backrest adjustments. The back is almost straight from top to bottom and can be tiring after a short ride. The Santa Cruz from the previous week had a much more passenger-friendly backseat, albeit smaller.
On the positive side, there are heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, plus the driver’s seat is fully electric while the passenger seat is manual. The rear seats also fold down and there is storage under the seats.
I liked the open cordless phone charger on the tail of the console near the driver’s seat and the center storage box. It’s easy to reach and easy to see if the phone is charging. The charger and heated seats are part of this Pro Convenience package which also includes a 120 volt power outlet in the bed.
Oddly enough, the space between the seats and the door panels is incredibly tight. I couldn’t easily reach between the two to retrieve an item from the door pocket. Not really user-friendly!
On the safety side, there’s an automatic forward collision warning, but to get more safety gear you need the Tech Bundle for $ 990. It includes lane departure warning, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, rear sonar system, rear automatic braking, high beam assist, smart cruise and traffic sign recognition. signage. I think the blind spot and rear cross traffic alert should really be standard on all vehicles today.
Some useful electronics are standard though, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, satellite radio, navigation, NissanConnect, Wi-Fi hotspot, and voice recognition for audio functions. There is of course a rear view camera, hill start and hill descent assist and a trailer sway control system – all of which are perks when towing or driving off-road.
Speaking of which, the Frontier will pull 6,720 pounds. Not quite the 7,500 the Ford Ranger pulls, but it’s enough for most trailers and average equipment.
The Tactical Green test truck ($ 395 extra) was a bit nicer thanks to the Pro Premium Pack ($ 2,790) which adds a premium Fender audio system with 10 speakers, leather seats, rearview mirror Auto-dimming with Homelink, sunroof and beadlock alloy rims.
I wasn’t a fan of Army green style, but militarizing the pickups feels like a natural step at this point. Gun racks are always extra.
Unfortunately, gas mileage is poor at 17 mpg city and 22 highway. I got 18 mpg in about 60% of highway driving.
The price is higher than a Ranger, most of the time. A basic Frontier S 2WD starts at $ 29,340. That’s for the crew cab with full-size rear doors, and let’s be honest, that’s what most people want and need. An SV crew cab costs $ 32,140. Both also have a destination fee of $ 1,175.
There is a Pro-X model which is only 2WD but looks more like the Pro-4X tested, so a blackened grille with the orange Nissan logo and another on the steering wheel.
The 4WD Pro-4X costs $ 38,415 including delivery, and the truck tested hit $ 46,965 with all of its options. It’s pretty steep for a mid-size pickup. But again, this is where the mid-size market is heading. Also note that mid-size mics are as big as full-size mics were 15-20 years ago.
A King Cab with small rear doors that open to the rear is also available and will save buyers a few dollars, but is much less useful for family transportation. And even most urban cowboys have a few little outlaws to circle for football practice.
Preview: Nissan Frontier Pro-4X Crew Cab 4×4 2022
Shots: Useful family pickup, good size, good power, gear changes, handling and handling. Lined bed, easy-lowering tailgate, deployable step, sturdy tie-downs. Truck interior but large screen, heated seats and wheels, large radio and air conditioning buttons, cruise and smart security suite, wireless phone charger.
Lack : Heavy steering feel, seat backs need more lateral support, rear seat backs are too straight for long drives, low mpg, a bit pricey.
Made in: Canton, miss.
Motor: 3.8-liter V6, 310 hp / 281 torque
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Weight: 4,709 lbs.
Wheelbase: 126.0 inch
Length: 210.2 inch
Loading bed: 5 feet
Tow: 6,720 lb
Payload: 1,460 lbs.
Base price: $ 38,415 (delivery included)
Invoice: $ 37,788 *
Main options: Premium paint, $ 395
All-terrain style running boards, $ 750
Bed access package, $ 540
Pro Convenience Package (spray-on bedliner, Utili-track system, 120-volt power outlet in bed / rear console, heated exterior mirrors, heated seats, heated steering wheel, LED under-rail lighting, remote start, hitch cabling, intelligent panoramic view monitor with moving object detection and off-road mode, wireless charging), $ 1,990
Pro Premium Package (Fender premium audio with 10 speakers, leather-trimmed front / rear seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, tilt / slide sunroof with manual sunshade, 17-inch alloy wheels with locking heel), $ 2,790
Sports bar, $ 1,095
Technology Package (Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Sonar System, Automatic Rear Braking, High Beam Assist, Smart Cruise, Traffic Sign Recognition), $ 990
Test vehicle: $ 46,965
Sources: Nissan, Kelly Blue Book *KBB Fair Market
Editor’s Note: Mark Savage’s automotive column Savage On Wheels takes a look at a new vehicle every week and tells consumers what is good, what isn’t and how the vehicle fits in the market.