Nov
08
2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X Crew Cab in Baja Storm Pearl (a $395 option)

Consumer Guide Test Drive2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X Crew Cab

Class: Compact Pickup

Miles driven: 168

Fuel used: 10.5 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 16.0 mpg

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortC+
Power and PerformanceB
Fit and FinishC+
Fuel EconomyB-
ValueB
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyB
Tall GuyB
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs310-hp 3.8-liter
Engine TypeV6
Transmission 9-speed automatic
Drive Wheels4WD

Driving mix: 85% city, 15% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 17/22/19 (mpg city/highway/combined)

Fuel type: Regular gas

Base price: $37,240 (not including $1150 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Baja Storm Pearl paint ($395), Technology Package ($990), PRO Convenience Package ($1990), PRO Premium Package ($2790), floor mats ($155)

Price as tested: $44,710

 

Quick Hits

The great: Redesign brings much-improved interior design and several long-missing convenience features; peppy V6 engine; competitive pricing 

The good: Decent ride for a pickup truck; good in-cabin small-items storage spaces; attractive, no-nonsense styling inside and out

The not so good: Even Crew Cab model has smaller rear-seat area than some class competitors, and rear seat back is uncomfortably upright; lots of hard plastic in the interior, even in top-line model

More Frontier price and availability information

 

John Biel

The 2022 Nissan Frontier compact pickup that Consumer Guide tested arrived in pieces. No, wait . . . that didn’t come out right.

What we mean is the redone truck’s incumbent 3.8-liter V6 and 9-speed automatic transmission first appeared in the aged previous-generation Frontier in 2020. Now comes the rest: new styling with a more in-your-face face, a vastly improved instrument display, and infotainment that is modernized without going completely over the top. You’ll find improvement in “Finally!” features like the addition of Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone compatibility and a “soft-drop” tailgate that can be locked remotely.

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

The Nissan Frontier gets a long-awaited redesign for 2022, gaining crisp new styling, an up-to-date interior, and welcome new technology features, while sharing its basic underpinnings with the previous-generation model.

The 2022 lineup consists of 2- and 4-wheel-drive models in S, SV, and PRO-X trim levels. Cab configurations come down to a choice of extended King Cab (in S and SV trim only) or full 4-door Crew Cab (at all levels). Crew Cabs are fitted with a 5-foot-long cargo bed save for an SV Long Bed version that features the 6-foot bed from Frontier King Cab trucks.

First Spin: 2022 Toyota Tundra

Test Drive: 2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

The 2022 Frontier’s new interior is a big improvement over the dated previous-generation model in terms of layout, materials, and available features. A wireless charging pad, located in the center console aft of the shifter and cupholders, is included in the PRO Convenience Package, as is a 360-degree surround-view monitor.

Consumer Guide sampled the most off-road-prepped model available, the PRO-4X, which is the 4WD variant of the PRO-X. Starting price, with delivery, is $38,390. (The 2-wheel-drive PRO-X lists for $3000 less.) It is the costliest Frontier, but even then it is exceptionally competitive with other “off-road-specials” in its size class. With a trio of comfort and driver-assistance option packages, extra-cost Baja Storm Pearl paint, and a set of dealer-installed all-weather floor mats, the test truck came in at $44,710.

Test Drive: 2021 Honda Ridgeline HPD

Test Drive: 2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

The PRO Convenience Package also includes heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, while the PRO Premium Package includes leather upholstery and other interior-trim upgrades. There’s good space in the front seats, but the rear seats are a bit cramped for adults, and their seat backs are positioned at an uncomfortably upright angle.

Off-road-oriented gear amounts to all-terrain tires on 17-inch painted alloy wheels (a change in diameter and style from the last-gen PRO-4X); an electronically locking rear differential; Bilstein high-pressure off-road shock absorbers; and skid plates to shield the undersides of the oil pan, fuel tank, and transfer case. In case you miss the bedside “PRO-4X” decal you can still pick this one out of a crowd by its black fender flares and grille. Lava Red tow hooks (their color matches the contrast stitching in the cabin) peek out from either side of the aluminum front skid plate.

What is the Lordstown Endurance Pickup?

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

A rear window with a slide-open center section is standard on all but the base S trim-level Frontier.

The pre-production test truck was enhanced with leather upholstery from the $2790 PRO Premium Package option but cloth is standard. The front seats are now the “Zero Gravity” type intended to help reduce fatigue during longer drives. Other base-price features of the PRO-4X include LED headlights and fog lights, LED interior lighting, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The woefully dated instrument display of the previous Frontier—a truck with roots in 2005—is replaced by a cluster that is bigger, brighter, and more informative. The infotainment touchscreen has grown to nine inches; in the PRO-4X it hosts navigation and an audio system that’s still straightforward to understand and operate, thanks in part to physical volume and tuning knobs. (You can swipe and pinch too, if you’re feeling hopelessly modern.) Voice-activated NissanConnect remote services and a newly available Wi-Fi hotspot are included as well.

First Look: 2022 Ford Maverick

Test Drive: 2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

The PRO Convenience Package decks out the Frontier’s bed with a spray-in bedliner, 120V power outlet, Nissan’s “Utili-track cargo management system with four adjustable tie-down cleats, and under-rail bed lighting.

There’s more available for the tech lover like the wireless charging and overhead-view monitor with moving-object detection that are components of the PRO Convenience Package. However, it is a little distressing that all safety-enhancing driver aids—even blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alerts—require ponying up for the Technology Package option.

Test Drive: 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid

Test Drive: 2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

The Frontier’s gutsy 310-hp 3.8-liter V6 debuted for 2020 and carries over for 2022. Seventeen-inch, dark-finish beadlock-style alloy wheels are included in the PRO Premium Package.

Specs for the powerteam are unchanged since its debut. The V6 still generates 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque, and it performs well with the 9-speed automatic. All in all, the ’22 Frontier is a fairly quick and responsive truck that’s eager off the line and likably quiet. Towing capacity for the PRO-4X is 6290 pounds. In normal commuting without a load the test truck averaged 19.4 mpg from this driver’s 66.9-mile stint that was 61 percent city-style operation. EPA projections for this model are 17 mpg in city driving, 22 on the highway, and 19 combined.

2021 Toyota Tundra, Tacoma, and Sequoia Nightshade Editions

Test Drive: 2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

The PRO-4X logo is liberally applied to the PRO-4x model–on the bedside decals, a badge on the tailgate, and front-seatback embroidery, for example.

The on-road driving experience of this new-generation PRO-4X didn’t strike us as substantially different from before. Even with its specific chassis components it rides fairly well, taking most road cracks and joints in stride, though it can feel a little jittery at highway speeds. Steering is easy and decently responsive.

Interior accommodations are also on a par with the former model. Front-row passenger space remains good and the new-style seats are certainly comfortable. However, rear-seat legroom remains somewhat limited, and while three adults might feasibly occupy the rear seat (thanks in part to an almost-flat floor), they’ll find themselves propped up against an upright seat back that isn’t so luxuriously padded. Large windows provide the driver with excellent all-around vision.

Even at the high end the new Frontier still comes off as more of a worker bee than a queen, with plenty of hard plastic in evidence despite softer touches like a leather-clad steering wheel and leatherette-wrapped console. Improvements to in-cabin storage include a more capacious glovebox and the addition of a storage pouch to the back of the front passenger seat. Space in the console box is still limited, there’s a pull-down central armrest in back, and all four doors have decent storage pockets with bottle holders. Rear seat backs fold flat; alternately, the cushions fold up to reveal floor-level storage bins. Buyers can make it more rough and ready for cargo hauling by adding things like a spray-in bedliner, “Utili-track” side rails with adjustable tie-down cleats, a 120-volt power outlet, and under-rail bed lighting, all of which were parts of the PRO Convenience Package.

The first thorough redo of its compact pickup in a long, long time could have given Nissan the opportunity to change the truck’s familiar uncomplicated nature. It has made it better in terms of updating its tech complement to better serve the needs and expectations of today’s drivers, but they haven’t overdone it or overpriced it.

How Hi-Rail Pickup Trucks Work

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

The Nissan Frontier’s revamp for 2022 doesn’t fix all its shortcomings, but does make it much more competitive against its primary rivals: the Chevy Colorado, Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, and Toyota Tacoma.

Check out the Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X Gallery

(Click below for enlarged images)

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

First Spin: 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

Car Stuff Podcast