Next Nissan Frontier Will Be “A Real Truck”

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Next Nissan Frontier Will Be “A Real Truck”

Nissan is amped about the emerging battle going on in the midsize pickup truck market, a segment that it’s been in for years. 

But the recent activity in the segment with the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon and updated Toyota Tacoma has spilled to the Nissan Frontier as well, with its sales increasing by 47 percent last year.

However, midsize truck shoppers will definitely notice the Frontier’s distinct lack of modern touches in comparison to the competition. The truck has been riding on the same platform since 2005, internally called the D40.

Nissan actually has a far more up-to-date midsize truck for markets outside North America. Called the Navara, it features a newer platform that could easily work as a Frontier replacement; that is, if Nissan North America thinks it’s up to the task.

See Also: 2017 New York Auto Show Coverage

“The Frontier has a future. Trucks are in our DNA, we’ve been doing them for a long time,” said Christian Meunier, senior vice president at Nissan North America during a roundtable discussion at the New York Auto Show. “We’ll do something better than the Navara,” he said, adding that the Navara is a bit more of a lifestyle vehicle, “like a Honda Ridgeline.”

“We like real trucks,” he added.

A major  element to Nissan’s truck strategy has come with the addition of Mitsubishi Motors to the Renault-Nissan alliance. Nissan acquired Mitsubishi Motors back in October for a whopping $2.3 billion and one of the areas in which the brands can collaborate is trucks. Mitsubishi, like Nissan, has a strong truck presence in overseas markets, with a reputation for tough, rugged vehicles. “It’s in our DNA,” Meunier repeated, while suggesting the pickup truck expertise  could be shared between the two brands of the alliance.

Discuss this story on our Nissan Frontier Forum

  • Perry F. Bruns

    The Honda Ridgeline is a decent truck, but if Nissan were serious, it would go after the strengths of the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado (now that the latter has a proper engine), and the refinement of the Ridgeline. To me, the Ridgeline is more like an open-backed Honda Pilot than it is a full-on pickup.

  • JupiterDog

    Tacoma sells well, that’s it. It’s a brutal truck, junk. GM offerings is nice.

  • Dane Tessler

    I have a ’13 Frontier SV Crew Cab that has given me 90K trouble free miles so far. It tows my trailers, hauls my junk and takes a pounding on mountain dirt roads without complaint. The vehicle is nimble enough to be enjoyable in the city or on the Interstate, and the proven 4.0 six-banger has more than adequate power and torque. It has done everything I have needed it to do and then some. That makes it a “real” truck for me.

  • Dave

    The Toyata Tacoma is a truck especially made for the U.S. market because they knew they could sell a “softer” truck to us silly americans and we would eat it up. Especially now, when all they change on it is to make it look more like a brute. Nissan has never done such a thing, their Frontier is the same prettymuch world-wide although it is called different things.

  • Dave

    The comments by the Nissan exec are actually very disturbing. I don’t know how he thinks that the NP300 is some sort of “soft” truck. It is quite rugged. My guess is that they are going to try and “dumb-down” the NP300 to make it cheaper to build and then alter it’s styling to make it more “manly” for the U.S. market. They’ll probably actually end up making it much softer. I sure hope not. They need to bring this thing to the U.S. market virtually unchanged. Too bad that probably won’t happen.

  • BahamaTodd

    That is usually the case. The US Colorado and Tacoma are larger and softer than their global counterparts. Glabal trucks usually have over 2000 lbs of payload (the Navarra has up to 2400 lbs) which results in a stiff ride. They also have more utilitarian interiors.

  • Perry F. Bruns

    The Colorado/Canyon isn’t too bad now with the current powertrain.

    Good or bad, the Tacoma DOES sell much better than the current Nissan Frontier, and much better than the Honda Ridgeline.

  • Peter Caplen

    Do the Frontiers snap in half like the European Navara’s are now doing?

  • Peter Caplen

    Do the Frontiers snap in half like the European Navara’s are now doing?

  • Nathan

    I think the next logical step for the Frontier is a diesel option. Though I don’t personally desire it / need it, it could have a great impact in the small haul community. The 4.0L does great, but imagine how nice a Cummins would do.