Despite its lack of updates over the years, the Nissan Frontier has remained a popular midsize pickup truck among drivers. This vehicle is scheduled for a complete redesign next year, and many would say it is overdue. Still, it is not all bad news. The impressive new powertrain setup that Nissan introduced last year has many fans, and the predicted reliability rating is hard to beat. Overall, the 2021 Nissan Frontier is worth taking the time to learn about.
A V6 engine paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission powers the 2021 Frontier. The output is 310-horsepower, which makes merging and passing on the highway an easy task. Despite this amount of power, the engine is quiet, and the suspension absorbs most bumps. In fact, one of the most appealing things about the Frontier is its ride.
The Frontier is a truck available with rear-wheel and four-wheel drive. If buyers stick with the rear-wheel, they can expect 18mpg in the city and 24mpg on the highway. Four-wheel-drive models do almost as well, managing 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. These are not the best numbers found in the midsize pickup class. They are close enough to make the Frontier worth considering nonetheless.
The entry-level model of the 2021 Frontier has a respectable amount of tech features for a work truck. It comes with Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, a 7-inch touchscreen, and a single USB port. When drivers look at higher trim levels, the Frontier gains extras like satellite radio, navigation, and one of several available audio upgrades. The most impressive option is a 10-speaker setup from Rockford Fosgate.
There are two cab styles to choose from. The King Cab is available on the S and the SV trim levels and can seat up to four. Option number two, a Crew Cab, is available on all three of the 2021 Nissan Frontier models. It can seat up to five. Both rows of seats are spacious in either cab, and the driver can enjoy excellent forward visibility.
If buyers want a long bed, which for the Frontier measures in at six-foot and one-inch, they will have to choose the King Cab and the SV trim level. Neither the S nor Pro-4X trims give drivers this option. The five-foot bed is considered standard with either cab style.
Inside the cabin, there are plenty of nooks and crannies for storing small items. No matter which bed length drivers choose, it will be three feet and eight inches wide. The result is enough space for the daily towing and hauling needs of most people. Select models can also be had with the Utili-track C-channel that Nissan offers. It includes heavy-duty tie-downs that inspire more confidence when securing loads.
The 2021 Frontier is beginning to look and feel a bit dated. This does not mean it is lacking in quality, however. There are not too many plastics and everything seems sturdy, which is exactly what most drivers want from a no-nonsense truck. The layout is functional and everything is easy to reach as well. If buyers want more soft-touch surfaces, they may want to wait until the 2022 model.
Things are relatively simple when it comes to the 2021 Nissan Frontier's trim levels. The entry-level S is respectably equipped, coming with a nice list of standard technology features, push-button start, keyless entry, and either four or six speakers, depending on the cab style.
In the middle of the list is the SV. It gains a sliding rear window, power-adjustment for the side windows, and nicer cloth for the upholstery. This trim is also available with what Nissan calls the Value Truck package, which includes dual-zone automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, heated front seats, and the available Utili-track C-channel system.
The off-road-oriented Pro-4X sits on top of the trim list. Here, buyers find skid plates, a front tow hook, upgraded shocks, and more to help make it more capable when off the pavement. This model also comes with many of the features included in the Value Track package. It is worth noting that the touchscreen goes down to 5.8-inches, but the infotainment system gains satellite radio and navigation.In a world with many trucks to consider, the 2021 Nissan Frontier may struggle to stand out. That said, it is a powerful and reliable truck, which is all that many buyers need to hear. Those in the market for a new vehicle will want to do themselves a favor and give this one a test drive.
Formula for Calculating Dealer Cost:
Total Dealer Cost - Rebate and Incentive + Taxes / Licensing Fees = True Dealer Cost. (You can get rebates and incentives here)
Note: All Nissan Frontier MSRP, invoice and dealer cost dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.
A note about rebates: Most rebates are subtracted from the "on the road" figure. In most cases, you can have the rebate if you are arranging your own financing or you are paying cash. If you decide to use the manufacturer’s low interest financing, you do not usually get the rebate. Ask your dealer for details.