The Nissan Frontier has been largely unchanged since it launched in 2005. The antiquated midsize pickup had been following the fate of its segment, which was also completely stagnant until recent years. However, with a revived Ford Ranger and the new Jeep Gladiator, Nissan is seeing the need for a new Frontier.
Automotive News is reporting a few more details on the new Frontier, including the disappointing news that it is not expected to get a new platform. Instead, citing sources familiar with the company’s decisions, AN reports the next Frontier will use the extremely dated F-Alpha chassis the current Frontier is built atop.
What makes this decision a bit of a head-scratcher is the fact Nissan has a much newer midsize pickup architecture that underpins the global Navara. Why Nissan isn’t opting for that chassis isn’t entirely known, but assumably the newer chassis would drive up the cost of the Frontier, especially since that architecture has never been federalized in the U.S.
Leveraging the old chassis definitely suggests Nissan will position the next Frontier as a lower cost option to the rather pricing competition, more specifically the new Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator.
The new Frontier is expected to debut late in 2020 as a 2021 model year vehicle. Reports suggest the Frontier will have a very futuristic design strategy and be powered by an all-new 3.0-liter V-6 with around 300 horsepower.
Will a heavily updated Frontier on the old platform be enough for the Frontier to stay competitive? Time will tell, but anything is better than the current circa-2005 model.