Nissan has updated the Frontier Pro-4x significantly for the 2022 model year. Getting the most they could out of their tooling, Nissan kept the Frontier running for 17 years in one single generation. At last we have received a new generation Frontier for 2022, albeit with an old frame.
Be sure to check out the video reviews at the end!
Everything is different on the exterior of the truck from the previous generation. Up front the grill is bigger and bolder than ever before. Of course the Pro-4x has red accents in the badges and tow hooks to display it’s off-road prowess. The lower front bumper angles up significantly near the corners to allow the tires more direct access to the terrain.
Moving down the side, the 2022 Frontier Pro-4x has much more angular lines than in the past. The wheel wells are somewhat squared off, much like GM pickup trucks. The black plastic fender flares and body creases add beauty lines that break up an otherwise large and flat surface. 17-inch black split 6-spoke wheels accent the rest of the truck nicely. Connecting the truck to the ground are 265/70/R17 Hancook Dynapro AT2s. These are a great set of all terrain tires with the 3-peak snowflake rating for snow and ice.
Around back we see the bed has “FRONTIER” stamped into the lower portion. Large taillights wrap around into the side of the bed in a stylish angular shape.
Inside the bed we find the tie down tracks that Nissan is known for. Additionally there are LED lights and a couple of extra tie down points near the rear of the bed. On the passenger side of the bed there is a 120-volt, 400W outlet.
Inside the New Frontier Pro-4x
The inside of the 2022 Frontier feels modern, high quality, and basic. It has heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, and a wireless charger. These features are all included in the convenience and pro packages.
The buttons and controls for, well pretty much everything, are easy to read and reach. Of course, the most commonly used features can be controlled from the steering wheel.
A very clear 9-inch infotainment touch screen greatly modernizes the feel of the interior. At the bottom of that screen are knobs for audio controls and buttons for other features like maps, camera, and menus.
The center arm rest is small but has some storage inside and a 12-volt outlet. Additional charging for the front can be done from the two USB ports just above the wireless charging pad. For charging in the rear seats there is a 120-volt outlet and two more USB ports.
In our opinion the 2022 Frontier Pro-4x is one of the, if not the, best driving midsize trucks on the market. While the engine and transmission were updated for the 2020 model year Frontier, they were really made to pair with the fully updated model.
Nissan’s venerable 4.0-liter V6 was replaced by a 3.8-liter V6 with the same torque but nearly 50 more horsepower. The torque does come in a little bit higher in the rev range with the 3.8 than it did in the 4.0, however the new 9-speed transmission would have you think it was the other way around. Even at freeway speeds the Frontier Pro-4x moves along at a smooth and consistent speed, unlike some competitors.
Nissan’s new 9-speed automatic, downsized from Titan’s model, is a wonderful unit. It has smooth and firm shifts, knows what gear to be in, and when to be in it. Across the whole driving range we never found any issues with the 9-speed. It holds gears just fine at freeway speeds, until you need it to downshift, then it does and goes right to the next gear. There is no hesitation or delay in shifts.
The ride can be a little stiff from the rear suspension when the truck is empty. Putting a couple hundred pounds of gear in the back will smooth it out nicely. Around town the truck is nimble and easy to park. It has grown over the previous generation, but is still smaller than some other midsizers.
Off-Road in the Frontier Pro-4x
Pro-4x trimmed Nissan’s have long been very capable off-road vehicles. They come with a locking rear differential for added traction. Also, all 4wd Nissan trucks come with ABLS, which is Nissan’s very capable brake based traction aid. The 2022 Frontier Pro-4x is no different.
On our high speed off-road test section the Frontier remains composed over the bumps and dips. It was able to reach and exceed our 20 mph goal over most of the track. While it’s not a Tacoma TRD Pro competitor, it is a very stable high speed platform.
On the small articulation hill, the Frontier Pro-4x performed very well. In 4wd high the computer allows for a lot of wheel spin before ABLS intervenes. This is exactly what is needed for sand, mud, and snow. Shifting into 4wd low, ABLS kicks in quickly and is very aggressive, making the climb a breeze. Engaging the rear locker nearly eliminated all slipping. All of this was made easier due to the good amount of articulation, especially from the rear axle. This makes for good low speed crawling over technical obstacles.
On the steep hill climb the Frontier was able to summit the hard line in 4wd high but with a lot of work. Having the extra gearing of 4wd low and the more aggressive ABLS setting made climbing the steep hill easy. Add in the rear locker and it wasn’t even a challenge.
Coming back down the hill, the 54.4:1 crawl ratio does a wonderful job of keeping the 2022 Frontier Pro-4x under control. Having a low crawl ratio is a much safer way to descend than using the brakes. When using the brakes it is typical of the front wheels to lock up. This hurts steering and maneuverability and can make for a scary descent.
The 2022 Frontier Pro-4x has a starting price of $37,240. Our test model was equipped with the Tech Package ($990), Pro Convenience Package ($1,990), Pro Premium Package ($2,790), and floor mats ($155). Adding in the destination fee of $1,150 the total MSRP comes to $44,315. Compared to other midsize trucks we’ve tested the Frontier Pro-4x comes in at a lower price than the 2021 Ford Ranger Lariat FX4 and Tremor, 2021 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and 2021 Chevy Colorado ZR2. In fact the only midsize truck we’ve tested that comes in at a lower price was the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 at $42,585.
Wrapping Up the 2022 Frontier Pro-4x
Some say the Frontier isn’t a fancy truck. Some say it hasn’t done anything revolutionary. To both those groups of people, you are correct. However, if you’re looking for a dependable truck that drives great on the highway and can still off-road very well, then the Frontier Pro-4x is the best in the midsize class. Sales certainly do not reflect where this truck sits on the midsize truck performance leaderboard. Next time you go looking for a mid-size truck, test drive the Frontier. It will change your mind.
Review and Off-Road Test Videos
Matthew Barnes is an experienced towing expert. He works as a mechanical engineer and his day job involves testing a variety of vehicles while towing trailers of all types and sizes. Matt shares his knowledge by writing for automotive news outlets in the evenings. When he’s not working he can be found spending time in the great outdoors with his family. He enjoys camping, hiking, canyoneering, and backpacking. Whenever possible he spends time riding in or on any power sports vehicle he can find and claims he can drive anything with a motor, which probably isn’t true.