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Old Frontier vs New Frontier: How Nissan's 2022 truck compares to the last-gen model

The Nissan Frontier has been redesigned for 2022.,

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The long-awaited next-generation Nissan Frontier is almost here. As other midsize trucks found themselves caught up in the battle over off-road prowess, aesthetics, and capability, the Frontier has continued on as a steady and perfectly fine, budget-friendly model for the last decade. Most of that is about to change.

The 2022 Nissan Frontier was introduced today showing off beefier looks, a robust engine, and modern design inside and out. Below, we've taken a closer look at the new truck and compared it to the outgoing model.

Exterior

2022 2020 Nissan Frontier front side

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The changes to the Frontier from generation to generation are drastic. The new model features Titan-inspired design while the old model was more like the original Rogue in its aesthetic. Nissan describes the new truck and "thick" and "rugged".

The new Frontier is five inches longer than the old, with most of that coming up front. The cab is mostly unchanged but the bed is taller and the belt line has been raised to shine light at just the right angle to make those who see it think of it as beefy.

Nissan's hallmark V-Motion grille is nowhere to be found on this new model. Instead we have a honeycomb grille with Nissan's new logo front and center. Shown first in the PRO-4X grade, the grille is blacked out with Lava Red accents on the logo.

The last-gen Frontier was only available with halogen headlights. At least on the PRO-4X, LED headlights, daytime running lights, and fog lights are standard.

The 2020 Frontier is available in paint colors including Cayenne Red Metallic, Magnetic Black Pearl, Gun Metallic, Brilliant Silver Metallic, Glacier White, and Arctic Blue Metallic. A new paint palette will be available on the new model. New Tactical Green Metallic and Boulder Gray Pearl join Glacier White, Gun Metallic, Super Black, Red Alert, Cardinal Red Metallic TriCoat, Deep Blue Pearl and Baja Storm for 2022.

Models

2021 vs 2022 Nissan Frontier pro-4x

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2021 Frontier is sold in S, SV, and PRO-4X variants. Other Nissan have SL, Platinum, and Platinum Reserve grades. For the 2022 model year, Nissan will continue the trend, offering the Frontier in just three trim levels: S, SV, and PRO-4X. The PRO-4X grade comes with a unique equipment list that makes it especially capable off road.

Frame

The frame is the same. Nissan wishes to remind you that it has continued to update the frame over the course of the last-generation Frontier's life. The chassis is the same too. However, the powertrain, steering, and suspension have been freshly tuned.

Nissan relays that new hydraulic cab mounts reduce road vibration by 80 percent over the outgoing generation, while class-exclusive urethane jounce bumpers provide improved damping for a smoother ride.

Bed

A 5-foot bed is standard on all Crew Cab models, with a 6-foot bed optional on Crew Cab SV Long Wheelbase models. A 6-foot bed is also standard on all King Cab models.

Powertrain

2020 Nissan Frontier Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

When the 2020 Frontier debuted, it was said that the 3.8-liter V6 under its hood was the engine of the next-gen truck. Nissan didn't lie. The 2022 Frontier has the same engine, which is rated at 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. It's the only engine Nissan will sell in the truck, making it he most powerful base engine you can get in a midsize pickup.

The engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Nissan says, "With an expanded lockup area, a new high-response electro-hydraulic system, long input shaft and a 99 percent wider gear range (versus the previous Frontier five-speed design), the transmission offers quick, crisp and direct shift response throughout the entire gear range."

Drivetrain

A two- or four-wheel drive Frontier was the option in the last-generation model and it will be the same with the new generation. For the first time, for the 2022 model year the Frontier PRO-4X will be offered with two-wheel drive.

Four-wheel drive 2022 Frontiers receive a shift-on-the-fly system with 2WD/4HI/4LO modes that is operated by an electronically controlled part-time transfer case. This is unchanged from the 2021 model year.

2022 Frontier PRO-4X has an electronic locking differential, the same as the 2021 model. Other 4WD models get a four-wheel limited-slip system. Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control are standard on all four-wheel drive models.

The PRO-4X model also has Bilstein off-road shock absorbers and underbody skid plates.

Towing

Like the last-generation, the new Frontier's towing capacity is rated at up to 6,720 pounds (maximum, when properly equipped). The 2022 models get standard Trailer Sway Control, which is a fresh addition to the equipment roster.

Interior Design

2021 vs 2022 Nissan Frontier interior

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The new Frontier isn't just new outside. Its inside has received an impressive redo as well. Let's face it, the 2021 model is just o-l-d looking. The new one is fresh and funky with one exception. More on that further down.

There is new trim, finishers, and meter accents in the cab that are inspired by adventure gear. The PRO-4X brings Lava Red tones inside where they brighten up an otherwise black cabin.

There's 4.0 liters of center console storage (that's pretty spacious - nearly double what most midsize pickups offer), 5.7 liters of rear-door-pocket storage and 6.5 liters of front-door-pocket storage. Nissan says that there's also storage on the top of the instrument panel.

Nissan has also reduced the noise, vibration, and harshness passed on to passengers by giving the 2022 Frontier improved rear carpet structure, front-door acoustic laminated glass, and standard Zero Gravity seats.

Infotainment

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2021 Nissan Frontier comes standard with a 7-inch infotainment touch screen and has an available 5.8-inch NissanConnect touch screen. A 9-inch infotainment touch screen is standard on all 2022 models. That's the largest screen in the truck's class. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also standard on the new truck.

The instrument panel of the 2021 Frontier was fully analog. In front of the driver of the 2022 model is a largest-in-class 7-inch Advanced Driver Assist Display offers configurable information. Some dials are still analog in the new truck.

Wireless smartphone charging and a Wi-Fi hot spot were not available in the 2021 model but are in the 2022, but only on PRO-4X models.

All 2022 Frontiers get two front USB ports (one Type-A, one Type-C) - the 2021 had just one Type-A port up front. There's still two 12-volt power outlets and Siri Eyes Free. Two new 110-volt outlets are available on the Frontier SV and PRO-4X. Nissan is offering a Fender Premium Audio system with nine-speakers on those models as well. A Fender system was not available on the 2021 truck.

The 2022 Frontier is the first application of Nissan Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Off-Road Mode. The new Off-Road Mode, which is exclusively available on Frontier PRO-4X, functions while the vehicle is moving forward at slow speeds and the 4WD system is in 4LO, ideal for negotiating tight trails without having an external spotter to avoid potential body scrapes or dents.

Safety

One of the biggest changes to Frontier aside from its appearance is its safety technology. Nissan Safety Shield 360 is standard on the Frontier, as it is on many other Nissan models. It includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking.

Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, rear seat occupant alert, and Tire Pressure Monitoring System with Easy Fill Tire Alert are also standard.

Adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and driver alertness technology are all available.

None of these were standard or available on the old truck.

Accessories

2021 Nissan Frontier NISMO

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

More than 85 Nissan and NISMO accessories are approved for the 2022 Frontier, including sports bar, off-road step rails with removable steps, NISMO suspension kit, off-road auxiliary lighting, ladder racks, and tents. More accessories are in development, and additional details will be available closer to the vehicle's on-sale date.

Nissan developed a range of accessories for the 2021 truck, most of which carry over to the new.

The 2022 Nissan Frontier goes on sale this summer.

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The new Civic Hatchback just went on sale.

Honda

The Honda Civic is one of the most popular and well-known cars of any type. Honda keeps refining the Civic formula to the point that it seems hard for the car to get any better, but that's what we're here to talk about. The 2022 model year sees the Civic enter its eleventh generation, and updates for the new model year make the car more upscale, more refined, and safer than ever before. Honda released the Civic Sedan first, but the Hatchback is now on the streets. Both cars are excellent, but we want to take a closer look at the 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback. Here are three things to know about the car.

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback The Civic Hatchback is almost as practical as a small SUV, and it's way more fun to drive. Honda

Cargo Space

Looking at the Civic Hatchback, or any modern Civic for that matter, it's easy to start believing that there's nothing to it - that you can't use it as a proper family car. That isn't the case here, nor is it the case with the 2022 Civic Sedan. The Hatchback starts with 24.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats, and the rear bench folds flat to open up even more room for gear. That's shy of a compact crossover, but better than many subcompact crossovers - and the Civic is infinitely more fun to drive than either. The Honda CR-V, for example, offers 37.6 cubic feet of space behind the second-row seats, but the subcompact HR-V offers just 23.2 cubic feet of space. I know which vehicle I'd rather drive, and it's the Civic Hatchback by miles and miles.


2022 Honda Civic Hatchback Clever design elevates the Civic above its competition.Honda

Refinement and Design

Honda's redesign of the Civic started with the Sedan, which released first. Its interior carries premium feeling materials and a grown-up design that is at odds with the Civic's reasonable price tag. There are several clever design touches like a singular metal grille that runs the length of the dash. The front air vents are concealed behind it and feature thoughtfully designed control knobs. It's a detail that isn't seen in other cars at this price point, and it's one that elevates the Civic from a budget car to one that feels special.

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback All Civics come packed with safety tech.Honda

Safety Features and Crash Test Scores

The Honda Civic Sedan and Hatchback both earned Top Safety Pick + awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Vehicles earn the honor by scoring "Good," "Advanced," or "Superior" in all categories, including headlights. On top of that, Honda equips the cars with plenty of advanced driver aids, including forward collision warnings, lane departure warnings, collision mitigation braking, and road departure mitigation. Blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control are available in higher trims.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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