New Truck

Next-gen 2022 Nissan Frontier debuts with beefy exterior, big safety improvements

The 2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X is the first example of the new model that Nissan showed off today.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The current Nissan Frontier has been more or less the same truck since the last Bush administration, but its age and simplicity haven't stopped them from commercial success. The 2022 Frontier is here, and the (almost) all-new truck represents a significant step forward for both the nameplate and Nissan's truck business.

The 2022 Frontier will be offered in a wide range of trims and configurations. King Cab models will be available in both two- and four-wheel drive, and either S or SV trims. Crew Cab trucks can be had with two- or four-wheel drive and in S, SV standard bed, SV long bed, and PRO-4X trims. A new PRO-X trim joins the Frontier lineup with 2WD only.

The powertrain has been battle-tested by customers for a couple years now, as it first debuted in the 2020 model-year Frontier. The 3.8-liter V6 produces a class-best 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. It comes paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission that Nissan says was developed specifically for U.S. buyers.

2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Elsewhere, Frontier four-wheel drive models will continue to have a shift-on-the-fly 4WD system with three modes that are operated by an electronically-controlled part-time transfer case. The trucks are available with a four-wheel limited-slip system that helps transfer traction to the wheels that need the most grip. The off-road oriented PRO-4X model builds on that foundation with an electronic locking differential, Bilstein off-road shocks, and underbody skid plates.

The Frontier's cabin has been overhauled with an eye on utility, function, and versatility. The centerpiece is a new 9-inch touchscreen that runs Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As standard equipment, the new display ranks at the top of the Frontier's class, and will be joined by a 7.0-inch driver information display in the gauge cluster. Nissan also says that it has added better sound insulation and upgraded carpet to reduce road noise, and notes that its excellent Zero Gravity seats are standard in all Frontier models.

Where the previous Frontier has felt long in the tooth for years, the new truck will sit on the cutting edge of both entertainment and safety tech. Standard features like two USB ports, that large touchscreen, and several power outlets will keep passengers charged and connected, while available features such as a wireless smartphone charging pad and a WiFi hotspot add to the party.

The Frontier will get Nissan's Safety Shield 360 technology, which includes forward collision warnings and an advanced tire pressure monitoring system as standard, but adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and more can be added.

Pricing details haven't yet been released, but Nissan says there will be more information as the truck nears its on-sale date in summer 2021. Around the same time, the automaker will announce more than 85 accessories for the truck, including sports bars, step rails, suspension kits, and more.

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Updated premium crossover

2022 Infiniti QX50 picks up new standard features

The new QX50 gets more tech and safety features.

Infiniti

Infiniti is one of a handful of automakers that have continued developing and building cars instead of focusing only on higher-profit and much more popular SUVs and trucks. That said, Infiniti's catalog is crossover- and SUV-heavy. Its smallest and least expensive crossover, the QX50 gets a handful of new features for 2022, and today Infiniti announced pricing.

Infiniti offers the 2022 QX50 in five trims: $40,025 Pure, $43,375 Luxe, $47,825 Essential, $52,525 Sensory, and $57,975 Autograph. All trims get Infiniti's variable compression (VC-Turbo) engine that makes 268 horsepower and returns up to 26 mpg combined. The advanced engine shifts its compression ratio to match the driver's behavior. When more power is needed, the compression changes, and when efficiency is the priority, it changes again. It's a marvel of engineering, but it's not as fuel-efficient as a hybrid. Power reaches the front or all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission.

2022 Infiniti QX50 Pricing starts at around $40,000.Infiniti

Beyond the new standard features for 2022, buyers of the new QX50 will have to step up to the Luxe trim to get the most desirable features such as auto-folding exterior side mirrors, power lumbar support, and perforated leather upholstery. Standard comfort gear includes eight-way power front seats, dual-zone climate controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Infiniti stuck with its dual-screen infotainment configuration with the 2022 QX50. The top eight-inch screen handles wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto duties, as well as navigation. The bottom seven-inch screen handles vehicle controls, radio stations, and other settings. Though the system looks great and adds a high-tech feel to the cabin, two screens can be distracting and confusing while driving. The good news is that the QX50 gets an excellent 16-speaker Bose stereo starting with the Luxe trim.

2022 Infiniti QX50 ProPilot Assist and Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are now standardInfiniti

The 2022 QX50 hasn't been crash tested by either major ratings organization yet, but the 2021 model performed well. It earned Good ratings in crash testes and a Superior score for its standard crash prevention systems. The 2022 QX50 comes standard with Infiniti's ProPilot Assist system, which brings advanced adaptive cruise control functions that can center the car in its lane, brake, and accelerate. Other standard tech includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, rear automatic braking, predictive forward collision warnings, and forward automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.


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Electric vehicle concepts

Nissan shows off new concepts and plans for future EVs

Nissan showed off a group of funky concept vehicles at the announcement.

Nissan

Nissan is approaching the release of Ariya, its brand-new EV, but there are plans for much more in the automaker’s near future. Today, the Japanese company announced Nissan Ambition 2030, its plan to develop electrified vehicles and become a more sustainable company. Beyond new vehicles, the roadmap includes investments in battery recycling and charging infrastructure, new battery tech, and more widespread safety technologies.

Nissan Ambition 2030 The automaker plans for 50 percent electrification by 2030.Nissan

Nissan’s plans include 23 new electrified models by 2030. The target covers 15 new EVs and a target of 50 percent electrification. The automaker says it plans to launch a proprietary solid-state battery by 2028, and notes that it will develop a pilot production facility in Yokohama, Japan by 2024. Solid state technologies are not yet commercially viable but will offer faster charging times and better energy densities than lithium ion battery packs.

Nissan Surf-Out Concept Surf-Out is a concept truck with super funky styling.Nissan

While the focus was on the news of its electrification plans, Nissan’s concept vehicles stole the show. The Surf-Out concept truck features a long, low cargo surface and unique all-terrain tires. Typical of concept cars, the Surf-Out’s styling and design are over-the-top. The cabin is surrounded on three sides by glass and open to the bed in the rear. Instead of a grille, there’s a glass panel with an illuminated Nissan logo. It's unlikely Surf-Out or the other concepts shown will make it to production unchanged, but they show that the automaker is looking to explore bold designs with its electrified vehicles.

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