2023 Nissan Frontier: Affordable Price, Great Powertrain

2023 Nissan Frontier combines a great standard powertrain with and a nicely refined interior. Read our full thoughts here.  

What’s New for the 2023 Nissan Frontier?

Nissan adds a Midnight Appearance package with dark trim for the 2023 Frontier SV trim. The SV Crew Cab also gets heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and under-rail bed lighting as standard. The Pro-X and Pro-4X both get wireless Apple CarPlay as standard as well.

2023 Nissan Frontier - nissanusa.com

2023 Nissan Frontier – nissanusa.com |  Shop 2023 Nissan Frontier on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $30,485

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

RWD or FWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

18 City / 24 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

Great engine

Pro-4X off-road capability

Attractive styling

Underwhelming tech

Lack of standard safety aids

No stand out features

A hybrid engine or diesel would be good

2023 Nissan Specs

Trims & Pricing

S - $30,485
SV - $33,185
Pro-X - $37,015
Pro-4X - $40,015

2023 Nissan Frontier Powertrain

2023 Nissan Frontier 3.8L V6 - carsforsale.com
2023 Nissan Frontier 3.8L V6 - carsforsale.com

Despite being ‘all-new’ for the 2022 model year, the 2023 Nissan Frontier’s oldest feature is its 310-hp 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6. It was introduced during the previous generation and continues its tour of duty in this updated Frontier. It’s also the only available powertrain in the Frontier lineup and pairs with a nine-speed automatic gearbox and either rear or four-wheel drive. It might be a bit old-school but it’s also one of the most powerful base powertrains in the segment. For that, we really like it.

During normal everyday tasks, it’s smooth and spunky. We appreciate the improvements to the Frontier’s steering and suspension too. No longer does this midsize truck feel like it’s saddled with antiquated bones. It’s sharper than the old truck and feels more refined than rivals like the Jeep Gladiator or the Ford Ranger. It’s not quite as fun to drive as the GMC Canyon and its twin the Chevy Colorado, but it’s close.

Towing & Payload

2023 Nissan Frontier - nissanusa.com
2023 Nissan Frontier - nissanusa.com

At maximum capacity, the Frontier can handle up to 1,610 pounds of payload. Towing is capped at 6,720 pounds with the rear-wheel drive model. Both of those figures are slightly below the average for the segment. Those who need more pulling power can look to the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, or Jeep Gladiator.

2023 Nissan Frontier Fuel Economy & MPG

When equipped with rear-wheel drive, the Frontier gets an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway. Add four-wheel drive and those figures drop to 17 and 22 respectively. We’ve heard numerous reports that it can beat those figures just slightly if one is light on the throttle though. It’s still far short of some rivals though. The diesel-equipped Jeep Gladiator can get up to 28 mpg on the highway for example.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

The cabin of the Frontier is a gigantic leap forward in terms of design over its predecessor. Gone are many of the super-cheap plastic surfaces in favor of modernized panels, higher-quality materials, and soft-touch surfaces. At the same time, there is room for improvement when it comes to button placement and other features like the tilt-only steering wheel. Thankfully, Nissan still offers outstanding seats, great visibility, and good ride quality in the frontier.

Two body sizes are available. The King Cab features two doors and the Crew Cab has four full-sized doors and seats. Cargo space is provided in the expected spaces in the cabin but there’s also a storage cubby on the dash and under the rear seats. Those who need more can look at a truck like the Honda Ridgeline. Nissan offers two bed sizes, the shorter of which is five feet while the longer one is six feet from front to back. We also like the available bed features like under-rail lighting, adjustable tie-downs, and a spray-in bedliner.

Entertainment & Technology

2023 Nissan Frontier - nissanusa.com
2023 Nissan Frontier - nissanusa.com

The technology situation in the Frontier is mostly good. On the plus side, the infotainment screens, 8-inch standard and 9-inch optional, are both easy to see and understand. On the downside, the user interface doesn’t look very modern or sleek. There are knobs for volume and radio tuning which we appreciate.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay make for a familiar experience for those who prefer them. The sound systems are both good too but we wish the subwoofer on the premium Fender package was located in a space where it didn’t detract from storage. Nissan offers multiple power outlets including a USB-C port as well.

Safety Features

Nissan offers the Frontier with forward collision mitigation as its only standard driver aid. Everything else costs extra. On top of that, neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has released detailed info on the truck’s safety scores. We recommend checking their respective websites for up-to-date information as it’s released. Additional safety tech in the form of adaptive cruise control, rear automatic braking, and more are available as part of Nissan’s Technology package.

2023 Nissan Frontier Trims & Pricing

2023 Nissan Frontier S - nissanusa.com
2023 Nissan Frontier S - nissanusa.com

S – $30,485

The base Frontier comes with 16-inch wheels, cloth upholstery, an 8-inch infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, six speakers, and a tilt-only steering wheel. Forward collision mitigation is the only advanced driver aid. Those who want more safety equipment can add the Technology package to any trim level. It includes rear automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

2023 Nissan Frontier SV - nissanusa.com
2023 Nissan Frontier SV - nissanusa.com

SV – $33,185

Step up to the SV and you’ll get 17-inch wheels and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. Buyers can add a Convenience package that includes dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a trailer hitch with a wiring harness, bed under-rail lighting, adjustable bed tie-down cleats, and two household-style power outlets. A Premium package adds a sunroof, LED headlights, a 10-speaker Fender sound system, and faux leather upholstery.

2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-X - nissanusa.com
2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-X - nissanusa.com

Pro-X – $37,015

The Pro-X trim adds a 9-inch infotainment system, unique badges, integrated navigation, LED fog lights, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bilstein off-road performance shocks, and 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires.

2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X - nissanusa.com
2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X - nissanusa.com

Pro-4X – $40,015

The top trim of the Frontier comes with standard four-wheel drive, a locking rear differential, unique badging, extra skid plates, and access to more packages. The Pro Convenience package adds a wireless device charger and a 360-degree camera system. The Pro Premium package includes leather upholstery and upgraded interior trim.

Warranties

Nissan offers a very basic three-year or 36,000-mile limited warranty with the Frontier. The powertrain is covered for five years or 60,000 miles. That’s pretty much the standard low bar across the segment but only one rival, the Jeep Gladiator, offers better coverage.

What we think

2023 Nissan Frontier - nissanusa.com

2023 Nissan Frontier – nissanusa.com |  Shop 2023 Nissan Frontier on Carsforsale.com

The Nissan Frontier excels as one of the most affordable trucks in this space. Even at its most expensive, it’s still thousands less than some comparably equipped trucks. Add on new-car dealer incentives and it could be even cheaper. At the same time, it’s not a leader in any one specific area. We think it’s perfect for those on a budget in the market for a midsize truck. Those who have the cash to splash might enjoy the Jeep Gladiator or the Honda Ridgeline more though.

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Stephen Rivers

Stephen Rivers is a car enthusiast who loves all things built with passion, extending to nearly all car cultures. After obtaining an occupational studies degree in sports medicine, Stephen turned his attention to sports cars. He was employed as an auto shop manager, spent time in auto sales, and worked as a software developer for a racing company, but Stephen began writing about cars over 10 years ago. When he's not in front of a computer screen, he's racing his own Bugeye Subaru WRX in as many autocross and rallycross competitions as he can.

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