The 2020 Nissan Frontier Is Going To Be Weird

The 2020 Nissan Frontier Is Going To Be Weird

Nissan is officially promising that the 2020 Frontier will be “the last of” the current generation pickup, with an all-new model slated for next year. As a sendoff, the final-year second-gen truck will have the upcoming third-gen powertrain. That will either make these 2020s super desirable or a huge pain in the arse to own.

Today’s U.S.-market Frontier, the D40 second generation, has been sold since 2004 and architecturally isn’t all that different from the earlier D22 it replaced. The best spec for 2019 has a V6 engine good for a claimed 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. You can even pair that with four-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission, though the five-speed automatic option is a lot more popular. There was also a four-cylinder bargain-basement model.

The next Frontier, according to Nissan’s press release, is only going to have one engine pick: a 3.8-litre direct-injection gasoline V6 claiming 310 HP and 281 lb-ft of torque, paired with a nine-speed automatic. “Two-wheel drive or four” will be the only choice left, there.

No fuel economy claims have been posted yet but if it’s not significantly better than the current truck’s 23-mpg highway max, Nissan’s engineers will have wasted a lot of time.

So I guess that means the 2020 truck is going to be a one-year-only second-gen body with the third-gen engine. If you want the new propulsion system but like the old (ancient) design, now’s your chance! It just might be a little annoying when you’re parts shopping later and constantly have to double-check what’s compatible.