Official: The 2020 Nissan Frontier is Not All-New, But The Engine Is! Also, No More Manual Transmission (News Video)

This new engine is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission.

2020 nissan frontier
2020 Nissan Frontier

We have been waiting for official new Nissan Frontier news for a long time, and we finally have a big piece of the puzzle. The 2020 Nissan Frontier will be largely the same truck it is now, but it will have an all-new 3.8-liter gas V6 engine and a 9-speed automatic transmission. On the flip side, the current 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, the 4.0-liter V6, and the manual transmission are all being discontinued. 

What’s the story with the all-new 2021 Nissan Frontier? Nissan says the all-new truck is coming, and it will have the new 3.8-liter V6 under the hood as well.

2020 Nissan Frontier

Here are all of the specifications that we know about the all-new 3.8-liter V6. Nissan rates it at a class-leading 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. The new engine uses direct injection to deliver its power. Nissan says this engine is not related to any other engine in the Nissan portfolio. It uses 93% new parts when compared to the older V6 engine. Nissan also says the engine is meant to be a hard working truck engine, and it may be used in other Nissan vehicles. There is no announcement as to which other vehicle may see this new V6.

The engine is backed up by a new 9-speed automatic transmission, that is very similar to the one that is now also used in the 2020 Nissan Titan and Titan XD trucks. This will be the only transmission available. Nissan says the new transmission offers a far greater gear range, better shift quality, and it is quieter than the outgoing 5-speed automatic transmission.  The 2020 truck is gaining 49 horsepower and a new transmission. It should make it considerably quicker than ever before.

You may be wondering about the new truck’s fuel efficiency? Nissan states that new power train makes the 2020 Frontier approximately 10% more efficient than the outgoing model.  The 2019 Frontier 2WD automatic is EPA rated at 16 city / 23 hwy / 19 comb MPG. The 2019 Frontier 4×4 automatic is EPA rated at 15 city / 21 hwy / 17 comb MPG. If the new powertrain is 10% more efficient, then the new truck could get a combined rating of 18 or 19 MPG. This is approximately on par with the other midsize trucks on the market. The 2020 Toyota Tacoma V6 4×4 automatic is rated at 20 MPG combined.

The 2020 Frontier is getting several other updates. All 2020 trucks are getting push-button start, power door locks, power windows, manually tilting steering wheel, and a leather trimmed gear shift knob. The 2020 Frontier will be available in King Cab and crew cab configurations.  It will available with 2WD or 4×4. The King Cab will be offered in S and SV grades. The crew cab will be available in S, SV short bed, SV long bed, and PRO-4X grades. The PRO-4X truck will only be offered in a crew cab with a short bed.

Nissan says, the 2020 Nissan Frontier will be available for sale in the Spring of 2020. Nissan did not announce pricing or official EPA fuel economy ratings at this time.

You can also get all the details on the updated 2020 Frontier and a 1,000,000 mile 2007 Nissan Frontier at our TFLnow Youtube channel.