The 2021 Nissan Frontier May Get A $7,000 Price Hike, But Don’t Panic Just Yet (Rumor)

The new engine is why it's more expensive, but it's still less expensive than a V6 Tacoma

2021 Nisan Frontier pricing news
The current-generation Frontier is still on sale, but a new truck should debut later this year. [Photos: Nissan]

When you see the “new” Nissan Frontier, you may scratch your head and wonder exactly how the company could justify any sort of price hike. “It’s the same old truck!,” I hear you shout through your screens. A new truck is coming, though, and CarsDirect has some inside knowledge showing it will be substantially more expensive than the base 2019 truck — $7,000 more expensive, in fact.

Now, that figure looks scary, and it can be if you’re looking for a cheap new truck, but it requires breaking down a little bit. First off, we’re not talking about the 2020 truck here, which is the same old Frontier with a new engine and transmission. Nissan hasn’t announced pricing for that truck either, but don’t expect the V6-powered model to cost $7,000 more than the 2019.

This 2020 Nissan Frontier debuted with a new V-6 and nine-speed transmission, but not much else. We expect a newer truck for 2021. [Photo: Nissan]

The reason the new 2021 Nissan Frontier is allegedly in for a massive price hike is down to Nissan’s decision to possibly drop the four-cylinder model from the lineup. According to the CarsDirect report, initial prices for the 2021 Nissan Frontier show fleet esimates for the V6 model, but nothing else. If Nissan does go that route, it would mean the 3.8-liter V6 would be your only powertrain option, so that naturally increases the entry barrier quite a bit from the old 2.5-liter mill. The report shows the current invoice price as $18,636 for the base Frontier S King Cab.

Taking an apples-to-apples look shows a different picture

By comparison, the internal estimates show the base 2021 Nissan Frontier at $26,280, or $7,644 more. Again, that’s the invoice price, meaning it will be slightly higher (before incentives) on dealer lots. However, the 2020 Toyota Tacoma V6 SR Access (extended) Cab starts at $29,025 before destination. Granted, you can still buy a four-cylinder Tacoma for a bit less, but the V6 provides a more apples-to-apples comparison.

While we’re comparing, the 2021 Nissan Frontier’s 3.8-liter V6 will produce at least 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. That’s quite a bit higher than the Tacoma’s 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, to say nothing of the Frontier’s 9-speed automatic transmission (to the Tacoma’s 6-speed). So, assuming the 2021 Nissan Frontier will run somewhere around $27,000 in terms of retail pricing before destination, it should be competitive with Toyota. A V6-powered Chevrolet Colorado WT starts at $26,285 before destination, while the base Ford Ranger XL runs the cheapest, at $24,410.

MSRPs for the 2021 Nissan Frontier were not listed in the fleet ordering documents, according to CarsDirect. Again, we’ll have to see Nissan announce even 2020 pricing before we get to retail figures on the new truck.

For their part, Nissan did not comment on the internal documents, nor have they announced an official launch date for the 2021 Nissan Frontier. With the recent bout of plant closures, it may not hit dealers until early 2021, but we should have more information on that in the coming months.