It’s finally time to put the all-new 2022 Nissan Frontier to a real-world driving test and break down the new truck’s pricing. This time we are towing a 5,600 lbs boat and trailer in the Utah mountain at the Nissan first drive event.
The all-new 2022 Frontier has a starting price of $27,840 before destination charges. This starting price for a 2022 King cab 2WD Frontier is a bit higher than the outgoing truck’s starting price of $27,190. Naturally, you get a fully redesigned truck with many standard features. Here is the new starting price breakdown by trim level.
|King Cab||Crew Cab|
|SV Long Bed (2WD)||$34,040|
|SV Long Bed (4×4)||$37,040|
Nissan says that the new truck’s frame closely resembles the previous version, and many of the suspension attachment points have been reworked for the latest suspension geometry and tuning. The new truck’s stability is further aided with a sway bar setup.
I can attest to the quality of the new suspension tuning. The 2022 Frontier SV and PRO-4X models that I drove on the highway showed a solid and comfortable ride that is more characteristic of a midsize unibody SUV and not a body-on-frame midsize truck. It gets down to the tuning of the shocks and the tire selection. Nissan did their homework here to make sure this is a comfortable truck to drive.
What happens when the truck is loaded near its payload and towing capacities? Nissan provided a boat & trailer for us to figure this out. The total trailer weight is around 5,600 lbs, according to Nissan. While the 2022 Frontier has a maximum towing rating of 6,720 lbs and a maximum payload of 1,610 lbs – the loaded crew cab PRO-4X truck we used for towing had a payload capacity close to 1,100 lbs. Assuming that the trail is pushing on the truck with about 560 lbs plus Roman and me in the cab – we were getting mighty close to the maximum payload rating of this PRO-4X truck.
The truck’s suspension still worked very well under this load. There was absolutely no trailer sway on our short drive. We decided to push the truck further by climbing up and descending a side highway with an 8% grade. This is one steep stretch of highway. The Frontier’s 3.8-liter V6 had plenty of power to make this climb. The engine is rated at 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. The 9-speed automatic transmission helped put the power to the pavement. The 2022 Frontier has a designated Towing Mode. We descended the same highway (with the Tow mode still engaged). The transmission provided grade shifting and helped to slow down the truck. I never felt like I needed to use the brakes excessively. Keep in mind the boat trailer we used had mechanical sure brakes that actuate during a descend like this one.
The 2022 Frontier does not come with an integrated brake controller from the factory or as an accessory. The truck is prewired for it, so an aftermarket controller can be easily installed. Still, I would have preferred to have an optional factory trailer brake controller.
Our first impressions are very positive. We cannot wait to get the new 2022 Frontier to Colorado for more thorough testing and evaluation. We plan to do 0-60 MPH, loaded and empty MPG tests, Ike Gauntlet™ – world’s toughest towing test, off-road trail runs, and more.
Check out our full driving review at the TFLtruck Youtube channel.