2017 Nissan Frontier Diesel – It Was About Time

2017 Nissan Frontier – WHERE THE TECH MEETS THE TRUCK!

We’re not strangers to the Nissan Frontier. We’ve covered it before and we’re sure you would have seen a few of them driving around. The current generation Frontier (second generation) has been in production since 2004. That’s twelve years of what’s basically, the same truck in 2016. Yes, it did receive a minor facelift back in 2011 but the facelift was mostly cosmetic. Now don’t get us wrong, the Frontier is still a great vehicle. It does what it’s supposed to do perfectly but after 12 years, we think it’s time to give it a small upgrade at least. It’s getting a bit long in the tooth now and while to competition has changed platforms, bodies and engines several times now, Nissan is still basically on the first one.

Changes @ 2017 Nissan Frontier

Well, we have great news. As some of you might know, the Titan pickups have received a big update in the last year or so. The Titan and specifically Titan XD are brand new trucks for 2017. Once they roll out of the assembly line and Nissan is done modifying and perfecting them, they will turn their attention to the Frontier. The weird thing here is that the new Nissan Frontier is basically already in production, and has been for almost a year now.

2017 Nissan Titan XD; Source:
2017 Nissan Titan XD; Source:

Well, how is that possible you might ask? You see, the new Frontier will be effectively the NP300 Navara renamed to a Frontier. The Navara has been on sale in other markets around the world with much newer looks, an updated engine, and interior. The only market holding on to the older Frontier was the U.S. The Navara will get a few modifications for the U.S. before it’s renamed into Frontier to comply with American regulations and laws but it should be almost exactly the same. Read on to find out more about the upcoming Frontier.

2016 Nissan Narava NP300; Source:
2016 Nissan Narava NP300; Source:

Nissan Frontier 2017 Exterior Design

Much like the global Chevrolet Colorado gave insight into the U.S.-spec Colorado, the Navara should be a preview of what the Frontier will look like. We do expect it to be slightly altered due to NHTSA regulations as well as U.S. appeal, it should be instantly recognizable as what it is, the new Frontier. Much like its predecessor, it will come in two cab configurations: the King Cab which is smaller and the large Double Cab.

The King Cab will have suicide rear doors just behind the main ones (they open backward), while the Double Cab will have standard four doors for easier access because it’s larger. Although a Single Cab option will probably not happen, Nissan should definitely offer it because they would be the only manufacturer to offer a single cab midsize truck. Nissan if you’re reading this, we just gave you a pro tip free of charge. Go ahead and make a single cab.

2017 Nissan Frontier Spy Photo; Source:
2017 Nissan Frontier Spy Photo; Source:

At the front, there’s a chromed grille with some more chrome down at the lower fascia. The foglights mounts have been changed too and they’ve now finished in dark chrome while the tow hooks and short air dam gives the Frontier an off-road capable appearance. At the back, we expect to find the assisted tailgate as well as the backup camera.

2017 Nissan Frontier Spy Photo; Source:
2017 Nissan Frontier Spy Photo;

A standard step bumper might be installed on the Frontier and a trailer hitch receiver with integrated wiring connections should be optional just for the Frontier. The innovative cargo bed technology will surely see the light of day in the Frontier. This means in-bed cargo rails (the floor and the sidewalls), tie-downs throughout the bed and LED lights. Optional extras should be the toolboxes, bed dividers, and bed extenders.

2017 Nissan Frontier Interior Design

The outside changes are great, but it was the utilitarian and basic interior of the Frontier that we had an issue with. It was too simple and too plasticky. The Navara’s interior is a car like because most of the parts used are from a Sentra and other Nissan road cars. Now we do understand the theme of the Frontier and it is ruggedness, but a bit of refinement never hurt anyone.

2017 Nissan Frontier interior spy photo; Source:
2017 Nissan Frontier interior spy photo; Source:

Although the Navara’s interior is too, how do we say it, sophisticated for the Frontier, we do expect the Frontier to receive some of the parts from the Navara with added Frontier flare and design. This means a more brutish and rugged cabin with bigger knobs, wheels, and buttons.

Under the Hood

The hood will likely house some of the Navara’s engine options but we’re not sure if all. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder can make a comeback with more power and efficiency but in all likelihood, the U.S. won’t see the 2.5. Instead, we could be seeing a Nissan-Cummins partnership which would put a 2.8 liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel under the Frontier’s hood. No details on the exact engine so we can only speculate as to how much power and torque it will have but it should offer more than 200 hp and 250 lb-ft.

The petrol side of things should be taken care of by a V6 engine option. The current 4.0 liter V6 should be able to pass emissions and get an increase in efficiency as well as power with some fine tuning. The flagship model might be equipped with a 5.6 liter V8 from the second-gen Titan XD. Although it’s not the newest or most sophisticated engine out there the reworked version of it will do just fine.

2015 Nissan Titan XD Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel

The seven-speed automatic will be an option with the Frontier with the six-speed manual taking the place as the standard transmission. It would be great if we could get all of the engine choices mated to the manual six-speed but in all likelihood, only the base four-cylinders will have it. An electronic two-speed transfer case will be in charge of the 4WD system, only sending power to the front wheels if the driver chooses to do so. The electronic locking rear diff will remain standard on the PRO-4X models.

2017 Nissan Frontier Price

The current 2015 Frontier starts at $18k for the King Cab and $25k for the double cab. If those prices are anything to go by, expect the new Frontier to be up by $1k and $3k for the King and Double cabs respectively.

You can also see some renderings of 2018 Nissan Frontier.


Take a look at the 2016 Nissan Frontier while we wait for the new one to come out.

Nissan Frontier 2017
Dimensions And Weight
Wheelbase 125,9 inch; 3198 mm
Length 205,5 inch; 5220 mm
Height 70,1 in; 1781 mm
Width 72,8 in; 1849 mm
Weight 3,708 to 4,725 lbs
Engine And Transmission
Engine type DOHC 16V I4, direct fuel injection turbocharged diesel
Displacement 2.8-liter
Power/torque 200 hp and 350 lb-ft
Transmission 8-speed automatic
0-60 mph 8,5 sec
Top speed 105 mph
PRICE RANGE: starting at $20,000 (est)
Competitors: Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado

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