Before you get too excited, let us warn you: this is not the Nissan Frontier for the United States. As you may know, Nissan sells a completely different midsize pickup under the Navara or NP300 badges outside of America. But that is changing, as some of the global markets—such as Mexico and South America—are adopting the Frontier name. Although this is not a new generation model, it is a pretty deep refresh. The global Frontier continues to share its platform with other midsize trucks we don’t get in the U.S., such as the Renault Alaskan and the now-defunct Mercedes-Benz X-Class.
The updated truck gets a new front-end design that’s seemingly inspired by the bigger Nissan Titan. Regardless of where the inspiration came from, the Frontier’s new mug looks bigger, wider, and more truck-like. The hood is new and is raised to give the truck a taller stance. The new front bumper, with updated fog lamps, adds character lines for a bolder look. The restyled headlamps come with four LED projectors on top-trim models, as well as C-shaped running lights.
The truck’s basic profile remains intact, but its rear gets new taillights and an updated tailgate with the Frontier or Navara name displayed across it. It also features a new step to ease access to the bed.
Interestingly, Nissan currently sells the U.S.-spec Frontier under the Pro-4X name in Mexico, but we won’t be surprised if that model disappears, as the new global Frontier gets a Pro-4X package that adds styling details such as chunky tow hooks, orange accents, as well as Pro-4X graphics on the bed’s sides. It’s unclear if the Pro-4X package adds any kind of off-road-oriented performance hardware besides all-terrain tires wrapped around 17-inch wheels.
Inside, the Frontier finally gets the technology expected of a modern truck. A new infotainment setup offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, while a dual-zone climate control system unit should help keep things more comfortable for those in the front seats. Speaking of comfort, Nissan notes the Frontier adopts additional insulation materials and acoustic glass as a means of limiting the exterior noises that reach the cabin.
No mechanical updates were announced, which means the Mexican-market Frontier should carry over its forebear’s 166-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and available 188-hp diesel 2.5-liter unit that makes a whopping 335 lb-ft of torque. Nissan did announce, however, that the updated truck gets a stronger rear axle, a new steering rack, more payload capacity, and more space in its bed. The next U.S.-market Frontier, for its part, will have a 3.8-liter V-6 and nine-speed automatic, a combination that was introduced to its predecessor for the 2020 model year.
Given this Frontier was specifically designed for emerging markets, its safety features are minimal. However, some technologies, such as forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and a 360-degree camera system, are available in the refreshed truck.
The updated Frontier and Navara goes on sale in Thailand in December, with sales in other markets expected to follow shortly thereafter.