The Nissan Frontier is a dinosaur amongst midsize trucks these days. It was redesigned for the 2005 model year and gone steady since, with only minor updates here and there. Well, this dinosaur will soon be extinct as Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan senior vice president for global design, tells Autoblog a new Frontier is "almost finished."
Ivan Espinosa, Nissan's vice president of product planning, also told us "it is something we are actively working on, and will soon be coming into the market."
Nissan didn't provide us with an exact timeframe, but it appears to be closer than we previously thought.
These days it makes sense for Nissan to want a fresh face in the midsize truck segment. Manufacturers are dashing back into the segment after letting it languish for years, or in the case of the Ford Ranger, abandoning completely. SUV and truck sales are bonkers these days, making the case for a new pickup stronger than it has been in recent history.
The funny part is, however, that even with such a dated vehicle, Nissan sold 79,646 Frontiers last year — an astonishing amount. That's about 5,000 more than 2017 and nearly 30,000 more than the still-new Nissan Titan. Nissan still only sells a fraction of pickups compared to the Toyota Tacoma (245,000 in 2018) and Chevrolet Colorado (135,000 in 2018), but a new truck could easily change that. Plus, Nissan has a strong history of making little pickups that stretches back decades.
Despite confirming a new Frontier is on the way, we don't know any specifics about it. Nissan released the Navarra pickup for international markets in 2014, but as we roll into 2019, that truck is also getting old. Nissan could try and update it for the United States, much as Ford did with the Ranger, or it could build an entirely new truck to really get its hands dirty in the midsize truck segment here. Whatever it may be, a new Frontier is far closer to reality than previous thinking or rumors had us believe.