When Nissan unveiled the 2020 Frontier pickup, it was a classic example of never judge a book by its cover. While the exterior of the mid-size truck offering looked relatively unchanged, the case could not be said for the performance hardware, which underwent a major evolution for 2020. A new 3.8 liter V6 and a nine speed automatic helped propel the Frontier into the future, with even our very own Tim Estherdahl having the chance to experience what the new powertrain brings to the table. But we still wondered what kind of pricing changes we would see for 2020? Nissan has provided an answer, with the Japanese company formally unveiling the pricing ladder for the newly refreshed Frontier earlier today.
Back in 2019, the base price for a Frontier was $20,385 which netted the buyer a rear wheel drive King Cab SV model with a manual transmission and a four cylinder engine. Both the four cylinder and the manual have been pitched for 2020, and that shows in the price, with a base 2020 rear wheel drive King Cab now boasting a base sticker of $26,790 (which does not include the $1,095 destination fee.) While the increased admission does eliminate a potent Frontier selling point, it does reward you with a truck that has a fresh engine, extra gears in its transmission, as well as a few extra standard features to boot.
This comes as the trim ladder has been slimmed down for 2020, with Nissan eliminating the Desert Runner model as well as the luxury focused SL trim. Nissan claims that on average, the price for a new Frontier has increased by $2,000 across the entire lineup which is mainly due to the new powertrain itself. Buyers looking for a cheap way to get into a 4×4 model will have to go for the King Cab S which has a starting price of $29,680. Crew Cab models wield a slightly higher $31,290. Nissan has also made short or long wheel base models available, but prices do fluctuate depending on which wheelbase is chosen.
Lastly, the PRO-4X model once again sees duty for 2020, but it continues to be the most expensive option for truck buyers at $37,490. The elimination of the SL trim can make the climb from SV to PRO-4X seem daunting at first glance, but the PRO-4X’s arsenal of off-road equipment is still very potent, and makes the effort worth it in the long haul. We have included the full pricing table which can be seen below.
|Frontier S King Cab 4×2||
|Frontier SV King Cab 4×2||
|Frontier S King Cab 4×4||
|Frontier SV King Cab 4×4||
|Frontier S Crew Cab 4×2||
|Frontier SV Crew Cab 4×2 SWB||
|Frontier SV Crew Cab 4×2 LWB||
|Frontier S Crew Cab 4×4||
|Frontier SV Crew Cab 4×4 SWB||
|Frontier SV Crew Cab 4×4 LWB||
|Frontier PRO-4X Crew Cab 4×4||
With these pricing changes in play, the Frontier moves closer to other rivals in its class. The Toyota Tacoma for example has a base price of $28,310, while the least expensive Chevrolet Colorado is $26,285. Meanwhile, the Ford Ranger is now the most inexpensive in the segment, with a base model starting at $24,410. It also doesn’t hurt either that the Ranger brings a turbocharged 2.3 liter four cylinder to the dance which is good for 270 horsepower. We even had the opportunity to ask a few questions ourselves during a #MAMAeMeet event with Nissan representatives. Nissan execs were tight lipped on the future of the 3.8 liter V6, but a rep did reveal that the company is always exploring ways it can share certain technologies with other models in its lineup. In short, look for the 3.8 liter to perhaps be a much bigger player in the future, especially if Nissan expands its use to other models beyond the Frontier.
As for the 2020 Frontier itself, look for the model to serve as a preview of sorts for the upcoming 2021 model, with the engine and transmission having the opportunity to get their kinks out in the real world. This carryover status also means that the Frontier is still a bit behind in technology, with neither Apple CarPlay or Android Auto capability being added. Look for that to be rectified with the new Frontier, which is also expected to bring an updated platform and suspension to the nameplate, as well as a heavily revised cabin to help bring the Frontier more in line with other offerings.
Buyers looking to add a 2020 Frontier to their garage will have to wait until July when the first models will begin making there way to Nissan showrooms.
This is definitely one that I would consider for an upgrade but I’m not sure how the market will handle releasing this post-pandemic.