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What to expect from the next-gen 2021 Nissan Frontier

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2021 Nissan Frontier

2021 Nissan Frontier Spy Shot (Image courtesy of Nissan Nation)

The Nissan Frontier is currently in its last generation, and while we know a 2021 next-generation reveal is imminent, we haven’t gotten too many details – or even a good glimpse at mules in camouflage.

But that’s starting to change.

We received the spy shots attached to this story from Nissan Nation Productions, which managed to snap some images of a mule near Nashville, Tennessee.

From this brief look, we see a lot of Titan cues.

Tailgate twins

From the location of the taillights to the dominant horizontal indent, we see a lot of Titan here. There’s also a similar jut to the top lip of the tailgate, and though it’s unclear through the window and camouflage, it appears the tailgate release and Nissan badging will be similarly styled and placed to the current-gen Titan.

Strong horizontal lines

One of the spy shots gives a pretty decent side view, which shows a bulging horizontal design element on the lower quarter of the door panels. This, too, is very Titan-esque.

2021 Nissan Frontier

2021 Nissan Frontier Spy Shot (Image courtesy of Nissan Nation)

Frontier stamped on top of front grille?

While we don’t see a full-on frontal shot, we do get enough of a look to see the nose has a similar slope to the Titan, and the bulges and lines surrounding the grille indicate the new Frontier grille will be wider and bigger. We have to assume that if the new Frontier is playing twinsies with Titan, we’ll also “FRONTIER” stamped on the top portion of the grille.

I know Nissan Nation is hoping this isn’t the case, but we don’t have a real problem with it.

Wheel wells can accept big tires

From the side view, you can tell the 2021 Frontier will lose the bulbous fender flares in favor of something more sleek and streamlined. Curiously, though, unlike the Titan, the wheel wells themselves look a little more squared off — but as Nissan Nation points, out with plenty of room to add larger, aftermarket tires for some off-road shenanigans.

2021 Nissan Frontier

2021 Nissan Frontier Spy Shot (Image courtesy of Nissan Nation)

The bottom line on the 2021 Nissan Frontier

There are really only two things Nissan has firmly revealed about the upcoming Frontier. First, It will get the same 3.8-liter V-6 engine and 9-speed automatic transmission, which debuted in the 2020 Frontier. Second, the Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Mississippi will build it.

Other than that, we have rumors and speculation and the certain knowledge that it won’t have a manual transmission. The current base price for Frontier is $26,790 – and that’s on the high side for a midsize truck (for example, the GMC Colorado starts at $22,200) – so we have to wonder if there might be some price management that debuts for 2021 as well.

With the Titan potentially leaving the U.S., it will be interesting to see how Frontier is not only styled but also positioned. We don’t have any launch details yet, but as a 2021 model we expect it to be revealed soon and on sale by the end of 2020.

Related posts:

Breaking news: 2021 Nissan Titan, 2021 Titan XD Canadian sales ending


Nissan Reveals Pricing For 2020 Frontier, Starts At $26,790

2021 Nissan Frontier Could See Price Increase According To New Report [Video]

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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  1. Brandon August 27, 2020

    I suspect the interior will also be very similar to the titan. Probably standard 9in screen plus all the safety features. If the Titan really is on it’s way out, maybe the frontier is where the use up some of their existing parts inventory. I really hope Nissan doesn’t price themselves out of the market though. I think they need to keep their price lower than competitors. Nissan does not have anywhere near the fanbase or following that competitors mid size trucks do

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      Jill Ciminillo August 28, 2020

      Agreed on all points. I was shocked when Nissan announced its base price for the 2020 model, which seems excessive in comparison to base trucks from the Detroit 3. I get that it dropped the MT and crank windows, which kept the previous base below $20K, but OUCH. Nissan definitely has to stay competitive in pricing — doesn’t matter how many standard safety features or up-level finishes it has.

      1. Brandon August 28, 2020

        Yes they blew it on the base price of the 2020. The lower end work truck is where the frontier had it’s biggest advantage over the competition on price. It went from lowest to highest priced extended cab on the market. I will give Nissan credit though for raising the GVWR to over 6k lbs so businesses can finally get the maximum tax write off benefit.

      2. dcbz September 25, 2020

        I think that to be surprised at the jump in base price for the 2020 Frontier is to ignore the fact that the 2020 base engine replaces the tiny 2.5 liter engine that produced only 152 horsepower and 171 pound feet of torque with a 3.8 liter powerplant that produces more than double the horsepower (310) and 281 pound feet of torque. It is that tiny 2.5 liter engine that kept the base price of the Frontier low, not the manual transmission or the hand cranked windows. I think the base price increase is about where it should be when one considers the new engine/transmission combination.


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