The current model is only 15 years old. Yes, that's sarcasm.
Once upon a time, there were very few options in the midsize pickup truck market. By that, we mean just one – the gone-but-not-forgotten Dodge Dakota which established the segment through the 1990s and finally bowed out in 2011. During that stretch the Nissan Frontier entered the scene, though aside from some styling tweaks and a facelift that is already 10 years old, it’s endured mostly unchanged since 2004. That equates to a bonafide geologic epoch in the automotive world, but a report from Autoblog says a new Frontier epoch could start soon.
Specifically, Autoblog had occasion to speak with Nissan’s VP of Product Planning, Ivan Espinosa. In that discussion, Espinosa reportedly said an all-new Frontier was “almost finished” and that it would “soon be coming into the market.” That’s not exactly a definitive timeframe; we’ve reached out to Nissan to see if there’s anything more to the story and we’ll certainly update the article if we receive fresh news.
There’s something of an elephant in the room about all this, however. The Frontier’s bones are 15 years old, but age hasn’t slowed this pickup one bit. Looking over sales statistics from GoodCarBadCar, we see the numbers are up for Nissan’s midsize warhorse. In fact, last year the automaker logged its second-best year ever for the Frontier, with 79,646 sales. That’s a marked increase from 2017, but even more impressive is that the Frontier’s best year didn’t come when it was fresh and new. The record-setting sales year was 2016, when 86,926 trucks found new homes. It doesn't lead the midsize race by a long shot, but Nissan buyers seem to still love the old truck.
With a new Ford Ranger in the mix, there’s certainly pressure for Nissan to up its ante in the segment. Along with the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Toyota Tacoma, the midsize market is more competitive than ever and for all its merits, the current Frontier is outmatched in nearly every way.