The Nissan Frontier is in this weird transition period. Last month, Nissan revealed an updated truck with a new powertrain wrapped in the same package. It looks the same as it did 15 years ago when it first debuted. A new(ish) Frontier will arrive for the 2021 model year, marrying the 2020 model’s new powertrain with a fresh design, and, according to a new report from Cars Direct, a higher starting price.
Cars Direct got possession of an “early fleet ordering document” that shows Nissan will deliver the new 2021 Frontier without a four-cylinder engine. The entry-level mill went away for the new 2020 model, and it doesn’t appear to be returning. The publication reached out to Nissan about the discovery, though the automaker wouldn’t comment on future products.
The document lists the entry-level 2021 S King Cab as starting at $26,280, excluding the destination charge. That’s $7,644 more than the $18,636 starting price of the entry-level 2019 Frontier. That would put it at the higher end of the segment, costing more than the Chevy Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, and Ford Ranger.
Gallery: 2020 Nissan Frontier
Nissan replaced the Frontier’s two aging powertrains – a 4.0-liter V6 and 2.5-liter inline-four – for 2020 with a new 3.8-liter V6 making 310 horsepower (231 kilowatts) and the same 281 pound-feet (381 Newton-meters) as the older 4.0-liter. Also gone are the truck’s ancient five-speed automatic and five-speed manual gearboxes, replaced by the new nine-speed unit. Nissan hasn’t released pricing information for the 2020 Frontier.
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Details about Nissan’s new Frontier remain elusive. A report from earlier this month said even the new Frontier for 2021 would carry over some parts from the outgoing model. The new truck will feature a new, more aerodynamic design and an updated chassis, which will result in a truck that’s lighter than the current offering. We won’t know what Nissan has planned for the 2021 Frontier until they announce it, which the automaker is still planning to happen sometime later this year.