New Nissan Navara has us eager for a new Frontier

The Navara debuted on Thursday -- and gives us an early look at the new Frontier.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2021 Nissan Frontier/Navara
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2021 Nissan Frontier/Navara

Looking good there.


Alright, this isn't actually the 2021 Nissan Frontier, but the Frontier does have a cousin elsewhere in the world called the Nissan Navara, and on Thursday, Nissan showed off the 2021 model of that pickup truck for the first time. We expect this somewhat foreshadows the Frontier whenever Nissan finally decides to show it, even if this Pro-4X trim doesn't make it to America. Do keep in mind the truck we're getting will be all new, but some of this style will transfer over, more than likely.

This truck shown is specifically for Thailand, and Nissan was light on specifics, but the pickup wears a new design -- and a much-needed one at that. The current Frontier's been around for years now. The design picks up some familiar cues we've seen across the automaker's lineup in the headlights, the new running light signature and a bigger grille. The rear keeps it pretty traditional, but then again, there's not much you can do to really change up the rear of a truck. Regardless, it looks fresh, especially with the smoked taillights on this Pro-4X trim.

Nissan didn't dive into the mechanical specs but we already know the powertrain for the US, because Nissan decided to drop the new engine in the old truck for the 2020 Frontier -- Roadshow's Craig Cole said it's quite a peach. It's a new 3.8-liter V6 with 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque married to a nine-speed automatic. The days of an inline-four engine and a manual transmission are long gone for the new Frontier. Nissan also highlighted a strengthened rear axle, increased payload capacity and a larger bed. A new steering rack is supposed to make the truck more maneuverable as well. We'll have to wait for finer details until Nissan's ready to share more.

Technology is big here, though. Nissan highlighted a suite of active safety technology and driver-assist systems such as a surround-view monitor and automatic emergency braking. In the US, definitely expect these features, plus more, perhaps. The interior, overall, still looks a tad dated, and it's definitely not reflective of what we'll see in the US.

Consider this a nice preview of where we're headed. We hope to receive more details and a Frontier debut in the very near future.

Nissan Frontier previewed with the new Navara

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Watch this: 2020 Nissan Frontier previews the new generation in a strange way