2021 Nissan Frontier

MSRP $28,200

Ranked #9 in Midsize Pickup-truck

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2021 Nissan Frontier Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 8, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


Nissan has been known the world around for its simple and workhorse mid-size pickup trucks that can take quite a beating. The Nissan Frontier is one such truck that although has a lot of positives going for it, stands out like a sore thumb when made to stand against the more modern and sophisticated rivals. Nissan has already showcased the next generation 2022 Frontier and hence continues to sell the 2021 Frontier without any changes to the last year’s model. 

2021 Nissan Frontier Latest Updates

  • Sep' 15, 2021 : Nissan To Offer Nismo Versions Of Their Pickups, SUVs and Crossovers Read More »
See detailed review »

Pros

Comfortable front seats

Capable Pro-4X model

Punchy and refined V6 engine

Cons

Lower fuel efficiency as compared to rivals

Rear seats are cramped and are uncomfortable

Misses out on many common modern-day features

Interior materials quality is subpar

What's New?

No changes for the 2022 model year


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$28200

bodystyle

dr Crew Cab

warranty

roadside assistance

No


Pictures & Videos


Trims

S$28,200 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Nissan Frontier in Magnetic Black Pearl color
Magnetic Black Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide


The standard V6 engine under its hood has plenty of grunts to tow and haul everything that is expected of it and the Pro-4X off-road-focused model is very capable when venturing off the tarmac and into the dirt. At a starting price of $29,450 for the base crew cab model, the 2021 Frontier manages to undercut most of its rivals in the segment which includes Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, and the Toyota Tacoma

2021 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab front angle view
2021 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab rear angle view

2021 Nissan Frontier Features

The Nissan Frontier is an aging model that misses out on quite a few modern-day technology and safety features. The base S model gets only the necessities and the mandatory features while the SV trim just adds a premium cloth upholstery and alloy wheels to the mix. The Pro-4X costs considerably more but also adds a lot of creature comforts and off-road capable aids that enhance the overall experience considerably. A longer bed is also available but only with the SV trim. 

Trims

S

SV

Pro-4X

MSRP (RWD)

$29,450

$30,350

-

MSRP (4WD)

$32,840

$33,540

$39,040

Key Features

Rear Limited Slip Differential

Premium Cloth Upholstery

Electronic Hi-Lo Gear Selection

 

Tire Pressure Monitoring

16-inch Painted Alloy Wheels

Rear Parking Sensors

 

6-speaker audio system

 

10-speaker audio Rockford Fosgate system

 

Keyless Ignition

 

Satellite Radio W/Real Time Traffic

 

Cloth Upholstery

 

Dual Zone Front Climate Control

 

16-inch Painted Steel Wheels

 

8-Way Power Heated Leather Driver Seat

Which trim should you buy?

The lower two trims pack only and only the necessities with hardly any creature comforts or technology available that we would expect from a modern mid-size truck. Therefore, in spite of the steep price, it is better to opt for the Pro-4X trim that also gets an enhanced off-road capability. 

2021 Nissan Frontier Engine and Performance

The 2021 Nissan Frontier is powered by a very smooth and potent 3.8-liter V6 engine that is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission and powers the rear wheels as standard. There is also an optional 4-wheel drive available which is standard for the Pro-4X trim. Engine output is rated at 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque.

2021 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab engine bay

Performance isn’t lightning quick, taking over 7 seconds for the 0-60 mph sprint while taking about 15.6 seconds to cover the quarter-mile and can reach a respectable top speed of about 120 mph. The 1,460 lbs payload capacity is a bit on the lower side but the over 6,600 lbs towing capacity is on par with most of the trucks in the segment.

Model

Nissan Frontier Crew Cab S

Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab Z71

Ford Ranger SuperCrew XL

Toyota Tacoma Double Cab SR5

MSRP

$29,450

$35,595

$28,665

$36,730

Engine

3.8L, Naturally Aspirated V6

3.6L, Naturally Aspirated V6

2.3L, Turbocharged Inline-4

3.5L, Naturally Aspirated V6

Drivetrain

RWD

RWD

RWD

RWD

Transmission

9-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

10-speed automatic

6-speed automatic

Power

310 hp @ 6,400 rpm

308 hp @ 6,800 rpm

270 hp @ 5,500 rpm

278 hp @ 6,000 rpm

Torque

281 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm

275 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

310 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm

265 hp @ 4,600 rpm

0-60 mph (sec)

7.1

7.0

6.5

7.7

Quarter Mile (sec)

15.6

15.5

15.0

16.0

Top Speed (mph)

120

99

110

113

Payload Capacity (lbs)

1,460

2,074

1,609

1,685

Towing Capacity (lbs)

6,620

7,000

7,500

6,400

The Ford Ranger is not only marginally more affordable but is also over half a second quicker than the Frontier. It can also haul a bit more load and has class-leading towing capabilities. The Toyota Tacoma is the slowest of the lot, taking almost 8 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph, and also has the lowest towing capacity by a small margin. 

How does the 2021 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab handle?

The Nissan Frontier does not try to emulate the feel of a car like many modern pickup trucks and instead offers robust off-road handling and dynamics. It takes on road undulations with ease and can also perform well on rough terrain. That being said, a sudden bump on the road does tend to upset the rear end of the truck and toss the cargo around in the bed which might cause damage to the precious cargo.

The steering is light which aids in the tight city bylanes and alleys but does not offer much confidence at highway speeds, where the road noise also makes its way into the cabin. It feels vague and does not offer much feedback about the happenings underneath the front wheels. Therefore, as long as you use it in the city limits or for the weekend filled with off-roading fun, the 2021 Frontier won’t disappoint you in this regard.

2021 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab Braking Performance

The brakes of the Nissan Frontier have a soft feeling to them and there is also a long journey of the pedal before the braking actually begins to happen. This makes it difficult to use in the city traffic and also for newer drivers and inspires very little confidence in the panic braking scenarios. That being said, the 11.7-inch front and 11.3-inch rear disc brakes perform well to halt the over 4,300 lbs of a truck in a braking distance of just 119 feet. 

2021 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab brake rotor

Model

Nissan Frontier Crew Cab

Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab

Ford Ranger SuperCrew

Toyota Tacoma Double Cab

Brake Rotors - Front (in)

11.7

12.2

12.2

10.8

Brake Rotors - Rear (in)

11.3

12.8

12.1

10.0

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,320

4,488

4,441

4,445

60-0 mph (ft)

119

126

127

114

The Toyota Tacoma is the standout performer here with the shortest stopping distance of 114 feet which is 5 feet shorter than the Frontier despite having higher weight and employing smaller brakes. The Ford Ranger and the Chevrolet Colorado both weigh similar and also have similar braking distances which are considerably longer than the Frontier. 

2021 Nissan Frontier Fuel Economy

The naturally aspirated V6 engine under its hood isn’t the newest nor the most efficient one as per today’s standards. The 20 mpg of EPA-rated combined city and highway driving is just average for its class but the large 21.1-gallon fuel tank helps provide a decent driving range of over 400 miles on a single tank of gas. Opting for the 4WD reduces the MPG figures by 1 mpg in each aspect. 

Model

Nissan Frontier Crew Cab

Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab

Ford Ranger SuperCrew

Toyota Tacoma Double Cab

MPG (City)

18

17

20

18

MPG (Highway)

24

24

24

22

MPG (Combined)

20

19

22

20

Fuel Tank Capacity (gal)

21.1

21.0

18.0

21.1

Range (City / Highway / Combined) (miles)

380 / 506 / 422

357 / 504 / 399

360 / 432 / 396

380 / 464 / 422

The Ford Ranger’s new and modern turbocharged engine sips the least amount of fuel and returns class-leading fuel economy figures. But the smaller capacity gas tank hurts its driving range, limiting it too well under 400 miles. The Toyota Tacoma has a similar fuel efficiency as that of the Frontier while the Colorado has the highest fuel consumption in this lot. 

2021 Nissan Frontier Interior

The cabin of the Frontier looks very old-school and basic with an interior that is meant to take a beating. The simplified design language is complemented by abundant usage of hard plastics and lower-quality materials. There aren’t many creature comforts available as well and unless you opt for the Pro-4X trim, the list of amenities and leather is non-existent. 

2021 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab cockpit area

At the front, space is plenty and the seats are pretty comfortable as well. Finding the right driving position won’t be an issue, while the large windows aids in outward visibility, and the dated controls make things easy to use while on the move. The rear seat is quite cramped and is best suited for kids or shorter adults. 

2021 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab front seats

Model

Nissan Frontier Crew Cab

Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab

Ford Ranger SuperCrew

Toyota Tacoma Double Cab

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head / Shoulder / Leg) (in)

39.9 / 58.3 / 42.4

41.4 / 57.5 / 45.0

41.0 / 56.7 / 43.1

39.7 / 58.3 / 42.9

Rear Row (Head / Shoulder / Leg) (in)

38.6 / 58.3 / 33.6

38.3 / 56.2 / 35.8

38.3 / 56.3 / 34.5

38.3 / 58.9 / 32.6

Trunk Capacity (cu-ft)

27.1

41.3

43.3

N/A

The Toyota Tacoma’s double cab offers similar cabin space as that of the Frontier but offers a slightly upscale interior feel. The Ford Ranger has a bit more space upfront and at the rear seat with better headroom on offer, and the larger bed provides more space for the load. The Chevy Colorado is the most spacious one here offering tons of space at the front and a rather comfortable rear-seat space. 

  • 8-way power driver's seat and 4-way power front passenger's seat
  • Heated Front Bucket Seats
  • 60-40 Folding Split-Bench Fold-Up Cushion Rear Seat
  • Leather Seat Trim w/embroidery and contrast stitch
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
  • Chrome/Metal-Look Interior Accents

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The dated feel of the cabin of the Frontier is not helped by the small and laggy 5.8-inch infotainment system which looks and feels ages behind the modern rivals. There is no Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on offer and most of the available features and technology are standard only on the top end Pro-4X trim and are optional on both other lower-end trims.

The standard speaker setup does not offer any great sound while the higher Rockford Fosgate audio system is better but still not upto the mark. 

  • The 5.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • 8-speaker Rockford Fosgate Premium Audio System w/subwoofer
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Bluetooth hands-free phone system and streaming audio
  • Nissan Navigation System w/voice guidance
  • NissanConnect w/mobile apps Nissan and voice recognition
  • SiriusXM satellite radio, Traffic and Travel Link

2021 Nissan Frontier Exterior

Nissan might be the original compact truck maker, but the Frontier has not started to look as it belongs to the past well. The fact that the Frontier is still compact and not overgrown itself to be too large to use in tight city spaces or while going over rocks is welcomed by many, but the lack of cabin space and the boxy design language surely makes it stand out as the elders of the segment. 

​  2021 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab 

Model

Nissan Frontier Crew Cab

Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab

Ford Ranger SuperCrew

Toyota Tacoma Double Cab

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,320

4,488

4,441

4,445

Length (in)

205.5

212.7

210.8

212.3

Width (in)

72.8

74.3

77.8

74.4

Height (in)

70.1

70.6

71.5

70.6

Ground Clearance (in)

9.8

8.2

8.9

9.4

Wheelbase (in)

125.9

128.3

126.8

127.6

The large interior space offered by the Colorado and the Ranger is due to the longer truck length. The Ranger is also wider and the lighter one of the lot due to the smaller capacity engine. The Nissan Frontier offers the best ground clearance which is marginally more than the Tacoma, and while the Ranger has a decent ride height, the Colorado rides the closest to the ground amongst the trucks present here. 

  • Auto On/Off Aero-Composite Halogen Headlamps w/Front Fog Lamps
  • Cargo Lamp w/High Mount Stop Light
  • Roof Rack
  • Power Heated Side Mirrors
  • Black Side Windows Trim, Front Windshield Trim, and Rear Window Trim
  • Express Open/Close Sliding And Tilting Sunroof w/Sunshade
  • Spray-In Bed Liner
  • 16-inch Off-Road Design Machine-Finish Alloy Wheels

2021 Nissan Frontier Safety

The 2021 Nissan Frontier has a decent performance in terms of safety as it receives a 4-star overall rating from the NHTSA while the IIHS has also rated it decently. It doesn’t stand out in any particular aspect and also does not offer many modern safety features and driver aids that we have become accustomed to on most other modern trucks. A highlight of most of the safety features available with the 2021 Frontier has been listed below. 

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) And Driveline Traction Control
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front and Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Rear Parking Sensors
  • Back-Up Camera
  • Low Tire Pressure Warning

2021 Nissan Frontier Competition

2021 Nissan Frontier vs Chevrolet Colorado

The most common and popular truck of the segment, the Chevrolet Colorado outperforms the Frontier in almost every aspect. Although it has a higher asking price, it has a similar acceleration performance and superior hauling and towing capabilities. The fuel efficiency is on the lower side for the Chevy but the cabin is a lot more premium and offers abundant space for all its occupants. There is plenty of technology and safety functions on offer and is also very capable off the tarmac. 

Chevrolet Colorado

2021 Nissan Frontier vs Ford Ranger

The midsize truck from the most popular truck-selling brand America had to be good and the Ranger does not disappoint at all. It is the quickest of the lot and has the best towing capacity while also being the most affordable one as well. It has far more superior frugality and the cabin is premium to look and feel with plenty of technology on offer. The Ford Ranger is pretty spacious as well but lacks a bit of the off-roading skills of the Frontier. So unless you plan on regularly taking the truck out for some rock climbing, the Ranger should be a safer bet. 

Ford Ranger

2021 Nissan Frontier vs Toyota Tacoma

The battle for the Japanese truck supremacy is pretty even between these two. The Nissan Frontier is far more affordable and yet has superior acceleration performance with very few differences in terms of payload or tugging prowess. Both have identical rated fuel economy figures and also offer similar amounts of space. Both have a dated cabin with the Tacoma featuring a slightly better set of technology. Therefore, only with the prices in consideration, it is better to opt for the Frontier over the Toyota Tacoma and save some money between the two.

Toyota Tacoma

 

2021 Nissan Frontier Final Verdict

The Nissan Frontier is in dire need of an update and the 2022 model year is going to be the year for it. That being said, in its current guise, the 2021 Frontier feels far too lackluster and dated with limited levels of features and technology on offer. Therefore, unless you wish to use it as a workhorse or only for taking it dune bashing or rock climbing, it is better to opt for the Chevy or Ford truck or wait for a few more months and get your hand on a newer and sophisticated Frontier that is making its way very soon.