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The Nissan Frontier soldiers on in America with all-new model

After more than a decade, this truck finally gets a major update

The Frontier has transformed from a has-been to a must-have. PHOTO FROM NISSAN

Many of you might remember the Nissan Frontier. Commonly seen as a workhorse of mainstream media crews, the Frontier saw all sorts of action from simple drug busts to hostage situations and even civil insurgencies. While the Philippine market has done away with the nameplate, it continues to live on in the United States as a model that precedes the current Navara we have today. But after 16 years, Nissan has finally given this tough truck a much-needed makeover.

The Toyota Tacoma and the Jeep Gladiator need to look over their shoulders. PHOTOS FROM NISSAN

While the Navara features soft curves and flowing edges, the all-new Frontier is a slab-sided brute that impresses with its wide stance and intimidating road presence. Americans do like their trucks to look menacing, so the Frontier has that covered with its large radiator grille and rectangular headlamps. At the back, the cargo bed is accented by a tailgate with the truck’s name stamped in big letters. Giving the Frontier a muscular demeanor are sculpted fender flares.

The Pro-4X trim level gets all the styling and mechanical goodies. PHOTOS FROM NISSAN

As expected, the all-new Frontier’s interior is made up-to-date with its seven-inch infotainment display, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Creature comforts include household-style power outlets, wireless charging, mobile hotspot, and a Fender audio system. The same touchscreen houses Nissan’s Around View Monitor that should come in handy in parking lots and on muddy trails.

This truck is now geared for both work and play activities. PHOTOS FROM NISSAN

The standard powertrain consists of a 3.8-liter direct-injected V6 matched with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. With 310hp and 381Nm, the Frontier can tow up to 3,048kg. Besides the additional gear ratios from the transmission, a revised steering system improves drivability on and off the road. Speaking of off-road capabilities, four-wheel-drive models are now equipped with hill-start assist and hill-descent control. The range-topping Pro-4X trim level comes standard with additional kit such as a locking differential, Bilstein dampers, and underbody skid plates.

Would you have the all-new Frontier instead of the Navara? PHOTO FROM NISSAN

Prices have yet to be revealed for the all-new Frontier. While this truck is pretty much a product that’s specifically made for North American customers, we can’t help but think about the odds of this vehicle being sold in Asia-Pacific markets in lieu of the Navara. It’s not hard to imagine a fleet of Frontiers carrying anything from camera equipment to news reporters rushing to their next assignment.

Miggi Solidum

Miggi is an editor-at-large at VISOR. Professionally speaking, he is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He writes the 'G-Force' column.