2024 Nissan Frontier Hardbody Edition Is a Rad ’80s Throwback

All it needs now is a cassette player, an ashtray, and Def Leppard's Pyromania.

Nissan brought its compact, work-ready pickup to the United States in 1985. It was an honest, simple, affordable, hard-working pickup that sparked generations of Nissan pickup truck enthusiasts. For 2024, the Nissan Frontier Hardbody Edition honors that original ’80s truck with retro looks and some unique touches.

The Hardbody Edition package is only available on Frontier SV Crew Cab 4×4 models and comes with specific 17-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires, retro-style decals, black exterior trim, and a very 1980s-looking bar in the bed. According to Nissan, it also comes with “other rad design flair.” All of that “rad” equipment will set you back $3,890 on top of the Frontier Crew Cab 4×4’s starting price of $38,205.

Nissan’s original Hardbody wasn’t its first small pickup but it was one of the first Nissans to be designed in California, at the brand’s Nissan Design International Inc. (now called Nissan Design America). It was also pretty successful in off-road motorsport, having won the Baja 1000, Mint 400, and Gold Coast 300 in 1987. In 2021, Nissan entered a Hardbody-looking Frontier in the Rebelle Rally, so it would make some sense for the brand to do it again with the new Frontier Hardbody Edition.

Unfortunately, one thing the new truck doesn’t get, which the original Hardbody did, is a manual transmission. The new Frontier Hardbody Edition gets the same 3.8-liter V6 and nine-speed automatic as every other 2024 Frontier, versus the original truck’s 3.0-liter V6 and five-speed manual.

In other Nissan Frontier news, Crew Cab (four-door) models are offered in SL trim, which comes with leather seats, LED headlights, and a 10-speaker Fender sound system. All Frontier models also receive a small price bump, with the starting price jumping up from $30,905 to $31,105.

The Hardbody Edition is the big news, though, and it should make any nostalgic Nissan customer very happy. It looks different enough from every other Frontier to make it feel special. Now who makes a cassette player retro-fit kit?

Got tips? Send ’em to tips@thedrive.com