The First Real Look at the 2021 Nissan Frontier Midsize Pickup Truck

How long has it been? Fifteen years?

Here at The Drive, we care about pickups. What’s more, we care about usable and affordable pickups that are built to work. That’s why we’ve always had a soft spot for the Nissan Frontier, even in its old age. Still yet, we’re plenty excited for the 2021 Frontier, which will mark the truck’s first major change in 15 years. Luckily, we now have an official clue of what it may look like.

We’ve seen alleged leaked images before, but to ease our worries and lower our collective blood pressure, Nissan finally put out an official teaser showing the mighty midsizer creeping through the shadows. As it turns out, it’s real and will most certainly be coming to market with fresh styling, a class-leading V6, and better-than-ever work capacities. It’s only a matter of time.

The clearest look offered of the Frontier shows a silhouette and light signature similar to that leaked image we saw a week or so ago. Its shape is undoubtedly boxy and its front-end is rigid and angular, though a bit more subdued in comparison to the supposed Nismo model we peeped before. That’s alright—not every truck has to be so wildly outspoken. We’ll leave that to other, more extreme pickups.

In Nissan’s teaser, the automaker parked the 2021 Frontier next to an Armada SUV, which is helpful for the sake of size comparisons. The truck is obviously smaller, though it looks to have grown a tad from the previous generation. Sadly, there’s no Titan in the video to give it a true, truck-to-truck mock-up.


For context, we know the next-generation Frontier will sport Nissan’s new 3.8-liter V6 and nine-speed automatic transmission as standard. That powertrain combo currently provides the 2020 Frontier with 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque—the former being a segment-leading figure. Aside from that, details are scarce. It is likely to pack the manufacturer’s Safety Shield 360 suite, however, which will bring features such as Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Rear Automatic Braking.

We’ll be left waiting until Nissan officially unveils the 2021 Frontier sometime later this year, likely through some sort of virtual conference. In the meantime, we’re digging for information to see what we can find out about the upcoming midsize pickup meant to put Detroit’s Big Three, as well as the class champion Toyota Tacoma, on notice.

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