• 2018 Nissan Frontier: What to Expect from the Redesigned Midsize Truck?


    2018 2019 nissan frontier navara
    2017 Nissan Navara

    What can we expect from the next generation of the Nissan Frontier pickup truck? Will it be a 2018 or a 2019 model? Will it have a turbo-diesel engine? Will the American version of truck look just like the European Navara you see above? These are all great questions and, much like the upcoming 2019 Ford Ranger, the official details are sparse.

    The U.S.-market release timeline for the next Frontier has not been announced yet. The company has repeatedly said – we plan to roll out all of the variants of the new Nissan Titan, before we will focus on the Frontier replacement. The only Titan variant left to reveal is the one with the updated V6 engine. Will this new V6 find its way under the hood of the 2018 Frontier, as well? We will have to wait and see. The question about the 2018 vs. 2019 model year for the new truck is still outstanding.

    Nissan has been working with Cummins, Inc for several years. The new Titan XD uses the 5.0L Cummins turbo-diesel V8, and Nissan has shown a Frontier with a 2.8L inline-4 diesel before. Roman took a prototype truck for a drive.

    Will the next Frontier have a 2.8L turbo-diesel option? Both Cummins and Nissan are hush-hush about this for now, but I am optimistic on this possibility.

    As for the rest of the truck, Nissan is likely to refine the current Frontier without taking any drastic steps. The current model is a well-rounded truck in the midsize segment. It may not lead in many categories, but it does everything well. We performed every kind of test on the current Frontier (Ike Gauntlet towing, off-road, and other tests). The truck simply hunkers down and delivers solid results.

    A redesigned interior and improved fuel economy will go a long way to make the next Frontier highly competitive.

    Here is a current Nissan Frontier crew cab PRO-4X going up against the competition in an off-road challenge? Does it win the vote?


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

    Similar Articles

    56 thoughts on “2018 Nissan Frontier: What to Expect from the Redesigned Midsize Truck?

    1. Roman – – –

      YES! 35% Improvement in fuel mileage! WOW.
      I have a 2010 Frontier (manual trans; VQ40 V-6) and get 22 MPG in mixed driving, 24 MPG highway.

      So, 1.35 * 24 = 32.4 MPG highway. We’re finally breaking through the 30 MPG barrier for a pickup, albeit midsize!

      Good work, Nissan.
      Yes, I would buy this diesel Frontier.
      Yes, it should compete with Chevy.

      ======================

      1. Bernie Kressner, why do you care about mpg so much that you rant and rave about buying a truck for that whole purpose is what you implied in your post. At least thats what i get out of it.

        Not to be rude but the point of better mpg usually means you want to save money, but you wont save any money. Plus you will be driving a gutless wonder accepting lower acceleration with low hp, more maintenance and a greater upfront cost. And my experience in a 2012 F250 diesel 3 workers and i were going to a minesite at -28c and the diesel motor could not heat up enough to keep the window defrosted and they take forever to get the cab warm. They also stink especially because i know you will chip it as soon as you get it. There are also less diesel pumps available on road trips. Some stations dont offer diesel and it leaves a permanent stink on your hands

        Your benefit is you can pull more with a low hp vehicle at lower rpms unless you move to a 2.7EB which matches mpg, beats the torque at low rpms with superior HP. If that goes into a Ranger then you really have no viable reason to get a diesel. And longevity of a diesel is no longer true. Ford has learned how to boost gas engines and they do it well. Even the Diesel Colorado needs a timing chain replacement after 150,000 miles and the EB does not and it has almost twice the HP

        1. You say you don’t mean to be rude,yet your words say otherwise rambro.You make assumptions about people based on your biases towards diesels.

          There are some of us here that have been around a lot longer on this earth then you,and have different experiences,and live in different places.

          And you know he’ll chip it as soon as he gets it? Wow,you got some brass ones.

          1. Lohchief, bias usually implies; against one thing vs another that is unfair. How is it that others who have to breath in chipped diesels fair? How is it that my lungs were destroyed by a diesel bus…fair. Everyday I go to work I go through frenchville with diesel trucks blowing black smoke all over the highway. How is that fair when others have to deal with the smoke that is proven to cause cancerous toxins, when clearly there are better choices available. These people even stick 5 gallon pails over their stacked exhaust sticking straight up past their cab so rain dont fill their exhaust when parked. French. Nice looking truck with oil pail on the exhaust. Looks great. 🤧 Its not like its a little bit of smoke or that it not that bad. Its terrible. And to be bringing diesel to fruition here when its been proven a huge problem in th UK is pyschotic socialism. Sure they can prove the diesel is clean when sold, but what happens after that with human intervention and corrosion that is going to create the same issue the UK is having, even child birth defects. And its all to suit CAFE requirements that will be so strict the only option will be electric assist or electric anyways which is a superior power over diesel anyway. So we are just working backwards, it is not progress to be building a diesel truck for light duty. So yes I know I sounded rude but for good reason because I am not bias towards diesel, i am just well informed about them from a first hand experience as well. So I know I sound rude, hence the comment. And the turbo gas is superior anyway and safer until its phased out as well.

            And I know Bernie said before he likes to chip the diesel. Those are not brass, just previous information.

            1. Rambro:
              You are clearly biased against diesels. Diesels in this country are not allowed to be dirty anymore,period. “Chipping” in the past was to squeeze out max mpg’s for most people.Sure,some chose to ‘roll coal’. In fact that’s happened to me twice on the way home from my ‘local VA’.

              Both trucks wore texas tags,I live in oregon. Both were pulled over by a state trooper about 10 miles later.I’m sure they were given a hefty fine.

              As far as my own experience with diesels,I grew up with them on the dairy farm,and our trucks.I have,back in the 70’s hauled double bulk tankers in the 11 western states.

              I’ve owned my own diesels.All of my JD tractors were diesel.And my next truck will more than likely be a diesel.

              And btw,just because you have lung problems that you attribute to diesels,doesn’t make it so.And if the town where you live still allow dirty diesels….MOVE.

              You say turbo gassers are superior.That is your opinion,it damn sure isn’t fact.

            2. Well hopefully the CAFE requirements phase them out sooner than later. I dont agree with you.

        2. A modern bus with direct injection on a turbo gas engine would have more deadly toxins in the exhaust than a modern diesel. You just happened to be standing next to diesel, and it stuck in your mind.

      2. I’ll take that 2.8 diesel Nissan anyday. Especially if it is cheaper than the 2.8 duramax or 3.0 ecodiesel. They are all sooooo goood. Exactly what we need.

      3. I find this odd because I was looking at Frontiers and spent a good amount of time on the forums, and NOBODY said they got mileage that good. All of them told me I would probably get the same or worse mileage than my ecoboost.

    2. Here’s a thought: Nissan is in a tough position with the Frontier; it’s experiencing good sales due to it’s lower price. A redesigned Frontier is going to be more expensive and thus risks a decrease in sales and profit.

      1. I was going to say the same thing. Big risk to update when their sales are strong enough right now. Unless the bring a winner with power to weight ratio better than a 1/2 ton especially in the Pro 4x then its going to be a waste. They should also add resources to put 4 wheel steering in. The would sell more 4 wheel steer truck then they would a diesel engine and the diesel costs more to manufacture and more to the buyer. I would mich prefer the myriad of advantages to quad steer than a diesel.

        If they bring that then at least they would know it would sell like hot cakes. They need a sure bet or they should just keep what they have. Bringing another updated putrid midsize into the mix will just be another dud.

      1. Thats because there are too many rectums in the world that take a dump and dont bother wiping their ass. They need to be examined like a baby needs its ass cleaned. Babies require rectal cleaning, they dont know how and are not capable.

      2. Agreed. Folks, we may be getting to the point where all manufacturers are going to say forget it (or words to that effect) to a diesel here in the USA because the regulations are getting out of control. I’m all for clean air but it seems like we are going about this all wrong. I think maybe Troverman or someone pointed out in another post that cleaning up the emissions on the big rigs that are hauling most of our goods would be a more viable start. I’m just not sure there is an advantage to a diesel now given that they cost so much more and to meet these regulations. I’m sure they are going to be even pricier so that will be passed along to us in the form of an 11 second truck to 60 just to say we can haul more. Are we seeing the end of diesels? MB USA says no more. VW, Audi, Porsche says the same. I bet we will be left with a couple of options at best, if any, in a couple of years absent some rolling back of the regulations.

        1. Moondog the biggest problem is in urban cities with a dense population. Thats where most people are affected and the cause is from automobiles. Only in some cities exist ships

          The big rigs are being updated as we speak/type. Busses are converting to battery only. Mines up North here are moving to electric only, some have already switched. And Tesla and a few others are building electric big rigs. So why should our vehicles be given a pass until that happens. Its all happening at the same time. And if we are moving to electric in this way which is a fact and not fiction or opinion then why are the numnuts at GM, Ford, Nissan, and Ram moving to a diesel? The biggest vehicle maker Toyota said its a waste of time in NA because their is a movement to stop it because some of us see the problem it creates. Its proven to cause cancer in the UK. To do the same thing here in NA would be pyscotic in nature. If you dont learn from history then we have truly become numb. And Electric, especially generator electric has advantages from all aspects. As a society we should be focused on that because that is progress. Diesel trucks are not progress. Its exactly the opposite of what big rigs, busses and the mining industry is trying to move away from.

        2. That is not the trend. The trend is toward small diesels. They actually are cleaner and use less fuel. There is overthinking gong on here.

    3. It’s getting to where I just pass over some people’s post without even reading them. Without saying any names but you know…

    4. Can I put the turbo diesel and associated computer in my 2002 quad cab long bed? Nissan lost me with their designs long ago. I might buy another truck soon but for the price of a new truck I might buy a rebuilt classic Ford/Chevy instread. My truck is not my daily driver these days so gas milage isn’t my first concern.

      1. Actually, you can! Cummins started selling the 2.8L diesel as a crate engine. Comes complete with everything you need.

    5. @Andre Smirnov,
      Navara is Japanese designed. 2.3 Renault Diesel is basically the only option. Twin turbo version does a good job.
      Problems with ride and payload. Coil sprung version really struggles with a heavier load.

      1. Robert, I read numerous times that the issue with a redesigned Frontier in the US was that they really didn’t have a rugged enough design, or so Nissan says. I’m sure part of it was because they were milking every penny they could out of the current 13 year old design but many reports centered around simply not having the right design and setup readily available. What do you think about this?

        1. @Moondog,
          I think you are correct. Factor in the Titan is still crawling as far as sales go.Last thing Nissan US wants is a new model and the expense of production tied in with slow sales of the Titan

          1. That is exactly what I think as well, Robert. Nissan is selling this old Frontier for many strategic reasons but they made a huge mistake with the latest Titan. They thought they had a better product than they did, gambled on the niche market of a half ton plus model, and it’s not working. To me, apart from an excellent 5.6, the truck has no unique identity. I look at it and see copy cat versions of the Big 3 all over it. It does nothing great but it is fair in most categories yet at least a generation behind the Big 3. Good does not cut it in the lost competitive market in the world. I’m not down on the truck and applaud Nissan for trying but they missed it. It’s a good thing they have another redesign already in the works for the Titan or else this will be the biggest fullsize truck flop we have ever seen. I look for them to bring a much better Titan next time around but they did miss the mark this time. The reviews for the most part are not good.

        2. And here is what Volkswagon said.

          “Volkswagen’s executives said they will stop selling vehicles with diesel engines in the U.S. so the company can focus on becoming a leader in electric cars.”

          Pretty self explanatory. After I test drove a Titan a few months ago the owner of the Nissan dealership said the diesel Titan was the stupidest thing Nissan could have done and its killing them. He stated to think a 3% market share was actually going to move this truck was utter stupidity. I doubt very much that they will make the same mistake with the Frontier. Likely why its delayed; to put a stop to its diesel production and come up with something better.

          I doubt Ford will even bother with the F150 diesel. It even makes less sense for them when there is no advantage over their boosted motors. Ridiculous.

          1. I agree on the VW and Nissan comments for sure. I think Ford will bring the diesel and will smartly pass on the giant premium to the buyer. The truck will be a class leader in mpg and the buyer will pay for it and then some. See my Nissan comments. At least they seem to be trying in the fullsize market but they made HUGE tactical mistakes and misread the market. They need a redo sooner than later.

      1. Jim, I think Ford, like GM, can crack the diesel code but it will be at a great cost to the consumer. They will gladly pass it on to anyone willing to pay a near mint for it that also does not mind a high 10 to 11 second 0-60 run.

        I think there is a market for it but it will be a small one and I’m not sure those extra MPGs will ever truly recoup the extra costs of the trucks for the average owner. Variety is good but it can also come at a premium.

    6. Andre, I think the V6 that finds it’s way into the Titan is the Infinity’s 3.0l twin turbo v6. so, we most likely won’t see it on the frontier. but who knows!

    7. Well, let’s see, the new Frontier (aka Navara) has been available in the rest of the world since 2014 or 2015? Maybe by the time it gets here, we will get the ‘refreshed’ version?

      Maybe one reason for the delay is waiting for Mercedes to decide if they want to sell a version of it (GLT?) stateside, and will that version be a luxury model geared toward fat cowboys (where there is profit) or as a work truck like it does in the rest of the world. There may be a non-compete clause in that contract.

      It’s a crowded market, so Nissan would do well to keep pricing the same. Their sales are good due to pricing (and a vehicle with all the bugs worked out), so if they can keep pricing the same, they will have a leg up on the competition.

    8. @longboat
      Mercedes has no intention of selling their Pickup in the US. Joins a very long list of basically European , Japanese and Korean vehicles that have no prescence at all in the US or NA in general.

    9. Many of those trucks aren’t available in the U.S. due to the Chicken Tax. A pickup has to be built in North America in order to be sold as new in the U.S., due to a very outdated law that has been kept in play by the Big3 and UAW.

      Well, you could sell a new overseas pickup in the U.S., but the 25% tax would make it unfeasible.

      1. Longboat,
        They are all diesels as well. Not just Pickups, but Off Road Vans, MDT/ HDT Trucks, General Commercial Vans etc

    10. I wonder if Nissan has the brass balls enough to put their VC-T engine into the Next Frontier.
      That would be a winning combo if tuned for Torque.

    11. I see you guys are finally getting what I was saying all along about DSl’s. The justification for buying one is getting smaller and the price getting bigger. Now with turbos entering the picture in production trucks why get a DSL?
      Will there be a turbo gas v-8 in the HD trucks? Then when?
      For Ford there will not be a turbo v-8 until you see in the Cobra. I think whoever puts one out in the HD trucks is going to sell real well and possibly give a DSL truck run for it’s money in sales.
      One more thing. Superchargers​ are not dead. It is still cheaper to mount one over a turbo.

          1. @Marc Hartmann
            The petrol engines turbocharged for extreme Heavy Duty use. Heavy on fuel, unreliable. Worst of both worlds

            1. Its not heavy duty use if the motor can handle it. Diesels are turbocharged. A 200HP turboed Truck that weighs 5000Lbs empty has the same hp/lb as a 20,000lb loaded truck with a 800HP (turboed) V8. Are you saying an empty truck with a turboed 200 HP motor is working too hard running around empty. Likely last well over 500,000 miles because they both are not stressed at all. As for mpg some of us are more than willing to sacrifice mpg for 800HP in a gas motor vs only 400HP out of a diesel that wont get the same amount of work done In the same amount of time. It willl need more time to get the same amount of work done when pushed past its limitations. As for torque we know the boosted gas engines will match or beat the torque of a diesel at low rpm.

            2. Petrol is gas? Just so I’m on the same page with you. I’m still sticking to my thoughts​ on this opinion. I believe it will be a matter of time until we see a turbo or supercharged v-8 in a HD pick up. I believe it will be smaller than the current displacement v-8s now.

            3. Marc H, even the mildest of boosts on the V8’s they already have would be a massive improvement. And there are many manufacturers that already have boosted 8 cylinders in the SUV markets. Its rather stupid that they have yet to do it. But its all coming to an end soon anyway with battery motors

              I look at Andre opening the hoods of theses trucks with fluid lines hoses and parts and components under the hood that make my brain itch. I picture a 20-30 year old mechanic in the future when we are all mostly driving electric cars and looking under the hood of a vehivle with an ICE engine and saying what a barbaric power plant and a hunk of junk.

    12. Cummins hasn’t federalized the 2.8 for current emissions levels. I don’t think the Chinese trucks using it are available in Euro 6 markets. If we do see a diesel in the next Frontier, I think it’ll be Nissan-Renault’s own 2.3L. Hooked to their corporate 7-speed, it’ll make good power and return benchmark economy.
      I pray that we get an Americanized NP300, not a warmed-over D40 (like Toyota did). It would be a bummer to miss out on the coil spring rear end.

      1. @Mr Knowitall
        They just have to completely sort out the chassis on the current Navara, it is Nissan’s biggest problem. 2.3 Renault is the same they have in the Master Van and it goes well.
        Problem it is a diesel and they have problems selling in the US.
        On the other hand they have just dropped the 4litre Gas engine in the Toyota Hilux as it does not sell well. They have a small 2.7 Gas engine and the 2.4 and 2.8 Diesels. 2.4 Diesel is a slow seller. 2.8 Diesel is the default engine

    13. This would make a great truck. I already own a titan xd diesel and love it. I would buy one for my son just to drive it.

      1. I was pleasently surprised when i test drove one back to back against the GMC Canyon and Tacoma. The Frontier was a very close second to the Canyon even with the 5 speed vs 8 speed. The Tacoma, not even close.

    14. Call me old school, but I love the 4.0 gas engine that I believe was used in the 350Z but detuned for torque. Tied to a manual, it has great pickup if you will pardon my pun. Mine’s only a 2007, but it has given me great service and I have no plans to replace it anytime soon.

    Leave a Reply

    Top