2020 Nissan Frontier Starting Price Increases By $7,500

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - May 20, 2020

For quite a long a time, the Nissan Frontier has been one of the oldest and most affordable pickup trucks in the compact segment. Those two things have kept the Frontier competitive in a class that’s expanded drastically over the past few years. For the 2020 model year, Nissan is mixing things up with the Frontier. While the sheet metal continues to be ancient, the pickup features a new engine and transmission. Naturally, the new powertrain results in an increase in pricing.

Pricing for the 2019 model started at $20,385 (prices include destination), while the 2020 Frontier will carry a price tag of $27,885. That’s a drastic increase of $7,500 when you compare entry-level models. The leading cause of the increase in pricing has to do with the new powertrain. Instead of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission, the 2020 Frontier comes with a more powerful 3.8-liter V6 engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission as standard.

Comparing the most affordable 2019 Frontier with the available 4.0-liter V6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission reveals a smaller price gap. The cheapest way to get into an older Frontier with a V6 engine was with the King Cab SV trim, which cost $27,015. For 2020, the Frontier King Cab SV trim with rear-wheel drive costs $28,765. That’s a smaller difference of $1,750.

Nissan Frontier

The new 3.8-liter V6 engine and nine-speed automatic transmission are standard throughout the entire lineup for the 2020 model year. That’s a drastic difference from the previously standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission. Over last year’s optional 4.0-liter V6 engine, the new 3.8-liter V6 makes 49 more horsepower, while torque remains the same.

Beyond the new powertrain, little else changes with the 2020 Frontier. The compact pickup gains push-button start, a leather shift knob, power door locks, power windows, and a manual tilt steering wheel as standard. We don’t see those being responsible for affecting the pickup truck's price tag drastically.

With the increase in pricing, the 2020 Frontier is no longer one of the more affordable trucks in the segment. The Toyota Tacoma costs $27,145, the Ford Ranger costs $25,605, the Chevrolet Colorado is priced at $22,495, the Honda Ridgeline carries a starting price tag of $35,020, and the Jeep Gladiator starts at $35,040. A lot of those trucks, though, are still offered with four-cylinder base engines and bare-bones trims.

The 2020 Frontier is a preview, at least in the powertrain department, of what’s to come with the all-new 2021 model. That model year is expected to sport redesigned exterior and interior designs, along with the new powertrain. We also expect to see a new suspension setup and an updated platform included in the mix. The changes for the Frontier are long overdue, as the current Frontier has mainly gone unchanged since 2005.

Learn more about the 2020 Nissan Frontier »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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