You’ve got a first look at Nissan’s new 2022 Frontier, which takes the powertrain just introduced in the twilight days of the current truck and wraps it in some very striking new sheet metal. And while the return of the Pro-4X trim—an off-road-oriented trim level that doesn’t skimp on convenience and style aspects—is no surprise, the appearance of the two-wheel-drive Pro-X is.
We’re going to dive into the details we have on these two models, and as more emerge we’ll update this post.
2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-X: Prerunner Style
You might remember the Toyota Tacoma PreRunner, which incorporated some of the features of the four-wheel-drive Tacoma (like six-lug axles, raised suspension, and even a TRD Off-Road package with a rear locker). It offered some extra clearance and capability, without the weight or complexity of the four-wheel-drive system, and was perfectly suited for some light off-road recon—exactly what prerunners are used for in off-road racing. Plus, it looked badass and proved very popular in areas that didn’t see a lot of snow.
There’s nothing wrong with the basic formula of jacking up a two-wheel-drive truck and giving it some dirt-road and desert driving capabilities or letting buyers get something that doesn’t look like a rental truck. So, the Pro-X is here. Like all other 2022 Frontiers, there’s only one powertrain: the 310 hp 3.8-liter V-6 paired to a nine-speed automatic.
The Pro-X builds off the basic two-wheel-drive truck with a few welcome upgrades. Most importantly, it gets beefier shocks. In this case, they’re Bilstein units tuned for the application. The Pro-X also gets a rugged Dana rear axle, although it is not available with an optional rear locking differential. It also only gets one skid plate, to the Pro-4X’s three.
On the style front, the Pro-X, like its four-wheel drive counterpart, gets LED headlamps, daytime running lights, and fog lights. Some exterior accents get an eye-catching “lava red” treatment, such as the new-look Nissan logos on the grille and tailgate. Inside, the Pro-X (and Pro-4X) feature an exclusive color theme: charcoal with (you guessed it) lava red accents.
2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X: More Good Stuff
Everything the Pro-X brings to the table carries over to the Pro-4X, but of course, there’s more on offer. Most importantly, there’s an electronic-locking rear differential to provide that extra bit of grip in the nastiest conditions. And there are a total of three underbody skid plates—we assume the additional two cover the transfer case and fuel tank—to provide some extra protection for critical components in the harsher conditions the Pro-4X is likely to see.
The Pro-4X also offers an Off-Road mode function to the available around-view monitoring system, giving drivers a better look at obstacles near the truck when off-roading in low range at low speeds.
Goodies for Both Versions
There are some additional convenience options that buyers of either version can enjoy. These include available wireless smartphone charging, a WiFi hotspot, twin 110-volt 400-watt power outlets (one in the bed), and a Fender premium audio system. Both trucks offer a choice of cloth or leather seating, too.
2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-X and Pro-4X: What We Don’t Know Yet
Nissan’s reps are staying mum about a few key bits of info we need in order to better evaluate how capable these Pro-trim trucks are. Will there be a ride height and ground clearance difference between the two? What are the approach, breakover, and departure angles? Will there be gearing or rear-axle ratio changes between the Pros and lesser Frontiers? These all will likely be revealed closer to the truck’s summer 2021 on-sale date.