Whew! Just like that, the final tendrils of the 2000s wither away from showroom floors. After 16 model years of production, the staid and stalwart Nissan Frontier pickup has been thoroughly redesigned for 2022, gussied up with new duds inside and out. While the macho Toyota-Tacoma-baiting exterior aesthetics are a handsome departure from the boring old truck, the overhauled cockpit is perhaps the most significant upgrade to Nissan’s midsize pickup truck. It’s the one area that truly shot-puts the Frontier from 2005 to 2022. Let’s take a look at what this transition between old and new looks like.
2022 Nissan Frontier Interior vs. Old: Design
Some—but not all—of the switchgear, componentry, materials, and general structure of the outgoing Frontier are likely three or four product cycles out of date, and the all-new truck brings the Frontier squarely in-line with Nissan’s latest design ethos. The inside of the 2022 truck retains the requisite upright, butch attitude, but does away with the slab-sided appearance of the old cockpit, incorporating swoopy lines and scalloped portions for a softer and more modern environment that wouldn’t look entirely out of place in a Nissan Rogue or Pathfinder.
The center console and center stack are some of the biggest beneficiaries of the redesign. The Frontier’s new climate, infotainment, and auxiliary function control cluster on the center stack appears straight out of the larger Nissan Titan; not as ritzy and sleek as the redesigned 2021 Nissan Rogue, but likely exactly the utilitarian upgrade Frontier buyers are looking for.
The freshened Frontier also yoinks its steering wheel from its larger-and-in-charger brother, and this swap is likely the most obvious upgrade when you compare old to new; the blocky three-spoke wheel on the outgoing truck was conspicuously anachronistic with cheap, jiggly buttons and an off-puttingly thick bottom spoke that somehow looked like something from the mid-1990s, not 2000s.
2022 Nissan Frontier Interior vs. Old: Storage and Refinement
As this mid-size truck segment continues its transition from work mule to lifestyle tool, Nissan incorporated a raft of quality-of-life updates that should appeal to both the casual commuter and the hardcore overlander. Interior stowage space is up across the board, including 4.0-liters of junk and tchotchke capacity in the center console and 6.5-liters of door-pocket storage up front for jugs and mugs, while the back seat zone can dump trash and empty kombucha bottles in the 5.7-liter rear door pockets. Not enough? Fine—put your crap in the space located above the instrument panel. Or, you know, the pickup bed.
The prior truck wasn’t known for its on-road manners and refinement, but the new Fronty should fix much of those rustic foibles with extra insulation, new acoustic laminated glass in the front doors, and “improved rear carpet structure,” whatever that means. For physical comfort, Nissan’s trick Zero Gravity seats are standard.
2022 Nissan Frontier Interior vs. Old: Tech
Behind the new wheel is a set of gauges and a new 7.0-inch gauge display that is a welcome upgrade from the pair of tiny seven-segment digital readouts on the departing truck that provided only the bare minimum of onboard info. An 8.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard, and Nissan claims the optional 9.0-inch screen is the largest in segment—both significant boosts over the existing truck’s 7.0-inch touchscreen.
If you’re more likely to drive your new Frontier around traffic than pine trees and boulders, an available suite of active driving assists are available on the Frontier for the first time. Nissan’s optional Safety Shield 360 adds class-exclusive rear-automatic braking, automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, and high-beam assist. If you really want to keep yourself safe and alert, there’s also available forward collision warning, traffic sign recognition, driver alertness warnings, rear door alerts, and adaptive cruise control. All of which could be summarized as “modern stuff,” thus matching the thoroughly modern new interior.