While Nissan's midsize Frontier won't be redesigned until the 2021 model year, the automaker has launched a new powertrain with the 2020 pickup.
The four-cylinder engine has been dropped and replaced by a new 3.8-liter direct-injection V-6, a powerplant Nissan says is more powerful but just as fuel efficient as the four-cylinder. The new 310-hp V-6 engine delivers an additional 49 hp and is about 10 percent more efficient than the V-6 it replaced. The 3.8-liter engine is mated to a new nine-speed automatic transmission that delivers improved acceleration and a smoother driving experience, according to the company.
Here's a roundup of select 2020 Frontier reviews from the automotive media.
"Thanks to the new engine and 9-speed transmission, the improvement in acceleration is noticeable right away. Without a load in the bed, this pickup's pickup is impressive. Not only does the truck feel quicker than the previous V6-powered Frontier, it also feels quicker than a 2020 V6-powered Tacoma. The engine's responsiveness is a real high point. It almost feels like a sport truck. For Nissan fans, the 2020 Frontier feels a lot like the supercharged Frontier from several years ago.
"Because of that new engine, the Frontier is really quiet for a truck. Unlike the Tacoma and the old Frontier, there's no loud growling/whirring kind of noisiness. As a result, at highway speeds, you can kind of hear some wind noise coming from around the mirrors. The all-terrain tires on the PRO-4X make a little bit of noise, too.
"Based on driving dynamics alone, the 2020 Frontier is very good. The ride is a great combination of firm but comfortable. On-road handling isn't the best, as the pickup does lean quite a bit, but it is a body-on-frame truck so that's to be expected. The Frontier is also surprisingly good at absorbing small road imperfections."
— Brian Moody, Kelley Blue Book