2020 Nissan Frontier features the ‘heart of the next Frontier’ with all-new V6 engine and 9-speed transmission


  • 2020 Frontier lays the groundwork for the next-generation Frontier – with all-new 3.8-litre V6 and all-new 9-speed automatic transmission
  • All-new 310-horsepower 3.8-litre direct injection V6 developed for North American customers; offers best-in-class horsepower1 while also providing improved fuel economy2 and emissions performance
  • All-new 9-speed automatic transmission improves acceleration and fuel economy performance
  • On sale in spring 2020

A new heart beats in the 2020 Nissan Frontier, helping lay the foundation for the all-new, next generation Frontier coming next year.

The 2020 Frontier features an all-new, powerful 3.8-litre direct injection V6 engine and all-new 9-speed automatic transmission – both of which will be key elements in the next-generation Frontier.

With an all-new Frontier on the horizon, Nissan has a proud history of innovation in the compact truck segment. The company invented the compact pickup segment in North America in 1959, when the Datsun 220 became the first compact pickup imported to this continent. Other Nissan truck milestones include the introduction of the first half-ton compact pickup in 1969 (Datsun 520) and the first King Cab model in 1983.

This summer, Nissan will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Datsun 720 hardbody pickup, one of the most iconic vehicles in company history.

The future of the Nissan Frontier, however, begins now.

Heart-thumping upgrades: All-new 3.8-litre V6 engine, 9-speed transmission
For 2020, the all-new 310-horsepower direct injection V6 replaces the previous 152-horsepower inline 4-cylinder and 261-horsepower 4.0-litre V6 engine choices. Along with best-in-class horsepower1, torque is rated at 281 lb-ft. The all-new engine is mated with a standard 9-speed automatic transmission, replacing the previous 5-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmissions.

Development of the all-new engine, which previews the powertrain expected to be offered in the next-generation Frontier, focused on the needs and demands of truck owners in North America The engine features 93 per cent new or redesigned parts, and the powerplant underwent extensive testing in North America. The engine will be assembled at Nissan’s advanced engine facility in Decherd, Tenn., alongside the full-size TITAN pickup’s 5.6-litre Endurance® V8.

Along with the 49-horsepower improvement over the previous Frontier V6, fuel economy is expected to increase2. Key technical features in the design of the all-new engine include the direct injection gasoline system, cylinder heads with integrated exhaust manifolds, a variable displacement oil pump, variable timing control and a variable tumble control valve.

Also contributing to the 2020 Frontier’s improved acceleration and fuel economy is the all-new 9-speed automatic transmission. It is similar to the new 9-speed automatic introduced on the 2020 TITAN and is designed to maximize powertrain efficiency and provide enhanced acceleration feel. With enhancements such as an expanded lockup area, a new high-response electro-hydraulic system, long input shaft and a 99 per cent larger gear range, the transmission offers quick, crisp and direct shift response throughout the entire gear range. The 9-speed automatic transmission is also significantly quieter than the previous 5-speed automatic due to a centrifugal pendulum absorber.

The 2020 Frontier is available in rear-wheel drive (King Cab models) or available shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive system with 2WD/4HI/4LO modes and electronically controlled part-time transfer case. The suspension includes an all-steel double-wishbone front suspension and solid axle leaf rear suspension with overslung leaf springs with long suspension stroke for optimized off-road ride and ground clearance. Steering is provided by a power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system, while 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes are also standard on all grades.

Authentic Frontier style and utility
As in previous years, the 2020 Frontier remains a true mid-size truck – just right for fitting in urban parking garages and tight backwoods trails. Frontier is also big enough – with a choice of standard and long wheelbase models – to handle large loads of cargo, work equipment or building materials.

The exterior design of the 2020 Frontier retains a number of signature Nissan truck themes – an angled strut grille, large bumpers, short front and rear overhangs and large, stamped-steel geometric fender flares.

Nissan offers the 2020 Frontier with a choice of King Cab and Crew Cab configurations as well as two bed lengths. Both Frontier King Cab and Crew Cab offer an available high-utility bed that includes a factory-applied spray-on bedliner and Utili-track ™ Channel System. The Utili-Track ™ system provides ultimate cargo hauling flexibility through the use of five special “C” cross-section rails mounted in the bed. Removable utility cleats slide into the channels, providing a wide range of attaching points for securing cargo. All Frontier pickups feature a locking tailgate and cargo bed light.

Frontier’s interior features functionality combined with comfort. Both Frontier King Cab and Crew Cab models feature large rear doors (rear hinged on King Cab) for easy access to the rear seating and cargo areas and flip-up rear seats, along with excellent cab storage and flexibility.

Every 2020 Frontier includes a long list of safety equipment, including Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones, Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (which includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and occupant classification sensor), front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection.

A streamlined lineup for 2020
From its roots tracing back more than 60 years, to the current model, Frontier has had a lasting impact on the compact and mid-size truck segments in North America. As Frontier transitions to the next chapter, there is much to celebrate for 2020 and beyond.