Nissan says the new Frontier’s exterior styling echoes its legendary “Hardbody” pickup trucks of the 1980s and 90s. (Image/Nissan)

When was the last time we wrote about the Nissan Frontier?

(checks watch)

Turns out, never. That’s probably because Nissan hasn’t brought out a totally new one in a long dang time. And that’s why we’re so pumped that Nissan pulled the wraps off the redesigned 2022 Frontier earlier this month.

Nissan had focused its R&D on better-selling crossovers and SUVs, but now it’s coming out swinging in the increasingly-competitive mid-size truck segment.

For starters, the new 2022 Nissan Frontier is carrying the 3.8L direct injection V6 introduced in 2020, good for 310 horsepower—a best-in-class number, by the way. The engine also makes 281 ft.-lbs. of torque.

Behind the engine is a nine-speed automatic; no manual transmission will be offered (saaaaad trombone). But Nissan reports the new Frontier will have up to a 6,720-pound tow rating when properly equipped.

Four-wheel drive models get shift-on-the-fly 4WD capabilities, and a four-wheel limited slip system will be available too. Two-wheel drive trucks have Hill Start Assist standard and adding four-wheel drive gives you Hill Descent Control as well.

You can get the new 2022 Frontier in either 2WD or 4WD, in S and SV trims. The performance-focused PRO-4X model will continue and include a new 2WD variant, dubbed simply PRO-X.

Out back, the new Frontier’s bed boasts a 1,610-pound payload capacity. (Image/Nissan)

A five-foot bed is standard on all Crew Cabs, with a six-foot bed optional on Crew Cab SV Long Wheelbase models. A six-foot bed is also standard on all King Cab models.

Given Nissan’s unsung legacy of trucks in North America (it brought the very first compact truck to our shores way back in 1959), we’re glad to see it stepping up its game here.

And the market for mid-size, body-on-frame trucks is getting really interesting now. The aging Toyota Tacoma still sets the pace, albeit with increased competition from the Canyon/Colorado twins, Jeep Gladiator, and resurrected Ford Ranger.

Then, Nissan’s got the unibodies to contend with too, like the Honda Ridgeline and upcoming Ford Maverick (not to mention Hyundai’s long-awaited Santa Cruz).

So, we’re anxious to see how truck buyers react when the new 2022 Nissan Frontier starts hitting dealer showrooms this summer.

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