Spied: 2018 Nissan Frontier?

Navara front 1 II

Now that the 2016 Nissan Titan XD is on sale, Nissan's next big project will be to update its aging midsize player, the Frontier. From our perspective, that can't come soon enough. The full-size Titan XD is trying to carve out a niche in unchallenged territory between the half-ton and three-quarter-ton segments; the next Frontier will not have that luxury. Our spy shooters are beginning to see more of a Nissan midsize here in the states, so it looks like we might be seeing something soon. Here's what our spies sent us:

"We caught this Nissan Navara test truck with taped badges parked in metro Detroit. This prompted us to check on one of Nissan's Michigan development centers, where we found more Navara test trucks — one of which was clearly marked as a diesel.

"Nissan has remained vague as to what, if anything, the foreign-market Navara might truly mean for the U.S. midsize pickup truck market. Nissan seems to be playing things coyly at the moment to avoid any chance of taking attention away from the all-new Titan XD full-size truck. With these new Navara test trucks spotted in the vicinity of one of Nissan's key U.S. testing hubs — curiously camouflaged to hide their Nissan identity — we're left to speculate whether the Navara could be the next Frontier, developed for the U.S. market to replace the current midsize truck.

"With the all-new global Navara pickup officially offered around the world this year as the NP300 Navara, Nissan actually appears to be combining two of its global trucks into a single model. The NP300 used to be a smaller, relatively outdated model servicing the Mexican market, while the larger Navara provided a much more modern take on the midsize truck. The NP300 Navara naming convention suggests that Nissan might be consolidating its global truck models — and now that Navaras are showing up in camouflaged form on U.S. turf, that global consolidation might also include a U.S.-market product."

KGP Photography images


Navara nose II

Navara int II

Navara rear 2 II

Navara rear II

Navara side II



What's with the broken paint lines around the front and rear lights. LOL Sure is an one MF UGLY truck

Ford may have been wrong about midsize trucks. But how many midsize trucks can the U.S. market support? We have the new gm twins and the new tacoma. Soon we'll have the new ridgeline. Before long the ranger is coming back. And now a new frontier? Good time to be a midsize fan. I like these midsize trucks but I could never buy one with my size of family and lifestyle. Too expensive as a second truck for me. BUT PLEASE why won't somebody give us a compact truck? I'd replace my old ranger in a heartbeat if some manufacturer would make a new compact truck.

Bafo was right. It's coming.

Even more to choose from in the future if shopping for a mid-size.... GREAT NEWS! I'd love to see the long-bed Navara put on this crew cab (extending the wheel base to accommodate). This is a nice looking truck, but would look better if the bed rails were the same height as the bottom of the greenhouse. Looks slightly odd.

Next up, the Honda Ridgeline unveil in Detroit on Monday (Jan. 11th). My wife just bought a 2016 Pilot and it's really nice. Now that the awful looking C-pillar is gone, it's got to look better.

We all knew this was coming its just a question of how far Nissan goes and if they bring anything really new or interesting to the game (remember the talk of a smaller cummins in a Fronetier).

I agree beebe that the market needs is a truly compact truck that actually delivers on the promise of substancial savings in cost, and MPG over a fullsize V6 half ton unlike the current crop of midsizers suitable only to the very young the very old, those who think they need a truck but really don't, those obsessed with offroading, those making a lot of u turns, those that cant park, or have small garages, all with money to burn. A truly compact truck could bring real benefits and variety to this segment.

It is coming with
coil springs on 4 corners
light fully boxed frame
more power plus a diesel
2 inches more ground clearance than a Chevy Colorado
rock solid handling on and off road
as well as a host of other fine options

It is long overdue and I hope it is worth the wait. I figured the 2.8L Cummins in the "experimental" truck a year or so ago was really them testing this configuration out. I bet it comes with a tad more gusto than the GM unit with the aero and tranny to help it beat the 29/31 MPG rating on the highway.

Since it will be all new to those of us in the US I hope it comes with projector headlights and a little bit more updated interior. I know the sealed-beam lights are cheaper but they just don't throw light down the road well enough compared to anything more modern. The interior looks like the cars from this past generation rather than anything recently unveiled (new Altima/Maxima) or that will be coming in the next 18 months.

Surely, this will be a 2017 model and debut later this year. I can't imagine they'd wait until the 2018 MY.

The next big thing is the standard Titan, where is it?

Dual beam headlights?
Totally obsolete, thanks Nissan.

Not sure why negative comments about the looks of this truck. I think that's a good looking front end. The rest of it kinda looks like the GM midsize twins.
I hope the Ridgeline reveals a front that is styled as well as the side / rear teaser photos here on putc.
This midsize truck market is only going to grow as they offer great utility vs SUV.

The midsize truck market is expected to flatten out somewhere around 400k-500k units.

The GM twins + Tacoma will account for 300k units sold in 2016 and still be production limited.

So there is still room for more midsize trucks.

As for compact trucks.... There are 3 possibly candidates. All are unibody, have 4 cyl engines, 4' beds with 1000lbs of carry capacity and aim to achieve 30MPG+ with a sub 20k starting price.

Toyota, Hyundai, and RAM are the manufactures.

@Chuck Taylor, that's black tape (not broken paint) around the light lenses.

Nice to see the pervasive shrinking of windows in current car design is invading truck design. I guess designers won't be happy until we're all driving vehicles with military "view slits" or submarine-style scopes. Far less need for rear or 360° cameras if drivers could turn their heads and actually see something besides a thick pillar.

RoadTrip. Its referred to as raising the "belt line" when the windows are shortened by raising the bottom sill. It delivers a "chopped" look and Chrysler brought it back into vogue with the 300 series sedans and Magnum. Just like bigger wheels its all the rage for all its pros and cons.

A Promaster city/Transit connect/NV200 in a pickup truck variant with possible awd could make a lot of sense and get back to being a truly efficient, cheap, smart WORK vehicle. Midsize trucks are all for show. I remember being young and thinking they made sense and wasting thousands on them. Maybe ill do it again when im old and the kid is gone... I doubt it. I realize the value of my money now and its nice having a truck with a real bed since that's what having a truck is supposed to be about. Even better when the forklift can just put a skid of whatever back there in 10 seconds.

Okay this truck has my attention. A standard diesel midsize truck? Yes Sir! Not too worried about it being a Nissan. Frontiers are reliable and cheap yet under appreciated. Quality these days is far better than it was 10 years ago too. Like I said, Standard diesel has my attention.

Style/looks... sooooo very subjective... Trying to be more objective about it I would call this look modern conservative and inline with the GM offerings. Its a bit more car like/refined and less trucky/brutish than the Taco. Nothing really advanced or groundbreaking or even risky in the style as shown here even with the electrical tape camo job.

Why does the body look so much like the Colorado/Canyon? The back doors look exactly the same.

I like this better than the GM twinkies. Nice job.

@Montanda... probably because its targeted at the same crowd, the same dimensions, offering nearly identical performance, and was designed in the last few years as opposed to being an almost 15 year old design.

Current modern midsize trucks with v6s are more capable than 1/2 ton trucks in the early 90's...in almost every way, except bed volume.

More weight carrying, higher tow rating, higher MPG, higher HP, lower 0-60, more offroad capable, more comfortable...etc.

They don't look as bad in real life. I've quite a few now.

As for the Cumminns, I like the little Cummins ISF, but I have heard the Renault 2.3 twin turbo diesel is getting around 35mpg average and the diesel is supposed to pull really well.

The coil sprung rear ends on our Navara is supposed to carry over 2 000lbs and ride like a Maxima.

We don't get a gasoline engine Navara.

I do like the interior.

If you look at the interior of the pickup it is a base model vehicle. The infotainment is almost none existent, manual, and blanks fitted into the place for traction control, etc.

Also, the headlights as someone else mentioned are not up to speed.

This pickup is for a developing nation market, not a modern OECD economy.

And current full size half tons are more capable than 3/4 tons of the early 90s while still delivering more room both in the bed and cab, nearly identical V6 MPG and more of everything else than a mid sized for almost the same money...

Thing have progressed.

I do believe all of this "capability" has reached a climax.

Remember even in the good ole days their were vehicles with the capability of all current vehicles on the market.

I do think the pickup manufacturers had better get on board and realise that not many people want massive capability.

This is another reason why the new refined midsizers are doing well. Take the diesel Colorado, it is much more than most would ever want or need for that matter.

This "Best in Class", load and tow, biggest is bestest rhetoric is just bullsh!t to most who just want a pickup to drive to work everyday.

Here is the Navara without disguise. You are not going to get the Renault sourced 2.3 Diesel.
Capacities are 7,700lb towing and for a singlecab, maximum 2,800lb payload.
US specifications will be a lot lower.

It is not enough to contend in the midsize market without a diesel anymore now that the GM twins have one. To be competitive enough, this truck would need a smaller turbo diesel. And I will say it again, if you could get a standard with it I am on board.

I hope this further cuts into the Tacoma sales. There has to be something to light a fire under Toyota's as5 to wake them up!

when the mini pickup costs the same as a full size its a waste of money to buy one

I wouldn't say this is as ugly as a Ridgeline or an Avalanche, but it's close.

That's the one built/sold in Mexico since last year. Tail and rear lights may vary for US market to include LED lights or something like that.


The Frontier looks like a softened version of the Tacoma.


"I do believe all of this "capability" has reached a climax."

Strange choice of words.

BTW............ you can't have a climate without a modicum of capability.

The ongoing preference for "little" trucks and the repetitive commentary that capability doesn't matter is telling on a Freudian scale. LOL


with pump unleaded regular less than $2 in my area, I get tired of hearing so called "truck guys" blathering on about gas mileage. The same guy owns a V8 Camaro and never sweats the 16mpg he's getting with his 2-ton pony car. Why's he worried about FE in a truck of all things?

Either navarra or np300, just bring it in...

I just realized how much the front end looks like a Lexus GX before they put the spindle grill on it.

papa jim,
I do know my family in NJ, irrespective of pump prices always buy fuel at the cheapest gas stations.

So, do you go out and buy your fuel at the most expensive gas stations?

No wonder you can't afford a Suburban.

@Big Al, I realize you are having a little fun with me, right? The difference between the cheapest and the dearest gallon of gas in my little central Florida town is very small--however, the cost of buying the wrong truck can be very high.

Anyone contemplating a new half ton pickup, should give serious considerations to value, performance and comfort in their evaluation.

The color of the paint, the interior trim and the FE are secondary considerations--tie-breakers if you will.

@papa Jim, I'll let you in on what Als family does to buy cheaper gas.......they drive 25 miles to buy gas that is .05 cents cheaper thinking they got a deal, not realizing the drive distance erased the fuel savings

All I know is that it best have a robust 4x4 excellent traction and more power. at the least a 6 foot box
Gas mileage means nothing to me.
if they wimp it out they will fail big time with hunters and fishermen among other outdoor types.
IF they use the cummins !4 Nissan better design the heads like they did with the v8. a straight up i4 cummins won't cut it.
Though I am waiting on a TItan with a v6 or v8 engine
midsize trucks just do not ride good.

What all of the auto makers are missing is the small size pickup. Nissan's little pickup from the 1990's was a great small truck. Not everyone needs to carry around a couple of diesel engines in the bed with 4 NFL linemen in the cab. More people need a small pickup for a toolbox and a few 2by4's.

You guys are hysterical...all you have are assumptions! What if the all new Frontier has notheing to do with the Navara, and they are just testing and developing the Navara???? What a concept!!!

Your scribes are just like a true "dim" person;)

@ Robert Ryan, how do you know that the US will not get the 2.3 YSDDTT engine??

As an FYI, I spoke with some Cummins folks at the SEMA show last November and they claimed Nissan had not made any further moves on the 2.8 ISF Turbo Diesel.

Therefore, I would speculate that Nissan may go for the 2.3 Twin Turbo Diesel from Renault, as it would set the Frontier apart from the Tacoma and GM Twins in the US, and especially if it can Tow/Haul the same weight, but with even better Fuel Economy to comply with CAFE regs...

I don't drive enough to worry about gas prices, but I prefer a smaller truck for being easier to handle and park. I have a Kroger's Market Place near me and with my fuel points I paid $0.92 cents a gallon last week. Also the Costco near me has lower fuel prices than most of the gas stations. For me it is more to wanting something easier to handle and park than fuel economy, Not having to use a ladder to get into the bed of the truck or into the cab is also a good thing something that the full size of trucks of the past had especially the step sides.

I gave up full size cars with V-8 engines 14 years ago and don't need or want a full size truck. I have no problem with this Nissan truck but this particular truck might not be US bound. Any of the midsize trucks would more than meet my needs, if anything I would rather have an extended cab than a crew cab because I hardly carry any extra passengers and the beds on most midsize crew cabs meet most of my needs.

There is room in the market place for midsize, compact, and full size pickups. Not everyone needs or wants the same size.

Anyone contemplating a new half ton pickup, should give serious considerations to value, performance and comfort in their evaluation. The color of the paint, the interior trim and the FE are secondary considerations--tie-breakers if you will.

@Big al,

So what part of my "scribe" cracked you up?

I have read that the US is recieving an Amercianised version of the narrow body vehicle.

You should buy what you want period. If you prefer a large half ton then buy it. IF you prefer midsize then get midsize. If color and the interior is important then get what you want. You have to live with your choice.

It looks okay, and even though I'm not in the market for a midsize I'm eager to hear how it performs. Even if you hate it, more options always benefit the consumer.

What the heck Jeff S--do you think its a free country or something! We need special enlightened ones to tell us what we need, what we are missing out on, or what is best for us--they know its for our own good... think of the children.

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