After 17 years of waiting, Nissan finally dropped the next-generation Frontier on Thursday. While the powertrain, the Frontier’s looks and technology are all new and, dare we say it, worth waiting for. Let’s see how it compares to the current slate of midsize trucks, including the Chevy Colorado, Ford Ranger, and Toyota Tacoma.
Before we begin, know that some sacrifices had to be made in the name of not drowning you in spreadsheets, dear reader. A majority of the figures compiled below represent trucks in crew cab configuration, probably the most popular trim. We also decided to stick to four-wheel drive models, since the majority of buyers opt for it. All the relevant specifications were taken directly from the automaker’s website. The GMC Canyon doesn’t appear here because it’s essentially identical to the Chevy Colorado. No hard feelings, GMC.
The 2022 Nissan Frontier is here and it looks hella good
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Bodies and engines
The 2022 Frontier will be available as a Crew Cab with a short or long box and a King Cab with a long box. The Tacoma and Ranger offer two body styles, too. The Gladiator and Ridgeline only have one.
The Colorado is also the king of engine options, with two gas engines and one diesel powerplant on offer. The Gladiator also gets a diesel in addition to its standard gas engine. The Tacoma has two engine options, and I4 and I6, while the Ranger, Ridgeline and new Frontier are only available with one engine.
Body styles and engines
|Body styles||Available engines|
|Chevy Colorado||3||2 gas, 1 diesel|
|Ford Ranger||2||1 gas|
|Honda Ridgeline||1||1 gas|
|Jeep Gladiator||1||1 gas, 1 diesel|
|Nissan Frontier||2||1 gas|
|Toyota Tacoma||2||2 gas|
2021 Ford Ranger Tremor: Now with more off-road hijinks
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Unfortunately Nissan doesn’t have any off-road geometry information available just yet. For the rest of the lot, we’ve broken off the hardcore variants of each model to show just how much more capable they are versus the more mall-crawler-friendly variants. The Gladiator is far and away the champion of this category, boasting an impressive 40.8-degree approach angle (43.4 on the Rubicon).
The Gladiator is also the king of ride height by a country mile, varying between 10 and 11.1 inches depending on spec. The Ridgeline is closest to the ground at 7.6 inches, but again, it rides on a car-based platform, so it’s not nearly as trucky.
|Chevy Colorado||17.6 deg||22.3 deg||19.7 deg||8.3 in|
|Chevy Colorado ZR2||30.0 deg||23.5 deg||23.5 deg||8.9 in|
|Ford Ranger||28.7 deg||25.4 deg||21.5 deg||8.9 in|
|Honda Ridgeline||20.4 deg||19.6 deg||19.6 deg||7.6 in|
|Jeep Gladiator||40.8 deg||25.0 deg||18.4 deg||10.0 in|
|Jeep Gladiator Rubicon||43.4 deg||26.0 deg||20.3 deg||11.1 in|
|Toyota Tacoma||29.0 deg||23.0 deg||24.0 deg||9.4 in|
|Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro||35.0 deg||23.9 deg||26.0 deg||9.4 in|
Towing and payload
For this one, we kept the towing and payload figures to gas-engine variants with four-wheel drive. Otherwise, the Colorado with its diesel engine would trounce everything on the list with 7,700 pounds of towing.
However, even with that leveled out field, the Frontier is still mid-pack. It’s pretty good when it comes to payload, missing the Ford Ranger by just 40 pounds. It’s not too far behind the Ranger in terms of towing either, but the Gladiator just kills everything in the class.
Towing and payload
|Chevy Colorado||7,000 pounds||1,532 pounds|
|Ford Ranger||7,500 pounds||1,650 pounds|
|Honda Ridgeline||5,000 pounds||1,583 pounds|
|Jeep Gladiator||7,650 pounds||1,600 pounds|
|Nissan Frontier||6,720 pounds||1,610 pounds|
|Toyota Tacoma||6,500 pounds||1,405 pounds|
Nissan doesn’t have the final interior measurements yet for the Frontier, so we’ve labeled it as TBD since we expect full interior measurements closer to its launch date. Chevrolet, for some reason, doesn’t even offer a single overarching interior volume figure, so that’s why the Colorado is NA on this table — it’s not like the interior exists outside traditional Euclidean space. Despite being the widest truck, the Ranger has the smallest crew cab interior volume of the measured group at 97.6 cubic feet. The Ridgeline is by far the roomiest, so score some points for the Honda.
|Ford Ranger||97.6 cubic feet|
|Honda Ridgeline||109.7 cubic feet|
|Jeep Gladiator||103.0 cubic feet|
|Toyota Tacoma||100.1 cubic feet|
2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road: Ready and willing to get dirty
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For this one, we had to narrow the trucks down by selecting 4×4 crew cabs with the longest bed offered. With that rule in place, the Frontier sits firmly in the middle in terms of wheelbase and overall length, but it’s the most narrow of the lot. It’s also one of the tallest, towering over the Chevrolet Colorado by almost 2 inches.
|Chevy Colorado||140.5 in||224.9 in||74.3 in||70.5 in|
|Ford Ranger||126.8 in||210.8 in||77.8 in||71.5 in|
|Honda Ridgeline||125.2 in||210.2 in||78.6 in||70.8 in|
|Jeep Gladiator||137.3 in||218.0 in||73.8 in||73.1 in|
|Nissan Frontier||139.8 in||224.1 in||73.0 in||72.4 in|
|Toyota Tacoma||140.6 in||225.5 in||74.4 in||70.6 in|
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave: The high-speed desert conqueror
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We could lay out all manner of specifications here, but we decided to stick with the figures that you can appreciate with just a quick glance. Here, we compare the largest and smallest screen sizes, whether or not advanced driver-assist systems are standard, and whether or not the truck can be outfitted with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Frontier gained Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for its 2022 model year, but it doesn’t have Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 standard. The Colorado is a bit stingy with safety tech, but the Ranger, Ridgeline, Gladiator and Tacoma include it across the board.
|Smallest screen||Largest screen||ADAS standard?||Apple/Android|
|Chevy Colorado||7.0 in||8.0 in||No||Yes|
|Ford Ranger||4.2 in||8.0 in||Yes||Yes|
|Honda Ridgeline||8.0 in||8.0 in||Yes||Yes|
|Jeep Gladiator||7.0 in||8.4 in||Yes||Yes|
|Nissan Frontier||8.0 in||9.0 in||No||Yes|
|Toyota Tacoma||7.0 in||8.0 in||Yes||Yes|