The D22 and D40 generations of Nissan Pickup Trucks in North, Central and South America, and Philippines are known as Nissan Frontier. This range of Nissan vehicles appeared in 1998 preceded immediately by the D21 Nissan Hardbody truck. From 2002, the production of D22 series Nissan Truck was halted in Japan and North America became its primary market with an assembly plant at Smyrna, Tennessee.
In 1986, Nissan Motors came out with its first ‘Hardbody’ or ‘Nissan Navara’. The first was the small pickup truck called the D21. The D21 remained in production for about ten years after which the D22, a first generation Navara was launched in 1998 which then remained in production until 2005. This Navara was regarded as a compact pickup. The first generation Navara was replaced by a larger, taller and longer second generation D40 Navara. D40 was considered as a mid-sized pickup truck.
The term Navara is taken from the Navarre region located in northern Spain. Nissan has setup a plant at Barcelona to meet the demands of European market.
First Generation (D22 Series; 1998-2004)
The Frontier was launched by Nissan in 1997 as 1998 model year. The first generation Frontier replaced the ten years old Nissan Hardbody Truck. Initially, the Frontier received a KA24DE 4-cylinder engine but later in 1999 the VG33E V6 engine was added in the lineup. In many markets, the Frontier was marketed as the Nissan Navara.
In 2000, Nissan also released a Frontier Crew Cab, a compact pickup with 4-door body styling, in North American market. Majority of the crew cabs were heavy duty versions of the full-sized trucks until this point and essentially popular as commercial vehicle. However, the 4-door compact pickups were offered in Asia and Europe for ages.
A facelift was released by Nissan in 2001. The facelift model came with bolder styling with an aim to target the young customers.
D22 (1997–2000) Frontier
The D22 Frontier was introduced in 1997 for Japanese market. Different versions were offered as Single Cab, King Cab and Crew Cab (2000 model only). It was powered by either a petrol (KA24DE) or Diesel (TD27) engine. Engines were mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The US market received 2.4-L KA24DE I4 and 3.3-L VG33E V6 engines with manual and automatic transmission. Nissan shifted its production of D22 to its Spain’s plant and continued its export to South America.
A compact pickup truck, D22 Navara remained in production from 1997 to 2004. Despite its discontinuation in 2004, Nissan continued to produce the D22 on small scale as Pickup. Compared to its previous model, it came with different looks and appearances for the newer models.
D22 (2001–2004) Frontier
The Frontier produced from 2001 to 2004was not manufactured or sold in Japanese market. The sales and production of this generation Frontier carried out in North America. The available versions were Crew Cab and King Cab. Engine options were a petrol 2.4-L, 3.3-L and 3.3-L Supercharged version generating 210 hp (160 kW). Two-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive were both offered. Central and South America, Australia and New Zealand received the second generation Frontier from the Spain plant. In 2002, the plant at Brazil started its production and exported the vehicle to Mexico and Argentina. Similarly, the Egypt plant covered the whole Middle East, while South African plant supplied vehicles to all African markets.
Second Generation (D40; 2005-2012)
The second generation Frontier was completely a renewed model. It was first revealed at the North American International Auto Show in 2004. Frontier started as a compact vehicle but the second generation Frontier is assumed to be a mid-sized vehicle. The vehicle is based on Nissan’s new F-Alpha platform. As for exterior, the Frontier is in close resemblance with the full-sized Nissan Titan Truck in body styling.
The second generation Frontier has a wheelbase of 125.9 inch (3.20 m) and an overall length of 205.5 inch (5.22 m) with a towing capacity of 6500 lb (2950 kg). The VQ-series, VQ40DE 4.0-L V6 engine is used in the truck with an output of 265 hp (198 kW) and torque of 284 lb-ft (385 Nm). Another engine available is the QR25DE 4-cylinder also used in the Nissan Altima. All the models receive a 6-speed manual transmission with an available option of 5-speed automatic. Both 2WD and 4WD are available with features of traction control and hill-descent control.
In Europe the Frontier is sold as Navara. It receives a 2.5-L YD25DDTi diesel with an output of 142 hp (106 kW) or 172 hp (128 kW). The top of the line version comes with a torque of 297 lb-ft (403 Nm).
International Production Facilities
In Australia, New Zealand and Europe, the Nissan Frontier is marketed as Nissan Navara, while in the Chile it was sold under Nissan Terrano name. Nissan Navara/Frontier is assembled in different countries including Smyrna, Tennessee, Spain, South Africa, Thailand, Philippines, China, Mexico, Brazil and Egypt.