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BangShift Question Of The Day: When Should A Vehicle Not Be Updated?

BangShift Question Of The Day: When Should A Vehicle Not Be Updated?

The Nissan Frontier…the truck that time forgot. The D40 version of the Frontier has been around since 2004 with minimal changes, and overall the Frontier really hasn’t done much in the name of change since 1997, when the nameplate replaced the old “Hardbody” D21 lineup. Outside of a minor facelift in 2009, the Frontier has remained virtually the same. The trucks seemed aged when I used them in Iraq the first time and were without question old when I went back for the second time. I came back from round two in 2008…and eleven years later, the same damn truck is still for sale at your nearest Nissan dealer. And you know what? That almost seems okay. If there is one good thing to the Frontier lineup, it’s that it’s simple: pick between a four-cylinder and a V6, pick between an automatic or a six-speed, pick your cab and bed configuration, and there you go for a reasonable price. The most expensive Frontier near me is just over $34,000 and most are under $30K, brand new. Simple, basic, rugged and cheap. Should be a winner, right?

Well, yes and no. There is such a thing as being too old, and the Frontier is getting to that mark. For quite some time Nissan has had the mid-size market to itself, but with the Toyota Tacoma, GM’s mid-size Colorado/Canyon twins, the new Ford Ranger and even newer Jeep Gladiator, the Frontier is suddenly in a desperate need of a work over. Reportedly, that will appear for 2021, with “futuristic styling”. Oh, joy, that’s all the world needs…more radical angles and taillights that have more layers than one of Grandpa’s fishing stories. I’m not saying the Frontier couldn’t use an upgrade or two…give the engines a power bump, maybe give the automatic some more gears for mileage purposes, and an interior update would be welcome items. But does the whole truck really need a work-over just to stay competitive as a price leader? Will some of the Frontier’s rugged usefulness be lost with a “futuristic” refreshing? What’s your take on this? 

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6 thoughts on “BangShift Question Of The Day: When Should A Vehicle Not Be Updated?

  1. Joe Jolly

    I never gave much thought to the Frontier. I see Nissan sells about 80 thou of these trucks a year. A consistent seller. Ford’s Ranger is 10 grand more. 10 K will buy a lot of fuel..I work for Ford and if I were in the market for a midsize truck I now would consider the Nissan.

  2. David

    If ain’t broke, don’t fix it! A little refresher is all the Frontier needs…I’ve been considering one, for myself.

  3. RK - no relation

    Still looks fresh enough. So many cars and trucks get over done with modern tech.

    Certain amounts of this are unavoidable for safety / legal reasons, but I like this Nissan just fine like it is.

    2021? There is still lots of time to get into one of these before they screw it up.

  4. Eric

    I really don’t understand the statement saying the Frontier had the Mid-Sized Market to itself. The Tacoma took the top spot away from the Ranger back about 15 years ago and has dominated the segment since.

  5. BeaverMartin

    I say leave it alone. There’s something to be said for a cheap, reliable truck. Toyota still sales the FJ40 model LC in the middle east and would sell like hot cakes here. I’d much rather buy a brand new 87′ C10 with an LS for 30ish K than that new monstrosity their passing off as a Silverado.

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