What Does a CPO Nissan Frontier Have to Offer?

February 11th, 2022 by

A grey 2016 Nissan Frontier is shown from the side in a barn.

The Nissan Frontier has been a popular midsize truck option for decades, though it hasn’t received a lot of major updates for a while now. With an all-new model hitting the road this year, there’s a lot of excitement about the 2022 Frontier, yet this has always been a hard-working and reliable midsize option. Before you head to your favorite Certified Pre-Owned Nissan Frontier dealership, you should take a few moments to look at the different model years that you’re likely to find and how they each compare. The differences from one year to another can be pretty subtle in some cases, but there are some model years that have key updates to watch for.

Choosing a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Frontier is a great way to enjoy the remarkable dependability and power of this truck while still going easy on your budget. Nissan CPO models must be within the last six model years, and they cannot have more than 80,000 miles on them, plus they have to pass a thorough 167-point inspection. Given the legendary reliability of the Nissan Frontier, these are some of the best midsize trucks out there when you’re shopping for a pre-owned model. Best of all, every CPO Nissan Frontier comes with a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty to ensure unbeatable peace of mind while you enjoy your truck.

The 2016 Nissan Frontier

Since CPO Nissan vehicles must be from the last six model years, 2016 Frontiers are the oldest ones that you’ll find while shopping for a CPO model. This is also a great place to start since you’ll get a lot of the most recent features and options in a 2016 Frontier, and they’ll be in great condition. Since this is a midsize truck, it’s not going to have the kind of capability that some larger models can deliver, but it is still a fantastic pickup to help you get your job done.

At the heart of the 2016 Nissan Frontier, you’ll find one of two engines: the standard engine was a 2.5L 4-cylinder that delivers 152 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque, though there was also an available 4.0L V6 engine that provides 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. As you can see, that’s a pretty significant difference between these two engines, but they’ll both provide you with a great driving experience. The standard engine came with a 5-speed automatic transmission, while the V6 had the automatic and a 6-speed manual transmission available. This is important to note as you’re shopping for a CPO Frontier since you’ll find both of these engines and transmissions.

With the right King Cab configuration and the available V6 engine, the 2016 Nissan Frontier could tow up to 6,500 lbs of weight behind it, while the standard 4-cylinder engine tops out at 3,500 lbs of maximum towing capacity. A lot of different factors can impact the maximum payload capacity of a truck, so be sure to look at the specs on any particular model you’re interested in. That being said, King Cab models can handle up to 1,437 lbs of maximum payload, and Crew Cab Frontiers can have up to 1,235 lbs of payload capacity.

Four different trims were available when the 2016 Nissan Frontier was sold as new, with some significant differences between them. The starting S trim, for example, featured the standard engine, 15-inch wheels, air conditioning, a 4-way manual driver’s seat with cloth seating, and a 4-speaker stereo system with a CD player. All three other trims came with the more-powerful engine standard; the automatic transmission was standard on the SV and SL trims, while the off-road-focused PRO-4X trim featured the manual transmission and 4×4 as standard.

While 16-inch wheels were available for the S trim, they were standard on the SV and PRO-4X, with 18-inch wheels on the highest SL trim. There are also significant differences inside the different Frontier trims: the SV featured power windows and door locks standard, with a 5-inch infotainment display. The PRO-4X model featured skid plates to protect the underside of the truck, as well as splash guards and an 8-way manual driver’s seat. A 5.8-inch color touchscreen display, dual-zone automatic temperature control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, 8-way power driver’s seating with leather-appointed seats, and a 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system were all standard on the highest SL trim.

2017 Nissan Frontier Updates

For the most part, updates on the 2017 model year were pretty minimal, so you’ll get the same enjoyment from either a 2016 or 2017 Nissan Frontier. There were a few changes made, including improvements to the design of the truck allowing for greater towing capacity: up to 6,710 lbs of maximum towing with a King Cab and the available V6 engine. That’s only a boost of about 200 lbs, so it’s certainly not going to change much about how you’d use this truck, but it’s still worth noting. Otherwise, you’ll find the same standard and available options were offered in 2017, so if you like the 2016 model, but you want to find something that’s likely to have lower mileage on it, then this is a great choice.

2018 Nissan Frontier Updates

Much like the 2017 models, the updates for 2018 were pretty minimal, though there were a few things worth mentioning. For starters, in the previous two years, a RearView Monitor with a rear backup camera had been an available option, but it became standard starting in 2018. A Midnight Edition package was available for the SV trim with a crew cab, which included a black grille, black 18-inch wheels, and similar exterior details. Otherwise, changes on the 2018 Frontier were quite minimal, and it’s very similar to the 2017 models.

A red 2019 Nissan Frontier Pro4x is shown driving over rocks after visiting a Certified Pre-Owned Nissan Frontier dealership.

2019 Nissan Frontier Updates

There weren’t many changes for 2019 either, though a few are worth pointing out, and it should be mentioned that this was the last year a manual transmission was available. A larger, 7-inch infotainment display became standard on the starting S trim for 2019, which looks great and makes using the RearView Monitor system even easier. The Midnight Edition was offered as its own trim rather than a package for the SV, but it’s essentially the same as the 2018 SV models with the Midnight Edition package.

2020 Nissan Frontier Updates

Leading up to the major changes for the 2022 model year, the 2020 Nissan Frontier had a huge update with an all-new engine. The engines from the previous years were eliminated, and every 2020 model features a 3.8L V6 that delivers 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque, which is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Maximum towing capacity with this new engine is 6,720 lbs which isn’t a huge increase, but the boosted performance makes it a lot of fun to drive. Standard features on every 2020 Frontier include remote keyless entry with push-button start, power windows and door locks, and illuminated steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls.

2021 Nissan Frontier Updates

Rumors were swirling that the 2021 model was going to be the all-new Frontier, but certain worldwide events made that impossible. Because of this, the 2021 Frontier is essentially unchanged from the 2020 model, giving you two great years to choose from for these fantastic features. It’s worth noting that the SL trim was eliminated for both 2020 and 2021, making the PRO-4X the highest trim option on these two years.

A dark grey 2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X is shown driving up a hill.

The All-New 2022 Nissan Frontier

With the 2022 model year, we finally have the restyled Nissan Frontier to kick off an entirely new generation. The changes and updates are far too numerous to list here, but they include the same powerful engine from the previous two years, but with refined engineering and an improved suspension. Standard features have been significantly improved and include an Intelligent Forward Collision Warning system, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, and Intelligent Driver Alertness. Inside, you’ll find a 7-inch driver display, an 8-inch infotainment display, and available features, including a stunning 9-inch infotainment screen with a 10-speaker Fender premium sound system. There’s no denying that the newly updated 2022 Frontier is amazing, but the reliability, impressive features, and lower price of a CPO Frontier make them fantastic options for many drivers.