Since the Nissan Frontier mid-size pickup truck’s last redesign in 2005, we’ve witnessed the rise of three new Batmans, the election of three new presidents, the advent of the iPhone and a pandemic that shut the world down for over a year. To put it in topographical terms: The Frontier is as old as the hills. But any ageism is unfounded, as the Nissan pickup has remained a popular alternative to leading rivals among buyers, and extensive updates for the 2022 model year keep it relevant for both truck shoppers and Cars.com readers alike.
In one of our most popular articles of the past month, Cars.com reviewer Aaron Bragman delivers a comprehensive critique of the refreshed pickup, insisting that despite the length of its proverbial teeth, the Frontier remains viable on the competitive landscape. In his review, Bragman lauds the Frontier’s updated exterior styling that brings it into line with fellow Nissans while adding the (somewhat deceptive) appearance of increased size; the sophisticated fit, finish and feel of cabin appointments; the quiet refinement of driving experience; and its robust base engine, a 3.8-liter V-6 making 310 horsepower and 281 pounds-feet of torque.
While the updates are successful, Bragman warns that a full redesign must be forthcoming if the Frontier hopes to remain vital versus imminent overhauls of the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma.
“Nissan didn’t go the clean-sheet-design route with the new Frontier,” Bragman writes. “Instead, in response to a lot of customer demand (and likely on a limited budget), the automaker opted for significant upgrades, updates and refinements to the old one. Did Nissan go far enough in its makeover of this mid-sizer? I think it did — for now.”
For Bragman’s full Frontier take, follow the link below to the No. 8 finisher on Cars.com’s countdown of most popular articles.
Despite its refreshingly well-received return, the Frontier couldn’t quite keep up with other fellow pickups. The all-new 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup truck, with a unibody frame and love-it-or-hate-it exterior design, lands in the sixth-place spot this month in the form of our rapid-fire rundown of its pros and cons. On the positive side are its fashion-forward styling, versatile bed, mid-size-truck-rivaling towing capacity and market-splitting potential. The Santa Cruz’s skin-deep-only cabin quality, confusing and seemingly arbitrary multimedia applications, overuse of touch-sensitive controls and uncomfortable rear-seat position result in points deducted.
For the full list of likes and dislikes about the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, follow the link below to the No. 6 news story of the past month.
Further up the countdown was our dissection of the things we like and don’t like about the Honda Ridgeline mid-size pickup’s 2021 refresh. Earning praise were the truck’s ride and handling; well-balanced 3.5-liter V-6; roomy and hospitable cabin; clever storage offerings; durable reinforced composite bed; and abundance of standard safety features.
For the 2021 Honda Ridgeline attributes we found less than desirable, follow the link below to our No. 3 news story of the week.
And, finally, in still more top-finishing truck news, we report on how we came to the conclusion to outfit Cars.com Best of 2021 award winner and long-term test vehicle, the Ford F-150, with a DualLiner bedliner versus available drop-in or spray-in options. Check out the No. 1 news story of the past month to put that issue to bed.
Beyond that, we’ve got headlines on the Kia Carnival, Polestar 2, Hyundai Tucson and Tucson Hybrid, and much more where all that came from, so keep reading. Here are the top 10 news stories Cars.com readers couldn’t get enough of in the past month:
Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.