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2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x Crew Cab Review: Conquering New Terrain and Exploring the Capabilities

The 2023 Nissan Frontier, specifically the Pro-4X model, sits at the top of the product stack for this midsize pickup truck. They seem to get bigger every year, but this mid-size pickup truck impressed me when I drove it last week for this review.


Nissan's trucks have long history, but it wasn't until 1998 that Nissan introduced the first generation of the Frontier, followed by a second generation in 2005. These trucks represented a new era of design and innovation, capturing the attention of truck lovers around the world. However, in the years that followed, the Frontier seemed to fade into the background, spending almost 15 years on the sidelines.

But recently, in 2022, Nissan has breathed new life into the Frontier, modernizing it for a new generation. With its rich history and experience, one would expect the Nissan Frontier to dominate the field, setting the pace for other trucks to follow. Yet, as I discovered firsthand for this review, it's only on equal footing for now.

What's New in 2023 Frontier

While Nissan has focused on maintaining the Frontier's excellence, they have introduced a few notable changes and enhancements to elevate the driving experience.

One of the exciting updates for 2023 is the introduction of the Midnight Edition appearance package. This package is exclusively available for the crew cab SV trim, adding a touch of style and allure.

2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x Crew Cab Review rear view

Furthermore, Nissan has listened to customer feedback and enhanced the SV Crew Cab with the long bed. Now, this trim includes the previously optional SV Convenience package as standard. The SV Convenience package brings a range of desirable features to the table, including a heated leather steering wheel, heated front seats for extra comfort, a spray-in bed liner to protect your cargo area, and under-rail bed lighting for improved visibility.

Keeping up with the ever-evolving technology, Nissan has also made an important addition to the Frontier lineup. Wireless Apple CarPlay, a highly sought-after feature, now comes standard on the Pro-X and Pro-4X trims. This means seamless connectivity with your iPhone without the hassle of wires, allowing you to enjoy your favorite apps, music, and navigation conveniently.

Lastly, for those seeking a touch of luxury, the Pro Premium package has received a notable enhancement. The package now includes Lava Red contrast stitching, which adds a vibrant and eye-catching detail to the interior. It's a small yet significant addition that enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of the Frontier.

The Engine and Performance of the 2023 Nisan Pro-4X

Let's begin by talking about what's under the hood. Here are the details on the 3.8-liter V6 engine. It delivers 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. The Frontier comes with a smooth 9-speed automatic transmission and a shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system. Additionally, it features a two-speed transfer case with four high and four low options. The truck also offers simulated limited slip through the brake system, electronic lock-in rear differential, and a really smooth 9-speed transmission. You can switch to four-wheel drive on the fly, and the indicator behind the steering wheel informs you when you're in four-wheel drive mode. Acceleration is impressive, especially when launched hard, but it loves to rev to 7,000 RPM.

2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x Crew Cab Review engine

The Frontier can tow up to 6,230 pounds and has a payload capacity of 1,610 pounds.

The Frontier is available in three cab configurations: King Cab, Crew Cab, and Double Cab. The King Cab has two doors and a small rear seat, while the Crew Cab and Double Cab have four doors and a larger rear seat. The Frontier is also available with a choice of two bed lengths: 5.0 feet and 6.0 feet.

2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x Crew Cab Review rear seat

The Frontier is available in a variety of trim levels, including S, SV, PRO-X, and PRO-4X. The PRO-4X is the top-of-the-line trim level and features a number of off-road-oriented features, such as Bilstein shocks, skid plates, and all-terrain tires.
Let's discuss the pricing of each trim to give you a better understanding of the options available:

S Trim: The base model of the Frontier, the S trim, is priced at $30,525. This entry-level trim provides a solid foundation with its essential features and capabilities. It offers good value for those seeking a reliable and versatile pickup truck without unnecessary frills.

SV Trim: Moving up the lineup, we have the SV trim, which starts at $33,225. With a slightly higher price point, the SV trim builds upon the S trim with additional features and enhancements. It offers a more refined driving experience and a broader range of amenities for increased comfort and convenience.

Pro-X Trim: The Pro-X trim is positioned as a more rugged and capable variant of the Frontier. Priced at $37,055, it offers a higher level of off-road performance and features. It is designed for enthusiasts and adventurers who seek enhanced capability and durability without compromising comfort.

Pro-4X Trim: The top-tier trim in the Frontier lineup is the Pro-4X, priced at $40,055. This trim is geared towards off-road enthusiasts and individuals who require maximum off-road capability. With advanced features and technologies specifically tailored for rough terrains, the Pro-4X ensures a thrilling and capable off-road experience.

It's important to note that the prices mentioned above are approximate and can vary based on various factors such as location, optional packages, and additional features chosen. My Pro-4X Crew Cab, for example, came with a $46,380 price tag, which, as you see is $5,000 more than the Pro-4X trim price discussed above.


Moving away from the pricing, we can appreciate the redesigned exterior of the Frontier. A couple of years back, Nissan made the Frontier a very handsome pickup truck. The Pro 4X model, as well as the Pro X model (rear-wheel drive only), both offer great looks. The Pro 4X features upgraded LED headlights, a more aggressive front end with a skid plate, red hooks, and Bilstein shocks all around.

The truck also boasts upgraded 17-inch wheels, and its overall stature, especially with this paint color, looks fantastic. The Pro X models come with attractive Lava Orange accents, a glossy black badge, and the "Frontier" label across the tailgate. The tailpipe could have been improved, but the truck's design is still impressive. Lowering the tailgate reveals a convenient tailgate assist, a slow-lowering mechanism, and a rugged and premium sprayed-in bed liner. The bed also includes rail systems, bed lights on each side, and a useful household plug-in with up to 400 watts of power. The gas cap action feels a bit cheap, but the door slam and overall solidness are satisfying.

2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x Crew Cab Review side exterior design

Unlike the competition which multiplies the different approaches, the Frontier focuses on a few versions. The model under test, the PRO-4X is certainly the one that offers the most expressive personality in the range. It stands out with its PRO-4X decals on the rear fenders, and, as mentioned in the above paragraph, 17-inch two-tone rims and a contrasting skid plate on the front bumper. You also get additional plates to protect the differential and the fuel tank under the vehicle. PRO-4Xs also come with the partially red/orange Nissan logo on both the exterior and interior.

Generally speaking, the Frontier does not push the notion of design very far. It's all angular, and there's even a nod to its fallen big brother, the Titan, in the style of the grille with a concealed T. I like the contribution of the red accents, especially those of the tow hooks. More practical, the LED optical blocks, with the two-band visual signature, are interesting while providing good lighting at night.


Access on board is good with a good opening of the door. Visibility is impeccable from all angles. Since the hood is nearly flat, it's easy to find its bearings and be aware of its size in space when maneuvering. The slope at the base of the front side windows also contributes to good peripheral vision.

With the Frontier, you quickly realize that the designers have cut corners in terms of ergonomics. And it starts badly with a steering wheel that is not telescopic. The PRO-4X comes with a 9-inch multimedia screen, which is standard, but the resolution of the images from the cameras is very grainy. The instrumentation falls into conservatism with two large dials embellished with an orange circle and a complete on-board computer. At the console, it's more practical with an induction charger and USB and USB-C sockets.

2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x Crew Cab Review interior front

The Frontier offers a decent degree of comfort up front with seats that have no fatigue points, but could do with a little more hip support and more lumbar support. At the rear, the door opening is limited. Putting a child seat on it will be difficult.

Yet, in the back seat, you can fold the seats up to create additional storage space underneath. In the Pro 4X model, there's also a fender subwoofer. If needed, the seats can be folded down to accommodate child seats. The back seat offers good headroom and surprising legroom, even for someone who is six foot one. The cabin stays cool thanks to the excellent air conditioning, despite the absence of rear vents. The back door has a nice soft touch lining the inside, a comfortable armrest, and a small pocket for the passenger seat. The flat floor adds to the comfort in the back. In terms of safety, there's a blind spot monitor on the edge of the mirror, which works effectively.

Entering the driver's seat, you'll find basic motor controls. The seat has manual adjustments and a stylish carbon fiber weave design. The Pro 4X ornamentation in the middle features a honeycomb pattern.

Fuel Economy

The 2023 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X Crew Cab offers respectable fuel efficiency considering its rugged capabilities. When equipped with rear-wheel drive, the Frontier PRO-4X achieves an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Opting for the added traction of four-wheel drive slightly reduces the efficiency, with ratings of 17 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.

For further details and precise fuel economy figures, it is recommended to visit the official website of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

The Frontier PRO-4X Crew Cab strikes a balance between performance and fuel economy, catering to drivers who desire capable off-road capability without compromising on efficiency. It is important to note that individual driving habits, terrain, and other factors can influence real-world fuel economy.

Drive Experience

Moving on to the driving experience, the Frontier handles surprisingly well. The steering is excellent, and it feels confident in turns.

On the road, the Frontier Pro-4X is surprisingly refined. The ride is comfortable and the handling is secure. The engine is powerful enough to get the truck up to speed quickly, and the transmission shifts smoothly. The Frontier Pro-4X is also surprisingly quiet at highway speeds.

Off-road, the Frontier Pro-4X is equally capable. The four-wheel-drive system is well-suited for navigating rough terrain, and the off-road shocks help to keep the truck stable even when things get bumpy. The Frontier Pro-4X also comes standard with a number of off-road features, such as skid plates, a locking rear differential, and hill descent control.

Here is what I recommend the 2023 Frontier truck. The 2023 Nissan Frontier is a nice contribution to today's average. Tomorrow, with the arrival of new generations from GM, Toyota, Ford and, even, Honda with the Ridgeline, the Frontier will quickly look technologically outdated. I am not saying this is bad because I like the old-style dials and buttons. For now, this truck is a good option that we recommend due to good reliability and a competitive price list, but there are more modern options elsewhere.

Have you driven it? How does it drive for you? Please, let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.

Reference: Nissan News, RPM Web.