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Nissan’s New Frontier Concept Is All About Overlanding On the Cheap


May 16, 2019 Cars By
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On Thursday, at the at the 2019 Overland Expo West, Nissan unveiled the Destination Frontier: a sharp-looking one-off version of the mid-size Frontier pickup, modded out into an overlanding beast.

Mods for the Destination Frontier — which started life as a Frontier Crew Cab Midnight Edition ($32,295) — include a Nisstec 3-inch lift kit, a CVT Mt. Shasta rooftop tent, a Leitner designs bed rack, Baja Designs LP6 Pro Lights, a Hefty Fabworks bumper, skid plates, and rock sliders, a WARN Industries winch setup, and a Dometic freezer/fridge. It also has Nitto Trail Grappler off-road tires on American Racing AX201 wheels.

Nissan’s hook for the Destination Frontier revolves around value, describing it as a “highly capable, high-quality overlanding truck built on a budget.” Nissan claims one can outfit a Frontier similarly for roughly $40,000, thousands less than a premium, kitted-out Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison, or Jeep Gladiator Rubicon would run. (That said, one major caveat: labor costs, which don’t seem to have been factored in.)

This build is definitely on trend for the midsize truck segment, dipping into the multi-billion-dollar aftermarket in-house with off-roading and overlanding mods. Customers love getting their perfect, customized truck off the lot under warranty and without time and effort. Manufacturers like turning a $30,000 truck into a $50,000 truck without upgrading the powertrain.

The project is cheap in large part because the Frontier itself —  the venerable elder of the midsize truck segment — is cheap. Nissan still sells the second generation Frontier, which debuted for the 2005 model year, in Canada and the U.S. Buyers will be partying like it’s 2005 with a 4.0-liter V-6 and a five-speed automatic transmission…a combination that, somewhat ironically, is still about on par with smaller-engined whippersnapper mid-sized trucks when it comes to fuel economy.

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