2022 Nissan Frontier vs 2022 Ford Ranger

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  • 2022 Nissan Frontier

    A silver 2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X is shown facing right.

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    2022 Ford Ranger

    A blue 2022 Ford Ranger XLT is angled right.

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    310Horsepower (hp)270
    9Screen Size (in)8
    Avl.Around View CamerasNo

    When it comes to pickup trucks, midsize options lead the pack, with expert capabilities, rugged builds, and loads of features designed to handle tough work. Easier to maneuver and more efficient than their full-size counterparts, midsize trucks are the go-to models for those who desire power, style, and above all else, enjoyment in their travels. The biggest news on the block this year is the emergence of the all-new Nissan Frontier, the third generation of the model, which hadn't seen a complete redesign in 17 years. There are rivals, however, that seek to steal the spotlight from the all-new Frontier, and one of these competitors is the Ford Ranger. When it comes to the 2022 Nissan Frontier vs 2022 Ford Ranger, which pickup is destined for greatness?

    The Frontier has had a loyal following since it made its way into the industry in the late 1990s, sporting the famed Nissan Hardbody design, ideal for a variety of drivers. The Frontier evolved as the years went on; however, its current evolution is one of the most anticipated redesigns we've seen in the business. The Frontier is all-new this year, showcasing a more modern design inside and out, more innovative tech, and riveting performance. The Ranger has been collecting a following since the early 1980s, and despite a halt in production for a few years following its 2011 model, it came back with a vengeance in 2019. For 2022, the Ranger offers a vibrant Splash package to further enhance its intimidating appeal, but when it comes to overall excellence, the addition of a mere appearance package may not be enough to compete on a level playing field with the advanced Frontier.

  • Capabilities

    A grey 2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X is shown towing an ATV trailer.

    Performance Elements

    Perhaps the most important aspect of a pickup is its performance, and whether you're hauling cargo or pulling heavy loads, you want a truck that will deliver the capabilities required. That's where the 2022 Nissan Frontier shines, with its standard 3.8L V6 engine giving it 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque to allow it to perform among the best in the business. The great thing about the Frontier is that it's exciting to drive, but pair this excitement with its power, and you've got a truck that checks all the boxes on your list of must-haves. Able to tow up to 6,720 lbs and haul up to 1,710 lbs of payload, the Frontier makes it easy to take any job head-on. What's even more appealing about the Frontier is that it's pleasantly efficient, getting up to 24 MPG on the highway, which makes it a top choice for those looking for a truck that they can trust with their everyday travels and more.

    Like the Frontier, the 2022 Ford Ranger is only available with one engine to choose from, but it's a 2.3L four-cylinder. With only 270 horsepower, you'll be in for a less thrilling ride compared to the Frontier. It's also been reported that the Ranger is rather stiff on the road, which can make for an uncomfortable driving experience. It does, however, offer a nice towing capacity, able to tow up to 7,500 lbs, but with its lack of responsiveness and smoothness on the road, you may be left wanting more out of this particular truck.

    Engineering Excellence

    The Nissan Frontier is a popular pick for a number of drivers, especially those who prefer to venture off-road for a bit of weekend fun. With a more rugged design than ever before, the Frontier is engineered to be able to take on the trails with agility that can't be rivaled. An upgraded suspension system, plus extraordinary 4WD abilities, allows the Frontier to discover new places, even if they lie off the beaten path. Active Brake Slip technology provides the Frontier with increased traction and control, sending power to the wheels with more control to correct slippage, adding more stability to your ride. Upgrade to the PRO-4X model for even more enhanced off-road-ready elements, like Bilstein shocks, an electronic locking rear differential, and more to add increased precision to your off-road journey.

    Unfortunately for the Ranger, it just can't keep up with most of its rivals when it comes to off-road abilities. You will get to enjoy a Terrain Management System, which offers selectable drive modes for more control on any terrain; however, many of its competitors, including the Frontier, offer more to enhance the off-road experience. You'll need to upgrade to the Tremor or FX4 models to enjoy off-road staples, like specialized FOX shocks, a Trail Control system, and more rugged features. In the end, when it comes to capabilities and performance, the Ranger falls short due to its lack of excitement during everyday driving and lack of options for off-roading delight.

  • Design

    The black interior of a 2022 Nissan Frontier shows the steering wheel and center console.

    Interior Design Quality

    Since the 2022 Nissan Frontier has been completely revamped this year, you can expect to find many upgrades to its design, especially its interior cabin space. Comfort elements reign supreme, with Zero Gravity seats to offer a cushioned ride, whether you're cruising down the highway or navigating rocky terrain. From heated seats to a power sliding glass moonroof, creating the ambiance you desire for your travels is easy in the Frontier. It proves to be the perfect blend of ruggedness and sophistication, with its acoustic, sound-absorbing glass offering a quiet, peaceful ride, while durable features, like all-season floor mats and door scuff protectors, remind you that it's ready for adventure. The Frontier is also incredibly spacious, offering plenty of storage solutions, including rear under-seat storage and other ingenious cubbies throughout.

    Where the Ranger falls short is mainly with its design, especially inside. Dotted with bargain-bin plastic pieces and dated appointments, the Ranger is a far cry from other trucks in its class when it comes to modern styling. You can expect to find cloth upholstery and simplistic materials in its base models, but if you upgrade to its new Splash package, you'll get to enjoy a few more perks. A gloss black interior design and more well-developed appointments can be expected from this special package; however, be prepared to pay more for these luxuries.

    Exterior Appeal

    Just one quick glance at the all-new Frontier, and you'll be able to tell that it's different from its predecessors. With a bold new design from front to back, the Frontier offers a level of intimidation and style that can't be beat. From a redefined grille showcasing fierce Frontier lettering to a wider, more menacing stance, the Frontier just exudes adventure. For those seeking to head off on an epic exploration, rest assured the Frontier is ready for it, with a strong frame, high stance for increased ground clearance, and available upgrades to make it off-road worthy. Opting for its adventurous PRO-4X model will allow you to take advantage of reinforced skid plates, all-terrain tires, and add-ons, like off-road step rails, 17-inch beadlock-style wheels, and more.

    When it comes to making a statement, both the Frontier and the Ranger do a good job of this. The Ranger has been a crowd favorite for years, and we have to give it to Ford; the Ranger's exterior is pretty impressive. Choosing the Splash package will allow you to make the Ranger even more enticing, with orange and black accents, 18-inch matte-black wheels, an orange grille trim, and more. Although the Ranger tries to bring the heat when it comes to its exterior design, it's difficult to ignore the interior's lack of quality and overall style. When you're trying to compete with a truck like the all-new Frontier, there can be no room for error, and the Ranger just doesn't stack up when it comes to interior design.

  • Technology

    A grey 2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X is shown during a 2022 Nissan Frontier vs 2022 Ford Ranger competition.

    Advanced Technology in the Frontier

    From an available class-leading 9-inch touchscreen to advanced towing tech, the 2022 Nissan Frontier thinks of everything when it comes to making your journey better. Its trailering technology is among the best around, with an Intelligent Around View Monitor at the ready to provide you with enhanced visibility around your truck and your haul. You'll also find that Trailer Sway Control and Tow-Haul Mode are there to provide unmatched stability and control over your trailer, making the Frontier a go-to choice for drivers seeking a midsize truck that won't let them down with their towing needs.

    The Frontier is also loaded with state-of-the-art driver-assistance tech to make for an all-around better ride. This includes class-exclusive Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, which responds to slowing traffic, monitoring up to two cars ahead of you for enhanced response time. Off-roading enthusiasts will also benefit from the tech that resides inside the Frontier, with off-road gauges designed to keep track of pitch, roll, and other off-road performance data. No matter what you seek to do in the all-new Frontier, you'll have the confidence you need that its tech features are watching out for you and offering you a one-of-a-kind driving experience.

    Tech Expectations in the Ranger

    Unfortunately for the Ranger, it just can't stack up to the steep competition, especially when it comes to infotainment. With base models only able to offer a tiny 4.2-inch radio display, you are extremely limited connectivity-wise in this truck. You'll need to upgrade to more expensive models in order to enjoy an 8-inch touchscreen with advanced features. Speaking of upgrades, you will also have to spend more to get helpful features, like available Blind Spot Monitoring with Trailer Coverage for increased peace of mind while navigating your haul through dense traffic. When it comes right down to it, drivers have come to rely on cutting-edge tech to help them stay connected and protected on the road, and the fact that the Ranger doesn't offer some of these features in its base model is beyond disappointing.

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