For readers of a (ehem) certain age, Nissan’s popular line of midsize pickup trucks used to be called the Frontier. Then it became Frontier Navara. When Nissan officially launched its latest generation midsize pickup truck back in 2014, it was renamed to just Navara. Eventually, that became the model’s international name.
Nissan, however, hasn't retired the Frontier name; it is still alive and well over in the US. In fact, it’s actually the name of Nissan’s midsize pickup truck across the Pacific. And just like the Navara in the Philippines, it’s also available in the Pro-4X trim.
Seeing that both pickups can be specified in the new top-of-the-line trim, we decided to do a design check and see just how similar (and different) the international market Navara and North American Frontier are.
Let’s begin with the most obvious: the face. The Navara comes with a massive blacked-out grille, eye-catching quad LED headlights with L-shaped daytime running lights (DRLs), a black bumper overrider with orange accents, and a black Nissan badge with orange lettering. Last but not least, it gets a pair of circular foglights with blacked-out bezels. Not bad, but the Frontier also shares a (somewhat) similar look to the Navara’s.
The Frontier also gets a blacked-out grille but is significantly smaller than the Navara’s. It also has a slightly different badge that features both the letters and inner ring of the logo in orange. It doesn’t have the quad-style headlights as the Navara, but the Frontier does have its own set of LED headlights that are paired with horizontally-shaped DRLs. Rounding everything up are the black bumpers with integrated skid plates, rectangular LED foglights, and orange-colored tow hooks.
All in all, the two pickup trucks may look the same, but in reality, these have very different features. While the Navara Pro-4X has a rounder design, the Frontier Pro-4X has a more boxy and squared-off design. Did we mention the Frontier has a more pronounced hood compared to the Navara’s?
Back and side-to-side
While some might say it’s only the faces of the Navara and Frontier that differ, Nissan also made sure both pickup trucks have a distinct rear and side profile.
Taking a look at the Navara first, one will immediately notice that it has a little ledge on the tailgate. It also has new pair of LED taillights and a bumper that is more integrated into the body design. Present as well are the black wheel arches with orange accents on the top. Finally, the top of the bed has an angled design which makes the Navara appear to have a taller bed height.
Over to the Frontier Pro-4X, and pickup features the familiar boxy shape at the front end. The tailgate itself appears wider and bigger compared to the Navara. The Frontier also has a lip on the tailgate but is not as prominent as the one on the Navara. As for the LED taillights, it’s marginally smaller and feature a different cluster design. Last but not least is the bumper which has a similar design to what we get.
How about the inside?
Aside from the exterior, the interior of the two pickups is also unique to each other.
In the Navara, the cabin still relatively looks the same as the pre-facelift version. However, it does get some new features as well as some updated amenities. There’s a new three-spoke steering wheel with black and orange accents, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control, and full-leather seats with orange contrast stitching plus Pro-4X decals on the backrests.
The Frontier Pro-4X, on the other hand, has nothing in common with the PH-spec Navara Pro-4X. It gets a four-spoke steering wheel, a unique gear selector which appears similar to the Terra, a larger 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and vertical aircon vents. Like the Navara, the Frontier comes with a full-leather upholstery, along with orange contrast stitching and Pro-4X decals.
Same same, but different
The Nissan Navara and Frontier Pro-4X may be related. But when it comes to their looks, the two pickups have little to no similarities. Sure they may have a similar color palette and orange contrast finishes, but both vehicles don’t exactly have the same exterior and interior design.
We do like the Frontier’s more upscale cabin and the reason is that the Navara’s interior still looks very much like the pre-facelift version. While there is nothing wrong with its design, it is starting to show its age. Hopefully, the next-generation Navara will have a similar, if not, more upmarket finish than the Frontier’s.
What about you? Which one of the Pro-4X models has the better looks, the Navara or the Frontier?