The new Nissan Frontier is finally here. Regardless that it rides on the outdated mannequin’s underpinnings, it advantages from a radical makeover that was so lengthy overdue we’re simply completely happy Nissan lastly acquired round to it. Amongst all of the Fronty’s newness, a shock stood out: A new Pro-X trim level, a two-wheel-drive, off-road-focused mannequin spun off the continued Professional-4X 4×Four iteration. Such two-wheel-drive, butched-up fashions was extra of a “factor” within the ’90s, however they’re making a comeback, most notably with Ford’s introduction of the Ranger FX2 package deal. Seeing how it’s a pure foe for Nissan’s Frontier Professional-X, let’s see how the 2 stack up.
Frontier Professional-X vs. Ranger FX2: The Fundamentals
Each are mid-size vehicles that ship energy to the rear wheels solely and have a touch of off-roadability about them. They’re what are often known as “Prerunners,” so-called for his or her non secular inspiration, vehicles with desert-friendly raised suspensions and rear-drive for quick scouting throughout off-road races.
They’re completely useable on a regular basis and aren’t going to completely allow you to down when the going will get muddy, soiled, or sandy, even with out four-wheel drive. The Professional-X is a full-blown trim stage throughout the Frontier lineup, it appears, whereas the FX2 remedy exists as an extra-cost package deal on two-wheel-drive Rangers.
While Nissan is keeping a number of important details—like strategy and departure angles and journey peak in comparison with the usual truck, in addition to pricing—beneath wraps, we nonetheless have some key bits of information we are able to evaluate the 2 vehicles on.
Frontier Professional-X vs. Ranger FX2: What’s Included
The Nissan Frontier Professional-X is greatest considered a Professional-4X minus four-wheel drive. For instance, it sits increased than non-Professional fashions and makes use of the identical beefed-up Bilstein dampers which are discovered on the four-wheel-drive Professional-4X mannequin however with particular tuning for this two-wheel-drive software. There isn’t any locking rear differential, however the Professional-X does embody a Dana rear axle and a entrance skid plate, LED headlights, and Lava Crimson accents inside and outside.
Ford’s FX2 package deal is sort of the deal, at $595, and just like the Professional-X remedy, it mimics the FX4 bundle for four-wheel-drive Rangers. It contains an digital locking rear differential and extra underbody safety than the Nissan (along with a entrance skid plate, there are different underbody shields additional again). Ford doesn’t outsource its shock provide and makes do with its personal set of springs and dampers, which set the Ranger up excessive like the same gear on Ranger FX4 fashions. Consumers can select from 17- and 18-inch off-road tire choices, an off-road show within the gauge cluster, uncovered entrance tow hooks, and “FX2” stickers.
Frontier Professional-X vs. Ranger FX2: Engine and Transmission
Whether or not you select the Frontier Professional-X or the Ranger FX2, one selection you gained’t have is what’s beneath the hood. Each vehicles are provided with solely a single engine and transmission possibility. The Ford is powered by a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that makes 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque; it comes hitched to a 10-speed automated transmission. The Nissan’s 3.8-liter V-6 engine and nine-speed automated transmission have been new for 2020 and put in within the outdated Frontier as a form of real-time sturdiness check till the brand new 2022 mannequin arrived. It’s a stout powertrain, with the V-6 churning out 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque.
Even so, the Ford can in the end tow greater than the Nissan with a max towing capability of seven,500 kilos in comparison with the Frontier’s 6,720-pound most.
Nissan isn’t speaking pricing but, however given how previous Prerunner-style pickups (and Ford’s Ranger FX2 bits) have been out there on less-expensive variants, the Frontier Professional-X could not essentially be practically as costly because the range-topping Frontier Professional-4X. (Final yr’s Professional-4X, for instance, began at $38,885.) You should buy a Ford Ranger FX2 for as little as $28,840—keep in mind, it’s a $595 possibility and out there on the bottom Ranger XL, in addition to the mid-grade XLT or Lariat fashions.
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