Off-Road Showdown: 2020 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X vs Gladiator Rubicon – Is Nissan’s New V6 Enough?

For 2020 Nissan has installed a brand new powertrain into the Frontier, but is that really enough to make it a significantly better truck, both on and off-road?

That’s a question we set out to answer by comparing it to a stalwart in the off-road world, the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon. First, let’s break down the Frontier.

Next year, Nissan plans to reveal a brand new truck from hood to hitch, but for 2020, the brand has decided to put the new truck’s powertrain into the current Frontier. Nissan says that the new powerplant has 93 percent new parts compared to the current V6. That new unit is a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque send through a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Besides that new powertrain, everything else about this Frontier remains, meaning that the Pro-4X package still brings along a set of Bilstein shocks, all-terrain tires, skid plates, fog lights, a spray-on bedliner and some goodies inside.

Meanwhile, the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is one of the most off-road ready midsize pickups you can buy, coming with lockers in the front and rear, a disconnecting sway bar, over 10-inches of ground clearance, generous angles all around and some low gearing to provide great crawling abilities.

If you want to watch these two trucks go head-to-head, watch the video above.