Hell, It’s About Time: Nissan Extends The 2024 Frontier Hardbody To The Canadian Market - SUV VEHICLE

Hell, It’s About Time: Nissan Extends The 2024 Frontier Hardbody To The Canadian Market

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Summary

  • Canadian market gets 2024 Nissan Frontier SV Hardbody edition after trending market for 80s-90s nostalgia, welcome back!
  • The Frontier Hardbody is a tribute to the first Nissan pickup in North America, cementing Nissan’s truck reliability reputation.
  • The vintage-style Hardbody edition includes cosmetic upgrades based on the Frontier SV trim, mechanically unchanged, a nod to the past.



Up until now, this was a classic case of the U.S. always getting the best forbidden fruit. As a Canadian myself, I’ve witnessed it more than once in this industry: a carmaker announces a kick-ass new model or a rad, limited edition variant, but ends up leaving us, Canucks, behind and yearning for more.

The reasons for not bringing a given car north of the border typically have something to do with different market demographics, a different economy, or a general lack of demand. Canada is a very tiny market next to the U.S. Understandably, carmakers react to it differently.

That all being said, I am well aware that the Canadian market has also received some cool vehicles in the past; cars, trucks and SUVs that my American friends are still jealous of not having on their side of the border. The adorable Nissan Micra (there was even a Canadian-exclusive Micra cup!) is the first one that comes to mind.


Canada got other cool, unique stuff, like the weird Civic Si-derived Acura EL/CSX which offered at some point its own, bespoke Type S version. During the 1990s, Canada got the real, German-spec E36 BMW M3, while the U.S. got a more toned-down version. Oh, and the Canadians also got cool hatchbacks and wagons from Mercedes-Benz, like the A-Class hatchback or the C300 station wagon.

But this one, the 2024 Nissan Frontier Hardbody, which Nissan USA released for its market back in September 2023, really had me scratching my head as to why Canada wasn’t getting it. I mean, it’s just an esthetics package, so what gives? Seems like the folks over at Nissan Canada have been asking the same questions because, at last, the Canadian market is also getting the Frontier Hardbody.


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The Hype Behind The Nissan Hardbody

Red Nissan Frontier Hardbody
Nissan

These days, the entire auto industry is realizing that nostalgia for anything built during the 1980s and 1990s is extremely lucrative. We’ve seen a ton of throwbacks in recent years, like the return of the Acura Integra, the Lamborghini Countach and the Toyota Supra. Hyundai is also banking hard on 1980’s nostalgia with its batshit-cool N74 concept car.

The Frontier Hardbody, then, is a direct throwback to the first official Nissan pickup truck sold on North American soil. What’s particularly interesting about this truck is that it marked the switch from Datsun to Nissan during the mid 1980s. Not only did it help cement Nissan’s reputation for reliability in the truck segment, the Hardbody – today a legend – was also very lucrative for the brand. It sold well during a 12-year run, from 1985 to 1997. In Mexico, the Hardbody soldiered on up until 2008!


Nissan Frontier SV Trim Returns To Canada

2024 Nissan Frontier Hardbody
Nissan

Since the Hardbody edition is based on the Frontier SV, a trim level that was removed from the Canadian Nissan lineup in 2023 due to supply issues, we can only assume that it returns this year. As a matter of fact, in its press release, Nissan Canada mentions that the entry level SL version is also making a comeback this year.


What you’re basically getting from this throwback edition is a Frontier SV, complete in a Crew Cab (4 doors) configuration. The truck comes with vintage-style 17-inch wheels, which, I must say, do a bang-up job of making this new Frontier look like its ancestor. I would get a new Hardbody just for those wheels. All-terrain tires, a front skid plate, blacked-out wheel arches, bumpers and mirrors, a bed-mounted rollbar and retro “4×4” lettering with a tailgate-mounted black stripe all help complete the special edition package.

Nissan Frontier Hardbody
Nissan


Nothing really changes from a mechanical standpoint, and that’s totally fine as the 310-horsepower, naturally aspirated 3.8-liter V-6 clearly gets the job done. Like all Frontiers, the Hardbody’s towing rating is set at 6,260 pounds, as per the carmaker. As for pricing, Nissan Canada still hasn’t confirmed it, but my guess is that it’ll sit just under the Pro-4X, which currently kicks off at $54,774 CAD. Expect the 2024 Nissan Frontier Hardbody to hit Canadian showrooms this spring.

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