Frontier (D40) Differences: 2005-2008 vs. 2009-2021

The Nissan Frontier was first sold in the U.S. as a 2005 model and had a subtle yet entirely different facelift following the 2008 model year. The whole front end was reshaped and redesigned for a cleaner look that at first glance might not be apparent. However, every front-end body component (save for the fenders) on 2009-2021 Frontiers are all new, and are not compatible with the previous 2005-2008 front end. The exterior changes include:

– New headlamp shape and design
– New, larger V-shaped grille shell
– Front bumper is rounder and projects 80 mm further forward (for those with the metal bumper, the upper plastic trim piece has the changes)
– New 17-inch/18-inch alloy wheels (SL model only)

Take a look below; it’s not an exact transformation, but pay attention to the physical shapes of the headlamps and center grill; anything bordering the headlamps and grill (except for the fenders) are all changed as well:

As for the inside, the interior got a list of upgrades as well, with the center stack redesign being the most noticeable change. A lot of technology updates as well have happened over the years. Here’s the full list of changes:

– Softer, better quality dash materials
– Softer seat and door panel materials
– Redesigned center dash and lower console
– Additional bright/gloss finish surfacing
– Speed-sensing volume for audio (select models)
– MP3 compatibility for audio
– Bluetooth connectivity for audio
– Dual-zone digital climate control
– Remote audio/Bluetooth controls on the steering wheel
– External temperature gauge
– Speed-sensitive variable windscreen wipers
– ‘Follow me home’ interior lighting
– Electric mirrors now fold in fully (SL models)
– Vehicle Dynamics Control (stability control)
– Added side-impact bars
– Added side-curtain airbags

As mentioned above, the most prominent and noticeable design change is the larger, flatter center dash with the faux brushed aluminum slide plates. Also note the redesigned switch area just below the HVAC controls (where the 4WD switch is in the newer photo):