Nissan brings back the Hardbody truck with a tribute model
The Nissan Hardbody is back—sort of.
Introduced in late 1986, Nissan’s pickup truck was just another also-ran until the Hardbody pickup advertising campaign debuted, making America think that Japan’s little bull-nosed pickup was tougher than the competition.
Sales increased and stayed strong right up until the rather delicate-looking Frontier debuted for the 1998 model year, replacing the Hardbody. A second-generation Frontier arrived for the 2005 model year, and the current-generation Frontier followed for 2022.
For 2024, Frontier enters the new model year with a throwback touch in the shape of the Hardbody Edition, “a nostalgic tribute to the original Nissan Hardbody pickup of the 1980s.”
The Hardbody Edition starts with a well-equipped Crew Cab SV 4×4 and adds three-spoke, heritage-styled 17-inch alloy wheels that closely replicate the look of those on the original truck, shod in all-terrain tires. An aluminum skid plate, black-over fenders, a black side rail, mud flaps, and a bed-mounted sport bar contribute to the retro-rugged look.
Like its ’80s namesake, the Hardbody Edition wears black-painted bumpers, mirrors, door handles, and grille. Completing the package, the truck wears black graphics “that deliver throwback cool,” with a large “4×4” logo on the front doors and a tailgate graphic that features a cut-out “Nissan” logo, replacing the truck’s typical Nissan tailgate emblem.
“We took some of those design elements and modernized them. Even if you don’t recognize or remember the original Hardbody, you’re still going to say, ‘That’s a cool truck,'” said Hiren Patel, project lead designer for Nissan Design America.
“I was constantly searching for Hardbody trucks for sale online, and I had pictures of them up all over the studio,” he continues. “As the first full production model designed by our studio, it’s an important piece of history to us at Nissan Design America.”
The limited-edition package has an MSRP of $3890.
The 2024 Frontier also adds an SL grade on Crew Cab models. It bundles several features—such as LED lighting, leather-appointed seating, a Fender 10-speaker audio system, and more—in a grade level that reflects customers’ interest in a highly equipped midsize truck.
Additionally for 2024, available NissanConnect Services now includes a three-year trial (up from a six-month trial previously). The telematics feature works with the MyNissan smartphone app and includes remote door lock/unlock, remote engine start/stop, vehicle health report, emergency calling, and Nissan Skill for Amazon Alexa 2.
The 2024 Nissan Frontier offers an array of bed lengths, drivetrain configurations, and grades. The Frontier King Cab is offered with a 6-foot bed, the Crew Cab S and PRO-X/PRO-4X models feature a 5-foot bed and the Crew Cab SV is offered with either a 5-foot or a 6-foot bed.
Prices for the 2024 Frontier start at $29,770, not including shipping.