Mountain biking in Utahs San Rafael Swell
âRight off the bat,â says TJ, âit’s an extremely comfortable truck. In fact, I would say it doesn’t really drive like a truck. The PRO-4X comes standard with Bilstein shocks, which make a excellent work soaks up some of the bumps. And they allow me to handle the weight of the vehicle quite easily. “
Seen from above, the San Rafael Swell stretches like a fallen leaf across central Utah, bounded by Green River to the east and the Manti-La Sal National Forest to the west. A dreamlike landscape of sandstone buttresses, canyons and colorful mesas, its highest point is a giant rock dome–literally a swell on the surface of the earth–which gives it its name. Hikers, campers, and mountain bikers who venture through its rugged terrain can explore the geologically diverse swell in relative solitude, as it is one of the state’s best-kept secrets. With a number of off-road challenges, it’s also the perfect destination to test the capabilities of the Frontier 2022.
Despite the rain, the morning was crystal clear with a coolness in the air common in central Utah in the fall. TJ and the team loaded his ATV and set off east of Ferron, Utah in the swell, testing every feature of the new Nissan Frontier and recording its reaction to the surroundings as it went. .
âAs far as handling goes, we also have a 3.8-liter direct-injection V6 that develops 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque,â ââTJ said. âThat’s a lot of horsepower for a vehicle of this size and still gives us a pretty solid 6,720 pounds tow rating when properly equipped. We also have a new nine-speed transmission. I don’t feel any gear hunting in there, which is a nice surprise.
The driving dynamics of the new Frontier on dirt roads and on the most difficult trails were also impressive. âI have a good steering feel in the center and the truck is very responsive without being nervous, especially when we’re going off-road,â TJ says. “I want to feel like I’m in control without feeling like I’m overturning the car.”
Along the trails, it was evident that the Frontier was also a higher level in terms of ride comfort. âNissan also spent a lot of time developing what they called their Zero Gravity seats. Not only are they very comfortable, but they offer good lateral support. We also have acoustic glass and additional insulation to make driving much quieter and more enjoyable.
TJ has moved on to some of the newer technologies that improve the off-road experience. The 2022 Frontier is the very first Nissan vehicle to be equipped with an Intelligent Panoramic View Monitor (I-AVM) with Off-Road Mode, which allows the system to operate while driving at low speed. “On this narrow section [of trail] here the Intelligent Around View Monitor means I can see all around the truck. I don’t need to have a lookout. I can see it all here. Dude, we live in the future.
âOff-road driving is a skill that can be developed by anyone,â TJ says. Fortunately, when you have a capable all-terrain vehicle, like the Frontier, it’s a lot easier for people who aren’t professional drivers to get out and enjoy some of these beautiful places across our country.