Nissan Frontier Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.45/5 Average
1,384 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

The Nissan Frontier has long been a popular choice with consumers who don't need the greater towing and hauling abilities of a full-size pickup. Since its debut, the Frontier has offered four-cylinder or V6 power in a rugged yet livable package. There have been two long-running Frontier generations thus far. The current truck is bigger and more powerful than the original and could be considered more of a midsize pickup than a compact, but either one should work out well for a broad spectrum of consumers.

Current Nissan Frontier
The latest Nissan Frontier is offered in extended cab (King Cab) and crew-cab body styles. Trim levels include the economical S, the better-appointed SV, the more rugged Pro-4X and the top-of-the-line SL (crew cab only). There is also a Desert Runner package available for RWD models that provides the Bilstein shocks and some tougher styling elements inspired by the 4WD-only Pro-4X.

The extended-cab S and SV trim levels offer a 152-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission as standard. A five-speed automatic is an available option. A robust 4.0-liter V6 making 261 hp is standard on the Pro-4X and all crew cabs. It is also an option on the SV extended cab.

In our reviews of the Nissan Frontier, we've been impressed by its rugged capabilities and easy-to-drive nature. It feels more maneuverable than its boxy styling and workaday purpose would suggest, and the optional V6 engine makes acceleration respectably quick. Downsides include uncomfortable rear seats and the lack of a regular-cab body style. Overall, we highly recommend the Frontier to anyone who needs pickup functionality in a reasonably sized package.

Used Nissan Frontier Models
The current, second-generation Nissan Frontier arrived for the 2005 model year. Compared to the original Frontier, the second-generation model offers bigger dimensions, new styling inside and out and stronger engines.

If you're considering a used Frontier from the current generation, there have been a few changes to look out for. The Desert Runner model and several upgrades like a rearview camera and dual-zone automatic climate control were not available until the 2013 model year. Prior to 2010, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and stability control were optional, so we'd suggest making sure a used Frontier has these important safety items. Prior to 2009, the Frontier's styling was a little different, and the Pro-4X was known as the Nismo off-road package. Nissan added the long-bed version of the Crew Cab model starting in 2007.

The first-generation Nissan Frontier debuted for the 1998 model year. It didn't offer as much muscle or variety as the current model, but as an affordable used truck, it could still be a solid choice. This model was angular and boxy outside and similarly utilitarian inside. Initially, Nissan offered regular cab and extended cab (King Cab) body styles with a 143-hp four-cylinder engine across the board. A 3.3-liter, 170-hp V6 engine became available as an option the following year.

A Crew Cab variant with four regular doors debuted in 2000 and was the first such compact pickup truck on the market. Unfortunately, the Crew Cab's backseat wasn't exactly full-size, nor was its abbreviated bed. Nissan added the Desert Runner trim level in 2000, combining the look of the four-wheel-drive Frontier with two-wheel-drive economy.

In 2001, a face-lift gave the Nissan Frontier a more aggressive look. The fenders wore bolt-on extensions, and the tailgate was more sculpted than that of any truck that came before it. This was also the first year for the supercharged version of the 3.3-liter V6, which produced 210 hp and 246 pound-feet of torque. A long bed and an "Open Sky" top (a huge power-operated fabric sunroof) for the Crew Cab were available in subsequent years.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 1,384.00
  • S/C all the way! - 2003 Nissan Frontier
    By -

    The only problem with this truck is the crappy gas mileage... nissan rules!

  • this is a great truck - 2006 Nissan Frontier
    By -

    This is my 4th nissan truck, the '06 is by far the best mid size you can buy. Super reliable and fun to drive ( it's got zip)rides great what else do you want. Many more features on the '06 not on the older models, they hit a home run with this one.

  • Great Compact Truck - 1998 Nissan Frontier
    By -

    I purchased this Frontier new. It now has 61,000 miles on it, I got more miles on the tires than expected. Just put new tires on. The radio light has failed. No repairs required. Gas Milage about 23 intown to 28 on the highway. Overall its a great little truck.

  • Nice Truck - 2005 Nissan Frontier
    By -

    I drove both the 2005 Toyota Tacoma and the 2005 Nissan Frontier. If you want a midsize truck that drives like a car and performs like a full-size, then you want to buy the Nissan. It gives more options for your money and is well built.

  • Lots of Bang for the Buck - 2000 Nissan Frontier
    By -

    A very sexy truck with matching fiberglass cap.Only two problems:A electrical short behind the dash disabled the power windows when the cruise control was used.Always occured with the windows down.Two visits to the dealer before it was corrected.Truck body has the SHAKES,Dealer balanced and re balanced tires,installed new Driveshaft prop.Concluded I had a tire out of round,suggested that I buy new tires.Dealer needs to work on Customer Service.I think it's stupid to make an appointment for an oil change.I would like to add that Ford,Chevy,and Toyota couldn't match my Frontier in price!! Value will sale trucks.

  • Clutch Problem - 2005 Nissan Frontier
    By -

    The clutch "got burned out" according to the dealer here in Asheville, NC. I have been driving stick shifts since I was 16 (I'm 57), have driven trucks and cars over 125,000 miles and owned for over nine years. Have NEVER had a clutch problem. Something's wrong here.

  • No Regrets - Get One! - 2005 Nissan Frontier
    By -

    If you are in the market for a midsize truck, the Nismo Frontier should be your only consideration. It is FUN to drive and it looks great. The Tacoma pales in comparison to my Nismo. It has good low-end torque to get you off the line, the bedliner and bed extender provide plenty of utility, and the interior is surprisingly comfortable. I upgraded to the audio package and the stereo system sounds exceptionally well. I have no regrets in buying this truck and neither will you. I've yet to meet someone that doesn't like my truck.

  • It's nice - 2005 Nissan Frontier
    By -

    I just purchased this truck and love every bit of it. I have driven a Nissan Frontier since Nov. of 1999. That truck was, and still is extremely reliable so I thought I would give the new one a chance. I love it! I gave my brother, who just turned 16, the 1999 model Nissan. I have never even had the slightest problem with the old frontier. It has 95000 miles on it and have only replaced the battery once, and have never even replaced the main belt. I expect the same out of this truck. I really enjoy the upgrade from the 4cyl to the 6cyl. This thing will get up and go. I think I made a good decision for a first car purchase.

  • New Frontier...1 year later - 2005 Nissan Frontier
    By -

    Overall I am very happy w/this truck. I love the high seating position and powerful engine. The mileage is disappointing for a 6 cylinder, about 14.5 mpg around town, 17-18 on the highway. The turning radius is also too big, bigger than my Chevy Tahoe. The driver's window control switches need to be replaced (under warranty) and a new circuit had to be added to the towing package (at no cost). I feel confident driving this truck in all weather conditions.

  • Fun to drive - 2006 Nissan Frontier
    By -

    Overall I really enjoy this truck and am very happy with my purchase! The interior is very nice and the layout is excellent. There is plenty of room in the front, but barely any in the back of the access cab. This isn't a problem for me as I don't plan on having tons of people with me all the time, but be aware, space is sparse back there. The truck looks beautiful from the outside. Very rugged looking and certainly stands out in a crowd. So far gas mileage has been 14 mpg which is alright considering the power this truck has, but I was hoping to get 17-18 out of it. Again this is a great driving truck and I feel very comfortable in it. Get one!

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