The Nissan Frontier compact pickup has been marketed since 2004 with few modifications alongside the best way. Little is new for the 2018 mannequin yr, besides that the Frontier S base trim degree provides air con, cruise management, Bluetooth, and a rearview digital camera to its standard-gear record. A brand new Midnight Version choice package deal for SV Crew Cab fashions spruces up the physique with black wheels and trim.
Frontier pickups are available 5 trim ranges: base S, SV, Desert Runner, SL, and PRO-4X. Both an overburdened 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine or a strong four.zero-liter V6 could also be put in, however the V6 is much more widespread. The 4-cylinder makes 152 horsepower and 171 pound-ft of torque, whereas the V6 whips up 261 horsepower and 281 pound-ft.
Provided solely in King Cab configuration, the 4-cylinder engine can mate with a 5-velocity guide gearbox or a extra pricey 5-velocity automated transmission. With V6 energy, the guide selection is a 6-velocity. Rear-drive is standard, with 4-wheel drive an additional-value various.
Prolonged-cab (referred to as King Cab) Frontiers have a seventy three.three-inch cargo mattress, rear-hinged half doorways that open after the entrance doorways, and bounce seats in again. Crew Cab fashions get 4 typical doorways, a regular rear bench, and both a brief (fifty nine.5-inch) mattress or the longer (seventy three.three-inch) model.
Two fashions give attention to off-street functionality. Outfitted with rear-wheel-drive, the Desert Runner has a raised suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers and oversize all-terrain tires. The 4-wheel-drive PRO-4X features a switch case and electric locking rear differential.
Trendy lively-safety features, comparable to automated emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring, are absent from any Frontier. Crash-testing of the 2018 Frontier by the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security resulted in combined ratings. Each physique configurations scored Marginal on the small-overlap frontal-crash test for the driving force’s aspect, however average-overlap and aspect-impression scores have been Good. Head restraints have been deemed Acceptable, however headlights Poor.
Testing the 2018 Crew Cab mannequin, the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration gave a disturbing three-star score (out of 5) for the frontal crash-test. No aspect-impression testing has been carried out. Rollover resistance (a calculated determine) is just three-star for rear-drive fashions, however 4 stars with 4-wheel drive.
Frontier S King Cab ($18,990) comes with guide or automated ($22,660), extended-cab physique, 4-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive, rear leap seats, guide home windows and locks, air con, rearview digital camera, Bluetooth, and 15-inch metal wheels. (Costs are MSRP and don’t embrace $975 vacation spot cost.) Frontier SV King Cab ($23,460) comes with guide or automated ($24,510), 4-cylinder engine, energy home windows, locks, and mirrors, plus tinted home windows and sixteen-inch alloy wheels.
Frontier SV King Cab V6 automated ($25,220) consists of the V6 engine and 5-velocity automated. Frontier SV King Cab four×four automated ($28,one hundred ten) will get the V6 and 4-wheel drive.
Crew Cab variations can be found with 4 typical doorways and rear bench, plus V6 engine in Frontier S Crew Cab guide ($24,550), S Crew Cab four×four Automated ($29,900), SV Crew Cab Automated ($26,350), SV Crew Cab four×four guide ($32,380) and automated ($29,540). Frontier SV Crew Cab Lengthy Mattress automated ($28,960) will get an extended cargo mattress and V6 as does the SV Crew Cab Lengthy Mattress four×four automated ($29,960). Frontier SL Crew Cab automated ($33,560) has V6, energy entrance seats, leather-based upholstery, heated seats, navigation, and 5.eight-inch touchscreen audio with navigation. Additionally obtainable: SL Crew Cab four×four automated ($36,four hundred); SL Crew Cab Lengthy Mattress four×four automated ($36,800).
Desert Runner King Cab automated ($25,900) consists of the V6, rear-wheel drive, raised suspension, Bilstein shocks, and sixteen-inch tires. Desert Runner Crew Cab Automated ($27,330) is just like Desert Runner King Cab however with 4 typical doorways, V6, and rear-drive.
PRO-4X King Cab four×four Automated ($33,030) comes with V6 engine, 4-wheel drive, switch case, and locking rear differential. PRO-4X Crew Cab four×four is on the market with guide ($32,740) or automated ($33,790) with 4 typical doorways, V6 engine, and 4-wheel drive.
Whereas hardly lovely, the Frontier feels acquainted, with chunky seems to be which have aged fairly nicely. Decrease-degree trims are loaded with chrome. Wheel flares assist give the Frontier a suitably masculine tone. The bumper curves inward for best strategy angles.
PRO-4X and Desert Runner variations reduce on chrome. A roof rack can improve utility, however seems to be like an afterthought and will increase wind noise. The brand new Midnight Version package deal for SV provides black exterior accents and black 18-inch alloy wheels.
Blocky in type, if practical, the Frontier’s dashboard comes throughout as critically dated, with awkward angles and unusual ergonomics. Dominated by plastic, the interior conveys a way of cheapness. Graining of trim supplies is inconsistent.
Although the management format appears easy, its look isn’t compelling. Audio controls sit excessive. Even the optionally available Rockford Fosgate stereo system will get a comparatively small (5.eight-inch) touchscreen. Infotainment elements are behind the occasions, with small shows and lack of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.
Entrance seats rank round common. In S/SV trim, they’re thickly padded however lack full adjustment. Higher variations add a peak-adjustable driver’s seat. Nice for city obligation, the seats really feel brief on help for longer journeys, although visibility is sweet.
People aren’t more likely to recognize being despatched to the shrunken rear bounce seats in King Cab fashions. Crew Cabs not solely have 4 correct doorways, however enough area for 4 adults (5 if mandatory). Backrests are defiantly upright, with skimpy padding.
Don’t anticipate refinement in a Frontier, which performs eagerly however grumbles alongside the best way. Even the robust V6 engine is unpolished, growling whereas accelerating and vibrating at idle velocity, although it delivers brisk acceleration. The 4-cylinder is loud and should simply be overwhelmed by this pickup’s two-ton weight.
Guide gearboxes work nicely regardless of lengthy throws of the shift lever. Clutch really feel is satisfying for a pickup. Nissan’s 5-velocity automated transmission produces agency, wholly predictable shifts and rarely is stymied by looking for the subsequent gear. Whereas it may be troublesome to take care of momentum in an automated-outfitted Frontier, the V6 engine offers spectacular passing energy.
Even by pickup-truck requirements, the journey tends to be rocky and busy, yielding appreciable physique movement. The comparatively brief wheelbase interprets to an typically-uneven experience.
No Frontier copes nicely with being pushed onerous on curvy roads, although physique lean is properly-managed. Whereas agency steering really feel and nimble dealing with are most welcome, fixed corrections are sometimes wanted throughout freeway driving.
Floor clearance near 9 inches helps make the Frontier a reliable off-pavement explorer. PRO-4X fashions are particularly succesful off-street.
Gasoline financial system is comparatively poor. The 4-cylinder, guide-shift mannequin with rear-wheel-drive is EPA-rated at 19/23 mpg Metropolis/Freeway, or 21 mpg Mixed – similar to some full-size V8 pickups. Automated drops these estimates to 17/22/19 mpg.
With V6 energy, rear-drive, and 6-velocity guide, the Frontier is EPA-rated at sixteen/22 mpg Metropolis/Freeway, or 19 mpg Mixed. Automated raises the freeway determine to 23 mpg. 4-wheel-drive guide is EPA-rated at sixteen/21 mpg Metropolis/Freeway, or 18 mpg Mixed. Automated manages solely 15/21/17 mpg.
The Nissan Frontier is a dated product that has fallen behind different fashions. It competes largely on price and the deal. Engines and cabins are unrefined. Base-mannequin gear is sparse, infotainment methods fall brief, and safety features are missing. It provides worth as a easy, basic truck.
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