"Pros: Ride, Quality of Assembly, Value, Powertrain, Quiet Interior, Versatility/Features, 4 Wheel Drive, Exterior Design/Looks
Cons: Squeaky Brakes
Driving Experience: I am very impressed with the driving experience of the Frontier. The ride is very smooth and comfortable. It reminds me of the 1st generation Toyota Tundra (which I have owned), except it handles much better and more crisply. This is still a truck, so the ride and handling aren't going to be comparable to a good sedan or sports car, but compared to other trucks, this version of the Frontier (the LE trim) is excellent. The steering is tight and accurate at all speeds (unlike my Toyota Tacoma, another truck I've owned, whose steering was a little skittish at highway speed with a headwind). There are no suspension noises and everything feels solid and built to last (the fully boxed frame is a positive contributing factor, I'm sure). The interior is also exceptionally quiet (again, comparable to my Toyota Tundra and better than my Toyota Tacoma). It makes the Frontier feel more like a luxury vehicle. I've not take my Frontier off road, but have had the chance to use it during the winter when we had some heavy snow, ice & freezing rain. I can say definitively that the Frontier's 4 wheel drive system works flawlessly. It felt very sure-footed, I never had a loss of traction and I know that I would've slid off the road or gotten stuck without it. Having said that, you still have to keep in mind that even the best 4 wheel drive system won't help you stop any sooner, so you still have to drive cautiously. Also the Frontier is unique in that it has a 4 wheel electronic Limited Slip System that works even in 4 wheel drive (the Tacoma's system doesn't work in 4 wheel drive). Maybe this contributes to the great performance I experienced.
Comfort and Convenience: The interior of the Frontier is well laid out, though fairly plain. If you aren't looking for alot of bling, and instead, value a function over form, you will like this interior. All the controls are pretty easy to figure out and intuitive. The interior is a bit on the smallish side. This doesn't bother me, because I'm a smallish guy, but I can see where others have commented that they would like to see more headroom, etc. One little complaint about the interior plastics is that it does scratch easily (soft plastic dash materials). Other than that, everything is tastefully designed and all the buttons/controls are where you think they should be (the layout of the various buttons & knobs are better than my Tacoma). On the exterior, as others have mentioned, the Utili-Track system in the bed is excellent and very versatile. I also like that the sliding tie-downs are made of aluminum, instead of the plastic that my Tacoma had. Having a factory sprayed in bedliner is a real plus as well. I also bought the optional bed extender system and that has worked out great as well. The roof rack not only looks good, but is very functional. Overall, the engineers obviously put alot of thought and innovation into designing thoughtful, helpful features and it shows.
Overall Comments: I have owned both a 2007 Toyota Tacoma (Crew Cab, 4WD, Automatic Trans, TRD Off-Road) and a 2008 Nissan Frontier (Crew Cab, 4WD, Automatic Trans, LE with all available options, including the long bed). I also owned a 2002 Toyota Tundra (Extended Cab, 4WD, Automatic Trans). I have already posted an opinion on the Tacoma previously and here is my opinion on the Frontier. Overall, this is an excellent truck. For the money (and you can get some great deals right now), you won't find a better deal when you compare the standard features and options that you can get. Prior to getting my Frontier, I have owned three Toyota Trucks and loved all of them, so I wasn't too sure about the Frontier. But now, after driving the Frontier for about 1.5 years, I am truly puzzled why this truck is not more popular. Maybe Nissan just hasn't done as good a job of marketing their truck as Toyota? In any case, if you are in the market for a mid-sized truck, you should definitely look at this one (and also the Suzuki Equator, which is a rebadged Nissan Frontier with some minor differences mainly in the exterior looks). Having heaped on tons of positive praise on the Nissan Frontier (well deserved, I might add), I do have to address a weakness on my particular truck. I have had to take it in to the dealership at around 11K miles for brakes that were squeaking & squealing excessively. It began at around 10K and consistently got worse. It didn't matter if it was the beginning of the day or if I had been driving it for a while, the brake noise was consistently there. The dealership told me this had been a problem with a number of their Frontiers and replaced the front discs and calipers...the whole works. Well, now I have almost 20K miles on my Frontier and I am again beginning to hear the squeaking/squealing noises. Looks like whatever they did the first time didn't do the trick so I am anticipating another trip to the dealership. A little disappointment, compared to an otherwise stellar ownership experience. Still, I don't know if this only occurred in a small batch of their trucks and I just happened to be one of the 'lucky' ones, or if it is a widespread problem. Consumer Reports reliability scores didn't seem to show a huge number of people having brakes problems for the 2008 Frontier, so who knows. In any case, I would still give my high recommendation for this truck and urge you to check it out, if you're looking for a mid-size truck. I'd also, of course, highly recommend you shop the Toyota Tacoma as well, since that's another truck that I feel has a well-deserved reputation for excellence. Thanks for reading my long-winded post :-)"
out of 12 found this review helpful
Was this review helpful to you?