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2008 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab

Overview
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2008 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab Review

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The days of the compact pickup are fast closing. Witness the 2008 Nissan Frontier, a once-compact contender that has grown in size, power and weight. Along the way, it has also grown in capability and passenger comfort, placing it in the same general category as the midsize Dodge Dakota and Toyota Tacoma. The Frontier has much in common with its larger sibling, the Titan, offering a fully-boxed frame, Nissan's adjustable Utili-track Bed Channel System and a spray-in bed liner. With one of the most powerful V6 engines in its class, the Frontier offers superior towing with almost sports car-like acceleration. Although bargain shoppers may lament the absence of a standard-cab model, the four-cylinder King Cab is still an affordable truck, priced well below $18,000.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need a truck that hauls, tows and loves to get dirty, but don't want to deal with the mass of a full-size pickup, the 2008 Nissan Frontier will impress you with its capability, utility and refined ride.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Even though the Frontier's V6 is impressively smooth and powerful, if your workload -- or playload -- absolutely demands a big V8, then you'll have to look elsewhere. Also, the Frontier does not offer a standard-cab model.

What's New for 2008

A power driver's seat is added to LE trims, while a host of upgraded packages debut across the line. A Technology Package adds upgraded audio with an auxiliary audio input jack, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, steering wheel audio controls, XM Satellite Radio and a security and alarm system.

Driving the Frontier Crew Cab

Driving Impressions That we expected more acceleration from the Frontier's new V6 says more about our imprudent expectations than it does about the engine. With 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque,...

this 4.0-liter variant of the acclaimed engine found in the company's 350Z, Maxima and Infiniti G35 might be the smoothest, strongest V6 engine ever put in a pickup. In addition, the 2008 Nissan Frontier handles and rides better than some sedans. Big mirrors contribute to a fair amount of wind noise, but overall the cabin is quiet and comfortable, especially for a pickup with such noteworthy capabilities. Our long test drive concluded with some serious rock-crawling on a Texas ranch, which, thanks in large part to its stiff frame and powerful engine, the Frontier negotiated effortlessly.

Utili-track Bed Channel System
Movable and removable cleats make it easy to transport even cumbersome cargo loads safely.

Fully-Boxed Frame
The Frontier's stiff frame provides the foundation for the pickup's sedan-like ride and handling and its sturdy off-road capability.

2008 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab Details
2008 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab photo Interior

The Frontier's purposeful interior is defined by its flexibility. King Cab models feature smaller rear-hinged rear doors that provide access to flip-up rear seats, while Crew Cab models feature traditional rear doors and a more conventional back seat. Both models offer removable storage boxes beneath the rear seats, plus an available fold-flat front passenger seat for increased interior cargo flexibility. The Frontier's cabin features dual stacked glove boxes, multiple 12-volt power points and one-liter cup holders integrated into the front doors. Leather seating is among the Frontier's more indulgent options.

Exterior

With its "angled strut" grille and sharp, pronounced fender flares, the Frontier is unmistakable as a direct descendent of the company's daunting full-size Titan pickup, although more athletic looking than its larger sibling. The Frontier offers a number of pickup-truck firsts, such as the Utili-track tie-down system that features moveable cargo hooks located in a five-rail in-bed system.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In base XE trim, the Frontier is equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque, a five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and 15-inch steel wheels.

Optional Equipment

Features not included at base sticker price include the 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine, five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission, four-wheel drive, Utili-track Bed Channel System, factory-applied spray-on bedliner, single-CD sound system, six-disc in-dash sound system with MP3 playback, air conditioning, power door locks/windows/mirrors, keyless entry, front side-impact airbags, Vehicle Dynamic Control stability control system and front and rear side-curtain airbags. The NISMO off-road model includes skid plates, Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist features, Utili-track system, an on-demand electronic locking rear differential and Bilstein performance shocks.

Under the Hood

The economical four-cylinder engine is offered only on the two-wheel-drive XE King Cab, which might become an issue if gasoline prices surge past four dollars per gallon. The V6 is plenty powerful and does offer the choice between a manual and automatic transmission, but all that power and performance comes at the expense of fuel economy.

2.5-liter in-line 4
152 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
171 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/23 (2WD, manual), 17/22 (2WD, automatic)

4.0-liter V6
261 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
281 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20 (2WD, manual), 15/20 (2WD, automatic), 15/19 (4WD, manual), 14/19 (4WD, automatic)

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2008 Nissan Frontier Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 509 Ratings for the 2005 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Disappointed

By on Tuesday, November 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,500

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Nice styling, good initial quality"

Cons: "Poor reliability"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I bought this vehicle used with under 25K miles and expected to have something approaching the reliability I've experienced with my Hondas. However, I had problems with numerous mechanical parts. The brakes are undersized for this vehicle, so replacing pads is a frequent maintenance issue, and I have had to replace rotors as well. The vehicle had two recalls---one for the fuel gauge sending unit, and one for the transmission and radiator. If I hadn't bought the extended warranty, that latter one would have cost me over $3,000 because I didn't notice the transmission problem until I was over 90k miles. The warranty also covered the failures of two wheel bearings, both lower control arms, the secondary timing chain, the horn switch, a tire pressure sensor (which failed again shortly afterward), and a leak in the emission control evap system."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

First Mid-size and Happy

By on Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,275

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Powerful V-6, Towing, smooth 4wd"

Cons: "Tranny shift points. Low sitting back seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I’ve always owned full size Chevy or Dodge p/ups. Now that kids are moved on it was time to downsize. I needed to still have the pulling power to haul a trailer and car, as well as 4wd (not AWD) capabilities. Looked at the Honda (no 4wd) and Toyota (less towing, HP and MPG) and settled for the Nissan. I'm very happy with my choice. Recently towed a Boxter hour and half and couldn't have been happier. The truck towed without hesitation. The power was more than adequate and the ride was great. I hear complaints of fuel mileage but coming from a full size I'm used to it. Currently averaging 17 around town but reached 24 on my last highway trip to Charlotte. My biggest complaint is the transmission is tuned (for mpg) to shift too quickly at around 40 mph. The tranny in that speed and rpm range shifts up and down constantly. I’ve kind of learned how to control throttle and RPM's to limit this but can be annoying when driving over hills in that speed range. This was not a problem while towing as I locked out the overdrive. If my wife drove manual I would have opted for the 6 speed. Ride is stiff but yet compliant. 4wd works great. Very smooth in its engagement and driving feel. Overall I'm really happy with my 2014 Frontier."

9 people out of 19 found this review helpful

great truck to own for mid/LG truck group

By on Sunday, September 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "N/A"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love the way this truck handles ! With new tires it drive so good and responsive ! One of the best trucks I have ever owned !!!"

4 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great truck till it gets some miles on it.

By on Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Started off as nice truck"

Cons: "Went downhill fast"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"After 80k the transmission went, coolant leaks into tran fluid and kills tran on spot. Gas gauge sensor in tank went bad needs to be replaced, heaer/AC control went bad need to replace. All three of these issues Nissan is aware of and would do nothing for me. After many complaints from others they decided to extend covarage to 80k miles on issues they know happen on '"high mileage trucks" typically over 80k. So no help. This truck has been nothing but a money pit since it hit 80k miles. Google search frontier transmission problems, gas gauge and heat control. It's all there to read. I have owned other Nissan with no issues, not again. Last thing now two of the cat converters are shot and it won't pass NYState inspection so I can't register it. GOOD LUCK IF YOU BUY THIS TRUCK"

10 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Overall decent truck, but brakes are a concern.

By on Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Nice looking truck."

Cons: "Gas mileage, brakes and turning radius are awful."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"My 2013 Nissan Frontier 4x4 was making a loud noise in the blower motor so I took it in to be checked. Apparently leaves and debris collected in the intake and was lodged in the fan motor. Was told Nissan does NOT put a cabin filter in the Frontier during build. It is a 4x4 that is meant to be taken off road, why wouldn't you build it with a cabin filter. For the price these trucks command, not good Nissan. Please fix the spongy brake problem, it is going to get someone hurt trying to stop with a load. Finally, the cubby hole in the dash under the radio is partially blocked by the shifter. Difficult to access at times."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Full Size Capability & 100% Problem Free

By on Thursday, September 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Solid, Roomy, 3/4 ton payload, Big Boat Hauler"

Cons: "No Refrigerator"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This has got to be the perfect truck, and although all us truck owners can gripe about fuel economy, it comes with the territory and you do not buy a truck for fuel efficiency, so that subject is irrelevant to truck buyers, yeah, really. My Frontier Crew Cab SV is mostly driven by my wife, and this is her dream car! We pull a 4,500lb boat like nothing (and could tow 2,000lbs more), and the rear seats keep the kid from complaining on many of our 1/2 day rides to camping and fishing spots. It hauls almost TON of payload in the bed, and is a very sure footed traveller on our very snowy roads. Only complaint is Nissan does not include a 3.5mm jack in this specific model, but we forgive them, because this truck is so well made. We know plenty of Frontier owners, and nobody has ever had a problem. With regular oil changes at 4,000 miles and tire rotations, we plan on owning this truck another 25 years. Our truck is Black, and looks great when it's dirty or clean. We feel very confidant driving it. Even of we found a better deal on a 1/2 ton regular pickup, we'd pass because this is the perfect sized truck, and a Nissan, built to last a lifetime."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?