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2013 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab

Overview
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2013 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.3

The Nissan Frontier is one of just two mid-size pickups on the market for 2013. With the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon siblings taking a year off ahead of new model introductions, that leaves only the Toyota Tacoma as the Frontier's primary competitor. Unlike the Tacoma, the Frontier does not offer a regular-cab model, but rather the more spacious King Cab and Crew Cab setups. The Frontier makes a great alternative to a full-size truck. It is ideal for hauling everything from mulch to motorbikes, and feels solid on road or off. With a stronger V6 engine than the Tacoma and features like a navigation/infotainment system, spray-on bedliner and Nissan's Utili-track tie-down system, the 2013 Frontier remains one of the finest mid-size trucks we've seen in recent years.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a tough but well-equipped truck that's smaller and more fuel-efficient than most full-size pickups, the Nissan Frontier is a solid choice. The 2013 Frontier can tow up to 6,500 pounds and tackle rugged paths while still offering good looks and a decent highway ride.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those who need to tow really heavy loads will have to step up to a full-size truck like the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 or the Frontier's big brother, the Nissan Titan. If you want a basic compact truck with a regular cab, your sole option for 2013 is the Toyota Tacoma.

What's New for 2013

The NissanConnect navigation and information system is now available on Crew Cab versions of the Frontier. Top-line Crew Cab models receive a backup camera, rear parking sensors and dual-zone climate control. Desert Runner off-road editions are available, and fuel economy has increased for most models.

Driving the Frontier Crew Cab

Driving Impressions In everyday driving, the Frontier performs as well any mid-size SUV we've tested, though the truck's ride becomes noticeably harsher over rough pavement. Paired with the refined 4.0-liter V6 engine...

that is standard on Crew Cab models and all but the two lowest trims of the King Cab, the Nissan Frontier has plenty of power for passing vehicles and pulling loads. With the exception of wind noise from the large side mirrors, we found the Frontier's cabin quiet and comfortable. Those who go off-roading – or just want to appear as if they do – will be interested in the Desert Runner or even more hardcore PRO-4X models. During our test with a PRO-4X 4-wheel-drive (4WD) model, the Nissan Frontier easily tackled tough terrain thanks to features like a locking rear differential and Bilstein performance shocks.

NISSANCONNECT
In addition to a much-needed navigation system, NissanConnect provides information about traffic, weather and points of interest. The system takes prompts from voice command or the touch of a finger on its 5.8-inch color screen.

UTILI-TRACK BED CHANNEL SYSTEM
If you own a truck, you're more than likely to move something in it. Nissan's Utili-track makes the job easier and more secure thanks to adjustable tie-down cleats built into the bed.

2013 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab Details
Interior

The 2013 Frontier's cabin is versatile and comfortable. King Cab models feature a pair of small, forward-facing rear seats with storage bins beneath, while Crew Cab models have a 3-row bench that's comfortable enough for adults. The King Cab has easy rear access thanks to half-size rear-hinged doors, while Crew Cabs use regular doors. All Frontiers boast storage versatility with rear seats that flip up to create open space and a front passenger seat that folds flat to become an impromptu workstation. Cloth is the standard seat material, with leather available. Lumbar support in higher trims improves driver comfort. We wish the steering wheel would telescope and not just tilt.

Exterior

With its raised fender flares and blocky design, the Frontier has a familiar family resemblance to Nissan's Xterra SUV and Titan full-size truck. Unlike the mammoth Titan, the smaller Frontier has a sportier, more athletic attitude. King Cab and Crew Cab models have the same overall length of 205.5 inches. A long bed is available in Crew Cabs, giving them the same 73.3-inch size of those found on King Cab models. PRO-4X models have multiple skid plates to protect vital parts from nature's jabs. Top-line Crew Cab SL trims have tubular roof rails similar to those on the Xterra.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Most 2013 Nissan Frontier models are reasonably well equipped with the exception of base S trim King Cab models. Those least expensive of Frontier models lack air conditioning, power mirrors, power door locks and power windows, cruise control, and even a radio. Stepping up to SV trim adds features like an AM/FM/CD/USB audio system with color display. PRO-4X models have 4-wheel drive standard and a locking differential. Crew Cab SL models come very well equipped with leather seats, Rockford Fosgate premium audio and the NissanConnect system. Frontier King Cab models come with a 4- or 6-cylinder engine, while all Crew Cab models exclusively use the V6. Wheels range in size from 15 to 18 inches.

Optional Equipment

Most convenience and performance features are tied to varying trim levels of the Frontier, but some packages are available. Among them are a Preferred Package for King Cab S models that add the much-needed AM/FM/CD player and air conditioning. Higher-trim models can add features such as the Utili-track tie-down system, a rear-view monitor, a tow hitch, navigation, Bluetooth wireless streaming, and Pandora radio. Crew Cab models can substitute their roughly 5-foot-long bed for one that's just over six feet like those in King Cab models. Accessories include a bedliner, step rails and even a dome tent for the truck bed.

Under the Hood

Two engines are offered in the 2013 Nissan Frontier: a 4-cylinder that's available in rear-wheel-drive King Cab models, or a more powerful V6 offered in all Crew Cab models and higher trims of the King Cab. Transmission choices include 5-speed and 6-speed manuals or a 5-speed automatic. Even 4-cylinder models have a respectable tow rating of 3,500 pounds, and rear-wheel-drive V6 models can tow up to 6,500 pounds. All 2013 Nissan Frontiers run on regular unleaded gasoline. The Frontier's fuel economy has improved slightly, but is still rated at only up to 23 mpg for 4-cylinder models or 22 mpg for V6 versions.

2.5-liter inline-4
152 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
171 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/23 mpg (2WD, manual), 17/23 mpg (2WD, automatic)

4.0-liter V6
261 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
281 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 mpg (2WD, manual), 16/22 mpg (2WD, automatic), 16/21 mpg (4WD, manual), 15/21 mpg (4WD, automatic)

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2013 Nissan Frontier Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 504 Ratings for the 2005 - 2014 models.

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

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."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Solid value for the price

By on Thursday, September 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Strong torque, hauls weight easily, smooth riding"

Cons: "A bit dated, no backup camera or sensors"

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

"Bought my Frontier SL crew cab 4WD long bed in May 2011 (model year closeout). I paid 80% of factory window sticker. Truck has never needed a warranty repair or visit back to the dealer. Gas mileage is 16/20, pretty close to estimate. I have a few gripes about truck but absolutely no problems. I previously owned Chevy S-10s and a Toyota Tacoma. This truck is superior in power, ride and handling, and reliability."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Very happy with the Frontier

By on Wednesday, September 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Overall quality, mpg and engine performance"

Cons: "VERY thin paint!!!!!!!!!!"

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

"Good mpg, good room inside, great looks. Absolutely no issues in 1.2 years of ownership. Only complaint is very thin paint. Very easy to scratch. Maybe all new cars are the same but traded in a 2004 Chevy p/u that had much better paint quality. When we need a family vehicle in the next 2 years would seriously consider a Nissan SUV."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Great to drive-just right size

By on Wednesday, September 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Love driving/handling perfect size for what i nee"

Cons: "small back seat space/u-turns"

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

"Love the power and handling of the Frontier. It's the perfect size for what I need. Never have had a problem with the operation of this vehicle. However, the truck cannot make u turns very well and doesn't have much room in the back. When a tall person(say 6'2") sits in the passenger side, the person in the back cannot be over 5'6" for both of them to sit comfortably (just estimating heights). Do not really need a truck most of the time and will be looking for an suv with better gas mileage than a truck. ALL trucks use more gas than cars/suvs."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

a very good truck

By on Sunday, August 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "IT GOT ME THROUGH 2FT OF FRESH SNOW AND IT WAS FUN"

Cons: "IT IS THE FRONT END THAT I DID NOT LIKE THE LOOK"

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

"IM VERY HAPPY WITH THIS TRUCK, I HAVE OWNED IT FOR 5 YEARS. I DO NOT HAVE ANY COMPLAINTS ABOUT IT. I WOULD RECOMEND IT TO ANYONE. WHEN I FIRST STARTED SHOPPING FOR A TRUCK, I WAS TRYING TO DECIDE BETWEEN A NISSAN OR A TACOMA. I USE TO OWN A TACOMA. ANYWAY, THE PRICE IS WHAT CONVINCED ME THE TACOMA WAS $10,000 HIGHER THAN THE NISSAN. THEY WERE THE SAME EQUIPPED. I JUST COULD NOT BELIEVE THE PRICE DIFFERENCE. I LIKE BOTH TRUCKS."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

fully loaded, 4x4, LE, well maintained

By on Sunday, August 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,344

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "crew cab- room for everyone"

Cons: "could use seat covers to protect the leather"

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

Silver Frontier in yard

"Clean body, good paint, well maintained, V6, All the bells and whistles. Top of the line sound system, leather, heated seats. So many extras wife wouldn't let me take out of town for fear of it getting stolen. Almost new tires.Bed liner with removable tie-down cleats. Electric Sliding sun roof, Luggage rack. non-smoking owner."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Silver Frontier in yard

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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?