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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)

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

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2013 Nissan Frontier Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 499 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

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."

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."

Silver Frontier in yard

Great Truck (except for ONE IMPORTANT THING)

By on Friday, August 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Drive Great/Handles Great....very confortable"

Cons: "Costly Automatic Transmission Problems"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"2004-2006 Nissan Pathfinders/Xteras & Frontiers....have a bad transmission problem...anti-freeze mixing in with the transmission fluid damaging the transmission that is VERY VERY Costly $4,500 to $7,500 for a new transmission. Nissan knew about this many years now and never recalled any of these vehicles....buyers beware UNLESS the radiator has been changed or an external transmission cooler is added before this contamination occurs."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Great Price!!

By on Sunday, July 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Best price ever."

Cons: "None that I am yet aware of."

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

"I have not owned my Frontier long enough to give a complete review regarding its performance. However, prior to purchasing I was interested in either the Tacoma or the Frontier and looked at them both on KBB and then went to the dealers and drove each. I found them to be pretty much equal and would have been happier with either one and so, for me, it was going to come down to price. The Nissan dealer gave me a price that was thousand less then the KBB fair price to purchase and that tipped me in favor of the Frontier by a long shot. I am extremely happy with this vehicle and the price was beyond my expectations. If the vehicle satisfies me in other respects as much as its value it will be the best car purchase I have ever made."

13 people out of 29 found this review helpful

Great Truck - Off Road Features are very good

By on Saturday, July 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Styling, off-road features, overall performance"

Cons: "MPG as usual. Auto-windows can freeze up-not good"

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

"I have owned this PRO 4X for two years - replacing a 2010 LE that replaced a DR that replaced a 14 year old 1987 Hard-body King Cab. When I drove off the lot I thought that the features of this Pro 4X were fancy. I selected Nissan AGAIN after seriously considering a Tacoma but Toyota did not offer any adjustments to the seat. Everyone is not the same size and long trips make low back support and adjustment features a must for me. The Pro-4X "fancy" features got me off the mountain in a sudden snow storm that iced up the mountain. I know nothing drives on ice but the Nissan's low gears, hill decent, and locker got me home. That day I became a huge fan of the Nissan Pro-4X. Mileage is "OK" at 19-21 highway and 16-17 locally. The truck is good for family trips to the beach and vacations. You just can't beat a bed for storing kids stuff that always seems to have sand, dirt, etc attached. We use the truck to tow a small travel trailer and it does so quite well. The MPG does suffer and drops to 8-10 mpg on those trips. Overall, it is a great truck for just about any purpose. The engine is very responsive and the off road features are very useful for those of us in the north east who need to be at work rain or shine. The only negative issue was that the power windows can freeze up and not work. This was the case with the 2010 LE as well. Great Truck. Highly recommended."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

love it!

By on Tuesday, July 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 180

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 reliable truck"

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

"this is an awesome truck, and I'm speaking as an owner and Nissan Mechanic. these trucks are very reliable and well built. we havent had any come in for more than routine maintenance. we'll see how she holds up to a MN winter. Note: the 4.0L V-6 in this truck has the same hp as my '01 Mustang GT did."

2 people out of 3 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?