Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 2014 Pickup Truck Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best AWD Cars & SUVs Under $25,000
  • 10 Best Midsize SUVs
  • Class of 2015: New Vehicles Ready to Roll
Go

2011 Nissan Frontier King Cab

Overview
Share this page
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?

2011 Nissan Frontier King Cab Review

By

Where full-size pickup trucks tend to be employed as workhorses, their mid-sized counterparts usually enjoy a more recreational life. Take the 2011 Nissan Frontier, for example, which offers a number of configurations ideal for camping, towing, or hauling bikes and outdoor gear; it can even be outfitted to venture far off the beaten path. With its fully boxed frame, available Utili-track Bed Channel System and a spray-in bed liner, the Frontier is primarily designed with a good time in mind. But, the Frontier can still do the work expected of a pickup when asked. The Frontier's powerful V6 engine is one of the strongest in the segment, providing superior power for towing and passing. About the only drawback to the Frontier line is the absence of a regular cab model. However, with the entry-level King Cab starting around $18,000, we don't think many buyers will mind moving up to a bigger cab.}

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a reasonably priced midsize pickup that is as comfortable off-road as it is on a long stretch of highway, check out the 2011 Nissan Frontier. With its powerful V6 and fully boxed frame, the Frontier can tow up to 6,500 pounds.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you require the power of a V8 engine or the comfy confines of a standard regular cab, the 2011 Nissan Frontier offers neither.

What's Significant About This Car?

Changes to the 2011 Nissan Frontier include new designations and some revised option packages. The Frontier XE, SE and LE are replaced by the Frontier S, SV and SL, while the S and PRO 4X are now offered in Crew Cab form. A Vehicle Immobilizer and bed rail caps are now standard on Frontier SV, PRO-4X and SL models.

Driving the Frontier King Cab

Driving Impressions Knowing that the V6 engine beneath the 2011 Nissan Frontier's hood is a variant of the acclaimed engine found in the 370Z had us hoping for blistering performance: we didn't...

get it. But, with 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, the Frontier's 4.0-liter dynamo still performed admirably. More importantly is how smooth and quiet the engine operates, as well as its fairly respectable fuel economy in highway driving. Other than the wind noise generated by the oversized side mirrors, the Frontier's cabin is quiet and comfortable, especially for a pickup with such noteworthy capabilities. In day-to-day driving, the Frontier handles and rides as well as any sedan, although the vehicle becomes decidedly more truck-like when equipped with the PRO-4X's larger BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires. Part of our test drive included some serious rock-crawling, 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.

Garmin Navigation
Fitted atop the dash in its own protective pop-up enclosure, the Garmin Nuvi 750 navigation system cost less than $300 and is completely updatable via the Internet. Compared with much pricier built-in DVD-based systems, the Garmin option is clearly the winning choice.

2011 Nissan Frontier King Cab Details
Interior

The 2011 Nissan Frontier's cabin is both flexible and accommodating, with features such as 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, as is a power glass moonroof. Crew Cab models feature traditional rear doors and a conventional back seat, while the standard King Cab model is fitted with smaller rear-hinged rear doors that provide access to flip-up rear seats. Both models offer removable storage boxes beneath the rear seats, plus an available fold-flat front passenger seat for increased interior cargo flexibility.

Exterior

Although the 2011 Nissan Frontier's bulging fender flares and "angled strut" grille bear more than a passing resemblance to the full-size Nissan Titan, the Frontier's smaller dimensions translate into a much sportier appearance. Available in King or Crew Cab, and with a short or long bed, there is a Frontier to fit almost every need. Features such as a factory spray-in bed liner help keep scuffs and dents to minimum, while available skid plates protect the Frontier's undercarriage. Cargo of all shapes and sizes can be securely anchored, thanks to the Frontier's available Utili-track tie-down system that offers a five-rail in-bed system with movable cargo hooks.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In base S trim, the 2011 Nissan 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), front side-impact and full-length side-curtain airbags, and 15-inch steel wheels. Five and six-foot bed lengths are available on the Crew Cab, while the King Cab offers only a six-foot bed.

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 bed liner, single-CD sound system, six-disc in-dash sound system with MP3 playback, air conditioning, power door locks/windows/mirrors, keyless entry, Bluetooth and a dealer-installed portable pop-up Garmin navigation unit. The PRO-4X off-road model includes the Utili-track system, an on-demand electronic locking rear differential, skid plates and Bilstein performance shocks. The PRO-4X Luxury Package adds power driver and passengers seats, heated leather front seating surfaces, a roof rack with crossbars and a power glass moonroof.

Under the Hood

The economical four-cylinder engine is offered only on the two-wheel-drive S and SV King Cab, which might become an issue if gasoline prices start to soar again. 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), 15/20 (4WD, manual), 14/19 (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

Buying this car?

2011 Nissan Frontier Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 143 Ratings for the 2005 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Worst vehicle ever

By on Friday, July 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,325

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Gets 19 miles to gallon"

Cons: "Cramped driving, no leg room, thin paint on body"

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

"I bought a new Nissan Frontier ,in Riviera Beach Fl. about one year ago, have 22K miles, at 4000 miles went to rotate tires did passenger side first then drivers side second rear lug spun, Service said you touched we're not responsible, Nissan Motor Corp. said they don't have factory defects, they wouldn't fix either. at 6000, miles stereo speakers went out, service said nothing wrong with speakers would not replace, 15000 miles drivers side rear half inch bolt reduced to 3/8 inch thread holding leaf spring to shackle broke, I had a Samsung refrigerator in truck bed, leaf spring failed then passenger side failed, resulting in my paying $660. to reshape leaf springs and add helper spring to correctly fix sprung leaf springs, Service rep said I must have over loaded truck, A Refrigerator? Really. Then last week 6/28/014 battery was dead and had to replace, of course Dealer still wouldn't stand behind factory warranty, It Had a Warranty?"

15 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Decent truck but probably never buy Nissan again.

By on Thursday, May 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Standard is fun to drive, v6 has power!"

Cons: "Nissan's attitude towards their customers"

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

"This was an emergency purchase in 2010 (son's car died and I gave him my old one). I'd been looking around for about a year and, despite being an unhappy Nissan auto owner in the distant past, I identified the Nissan Frontier as my next purchase. It had 20k miles on it so I purchased the extended warranty. I'm glad I did because the warranty paid for itself within the first year! Rear axle seal (passenger side) kept blowing out and ruining the e-brake pads (which they refuse to replace under warranty). This happened twice while I was on the factory warranty. I also had to have tie rods replaced and the fuel pump and sensors replaced. I drive this truck about 800 miles a month and most of that is on the highway, I don't off-road or anything. Every Nissan I've ever owned has had some sort of major flaw which has really killed the brand for me."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

GREAT TRUCK!

By on Saturday, May 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Local driving 17 MPG."

Cons: "None"

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

"My wife and I bought this truck and we are very happy with it. We bought the SV with the V-6 engine. It was equipped with the value package which includes a lot of accessories. This truck is very fast and powerful. It is much better than others in its class. We would recommend this truck."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

No on 2006 4-cyl motors

By on Saturday, April 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "nice looking"

Cons: "uncomfotable seats,engine ticks are normal"

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

"At $25000 miles my 4cylinde started ticking Mostly when accelerating slow.I took it to dealer and for $100 I was told there was a memorandum on this motor the ticking does not affect the motor.I would like to sell it but who is going to spend over 10,000 for a nice looking truck that ticks"

7 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Comfort & Convenience All in One

By on Saturday, April 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

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 Ride & Interior"

Cons: "NONE"

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

"The Frontier appealed to me more than the others in its class. The vehicle felt more powerful and the handling is great. It is very quiet riding down the highway. The interior looks very good and the body style is better than most. The 4WD suspension stands up high which makes the truck look very appealing. The four speed automatic transmission shifts very smooth which adds to the overall performance. The truck comes with a full sized spare tire on a regular steel wheel. This vehicle fits in a standard sized garage."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Excellent Ride

By on Friday, April 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Appearence, Style and Overall Performance"

Cons: "NONE"

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

"We were quite surprised how well this vehicle handles and performs on the road. Nissan put a really nice package together called the value package for the SV model. It comes with many of the accessories that were not part of any package in the past. It includes trailer towing package, SIRIUS XM, Sonar System and Back-Up Camera, Spray-in Bed-liner, and much more. I do miss the power seats and lumbar but it’s not that big of a deal. When I compared all the specifications to the Toyota Tacoma I think you are getting a lot more truck for the money. The chassis is a complete box channel frame compared to the Tacoma’s C channel frame. The Frontier also comes with front and rear disc brakes as a standard feature. I drove both and I think the Frontier is much better than the Tacoma. My truck is equipped with the V-6, Automatic Transmission and this truck is very fast and powerful. If you are looking for a all around good truck I would strongly recommend this truck."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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?