"have owned Nissan pickups since 1984. I purchased an XE model (the 4-cylinder version) in August of 2005, with a bedliner and the Popular package including the sliding rear window, tinted windows, AC, and upgraded stereo. The release of the 2005 model year is a milestone for this series of vehicles. Here's why...
Let's start with the frame. This is the toughest frame made for a truck in this size. It is a "junior" version of the same frame used by the Frontiers cousin,the full-size Titan, and it is a huge improvement over the very antiquated frame used by Nissan trucks from 1986.5 through 2004. While that old frame was certainly more car-like, this frame means business. It helps provide increased payload and towing capability over previous models, especially when coupled with the 6 cylinder engine.
You get your choice of two different engines within the Frontier line. The 4 cylinder is a tried and true 2.5 liter 155 Horsepower engine that has been used for years in Nissan Altima and Sentra vehicles. It is coupled with a 5 speed manual or a 5 speed automatic. If you require lots of raw power, the 4 cylinder is not the choice for you. It could certainly be described as "gutless" in hard accelerating and has little power to spare for towing or working with heavy loads. On the other hand, you will get good mileage with the 4-banger. In 16,000 miles, gas mileage is solidly in the 22 mpg range with mostly freeway driving in Southern California. I have had only a few fills that gave me less than 22 mpg, and also only a few fills that gave me better than 23 mpg. The 21.1 gallon fuel tank means great range of 400+ miles from each tank. This really met my expectations well.
If you need power however, then you really need to step up to the SE or LE line and get the 6 cylinder. The 4.0 liter 6 cylinder powerhouse produces 265 horsepower and compares nicely--to the competitions base 8 cylinder engines. The 6 cylinder from Nissan is paired with a 6 speed manual or a 5 speed automatic transmission. This engine along with a towing package will increase max towing capability to 6,500 pounds. Note--the 4 wheel drive and crew cab versions of this truck only come with the 6 cylinder, as the 4 cylinder would just not have enough ponies.
The King cab version of this truck has swing-out rear doors to aid access to the area behind the seat. While there are fold down jump-seats in the rear, it takes a very small person in back, and a very cramped person in front with the front bucket seat slid forward most of the way. As a 6'2" driver, the jump seat behind my seat is never used. The bucket front seats have a very durable cloth covering, and have good firm support for a comfortable ride. These seats will give you all-day comfort.
The rest of the interior is average in my XE model. I would love to say better things, but there is a dominating presence of plastic everywhere that may turn off some who want a more refined look and finish. The center console gives you a large storage area along with 2 cup holders. There are two more swing-out cup holders at the rear base of the center console for use by jump seat passengers. Instrumentation is solid and functional with a tach and an assortment of warning lights in an efficient arrangement. There is even a warning light for tire pressure! The CD/Radio with 4 speakers is OK, but don't expect thrilling true-sounding audio from this setup. The dash also features 2 different "glove box" storage compartments. One door swings down, holding the owners manuals. The other storage compartment door actually swings up. I didn't even know it was there for several months, as it simply looks like a covering for the airbag support system. That airbag system is connected to a seat sensor that turns off the passenger airbag if it does not detect an "adult" level of weight in the passenger seat. This is a great safety feature for younger riders. Nissan's commitment to safety is also present in standard 4-wheel anti-lock brakes.
There are many accessories for the bed of this great truck. Nissan really pushes the Utilitrack system allowing easily adjustable anchor points for hauling items. I really do not carry cargo often, so I opted for the standard bedliner. You can also get a sprayed-on bedliner coating that is color-matched.
All in all, this truck has grown up from it's little cousin predecessors."
"Bought the PRO4-X package and have really liked the truck so far. However, my rear wheel seals and pinion seal have all failed in the past week. My wife has an 09 Xterra off road and has also had both of her rear wheel seals fail. Hers went at about 55,000 miles. Both vehicles were taken care of under warranty, but this tells me there are serious problems with the design of the rear axle. These seals should not be failing this early. The dealership has no explanation why it's happening either."
"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."
"2012 Frontier SV 2.5L 4 cylinder - More than enough power for the daily commute (80 miles) and lets me drive 490+ miles per tank at 65 mph. Hauls 1,000 pounds in the bed without a problem. 154 horses isn't much but the 170+ foot pounds of torque more than make up for it. The V6 is much faster and quieter but just does not achieve the fuel mileage in town or on the highway as does the L4. Ride and handling are great. Not a fan of 4 cylinder motors but this one will do just fine for light to medium truck duty."
"bought mine brand new in 2005 and absolutly love this vehicle...have done nothing but change the oil and finally at 62K miles had to replace the stock tires...I woudl highly recommend this vehicle..."
Pros: "Runs strong and smooth, looks great, great deal."
Cons: "Wish better MPG, bigger king cab seating in back."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I was so satisfied with my 97 Nissan truck, that I didn't even look at any other trucks when it came time to up-grade to a new (at the time) 6 cylinder 2007 model. I already knew what I wanted, and was very happy with the looks at first sight. The comfortable seating, higher suspension, and larger tires felt like I was in a full size truck. The six speed and 4 doors was an unexpected plus. The low maintenance, reliability, strong power and smooth ride every time I drive and haul things gives me confidence to just enjoy the quiet ride. I know I will enjoy it for years to come and will get many miles out of it just like my last Nissan truck (230K miles) and still running strong. Though I do wish I had gotten more options, better gas milage, and had more room for passenger seating in the back. (Maybe a crew cab)."
"Inexpensive, reliable and a good value. Nothing fancy about these trucks but they just plain work. And for the money, they're hard to beat. I drove my first one back in the late 80's/early 90's until it was pretty much all used up.
Still on the second one. No problems in 5 years. No repair bills."
"2005 Le w/ ext cab rides suprisingly well and could not have made a better choice for the money. I love to park it next to my inlaws colorado for the same money and show the huge diff in vehicles. I added sunroof, and soft tonneua is a little cheaply made. Great for towing and carrying lawnmower or motocyle. Tailgate is a little heavy, but since redesigned in newer models. I only wish that the truck had better head clearance for someone over 6ft and that arm rest was longer. I would recommend to anyone who never owned a truck. This is our 5th nissan we have owned. Great design, excellent ponies, average fuel economy for 4.0 liter w/tons of torgue and towing capacity."
Pros: "a six cylinder with all the power I needed."
Cons: "check engine light was always coming on"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I cut wood for fun and it would haul a cord of wood with a trailer and go the speed limit both ways. It could go where the wood was with no problems. A drunk hit me a week ago and totaled the truck, after they cut me out I was able to walk away. Now I'm looking to buy another one just like it but not having much luck."
"I've had this truck for over 3 years and have been very happy. I had a 99 Tacoma before this, but didn't like the Toyota's smaller size, rougher ride, and poor driving position. The seats in the Frontier are quite comfortable. Engine is more than adequate - even at a mile high. Had a bit of a problem with a mysterious squeak for a while early on, but after several attempts the dealer found the hood was rubbing against some rubber bumpers.
Had a peek at the brakes when I replaced the tires last month. These things still have 80% life left front AND rear! I'm averaging 20-21 mpg combined city/hwy driving with the 4WD V6 Auto. I must say the interior is pretty cheap -- the plastic dash & panels scratch easily.
Just put a new set of Yokohamas on, so hoping to get 50-60k from them like the original tires.Well done Nissan!"
"Good experiences: It can carry quite a load for its size and handles great. It gets a few compliments for being a "nice truck". The interior makes sense, but the seats could use more lumbar support. I normally go 400 miles before refueling.
Bad experiences: I've been towed home three times! Once because a little piece of paper got stuck on an intake sensor, a second time because a crank sensor went out(although It was a quick fix and I knew it was coming),and third because an ignition relay went out. Not to mention two recalls."
Pros: "fun to drive, good power, good gas mileage"
Cons: "None yet"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I really like this truck...6 cyl....SV model...lots of pep and fairly good mileage....20 city 23 highway....handles really well...I down sized from and F-150 crew cab...I'm older now and feel more in control of this truck the Nissan...the F-150 was huge and was nice...but i started having judgement issues because of it's size...depth persception...anyhow....the Frontier is really nice...i would recommend it..."
"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."
"In 2003 I bought my first Nissan Frontier. It was the 2000 model/four door. Last year I bought my second Nissan, a 2008 King Cab. both have been great trucks. I still own the 2000 Frontier and it currently has 160,000+ miles. I am the very proud owner of two Frontiers and would have three except I can't justify having three vehicles."
"I bought it new in 2011. Had to really hunt for just a basic truck. Don't need all the bells and whistles just a reliable truck for light to medium hauling. I found a 4 cyl. manual transmission model (minimizes theft problems on the border). I generally average 25-26 mph. I use to haul mainly. I have been pleased with its handling and comfort."
"This truck will haul hay and take u to the store. All with good mileage, power V6, and with the 4-wheel drive if it snows no problem. I really like my truck. It also holds its value for resale.Very good driving visibility and ride height too."
Pros: "Reliability, comfort, practicality, fun to drive"
Cons: "Burns a lot of oil"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned this truck for three years. It has never given me one bit of trouble in any way. I love the power everything (except seats), cruise control, and black bed liner. I added a tinted power sliding sunroof with multiple settings, sunroof wind protector (smoke in color), side window wind protectors (smoke in color), bug guard (smoke in color), low profile (black) tool box, custom tail light covers, black sheep skin seat covers, black dashboard cover, tan and black steering wheel cover, custom copper and black shift knob and black Nissan Frontier floor mats. Since the accents (OEM) are tan and black and the truck itself is Artic White with side moldings, the additions that I made makes this truck a real head turner. I have been offered (numerous times) the purchase of my truck on the spot. It is one of a kind! And with the way the truck performs and handles, it makes my truck VERY valuable. I have always owned Nissan; from Maxima to my Frontier. Nissan simply put...makes and puts out QUALITY cars and trucks!! Thanks!!!!!"
Pros: "absolutely no problems. Looks like new both paint"
Cons: "would like 50 mpg."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Only have 43,000 miles without any problems. Just put one Michlen with aggressive tread and mileage dropped to 17 mpg around town have no idea as to hwy but don't drive it much. Very roomy comfortable interior. 4 wheel discs. terrific qualiy small truck."
Cons: "WOT restrction,no Aux input,alarm,lowish clearance"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I've had this truck for 3 years and 35000 miles so far and is has been very reliable. No problems through the entire ownership so far other than a clicking through the steering column that the dealer is fixing under warranty. The truck feels solid and well-constructed, the doors are heavy and the frame is stiff. The bedliner is useful and durable. The price for a SE V6 4X4 with the value truck package was about 27,000 but I paid 21,300. Great value. The gas mileage is about 17 in my suburban/city driving. The V6 felt weak and would lag when I pressed the gas and it would rev high but not deliver. It felt like a 4 cylinder. Did some research and discovered that Nissan puts a Wide Open Throttle restriction on the engine which apparently cuts power by 33 percent. I bought a superchips tuner $300 and removed the restriction and it is night and day difference. The engine is very powerful and has great grunt and the lag is gone. Before the tuner, I almost sold the truck for a Ram because the V6 power was so abysmal. So the power is now excellent, the lag is gone (especially with overdrive turned off) and I still get about 17 mpg. The stock tires hhydroplaned often, so I bought Firestone Destination A/T and they are excellent. Great treadwear. Ground clearance seemed much lower than my last Tacoma, and I got stuck in deep snow often because the body hangs low. I lifted the truck two inches and it makes a huge difference. The truck didnt come with anything to hook up my iPod to, so I installed a kenwood navigation system which is great. Stock speakers when adjusted correctly are actually excellent. My only complaint is no alarm system or immobilizer came on the vehicle. It was added a year later to the value truck package. I'll add an immobilizer, alarm, and remote start combo soon. THe truck's looks are excellent, especially with the chrome bumper. The steering is very well weighted and speed sensitive. Brakes could be a lot better, they wern't bad for a while, but at 35000 miles, they might need new pads. Also, nissan extended the transmission and radiator warranty to about 8 years, 80000 miles due to some frontiers having cross contamination of fluids. Ill watch out for this. Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this truck. I had a 2009 tacoma and a 2010 Jeep wrangler Compareed to these two, the frontier is excellent. It feels a lot more solid than the tacoma and it has substantially more headroom and kneeroom and the headrests are not as obtrusive. And it is cheaper than comparably equipped tacomas and nissan seems more willing to negotiate. The tacoma was a good truck, high clearance and fast, but the Frontier is the better match for me-especially after the superchips tuner and the 2 inch lift kit. Additionally, this Frontier is very safe, according to the insurance institute of highway safety."
"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."