Despite the rapid growth in popularity of mid-size pickup trucks in the last few years, Nissan has opted against updating and upsizing its Frontier compact in any significant manner. That means this rugged-looking little truck's nearly 15-year-old design goes up against models like the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline, all of which have been redesigned within the last three or four years.
For 2019, the Frontier's sole functional update is the addition of a 7.0-inch touchscreen display for its entry-level S and SV trims.
Mechanical changes are nil: your engine choices remain a 2.5L four-cylinder that makes 152 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque, or a 4.0L V6 good for 261 hp and 281 lb-ft. All Frontier models come with a five-speed automatic transmission save for the King Cab Pro-4X trim, which pairs the V6 with a six-speed manual. King Cab S trim is rear-drive only. SV can be optioned with 4WD, which is standard in every other trim.
There is technically no regular cab version of the Frontier. The King Cab has a pair of tiny rear doors that open to a pair of equally small rear seats that we'd suggest are best for very occasional use only. Crew Cab configuration has a three-place rear bench seat and wider door openings. Nissan builds the Frontier on a single wheelbase length, so what the Crew Cab gains in interior space it loses in cargo capacity in the bed.
Frontier King Cab S comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, locking tailgate, air conditioning, Bluetooth, cruise control, variable intermittent wipers, two 12-volt power outlets, rear under-seat storage and flip-up bottom cushions, four-way manual front seat adjustments and a four-speaker stereo with auxiliary, USB inputs and streaming audio.
SV models with 4WD add hill descent control and an electronic transfer case with low-range gearing. Other SV upgrades include the V6 engine, 16-inch alloy wheels, a front tow hook, heated side mirrors, sliding rear window, power door locks and windows, keyless entry, tilt steering and a six-speaker stereo.
Pro-4X trim gains Bilstein off-road shock absorbers, underbody skid plates, locking rear differential, body-colour door handles and mirror housings, navigation, smartphone integration, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, auto-dimming rearview mirror, eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar and heated front seats.
Moving to Crew Cab models, the SV and Pro-4X trims' equipment lists largely echo those of the King Cab versions. An SV premium package brings items like fog lights, backup sonar, auto-dimming mirror, heated front seats and dual-zone auto A/C. Trucks with the premium package can also add a sunroof. The only option in Pro-4X trucks is a leather package so named for its leather upholstery, and also adds a power front passenger seat and a rear-seat fold-down armrest.
Nissan's fuel consumption estimates for the Frontier are 14.7/10.4 L/100 km (city/highway) for four-cylinder, 4x2 models and for 15.8/11.5 L/100 km for those with the V6/4x4 combo. City consumption improves to 15.1 L/100 km with the six-speed stick.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed