Best Used Nissan Frontier Years: Models to Buy and 1 to Avoid

The Nissan Frontier is a mid-size truck that has been around for some time. Because of that, you might be considering purchasing a used model. Overall, the Frontier has been a reliable pickup. So, there are a variety of options to choose from depending on your budget. But, there are also some models that you should avoid if you want a reliable vehicle. So, which used Nissan Frontier should you buy and which should you avoid?

Should you buy a 2020 Nissan Frontier?

Although it is still a relatively new truck, the 2020 Frontier is a solid used vehicle to pick. It is still a second-generation Frontier, but it offers the new 3.8-liter V6 engine. Better yet, the V6 is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. And that means you will be able to get smooth shifting while enjoying a more powerful engine. 

Another major benefit of the 2020 Frontier, is that you can probably find one with lower mileage. While models like the 2014 Nissan Frontier are still a good buy, these trucks have been around for some time. And that means folks have been doing a lot of driving with them. As a truck packs on more miles, there is more potential for issues in regards to reliability. 

Plus, you will miss out on some of the creature comforts that the 2020 Frontier has to offer. A 2020 Frontier might be more expensive than an older Frontier. But, you will not have to make the same trade-offs. And that is something that should be appreciated. 

Which Nissan Frontier should you avoid?

In terms of which Frontier models to avoid, the answer is fairly clear. According to VehicleHistory, from 2005 to 2008, the Frontier faced some problems. The automatic transmission had the biggest failure point. 

An older Nissan Frontier with a white paint job sits parked on the street.
Nissan Frontier | IFCAR

Coolant can leak into the transmission, which causes problems with shifting. It can also cause a total transmission failure, and that is certainly an expensive thing to fix. The problematic transmission is found in automatic Frontier models from the years 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. 

It is worth noting that Frontier models from this era that have the manual transmission are less likely to face issues. And, with the proper maintenance, the autobox can be fine. But ultimately, why buy something that could be unreliable when you can find a Frontier that you can count on?

Is a used Frontier worth it?

As a mid-size truck, the Nissan Frontier does have legitimate capability. Additionally, you can find a pickup truck that actually fits within your budget. The 2022 Nissan Frontier might have a base MSRP of under $30,000, but that isn’t necessarily cheap. 

A Nissan Frontier shows off its capability as a mid-size truck.
Nissan Frontier | Nissan

A pre-owned Frontier will likely be cheaper than buying one new. And that will help you get the right amount of truck that fits both your budget and your lifestyle. Just keep in mind, there are Frontier models out there that could be unreliable. And if it’s clear that a pickup has been mistreated, it’s likely best to avoid it.

RELATED: Should You Buy a Used Nissan Frontier With a V6?