Is the Nissan Frontier Pro-4X a Good Off-Road Truck to Buy?

The Nissan Frontier is a little bit of a wonder in the truck world. Despite the fact that it hasn’t seen any major updates since its first model year, it was still able to outsell new trucks like the Ford Ranger last quarter. The Frontier’s sales have remained consistently high for a few years now, despite its lack of technology and advanced driver’s assistance features.

Even though it’s not as new as its rivals, the Frontier still offers a little variety with five trims available. The Pro-4X is one of the most expensive ones you can buy with a price of around $34,000. However, is it worth buying when newer and stronger models retail for around the same price? Let’s look at its specs and see what CarAndDriver found during a test drive of the 2017 model.

What’s included with the Pro-4X?

The Pro-4X trim is definitely more equipped for off-roading than its base model. An electronic rear-locking differential, Bilstein dampers, and skid plates are standard. It also comes with four-wheel drive and a more powerful engine. It’s a 4.0-liter V6 that makes 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. 

If you want the Crew Cab configuration, you can choose between either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The King Cab models don’t offer a manual transmission. Its better engine also improves its towing performance.

Under the best configurations, the Frontier can tow a maximum of 6,720 pounds and carry an additional 1,460 pounds in its truck bed. To keep cargo steady in the back, the Pro-4X features a Utili-track bed rail system and a spray-on bedliner.

This trim also has an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlights, and all-terrain tires. Inside, there’s a premium audio system, but the touchscreen is only 5.8 inches, which some drivers might find difficult to read.

Nissan Frontier Pro-4X
Nissan Frontier Pro-4X | Nissan

A simple interior

The Nissan Frontier has a reputation for having one of the oldest and unappealing interiors. It’s filled with hard plastics and a relatively basic infotainment setup compared to its competitors. It comes with standard cloth upholstery that offers little support to its passengers. Critics have also noted that the backseat is cramped in both cabs and even front-seat riders may have problems moving around.

Fortunately, things can be improved in the Pro-4X. The Premium Pro-4X package includes leather seats that are power-adjustable and heated. Dual-zone climate control and a leather steering wheel are also included. Up top, you get a roof rack and a moonroof.

How it performed in the test

Nissan Frontier Pro-4X
Nissan Frontier Pro-4X | Nissan

C/D found that the engine was fairly potent for a pickup truck. It reached 0-60 mph in 7.3 seconds, only falling a little behind its competitors with more powerful engines. Coming to an abrupt stop was easy thanks to the truck’s off-roading features.

Testers found that the suspension was stable, but the steering was not as quick or responsive as they would have liked. Still, the truck was easy to handle on almost any kind of terrain and it didn’t take too much effort to accelerate.

One area C/D wasn’t impressed with was the Frontier’s fuel consumption. Their truck fell just short on EPA estimates with 16 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. They also found that the car’s headlights were poorly lit.

Is the Pro-4X worth your money?

C/D only recommends that you buy this Frontier if you’re a driver with more simple tastes. The underwhelming technology, poor fuel economy, and ancient interior can’t justify a price tag of over $30k. However, its V-6 engine still packs a lot of towing power, so we can’t write it off entirely.