Consumer Reports gathers a wide variety of research and information on all consumer vehicles, to help you determine what ones are best and what ones aren’t. Through survey data, they can gather an idea of a vehicle’s overall owner satisfaction, to help determine whether it will satisfy other owners or not. And when asked if they would buy this truck again, close to half of the current owners said they would not. What truck earned the distinction of “would not buy again?”
The new truck that almost half of the current owners wouldn’t buy again
According to Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Survey, only 53% of 2019 Nissan Frontier owners answered “definitely yes” in response to whether they would purchase the same vehicle again. This percentage is among the lowest on the pickup market, ranking far below other pickups in the segment.
Consumer Reports only gives the current Frontier a low predicted overall owner satisfaction score of two out of five, combining owner satisfaction scores from the following categories:
- Driving experience: 67/100
- Comfort: 57/100
- Value: 62/100
- Styling: 67/100
But what makes almost half of the current owners unsatisfied with their truck buy?
Where the 2019 Nissan Frontier scored the lowest
Though the 2019 Frontier is currently untested by Consumer Reports, they gave the mid-size truck a predicted reliability rating of three out of five. Using research from problems with past vehicles, Consumer Reports predicts that the Frontier’s biggest trouble spots will be with the transmission, drive system, fuel system, brakes, and body integrity.
Even without thorough testing, Consumer Reports claims that the Frontier “is a dated design that lacks polish,” stating a stiff ride, poor fuel economy, and lackluster interior.
U.S. News ranks the Nissan Frontier as the worst among compact pickup trucks for 2019. The Frontier only received an overall score of 6.9 (out of 10), with unimpressive scores in performance, interior, and reliability.
Compared to other trucks in the segment, the Frontier has an unremarkable fuel economy rating of 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. In fact, it’s rated the worst in its class. On the road test, the critics at U.S. News found the Frontier to have “an unimpressive base engine and cabin styling that looks outdated.” It also has a lower hauling/towing capacity than competitors.
Car and Driver gave the 2019 Nissan Frontier quite arguably the worst rating of all, at just 2.5 out of five. The experts are unsure why the Frontier remains a good-selling truck, “in spite of being virtually unchanged for more than a decade.”
Overall, Car and Driver found the powertrain, interior styling, and basic features to be in need of some serious updating. On the road test, the Frontier’s ride was bouncy and it didn’t perform well under hard braking. In fact, the experts found “its handling felt loose due to lazy steering feedback and excessive body motion.”
What Nissan’s Frontier got right
In the same U.S. News review, the Frontier was praised for its low starting price, at just under $20,000, as well as its smooth transmission. Car and Driver also praises its affordability, as well its configurable cargo box.
Though not much has changed throughout the years, the 2019 Frontier now gets a standard, 7-inch touchscreen display. And unlike many other automakers, Nissan offers the Frontier in both automatic and manual transmissions.
Options in the upper trims get better, including climate control and heated front seats, a sliding bed extender, adjustable tie-downs, and rear parking sensors. All the experts agree, however, that if you’re looking for an affordable, no-frills work truck, the 2019 Nissan Frontier may be a good option.