How Reliable Is the Nissan Frontier?

The Nissan Frontier might not be the first truck that pops into your mind when you think “pickup truck,” but perhaps it should be. The Frontier has long been a fixture on the automotive scene since its release in 1997, and for good reason. Is this Nissan pickup truck reliable enough for your next purchase?

What makes the Nissan Frontier a reliable choice?

Despite some of its shortcomings over the last 25 years, the Nissan Frontier remains a staple in the market. It might not be the flashiest choice, but it has withstood the test of time. According to U.S. News, the 2020 Frontier is currently number six on the list of compact pickup trucks.

The V6 motor is reliable and gets around 17 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per gallon on the highway. It is notoriously easy to drive and has a smooth ride. It does have somewhat lower towing capabilities compared to some similar trucks, but that shouldn’t deter you if you are only doing the occasional pickup.

Despite the lack of updates over the years, consistency remains key. Not all automobiles need to be overhauled year after year if they can provide steady results.

Don’t judge the Frontier by the 2010 models

There were some issues noted in the models around 2005 through 2010 noted by VEHQ. Expensive radiator problems could lead to cross-contamination of coolant and transmission fluid. These were fixed in the following years.

Now that we are in 2021, the truck is still ranking well overall. It generally looks the same, but the 2022 Frontier is getting a major redesign.

All automobiles that have been around as long as this truck is bound to have flaws over time. The gas mileage has improved year over year and should continue to do so.

Based on the sales numbers on GoodCarBadCar, the Frontier has been a consistent seller throughout the years. In 2005, it sold just over 72,000 times. In 2009, that dipped down to around 27,000 but crept back up to over 74,000 by 2014. The 2020 model sold just under 55,000 times. There’s a chance that the numbers stay the same until the redesigned truck comes out.

How long will the Nissan Frontier last?


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Consumer Reports didn’t love the 2019 model, rating it a 3 out of 5 on reliability. Consumer Reports also gave it a 1 out of 5 on the overall satisfaction rating. That seems to have carried over into the sales for the following year.

Kelley Blue Book still has various ’90s Nissan trucks on the site with 4.5/5 stars. One of the reviews from December of 2020 notes that their truck is still running smoothly after 24 years. Another from January of 2021 says the truck is tough and still going strong.

If you are looking for a reliable truck to get you through the years, consider it done. The Frontier won’t let you down, and there’s a good chance you can pass it down to someone else when you are done with it.