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Editor’s note: This article was updated on 6/7/2023. 

The Nissan Frontier might not be the first vehicle that pops into your mind when you think “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 the Nissan Frontier reliability good enough to be considered for your next pickup truck?

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 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 has somewhat lower towing capabilities compared to similar trucks, but that shouldn’t deter you if you are only doing the occasional pickup.

The 2023 Nissan Frontier has improved a bit, especially in the area of the V6 engine. It has a comfortable cabin and better handling. U.S. News and J.D. Power gave the 2023 Frontier a quality and reliability score of 83 out of 100.

Nissan Frontier reliability took a tumble in the early 2000s

Car Complaints noted Some issues in the models around 2005 through 2010. 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 still ranks well overall. It looks the same, but the 2022 Frontier received 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 shared by Nissan, the Frontier has been a consistent seller throughout the years. In 2005, it sold just over 72,000 units. In 2009, that dipped to around 27,000 but increased to over 74,000 by 2014. The 2020 model sold just under 55,000 times. Nissan reported that by the end of 2022, more than 76,000 units of the Frontier were sold. Things are looking up after the redesign.

How long will the Frontier last?

While the Frontier’s reliability had some issues in the past, Nissan has improved its reliability recently. Following the maintenance schedule as described in the owner’s manual is the best way to keep any vehicle running at its best. If you do a lot of towing or hauling, that upkeep is even more critical.

If you are looking for a reliable truck to get you through the years, the Nissan Frontier is a good choice. Skip the high-mileage options from 2005 through 2010 for the best results, and always change your oil on time. Find a high-quality repair shop in your area, too, for any issues that might pop up.


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