Trucks & SUVs

The 2019 Nissan Frontier Is the Cheapest Truck But Is It Worth Buying?

Even used pickup trucks are expensive these days. So while some drivers may want to equip their new truck with tons of options and packages, others may just want a good, cheap, truck. That’s where the 2019 Nissan Frontier comes in. But is it worth it?

Just how cheap is the 2019 Nissan Frontier?

MotorTrend recently compared the price points of all the cheapest new trucks on the market for 2019 and 2020. Unsurprisingly, the Nissan Frontier comes out on top in terms of affordability.

This is mostly because the Frontier hasn’t changed that much since its last major redesign in 2004. That said, Nissan is redesigning the Frontier for 2020. But the 2019 model year of the Frontier will still be based off of that 15-year-old design.

In terms of the numbers, here’s what MotorTrend said. The most expensive new “cheap” truck is the Ram 1500, which starts at about $33,500. In the middle of the pack is the Chevy Silverado, which starts at just under $30,000.

The most affordable of them all is the Frontier, which starts at a bit over $20,000. For reference, the second most affordable new truck is the Chevy Colorado, which starts at about $22,000.

What you get for $20,000

The 2019 Nissan Frontier drives down a sand dune
The 2019 Nissan Frontier drives down a sand dune | Courtesy of Nissan.com

Like MotorTrend said, this $20,000 Nissan Frontier doesn’t come with much. It has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine that generates about 152 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the much larger V6 or V8 options on other trucks, the Frontier’s starting engine is simply lackluster. 

As a result of those weak horsepower and torque figures, the Frontier, in its cheapest configuration, can’t carry or tow much. MotorTrend says that this configuration of the Frontier only has a payload capacity of 900 pounds. The towing capacity of this configuration of the Frontier is just 3,500 pounds.

That said, the Colorado, when equipped with a similar 2.5-liter engine, can also only tow about 3,500 pounds. But, unlike the Frontier, the Colorado and its 2.5-liter engine can hold a payload of over 1,300 pounds.

However, due to the small size of the engine, it does get a decent fuel economy. The EPA got a combined 19 MPG from the 2.5-liter on the Frontier. This isn’t the best fuel economy in its class but it’s not terrible. 

Plus, the Frontier, even in its cheapest configuration, does have some features. New cars must have mandatory backup cameras, and the Frontier does have one. Consumer Reports says most new Frontiers will also come with a seven-inch touchscreen display.

Of course, since it’s a 15-year-old design, Consumer Reports reported that owners can expect a new Frontier to be a relatively reliable truck. 

Is the 2019 Nissan Frontier worth it?

Like anything in life, it depends. The Frontier has many drawbacks, but if you mostly care about the price, then the truck’s definitely worth it. For instance, due to the age of the design, the Frontier’s interior is simply lacking. But if you just want a reliable work truck that can do its job well, then the interior doesn’t matter much. 

Consumer Reports generally liked the Frontier and so do Americans. Like MotorTrend mentioned, new Frontiers are still selling well despite being a 15-year-old truck.

In general, if you just want a brand-new truck that can do truck things for an affordable price, then the Frontier seems like a great option. Its starting 2.5-liter engine may not seem like a good option though, but the truck as a whole is.