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The Nissan Frontier Is Old But Not Entirely Bad

With all the new features and different configurations on today’s trucks, it can be hard to find one that’s best suited for your lifestyle. These hefty trucks often don’t come cheap, with some in the neighborhood of up to $100k. Each year these trucks add even more items to their specifications list, but there is one truck that has managed to keep it simple for many years.

There’s no denying that the Nissan Frontier is old, and there are some areas where it definitely shows its age compared to its redesigned competitors. However, we still think it’s a good truck, and so does the staff at Motortrend. Here are the things they liked most about the newest Nissan Frontier.

2019 Nissan Frontier
2019 Nissan Frontier | Nissan

Easy to handle

If you drive a large truck, you probably know how difficult it is to maneuver the car around city streets and cramped neighborhood roads. These cars are great to use at a worksite where there are a lot of open spaces, but not so much on regular roads. Additionally, you may be in for a bumpy ride if there’s nothing in your truck bed to keep the suspension stable.

Older trucks also have a reputation of being hard to steer, but the Nissan Frontier doesn’t have that problem. Drivers reported that it’s easy to drive and has a quiet cabin, but quick accelerations generate a lot of engine noise.  Its curb weight and dimensions are smaller, giving it a car-like feel. If you’re trying to transition from driving a small car to a truck, the Frontier is a great option.

Rear-wheel drive is standard, but four-wheel drive is also available. The interior hasn’t been updated since 2005, but it has a charmingly simple layout and comfy seats. However, they lack the adjustable support options standard on many new trucks.

Peppy optional engine

2020 Nissan Frontier | Nissan 001
2020 Nissan Frontier | Nissan

The Frontier has a base four-cylinder 2.5-liter engine that can put out 152 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. Fans of the stick shift will be happy to find a manual five-speed transmission, with the option to upgrade to an automatic five- or six-speed. However, the other engine offering is what makes the truck perform the best.

This truck also offers a V6 4.0-liter engine with 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. This engine supplies drivers with composed handling and also delivers a good amount of power in the towing department. When properly equipped, the Frontier can tow up to 6,720 pounds, almost as good as a brand-new Tacoma. It also has a maximum payload of 1,460 pounds.

The combination of four-wheel drive and the V6 engine does wonders for the truck’s performance, but makes it worse off in terms of gas mileage. With this engine and the manual transmission, the Nissan gets 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on highway roads. The city rating is slightly improved with the automatic transmission. These are still average numbers for a compact pickup, so we can’t say it’s that much of a dealbreaker.

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

An update coming soon?

There are definitely some areas where the current Nissan fails. While some drivers may appreciate the bare-bones interior, it doesn’t look as good as other trucks you can buy for slightly more. Its infotainment setup is also in desperate need of an upgrade.

However, this is about to change in the near future. We can hardly believe it, but the automaker actually announced that an updated Frontier will be released as soon as 2020. Nissan says that it won’t be complete redesign, but other sources say it will have an even better 4.0-engine and a modernized appearance.