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Most people Nissan for manufacturing the Titan, one of the most powerful pickup trucks on the current market. This truck was given a complete redesign in 2016, getting even more features and engine options. Nissan’s other pickup offering, the smaller Frontier, hasn’t received any major updates since its first production year.

Many people have given Nissan a lot of grief about this aging truck. The Frontier hasn’t been able to keep up with the increased towing capacities of its competitors, and the technology inside is terribly outdated. Despite this, the pickup manages to rake in good profits every year. Why is the Nissan Frontier still so popular? A look into the complaints (or lack thereof) might help to explain it.

The Nissan Frontier has very little repair issues

One great thing about this truck is that it has great reliability ratings. According to the data on CarComplaints, the Frontier only has three particularly bad model years. Interestingly, these are all very early years of the truck, from 2005-2007. 

One might think that a truck without updated technology would perform poorly as the years went on, but the Frontier proves that this is clearly not the case.

In contrast, recent models of popular Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado have plenty of complaints, despite having newer features. The Nissan Titan has less overall complaints than its rivals, but still gets a consistent volume of reported issues each year.

The lack of complicated features on the Frontier may have something to do with this lack of complaints. There is simply less to go wrong.

Why this is appealing to consumers

The consistency of the Frontier is one of its greatest assets. When shopping for any vehicle, customers are usually looking for a car that they can trust for years.

The Frontier may not be as powerful as the competition, but it can still tackle most towing jobs. The Frontier is also the most cost-effective option because it’s one of the cheapest trucks to buy new, and customers know that they’ll probably save a lot of money from lack of repairs.

This may also be the reason why Nissan has put off updating the Frontier. If there aren’t any issues with the truck’s performance, it makes little sense to spend a lot of resources and time making a new model. Nissan finally announced that a big update is on the way for 2020, but sources state that it won’t be a complete redesign.

Problems with the 2005 Nissan Frontier

The Frontier has shown itself to be a great truck used or new, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely without problems. The 2005 Nissan Frontier had the highest volume of reported problems, many of which were very costly to fix. The truck’s drivetrain, transmission, engine, and fuel system all experienced multiple failures that year.

The most severe problem on the 2005 Frontier was its radiator. It would rupture without warning, causing fluid to leak into the transmission. To replace both the transmission and the radiator, drivers paid up to $4,000.

A class-action lawsuit was filed against Nissan over the issue, which ended with the automaker agreeing to reimburse some customers for the repairs if they submitted a form within a certain time frame. An extended warranty was also issued for any future problems.

2006 and 2007

The following years saw a big improvement for the Frontier, but it still experienced frequent radiator problems. The radiator still regularly cracked in 2006 models, ruining the transmission. Additionally, many also reported that their truck’s fuel gauge frequently gave inaccurate readouts. 

Drivers of the 2007 Frontier still experienced damaged radiators, but it was less frequent than the previous two years. Nissan never issued a recall for this problem.

A few other issues were reported, but none as severe as leaking coolant. If you want to get a used Frontier, we recommend buying one from 2008 or later.