Want a Used Off-Road Truck? Avoid This Pickup at All Costs

If you are interested in an off-road truck, there are a range of options on the market. From pickups that come from the factory ready to hit the trail to ones that make good starting points for a 4×4 build. You can likely find a used mid-size truck that fits your needs. But the 2008 Nissan Frontier Nismo is probably a truck that you should avoid. 

Is the Nissan Frontier D40 a good truck?

The Nissan Frontier D40 is a mid-size truck that lasted from 2004 until 2021, and while it is generally good, there are some years to avoid. From 2005 until 2008, the Frontier was known to have transmission problems. And the problem was not really corrected until 2009. 

A 2008 Nissan Frontier Nismo was Nissan's off-road truck.
2008 Nissan Frontier Nismo | Bull Doser

Nissan did sell an off-road variant of the Frontier during this time. Before there was the PRO-4X there was the Nismo model. The 2008 Nissan Frontier Nismo might seem like a good off-road truck, but because of its problems, you should skip it. 

According to Vehicle History, a broken transmission in a Frontier can cost up to $5,000. And the problem only becomes more likely with age. This problem is caused by a cracked radiator. If the radiator cracks, coolant can leak into the transmission. Ultimately causing the transmission to fail. 

Can you off-road a Nissan Frontier?

Once Nissan introduced the Frontier PRO-4X, it became clear that the Frontier could be a capable 4×4 truck. The PRO-4X model adds things like a locking rear differential, improved suspension, and other off-road features. 

A Nissan Frontier shows off as an off-road truck.
Nissan Frontier Nismo | IFCAR

Another perk of the Frontier is that you could get it with a manual transmission before 2021. While not every truck owner wants to row their own gears, a standard transmission can come in handy in off-road situations. You will have more control over your mid-size pickup’s power output. 

What is Nissan’s off-road package?

Nissan’s off-road package is known as PRO-4X. It is featured in both the Frontier and the Titan, and it adds a variety of off-road tech to these trucks. In terms of rivals, the Frontier PRO-4X competes directly with the Tacoma TRD Pro and off-road pickups offered by other brands. 

Starting in 2022, all Frontier models come standard with a 3.8-liter V6. And that does give this pickup a bit of an edge over the competition. Instead of having to pay extra for the power of six cylinders, you just get it as standard. And that is pretty nice to have. 

Is the Frontier worth it?

As a used truck, the Nissan Frontier can undoubtedly be worth it. The 2023 Frontier does have a starting MSRP of $29,190. And even though that is not cheap, if you want a new mid-size truck, the Frontier should certainly be on your radar. The new Frontier can tow up to 6,720 lbs, and it offers 310 horsepower. And those are pretty good numbers. 

2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X off-roading
2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X | Nissan

You can find an older Nissan Frontier for cheaper. Just be sure to conduct the proper research, so you do not buy a problematic truck. The last thing that you want is to be stranded on the trails.

RELATED: The 2023 Nissan Frontier Just Got More Expensive