Nissan Frontier

The Nissan Frontier can be traced back to the early days of the company when it still manufactured Datsun vehicles. From 1980 to 1983, it was built and marketed as the Datsun 720. Halfway through 1983, the pickup truck started being sold as a Nissan and was officially labeled under the D21 series of utility vehicles. However, this particular model was unofficially branded the Nissan Hardbody. This nickname was given to the D21 series due to its double-wall bed, rugged overall styling, and image as a reliable and strong small pickup. The U.S. market received the D21 from 1986 through 1997.

More on the Nissan Frontier
Nissan Frontier Origins

In 1998, the D21 series ceased its decade-long success and was rebranded as the Nissan Frontier or as the Nissan Navara in some foreign markets. This particular model, classed as a compact-sized pickup truck, would later be replaced with a bigger, taller, and longer design in 2005 onwards. This shift caused the Frontier to be officially classed as a midsize pickup. The new stature gave the Frontier a whole new personality that was well received by the market.

About the Nissan Frontier

Many truck enthusiasts are familiar with the Frontier’s predecessors. Some feel the legacy of the D21 series has been successfully maintained through the current Frontier despite its change in class. Another reason for the Frontier’s loyal fan base is the variety of available cab and engine options. The 1999 model Frontier offered three V-6 cab choices and the 2000 model saw the addition of the crew cab version that is still widely used today. Part of the truck’s success was credited to its high volume fleet sales. Many businesses opted for the roominess of the new cabin and it’s often remembered as the first vehicle in the U.S. to feature four doors in a compact pickup. It was a highly favored work vehicle because while new models grew in size and variety, the price generally remained the same.

From its refined and rebranded appearance and performance specs in 2005, the Nissan Frontier gained position in the midsize pickup segment. It gained lots of attention as a reliable and powerful utility solution for many worksites. Many features from its previous compact design as a compact pickup truck were kept and given new life in a larger model, such as the much favored crew cab. It is also rumored that Nissan plans to revisit the compact truck platform through the release of a separate model Frontier, possibly with a new name. While this remains unconfirmed, the Frontier’s popularity as a compact pickup is undeniable.

Nissan Frontier Features

The current version of the Nissan Frontier comes in two specifications, the king cab and the crew cab, and both share a fair amount of features. There are also some options exclusive to certain sub models. There are five total trim options available. The SV four-cylinder is only available with a king cab, while the SL is only available as a crew cab. The other trims are the S, SV V-6, and the PRO-4X. Both king and crew cabs are options for each of these packages.

The S model is the cheapest of the trims and is a two-wheel-drive five-speed manual truck that is powered by a 152-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It comes standard with Nissan’s Vehicle Dynamic Control (VCD) and an active brake limited-slip differential. It also comes with an anti-lock braking system. The optional tire pressure monitoring system is very convenient and the six standard air bags do well to keep its safety standards high.

The SV four-cylinder is the two-wheel-drive model that is only available as a king cab. It features 16-inch alloy wheels fitted with BF Goodrich Radial Long Trail tires. The instrument cluster has an array of features, such as voltage and oil pressure gauges.

Next is the SV V-6 model, available in both the king cab and crew cab. It comes standard with two-wheel drive and has optional four-wheel drive. It utilizes a slightly more powerful 261-hp 4.0-liter V-6 engine. The off-road hooks that come with the 4x4 version make it even more suitable as an all-terrain vehicle. If the crew cab is chosen, an optional factory-applied spray-on bed liner can be bought.

The PRO-4X is considered the most high-end trim for both cabs. It only comes with four-wheel drive and is an ideal off-road utility vehicle. It uses Bilstein off-road performance shock absorbers and an electronic locking rear differential for greater traction. The 16-inch machined-finish alloy wheels are wrapped in BF Goodrich Rugged Trail tires and the interior is garnished with the unique PRO-4X styling and white-faced sporty gauges.

The SL version is only available as a crew cab and uses the same V-6 engine as the PRO-4X. It also has additional features such as Bluetooth connectivity, a Rockford Fosgate audio system, a Homelink Universal Transceiver, and automatic on/off headlights.

Nissan Frontier Evolution

The first generation Frontier was only sold in the U.S. with the second-generation release. It came with an available supercharged engine.

Select a Nissan Frontier Year

2018 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

2017 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

2016 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

2015 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

2014 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

2013 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

2012 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

For the 2011 model year, the Frontier's lineup received slightly revised packaging. Little has changed for 2012, but two new additions include a limited slip and vehicle dynamic control on all four-cylinder models, and a new Sport Appearance Package on King Cab and Crew Cab SV models, which have three optional exterior colors: Brilliant Silver, Metallic Blue and Lava Red.

2011 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

For the 2011 model year, the Frontier’s lineup gets a minor shakeup and some revised packaging. A new SV model replaces last year’s SE, and is available with an exclusive Navy Blue exterior paintjob. Short-wheelbase S and PRO-4X Crew Cabs can now be had with a six-speed manual, while SV, PRO-4X, and SL models receive a vehicle immobilizer and bed rail caps.

2010 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

2009 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

Most pickup trucks seem to struggle to deliver the best of both worlds, as the majority serve as practical vehicles but are often needed for weekend and family use.

2008 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

Originally released for the 1998 model year, the Nissan Frontier has continued to grow in popularity due to its practical size for a pick up and superb fuel economy for a car in its class.

2007 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 2007 Nissan Frontier classifies as a midsize pickup truck that sells as either a King Cab (extended cab) or a Crew Cab.

2006 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 2006 Nissan Frontier is a true midsize pickup that shares much of its inner architecture with the full-size Nissan Titan.

2005 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The Nissan Frontier is a midsize pickup truck with a full-size engine.

2004 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

Although one may quickly become overwhelmed by the multiple trim packages and model options for the 2004 Nissan Frontier, not many changes have been implemented since its predecessor.

2003 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

2002 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 2002 Nissan Frontier pickup truck is available in four trim levels: XE, SE, and SC.

2001 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 2001 Nissan Frontier features a complete restyling of the exterior and interior, along with added power under the hood.

2000 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 2000 Nissan Frontier makes up part of a long history of pickup trucks made by Nissan.

1999 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 1999 Nissan Frontier classifies as a light pickup truck that gives some utility options without sacrificing too much handling in the process.

1998 Nissan Frontier

Truck, Utility/Offroad

The 1998 Nissan Frontier is a light pickup truck that gives some utility options without sacrificing too much handling in the process.