Nissan Pickup Origins
Nissan Motors has a long history of manufacturing trucks dating back to the 1930s. When Nissan began, it produced trucks and other vehicles for the Japanese military during World War II. After the war, Nissan Motors moved to designing and manufacturing cars and trucks for the civilian market. The first truck produced by Nissan sold under the Datsun brand, which Nissan controlled. The Datsun/Nissan truck was a compact pickup truck that launched in Japan, in 1955. Nissan exported the second generation of this compact pickup truck to the U.S., as well as other markets, and establishing Nissan as a truck producer in the U.S. market.About the Nissan Pickup
Nissan has a reputation for creating vehicles that have up-to-date and unique styling with excellent performance. Through the use of cutting-edge innovations, Nissan aims to produce high-quality and dependable vehicles, including pickup trucks. Not only does Nissan focus on creating useful, yet stylish pickup trucks, it also works to make them efficient without sacrificing performance. From introducing the very first compact pickup truck into the market and creating a new class of pickup trucks, Nissan has continued to up the ante when it comes to the innovations included in the Nissan pickup truck line.Nissan Pickup Features
Nissan has two pickup trucks in its U.S. model line: the Nissan Frontier and the Nissan Titan. The first generation of the Nissan Frontier debuted in the 1998 model year and remained in production until 2004. The second and current generation of the Nissan Frontier debuted at the 2004 North American International Auto Show for the 2005 model year. The Nissan Titan launched in 2004 as a full-size pickup truck for the North American market.
The Nissan Frontier is a midsize pickup truck that comes in a crew cab or extended (King) cab style. It offers four trim levels starting with the S base model and including the SV, PRO-4X, and the SL models. The Nissan Frontier S contains a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower and couples with a five-speed manual transmission. The SV trim level offers two engine choices: the four-cylinder from the S base model, or a 4.0-liter V-6 engine that provides 261 horsepower and uses a six-speed manual transmission. A five-speed automatic transmission provides an option for all three models.
The PRO-4X and SL trim lines employ the V-6 engine, and the SL trim line has the five-speed automatic transmission as a standard feature. The four-cylinder SV model comes in the King cab style only, while the SL trim model offers only a crew cab. The PRO-4X has four-wheel drive, while the SV V-6 version and the SL model can be fitted with rear drive or four-wheel drive.
The full-size Nissan Titan also comes in four trim levels, with extended, crew cab, and standard bed lengths available. The S, SV, and PRO-4X come with both the King cab and crew cab body styles, while the SL trim model has a crew cab body only. All contain a 5.6-liter V-8 engine that provides 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission is a five-speed automatic. Two- or four-wheel drive are also available.Nissan Pickup Evolution
When Nissan unveiled the Datsun truck at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 1958, it introduced a whole new concept to the market. The Datsun truck marks the first compact pickup truck to see production, and it started a category that has become one of the most popular and best-selling in the U.S. The first Datsun truck to launch in the U.S. was the Datsun 220. This actually came from the second generation of the compact pickup, but the first had only been sold in Japan. Initially, sales stayed slow until the Datsun 520 (the fourth generation of the truck) launched in 1965.
The Datsun pickup truck went through two more iterations with the Datsun marque. The Datsun 720 remains the last Datsun pickup truck. It represents one of the first vehicles to be produced in the U.S. by Nissan at its first assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. Nissan began manufacturing vehicles for the North American market in the U.S. to avoid paying the import tax implemented by the U.S. government. In 1986, Nissan ceased to use the Datsun name for its pickup trucks and rebranded them as Nissan pickup trucks.
The first Nissan pickup truck succeeded the Datsun 720. This truck, the Nissan Hardbody, saw production from 1986 to 1997. The name Hardbody comes from the overall style of the pickup truck, and it refers to the truck’s double-wall bed. It comes in standard and extended cab styles, as well as standard and long bed lengths. Four-cylinder and V-6 engines couple with either a manual transmission or an automatic transmission, although the manual transmission enjoys more popularity. The production of the Nissan Hardbody ceased in 1997 with the launch of the Nissan Frontier.