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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/31/18 9:43 a.m.
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Wish that you could go back in time and purchase a brand-new, 13-year-old Nissan Frontier? That time machine can be found at your local dealership.

The 2018 Frontier is practically a carryover model from 2005. Know what else happened that year? The first YouTube video was uploaded. George W. Bush began his second term as president. Katrina decimated the Gulf Coast. Johnny Carson died.

But back to the present. Like the 2005 model, the latest Frontier can be ordered with either a 2.5-liter inline-four or a 4.0-liter V6.

What is new? Well, for this year there’s the Midnight Edition–which is what we tested. We’ll cut to Nissan for the details: “The Midnight Edition package includes a gloss-black grille, 18-inch gloss black aluminum-alloy wheels, semi-gloss black step rails, body-color front and rear bumpers, black outside rearview mirrors and door handles and black badging. It is available in Crew Cab SV 4x2 and 4x4 automatic transmission models and in a choice of Magnetic Black, Gun Metallic and Glacier White exterior colors.”

We sampled a V6-powered, 4x4 Midnight Edition in black with an automatic.

Read the rest of the story

TGMF
TGMF Reader
7/31/18 9:54 a.m.

Still pretty good looking small truck. Dated, sure....but damn near bullet proof. 

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
7/31/18 10:03 a.m.

Don't forget that GM, Ford and Dodge  abandoned the compact, 4-door pickup truck platform in the U.S. but Nissan was there for the folks who preferred that configuration.  

kevlarcorolla
kevlarcorolla Dork
7/31/18 10:40 a.m.

Waiting for the new one to maybe replace my titan.

Ram50Ron
Ram50Ron Reader
7/31/18 10:51 a.m.

Still waiting on the 2.8L Cummins Frontier they were teasing us back in 2014, but sadly due to the EPA and CARB it will probably never see a dealer lot.

rothwem
rothwem New Reader
7/31/18 11:06 a.m.

I almost bought one of these.  The steering wheel is bit far away though, and there's no telescoping wheel adjustment to bring it closer and I just couldn't get comfortable.  

Weirdly enough, one of the things I liked about it was the automatic transmission.  They nailed the throttle tip in/torque converter slip/take off calibration, something that is commonly messed up.  It doesn't hesitate to downshift, and if you downshift with the console shifter it'll do a little throttle blip to rev-match the gear.  Its the same trans as in the 2006ish G35s, I wonder if paddle shifters could be retrofitted...

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
7/31/18 11:43 a.m.

I had a 2011 Frontier Pro-4X back in 2011 I purchased new. Nice truck, drove really well, etc. It was 6-7 years old then and the interior quality shows why you can get them so much cheaper than a Tacoma.

For the last 5-7 years, the only reason you bought a Frontier over a Tacoma was because of the price difference or just that you're a Nissan Fanboi.

Mine had the Off-Road package, interior leather/sunroof/Rockford stereo etc. I think I got it for like 6-7k off MSRP without too much trying.

crankwalk
crankwalk SuperDork
7/31/18 1:34 p.m.

Manual transmission and 4WD you can't get unless you was the v6 and a bunch of brotastic packages which make the turd $30k at the dealership.

 

"They don't make a 4 cyl 4wd manual transmission truck because nobody buys them"

 

I begged every manufacturer to give me one and TAKE MY MONEY. Even Toyota doesn't offer a manual transmission 4 cyl 4wd anymore here. I tried to get a leftover 2016 shipped to me and they wouldn't do it. A 4wd , 4cyl, manual trans Tacoma, Colorado, or Frontier (if it was way cheaper to offset Nissan's terrible resale) is what I really wanted. Nobody delivers that.

 

If I'm forced to spend $24k on an automatic gas mini truck with a 5 ft bed, I'll gladly spend $26k for a fullsize a 6'4" bed, quad cab with a turbo diesel that can also tow almost 10k lbs and that's what I did.

 

 

 

rothwem
rothwem New Reader
7/31/18 1:51 p.m.
crankwalk said:

Manual transmission and 4WD you can't get unless you was the v6 and a bunch of brotastic packages which make the turd $30k at the dealership.

 

"They don't make a 4 cyl 4wd manual transmission truck because nobody buys them"

 

I begged every manufacturer to give me one and TAKE MY MONEY. Even Toyota doesn't offer a manual transmission 4 cyl 4wd anymore here. I tried to get a leftover 2016 shipped to me and they wouldn't do it. A 4wd , 4cyl, manual trans Tacoma, Colorado, or Frontier (if it was way cheaper to offset Nissan's terrible resale) is what I really wanted. Nobody delivers that.

 

If I'm forced to spend $24k on an automatic gas mini truck with a 5 ft bed, I'll gladly spend $26k for a fullsize a 6'4" bed, quad cab with a turbo diesel that can also tow almost 10k lbs and that's what I did.

 

 

 

The 4 cyl Frontier is really really really slow.  The one I test drove was a 2wd, I can't imagine how much worse it would be with an extra 3-400 lbs of 4WD components and driveline friction.  My first car was a 1991 Saturn with 85 hp, and the Frontier 4 cyl is worse.  It barely gets out of its own way, I can't imagine actually having to use it as a truck and tow something or carry something in the bed.  

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
7/31/18 2:11 p.m.

In reply to rothwem :

I test drove a V6 one and was surprised how slow it was, then I had one for a week-long rental and it was much quicker. I think it must have reduced power for a limited period when they’re new. 

rothwem
rothwem New Reader
7/31/18 2:36 p.m.
Pete Gossett said:

In reply to rothwem :

I test drove a V6 one and was surprised how slow it was, then I had one for a week-long rental and it was much quicker. I think it must have reduced power for a limited period when they’re new. 

Weird.  The V6 I drove was fine, I thought it was more than adequate.  The 4 cyl was the one I had an issue with, I test drove that one first, and after sitting at 4000 rpm for 30 seconds trying to get up a moderate hill, I decided that I'd had enough and headed back to the dealership.  

mcs5280
mcs5280 New Reader
7/31/18 7:11 p.m.
crankwalk said:

Manual transmission and 4WD you can't get unless you was the v6 and a bunch of brotastic packages which make the turd $30k at the dealership.

 

"They don't make a 4 cyl 4wd manual transmission truck because nobody buys them"

 

I begged every manufacturer to give me one and TAKE MY MONEY. Even Toyota doesn't offer a manual transmission 4 cyl 4wd anymore here. I tried to get a leftover 2016 shipped to me and they wouldn't do it. A 4wd , 4cyl, manual trans Tacoma, Colorado, or Frontier (if it was way cheaper to offset Nissan's terrible resale) is what I really wanted. Nobody delivers that.

 

If I'm forced to spend $24k on an automatic gas mini truck with a 5 ft bed, I'll gladly spend $26k for a fullsize a 6'4" bed, quad cab with a turbo diesel that can also tow almost 10k lbs and that's what I did.

 

 

 

Toyota offered the 3rd gen 2.7L Tacoma with 4x4 and a manual transmission up to 2017 i think. They are out there just hard to find.

crankwalk
crankwalk SuperDork
7/31/18 8:51 p.m.
mcs5280 said:
 

Toyota offered the 3rd gen 2.7L Tacoma with 4x4 and a manual transmission up to 2017 i think. They are out there just hard to find.

 

Well, right.  I went in April to buy one and 2018s were out which are all automatic. There were no leftover 2017s anywhere in the country that were new so Toyota was out of the question. Nissan, GM, Ford doesnt offer a 4 cyl manual 4x4 here either. It sucks but there is no going back probably. 

Brian
Brian MegaDork
8/1/18 5:42 a.m.

The fact that it is a 13 year old new truck appeals to me. I believe it is the smallest truck in the US market. I’ll take mine in king kab v6 4x4 please. 

crankwalk
crankwalk SuperDork
8/1/18 9:45 a.m.
Brian said:

The fact that it is a 13 year old new truck appeals to me. I believe it is the smallest truck in the US market. I’ll take mine in king kab v6 4x4 please. 

Then you end up paying $27k for it in that configuration. Wouldn’t you rather get a full size truck that’s more capable for the same money?

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/1/18 10:22 a.m.
crankwalk said:
Brian said:

The fact that it is a 13 year old new truck appeals to me. I believe it is the smallest truck in the US market. I’ll take mine in king kab v6 4x4 please. 

Then you end up paying $27k for it in that configuration. Wouldn’t you rather get a full size truck that’s more capable for the same money?

Apparently not. 

I'll take the smaller, more nicely optioned truck over a stripped down full-size. Driving/parking the full size trucks sucks in traffic, and most people who NEED a full size aren't shopping the "mid-size" trucks anyway. 

The other 95% of people who buy a new F150 Platinum don't really need it. 

But in reality, I don't care either way. I'm glad we have plenty of choices and people can buy whatever they want for any reason they want.

Fletch1
Fletch1 Dork
8/1/18 11:07 a.m.

1.  This truck came out 3 years before I met my wife

2.  George W was starting his second term

3.  Hurricane Katrina hit the year this model came out

4.  YouTube was founded the same year

I'd say they got the bugs worked out by now...cheeky

kevlarcorolla
kevlarcorolla Dork
8/1/18 11:20 a.m.
crankwalk said:

Manual transmission and 4WD you can't get unless you was the v6 and a bunch of brotastic packages which make the turd $30k at the dealership.

 

"They don't make a 4 cyl 4wd manual transmission truck because nobody buys them"

 

I begged every manufacturer to give me one and TAKE MY MONEY. Even Toyota doesn't offer a manual transmission 4 cyl 4wd anymore here. I tried to get a leftover 2016 shipped to me and they wouldn't do it. A 4wd , 4cyl, manual trans Tacoma, Colorado, or Frontier (if it was way cheaper to offset Nissan's terrible resale) is what I really wanted. Nobody delivers that.

 

If I'm forced to spend $24k on an automatic gas mini truck with a 5 ft bed, I'll gladly spend $26k for a fullsize a 6'4" bed, quad cab with a turbo diesel that can also tow almost 10k lbs and that's what I did.

 

 

 

Dodge ecodiesal??.

 Good luck with that little gem.wink

crankwalk
crankwalk SuperDork
8/1/18 1:19 p.m.
kevlarcorolla said:

 

Dodge ecodiesal??.

 Good luck with that little gem.wink

So far so good. But since you added the passive aggressive quip with your post I feel it's a better gamble with FCA quality than taking an immediate hit on the depreciation on the Frontier (not a Tacoma small truck hit) and Nissan/ Renault reliability right off the bat.     

 

My Ecodiesel has nothing to do with my opinions on the Frontier but my point is for an automatic 4x4 Frontier that is in the mid to upper $20K range and the Frontier is last after about 5 other options I'd put before that. I personally don't care how much they can "upgrade" a Frontier with lame paint packages and Rockford Fosgate speakers. I would want as much truck that can do actual truck stuff for my dollar.

 

A slightly less optioned Silverado 5.3 4x4, Ecoboost 2.7 4x4, Ecodiesel 4x4 were all in the same price bracket as the Frontier 4x4 when I was shopping for them 4 months ago and those are all 40000% more truck than the Frontier regardless of how many speakers they come with or that they don't have a gnar brah wakeboarding extreme Pro package with skid plates and first aid kits.

 

I have no problems at all with a Frontier other than they are priced too high for what you get in a 4x4.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/1/18 2:39 p.m.
crankwalk said:
kevlarcorolla said:

 

Dodge ecodiesal??.

 Good luck with that little gem.wink

So far so good. But since you added the passive aggressive quip with your post I feel it's a better gamble with FCA quality than taking an immediate hit on the depreciation on the Frontier (not a Tacoma small truck hit) and Nissan/ Renault reliability right off the bat.     

 

My Ecodiesel has nothing to do with my opinions on the Frontier but my point is for an automatic 4x4 Frontier that is in the mid to upper $20K range and the Frontier is last after about 5 other options I'd put before that. I personally don't care how much they can "upgrade" a Frontier with lame paint packages and Rockford Fosgate speakers. I would want as much truck that can do actual truck stuff for my dollar.

 

A slightly less optioned Silverado 5.3 4x4, Ecoboost 2.7 4x4, Ecodiesel 4x4 were all in the same price bracket as the Frontier 4x4 when I was shopping for them 4 months ago and those are all 40000% more truck than the Frontier regardless of how many speakers they come with or that they don't have a gnar brah wakeboarding extreme Pro package with skid plates and first aid kits.

 

I have no problems at all with a Frontier other than they are priced too high for what you get in a 4x4.

We get, but just like I said in a post up there, people who REALLY need a full-size truck aren't shopping Frontiers and Tacomas anyway. 

You aren't the target market. 

*Post no.5 of the thread inbound. trolololol

crankwalk
crankwalk SuperDork
8/1/18 5:18 p.m.
z31maniac said:

 

We get, but just like I said in a post up there, people who REALLY need a full-size truck aren't shopping Frontiers and Tacomas anyway. 

 

 

 

I agree that people who NEED a full size truck aren't shopping Tacomas and Frontiers anyway. That however is not my point.

 

My point is, people who NEED a Frontier sized truck end up buying bigger more capable truck for the same money WAY MORE OFTEN because they aren't idiots.  

Kreb
Kreb UberDork
8/1/18 5:27 p.m.

I remember shopping for new midsize trucks ten years or so ago and  thinking that the Nissan was the most dated at that time. That said, I recently read an off-road comparison test that actually voted it the winner over Chevy, Toyota and Honda. So it would appear to have some virtues. I think of it as one of those third-world specials that you expect to see alongside a Hilux. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/1/18 6:17 p.m.
crankwalk said:
z31maniac said:

 

We get, but just like I said in a post up there, people who REALLY need a full-size truck aren't shopping Frontiers and Tacomas anyway. 

 

 

 

I agree that people who NEED a full size truck aren't shopping Tacomas and Frontiers anyway. That however is not my point.

 

My point is, people who NEED a Frontier sized truck end up buying bigger more capable truck for the same money WAY MORE OFTEN because they aren't idiots.  

LOL, why are you so angry about this? Now you are calling people idiots that don't buy a full-size over a Frontier?

Relax bro. 

Kreb
Kreb UberDork
8/1/18 6:45 p.m.

Just remember fellas, bigger is better. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll just mosey on out to my Winnebago. 

kevlarcorolla
kevlarcorolla Dork
8/1/18 8:31 p.m.
crankwalk said:
kevlarcorolla said:

 

Dodge ecodiesal??.

 Good luck with that little gem.wink

So far so good. But since you added the passive aggressive quip with your post I feel it's a better gamble with FCA quality than taking an immediate hit on the depreciation on the Frontier (not a Tacoma small truck hit) and Nissan/ Renault reliability right off the bat.     

 

My Ecodiesel has nothing to do with my opinions on the Frontier but my point is for an automatic 4x4 Frontier that is in the mid to upper $20K range and the Frontier is last after about 5 other options I'd put before that. I personally don't care how much they can "upgrade" a Frontier with lame paint packages and Rockford Fosgate speakers. I would want as much truck that can do actual truck stuff for my dollar.

 

A slightly less optioned Silverado 5.3 4x4, Ecoboost 2.7 4x4, Ecodiesel 4x4 were all in the same price bracket as the Frontier 4x4 when I was shopping for them 4 months ago and those are all 40000% more truck than the Frontier regardless of how many speakers they come with or that they don't have a gnar brah wakeboarding extreme Pro package with skid plates and first aid kits.

 

I have no problems at all with a Frontier other than they are priced too high for what you get in a 4x4.

Its all good,I'm familiar with the (lack of)resale value/quality of a new dodge truck....

 I wouldn't buy the current frontier either if it makes you feel any better.

 

Cheers.

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