The Nissan Frontier midsize pickup is a consistent favorite for me. This Nissan is a little smaller than other midsize pickups, which is nice as an option. The Frontier combines the best of modern technology with an old-school pickup experience.
Let me unpack that a little bit. The Frontier has all the modern comforts and safety features you expect in a modern vehicle. There's nothing primitive about it. The old-school experience is in the responsive steering, the willingness to rev up and go, and the simple presentation of controls and features. The Frontier will remind you of every pickup truck you ever loved.
Another great thing about the Frontier is that you can configure this truck to meet any budget or preference. The most basic Frontier comes with a 152-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. That model sells for $20,135. You get a six-foot bed, a roomy king cab, all standard safety devices, and a rear-view camera. That basic Frontier will carry 900 pounds of cargo, or tow up to 3,800 pounds.
If you move up the trim ladder to the SV, you get the 4.0-liter V6 with a five-speed automatic transmission. With 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, you can tow up to 6,500 pounds and carry up to 1,360 pounds. That's good enough to rival the working capability of full-size trucks. That truck is available for $26,765.
If you select the 4.0-liter V6 with four-wheel-drive, you can choose a sporty six-speed manual or the five-speed automatic transmission. The four-wheel-drive system is a true dual-range 4X4, with easy dial-based shifting from 2WD to 4WD. The Pro-4X includes a Dana 44 rear axle with electronic locking rear differential. Hill descent control and hill start assist are also included.
Most Frontier models come with a 7.0-inch touchscreen display. The top Pro-4X and SL trims come with a smaller 5.8-inch touchscreen. However, this system provides voice-controlled navigation and NissanConnect smartphone app integration.
Luxury features are also part of the equation. You can get features like heated leather seats, leather steering wheel, a power sunroof, keyless entry, automatic climate control, and more. There's no reason not to be comfortable in a Frontier.
If you really plus up the 4X4 Frontier with a crew cab and a high trim level, you can push the price as high as $37,995 for the SL trim with all the features. However, most Frontiers will be in the mid-$20,000 range. Regardless of which Frontier you choose, you're getting a truly enjoyable truck that will work hard for you.
2019 Nissan Frontier
Base price: $20,135
Price as tested: $37,930
Type: Midsize pickup truck
Engine: 4.0-liter V6 (261 hp, 281 lbs-ft)
Transmissions: 5-speed automatic; 5 or 6-speed manual
EPA estimated mileage: 15/21
Overall length: 205.5 to 219.4 inches
Curb weight: 3,781 to 4,624 pounds
Final assembly: Canton, Mississippi
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