Aayush YadavAutomotive JournalistUpdated on: November 14, 2019
While being ranked 5th in 'Compact Pickup Trucks' category. The production legacy that started way back in late 2004 for the 2005 model year still continues and Yes, it still impresses many of its users. For just around $18,995 it has many features to offer for being a work truck.what really adds up to the car is the 261 hp V6 and a sturdy chassis which is on offer. All of that makes the Nissan to get better driving dynamics.
Entering the 2019th edition of the Nissan Frontier, the pickup truck carries on its legacy that commenced in the late 2004 and is based on the year after it, the 2005 edition. The Nissan Frontier still charms and impresses its driver and comes with a host of features as well as safety parameters.
Desert Runner 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Starting at $26,400 MSRP
261 hp @ 5600 rpm, 4 L, V-6, regular unleaded
rear wheel drive
261 hp @ 5600 rpm
PRO-4X 4dr King Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Starting at $33,530 MSRP
261 hp @ 5600 rpm, 4 L, V-6, regular unleaded
four wheel drive
At $18,990, the 2019 Nissan Frontier comes with 2.5L 4-cylinder engine that is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission that churns out 152 horses and 171 pound feet of torque. Weighing relatively light for a pick-up truck, the hauler equips a decent interior that complements its economical pricing.
It starts competing with the likes of Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and the Toyota Tacoma. Does the Frontier still impress? Let's find out in the review below.
7.4/10 Engine and Performance
2019 Nissan Frontier King Cab Features
Base S (King Cab)
SV 4 Cylinder
Full Length boxed ladder frame
INCLUDES S KING CAB FEATURES PLUS:
INCLUDES SV 4-CYLINDER KING CAB FEATURES PLUS:
INCLUDES SV V6 KING CAB FEATURES PLUS:
Rear View Monitor
16" Aluminum-alloy wheels
Bed rail caps,
Forward facing rear flip-up seats
Remote keyless entry
4.0-liter 24-valve V6 engine
SiriusXM Satellite Radio
5-speed automatic transmission
Desert Runner cloth seat trim
The Nissan Frontier’s base trim is the cheapest of the lot, costing $18,990 MSRP and doesn’t host an extensive list of features. With the SV 4-cylinder, the bar is raised with the inclusion of the KING CAB. This trim is equipped by 16” alloy wheels and also comes costlier with around five grand more than the base trim.
Priced at $25,620, the SV6 here also hosts the KING CAB configuration with the addition of Bed rail caps. While this trim just changes the game with the inclusion of a 4.0 litre 24-Valve V6 engine, it also gets a 5-speed Automatic Transmission. At the top of the line sits the Dessert Runner that includes Bilstein shocks for giving it the best Off-road feel possible. Housing white-faced gauges, which gives the interior a new fresh feel, the Desert Runner Cloth set trim is also a unique inclusion in the bespoken top end variant.
Since trucks are more of a preference-based heavy duty, it depends on what your purpose is. If you want a proper off-roader though, then the Dessert Runner is the perfect choice.
2019 Nissan Frontier King Cab Engine and Performance
“The Frontier's on-road manners aren't that impressive, but it's fun and playful, especially in the dirt. The steering is a little sloppy and the use of the brakes requires some early planning, but the truck's compact size helps make its movements predictable. Engine torque and response are better than in rivals.”- edmunds
Engine and Transmission
Starting at $18,990, has a reactive and decent engine performance though is not as refined as we’d like it. Under its hood sits a 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine that is the engine option offered by the most of the rivals except the Toyota Tacoma which comes with a 2.7L I4 DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine.
In terms of Transmission the Nissan comes with a 5-speed manual that has smooth shifts but that’s about the best comment we can make while the Toyota comes with a 6-speed automatic and GMC Chevy offers 6-speed manual. In terms of horsepower, an aspect that most probably would concern the niche sect of the motoring enthusiast, the Nissan spurts 152Hp whereas the Toyota churns similar but a tad more at 159Hp power.
2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine
2.5L DI 4-cylinder engine
2.7L I4 DOHC
16-valve 4-cylinder engine
2.5L I4 DI DOHC engine
152 hp @ 5,200 rpm
200 hp @ 6300 rpm
159 hp @ 5200 rpm
200 hp @ 6300 rpm
171 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
191 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
180 lb-ft 3800 rpm
191 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
GMC and Chevy have upped their game by providing 200Hp of power under their heavy duty. The performance figures don’t change much in terms of torque where the Nissan churns about 171lb-ft however the Toyota once again closes at about 180lb-ft and the best of the lot are the GMC and Chevrolet which give up to 191l-ft torque.
How fast is the Frontier heavy duty? To cross the 0-60MPH mark, the Nissan pickup truck takes about 7.5s that should please most motor enthusiasts out there. In terms of the competition, the Japanese manufacturer manages to outrace the remaining rivals from .5s to more than a whole second.
But just being quick off the line from a standstill doesn’t mean you are fast and this is explained by the Nissan that takes about 16.5 secs to complete a quarter mile, at par with the competition but this time falling behind the Toyota Tacoma.
16.5 sec @ 90 mph
16.2 sec @ 84 mph
14.7 sec @ 91 mph
17.1 sec @ 82.4 mph
Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year
Handling and Braking
Buying this hauler for smooth cruising is not the wisest choice out there; instead what the Frontier excels at is off-roading where the chassis and suspension smooth out the ride for the driver and give it a gritty ride. On asphalt, the ride is choppy and sub-par however not too uncomfortable to render undriveable, and doesn’t wander off the highway at greater speeds.
If you want to go fast you need to have better brakes and keeping that mind, Nissan has fitted its Frontier with 11.10” and 11.130” brake pads in the front and rear. Its competitors offer better combination of a 12.2 and a 12.8 “ for the Chevy and the GMC offers 12.2 and 12.7”brake pads.
Brake pads Rear”
60-0 MPH (ft.)
With a curb weight of almost 4000lbs, Nissan Frontier is the lightest of the lot. The stopping distance of the vehicle is also a major factor in considering the braking power of a vehicle. With a distance of 125ft for decelerating from 60 MPH to 0 is the most distance while the Toyota has the best braking power with about 119ft distance.
This is one area where the Frontier really excels against its competition. With around 1500lbs. of payload carrying capacity, the truck borderlines somewhat of a flagship point amongst all its rivals. Where the lowest payload carrying capacity is that of the Toyota at about 1175 lbs.
With all rivals offering AWD as well, the maximum towing capacity is that of the Chevy’s 7700lbs. However the least amount of towing capacity in comparison is Nissan’s 6710lbs.
2019 Nissan Frontier King Cab Fuel Economy
Fuel economy is one of the most important key factors while buying a car. However keep in mind that pickup trucks are not the epitome of fuel efficiency. The Frontier heavy duty just has considerable numbers for its MPG given at highway which delivers about 22mpg that is worst of the lot city which is 17 MPG. The combined averages of both the city and highway turn out to be about 21mpg. The best of the lot in terms of mileage are the Chevy and the GMC.
2019 Nissan Frontier King Cab Interior
“The Frontier’s ancient interior design is straight out of 2005, and its limited list of desirable options is also outdated. However, the hard-plastic habitat is appropriate for tradesmen and trail raiders.”- Caranddriver.com
Seating and Comfort
Being spacious and wide enough to seat 4 passengers in the Nissan Frontier, the hauler has indeed done an excellent job. Standard features in the Frontier includes a USB port, Siri Eyes Free,Bluetooth, a four-speaker audio system, a 5-inch display screen, and a rearview camera.
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)
Rear (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)
You can also purchase available features that include power windows and locks,a 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system,a moonroof, satellite radio and the Nissan Connect infotainment system with a 5.8-inch touch screen, navigation, voice recognition, and smartphone app integration. Rear parking sensors are also an available feature.
2019 Nissan Frontier King Cab Exterior
“The Nissan Frontier’s look is starting to blend in to the surroundings by now.” -thecarconnection
The 2019 Nissan Frontier measures the shortest amongst the rivals in terms of the length at just about 205”. The Chevy, GMC and Toyota measure 212” in length. This just makes the Nissan look small when compared to its rivals which are all around 74” in width when the Nissan is just 72” wide. Same is the case where its rivals are tall at about 70.4” where the Nissan is just about 68.7”.
Track width F/R
It gets a decent amount of ground clearance though which is about 8.7” and the best of the lot is the Toyota which gets about a ground clearance of 9.1”. It gets the smallest Wheelbase of about 125.9”, the Chevy gets the best wheelbase of 128.3”. Same goes with the Track width it comes around 61.8/61.8” which is again the smallest of the lot. Here the Toyota takes the cake with 63.0/63.2 in.. On the outside also, the Nissan doesn’t make much cosmetic changes, while still sticking at halogen headlamps and 16” wheels.
2019 Nissan Frontier King Cab Safety
The 2019 pickup truck by Nissan offers a host of safety features with extensive technology. The Nissan Advanced Air Bag System with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant-classification sensors offer the best passenger safety as the airbag blow up and protect the passenger in any case of mishap, it also provides Driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags for additional safety.
The Frontier is yet to be rated by the IIHS and NHTSA.
LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren)
Roof-mounted curtain supplemental air bags for side-impact with rollover sensor
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
Nissan Advanced Air Bag System with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant-classification sensors
Driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags
Seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters
Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System
Active Brake Limited Slip (ABLS)
3-point ALR/ELR passenger seat belt (ELR for driver)
Front-seat Active Head Restraints
Front Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones
Hood buckling creases and energy-absorbing steering column
Pipe-style steel side-door guard beams
2019 Nissan Frontier King Cab Competition
Nissan Frontier King Cab vs Chevrolet Colorado
When the 5th most selling truck is put up with a truck from the big three the Nissan falters under the weight put upon it. The interiors feel dated and the overall engine output is far lesser than its contemporaries. The Silverado has some serious figures under the belt which overpower the Frontier on all fronts except the towing capacity.
Nissan Frontier King Cab vs Toyota Tacoma
The Tacoma is at the bottom pit when compared to the Frontier and there is a good reason for it too. The Toyota pickup truck falls appallingly short on key aspects and barely manages to keep up with the class average. Although a gifted with better hauling power than the Nissan, it may or may not be your pick of the lot. Plagued with reliability issues as a brand, the Nissan is a better option here.
Nissan Frontier King Cab vs GMC Canyon
The GMC Canyon is the General Motor twin of the Colorado and is almost identical to it except the Payload and towing capacity. The Payload being inferior to the Silverado and even more inferior when compared to the class king Nissan Frontier. GMC Canyon is a worthy opponent that just edges past the Nissan.
2019 Nissan Frontier King Cab Final Verdict
Nissan’s plus points are its towing capacity and the economical price point. The penny pinching is sure felt on the interior and safety features and the trend continues along the whole series of the Frontier. If you can save and spend a little more then there are definitely better options available.