This version of the Frontier shares a platform and components with the larger Titan pickup and Xterra SUV. It is a big step forward compared to the old version. We found this Frontier quick and nimble with a tolerable ride. The powerful engine gives it a V8-like feel. The tight rear seat is a drawback and the tailgate is very heavy. Side- and curtain-airbags and stability control are standard equipment.
Alerts
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2003. ESC available from 2003. Side and head protection air bags available from 2005, standard from 2010.
Road Test

This version of the Frontier shares a platform and components with the larger Titan pickup and Xterra SUV. It is a big step forward compared to the old version. We found this Frontier quick and nimble with a tolerable ride. The powerful engine gives it a V8-like feel. The tight rear seat is a drawback and the tailgate is very heavy. Side- and curtain-airbags and stability control are standard equipment.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
4WD , Rear
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
extended cab
crew cab
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 5-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 (152 hp)
  • 4-liter V6 (261 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2008 Nissan Frontier owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Differential

"Differential has noticeable looseness/slop due to wear"

Harvey A., GA (2008 Nissan Frontier LE 4.0-L V6)
Driveshaft or axle

"Play in the drivetrain, noticeable when lifting foot off the gas"

Anonymous, VT (2008 Nissan Frontier 4.0-L V6)

"rear axle needed to be replace twice at 30000 and 95000 miles"

Igor P., CA (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"Worn out - needed to be replaced"

Tom G., CO (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"REAR AXEL HAS ROCKS IN IT. WE LIVE ON A ROCK DRIVEWAY, AND SOMEHOW ROCKS MADE IT INTO THE ACTUAL CRANKCASE"

Keith A., FL (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"Rear axle vent clogged causing the seal to blow. Required new brake rotor and rear axle seal to fix, an $800.00 repair for a &36.00 dollar part"

Anonymous, NH (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"THE CENTER BEARING IS SLOPPY AND CAUSING A PROBLEM. TRUCK IS USED HARD ON BAD DIRT ROADS SO MOST OF MY PROBLEMS HAVE TO DO WITH THE BEATING IT TAKES RATHER THAN THE QUALITY OF THE VEHICLE"

Linda D., ME (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"Dealer service stated they noted a leak in the passenger side rear axle seal. I had this repaired. Subsequently they reported the driver side rear axle seal was leaking. I had this checked by a second service station and they stated they did not find a leak"

Carl B., MA (2008 Nissan Frontier NISMO 4.0-L V6)
Electrical failure

"electric switching mechanism and solenoid dies for fan system fans would not turn on or run. $245 repair. works like new know. I also use fans and a/c all the time here in Hawaii. Change fan speeds.think I wore them out."

Stuart C., HI (2008 Nissan Frontier XE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The engine would just stop in the middle of the road. I would have to turn it off, then restart to resume driving. The problem was traced to a drive line sensor"

Anonymous, TX (2008 Nissan Frontier LE 4.0-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Cruise control

"switch in steering wheel failed and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, KY (2008 Nissan Frontier LE 4.0-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Broken out running light"

Anonymous, NE (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)
Headlights

"one headlight is fogged up [hazy] its been that way for a few years"

Charles M., WV (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)
Tire pressure monitor

"all tire pressure sensors fail in less than 5 years"

Igor P., CA (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"Sensor on one or more tires has failed. Too expensive to replace. Am doing without it."

Anonymous, NC (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"low pressure warning indicator remains on with tires at normalpressure"

Anonymous, HI (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)
Warning lights

"Its a seat belt/air bag warning light. Not required to be fixed for an inspection sticker"

Spencer M., TX (2008 Nissan Frontier XE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Check engine soon light. Comes on intermittently. has been doing it for 8 yrs. I had it checked and its something faulty in computer. Nissan knows about it but there is no fix for it. I just ignore it and it will go away in 4-6 weeks."

Stuart C., HI (2008 Nissan Frontier XE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"speed sensor failed and was rusted into the wheel hub, so the entire hub had to be replaced )both front hubs)"

Jon E., NC (2008 Nissan Frontier XE 4.0-L V6)
Calipers

"Automatically seized while driving"

Bill-Julie L., NJ (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"replaced brakes because of lack of use. truck sits still for long periods"

Charles M., WV (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"Needed new brake pads"

Anonymous, VA (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)
Parking brake

"No matter how many times it gets adjusted, within a couple of weeks it no longer holds. Have replaced all, including the cable."

Anonymous, VT (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)
Premature brake wear

"I have replaced both front and back brakes on my truck twice since I purchased it. In every other aspect, I am very pleased with the vehicle"

Peter P., NJ (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)
Squeaking

"Second complete brake replacement in under 50000 km. All four wheels"

Anonymous, ON (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Ball joints

"Both front lower ball joints had to be replaced due to wear"

Carl B., MA (2008 Nissan Frontier NISMO 4.0-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

"one of the leaves in the spring pack broke"

Anonymous, CT (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"Broken leaf spring. Mechanic claimed it was a somewhat common product "fault""

M S., PA (2008 Nissan Frontier)
Tie rods

"Passenger side tie rod end became loose and had to be replaced. I consider this ok for a car with 100K miles"

Anonymous, NY (2008 Nissan Frontier NISMO 4.0-L V6)
Wheel bearings

"Noticed loud noise from front end. Worse when turning. Ordered parts on-line and replaced both front wheel bearings."

Anonymous, IL (2008 Nissan Frontier Unsure 4.0-L V6)

"The bearings failed on the left and right front wheels within 6 months of each other"

Carl B., MA (2008 Nissan Frontier NISMO 4.0-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"recirc system solenoid failure"

Anonymous, (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"Same problem"

Anonymous, LA (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"Replaced the Evap purge valve,Evap charcoal canister, Evap Sensor and canister filtger"

Anonymous, NC (2008 Nissan Frontier 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel gauge/sender

"The check engine light came on every time I filled the gas tank. The fuel sending unit was not reading properly and needed to be replaced so the truck could pass the CA smog check! My son's 2007 Frontier had the same issue"

B P., CA (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"The warning light for this sensor has gone off and on for years. Finally replaced the coded defective oxygen sensor and light stilll goes on and off. Nissan is still trying to fix it."

Anonymous, OR (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"Valve into sensor remains in open position. Check engine light on constantly"

Anonymous, LA (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Weather stripping on both front doors came loose in the hot weather"

Anonymous, SC (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"squeaky suspension"

Timothy L., TN (2008 Nissan Frontier LE 4.0-L V6)

"something rattling in dash"

Anonymous, CA (2008 Nissan Frontier 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Started hearing rattle noises coming from under the vehicle. After investigating, I discovered that all the metal straps that hold the exhaust system in place, have rusted to the point of breaking or have become loose causing the rattles. Not fixed yet, but I plan on installing rust proof straps in there place."

Anonymous, VA (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"For a vehicle with so little mileage, it has been disappointing to have to listen to so many squeaks and rattles as I drive it. By comparison, I also have a 1999 Toyota Tacoma with about 79,000 miles that is still almost entirely squeak and rattle free."

Anonymous, CO (2008 Nissan Frontier NISMO 4.0-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"Experienced engine noise when cold since the truck was new. Suspect it was piston slap, eventually Nissan replaced the block under warranty. I suspect the dealership sent my old block back to Nissan, I never heard conformation of the cause"

Anonymous, BC (2008 Nissan Frontier XE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Timing belt or chain

"didn't know I had a problem till I took my truck to the dealer for an oil change and they did a complementary inspection and told me that the timing belt was going bad"

Al M., CA (2008 Nissan Frontier LE 4.0-L V6)

"A whining noise in the engine which increases when accelerating. Worse when cold but does not go away. Nissan service advises that the secondary timing chain guide and tensioner is failing or has failed. The timing chain is rubbing on metal and causi"

Anonymous, RI (2008 Nissan Frontier LE 4.0-L V6)

"Timing chains and chain tensioners were worn due to manufacturing defect. Dealership wanted ~$1,800 to repair and would not offer a reduced price on repair that was to fix a manufacturing defect"

Anonymous, SC (2008 Nissan Frontier LE 4.0-L V6)

"I took my Frontier in for its 60K service. It had a slight whine that turned out to be from the timing chain that was failing. The dealer wanted $2200 to repair it. The Frontier was out of warranty due to time, not miles. A bit of research that night showed that timing chain failure is a not-uncommon problem on Nissan V6's. Nissan knew about the problem as early as 2005 but did not put a fix into the production line until around 2010. There are at least three class-action lawsuits against"

Janis R., NC (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"roof seams showing paint coming off"

Anonymous, AL (2008 Nissan Frontier 4.0-L V6)

"Inside the groove on the roof for the accessory rail, the paint cracked and is chipping off. Rust is now appearing"

Daniel N., CO (2008 Nissan Frontier NISMO 4.0-L V6)
Rust

"It is the back bumper which was damaged when I backed into a tree"

Anonymous, (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"The underside began rusting about 5 years ago, both rear side panels have rusted through. Door frames, gas cap well, and tailgate and rear bumper have rusted. Brake lines and steering lines rusted through."

Anonymous, VT (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"Needed to replace Clutch, flywheel and pressure plate. At least a couple thoUSnd dollars for parts and labor"

Anonymous, CT (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"clutch wore out at 59000 miles. had it replaced..$1200."

Stuart C., HI (2008 Nissan Frontier XE 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Due to faulty valves, the engine coolant and the transmission fluid mixed causing the transmission to need replacement. Nissan covered this cost under warranty"

K C., CA (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

"Transmission cooler leaked coolant into the transmission. Transmission was destroyed resulting in a $5000 repair"

Anonymous, TN (2008 Nissan Frontier NISMO 4.0-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Radiator

"Problems with radiators and the transmission cooling process."

Anonymous, NC (2008 Nissan Frontier NISMO 4.0-L V6)

"radiator started leaking and was replaced under an extended warranty"

Richard R., NY (2008 Nissan Frontier NISMO 4.0-L V6)

"A known Nissan problem where radiator leaks coolant into transmission fluid setting up potential for transmission failure."

Anonymous, VA (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"Caused check engine light to come on"

Anonymous, VT (2008 Nissan Frontier Unsure 4.0-L V6)
Other/unsure

"Brought it into the dealership 3 times to get it fixed within a 1 month period. The first time it was still under a warranty. The first two times they just reset the warning light. The third time they said that the entire bottom of the seat where the electronics are located needed to be replaced. It’s supposed to cost over $1500."

Vickie G., MS (2008 Nissan Frontier LE 4.0-L V6)
Pipes

"Had to replace exhaust system"

Anonymous, VT (2008 Nissan Frontier 4.0-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"The compressor froze up."

Anonymous, LA (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)
Electrical failure

"The cabin fan speed resistor failed causing Loss of A C. This may be a design problem since many other Nissan Frontier owners discussed this failure on the Internet"

Anonymous, HI (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Problem with original battery and had to replace."

Anonymous, NC (2008 Nissan Frontier NISMO 4.0-L V6)
Coil

"Coil on #3 Cylinder was replaced. The Problem caused the engine to run rough and misfire."

Frank B., KY (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"CD player will not accept the cd anymore"

Anonymous, SC (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Coolers and lines

"The radiator fluid and transmission fluids mixed because of a faulty coolant Y valve"

K C., CA (2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4.0-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine mounts

"I was told the one side engine mount was bad when they did a complementary check"

Al M., CA (2008 Nissan Frontier LE 4.0-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

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