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 is 1 recall 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).
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).

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 2013 Nissan Frontier owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Water leaks at the juncture between the front and back door."

Anonymous, AR (2013 Nissan Frontier S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"The weatherstripping located at the junction where the front and back doors comes together leaks. Usually causing the seat belt to become wet"

Anonymous, AR (2013 Nissan Frontier S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"The doors squeak when the open, it's annoying. It has been that way since we purchased the vehicle in 2014 (it's a 2013 model). It's minor though, just annoying"

Anonymous, AZ (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Front sway bars were rubbing and caused a significant squeak when turning corners. This occurred just a few months after warranty expired. Nissan indicated that this was not a usual wear item. Also frustrating when replacement required shortly after warranty expires"

Anonymous, BC (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

"Internal dash rattles and developed annoying undercarriage squeak or chirping"

Anonymous, FL (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"It's mostly interior noise. Seems to be coming from the passenger side seat"

Anonymous, HI (2013 Nissan Frontier 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Horrible brake squeaking when wet"

Anonymous, WA (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"The truck is very stiff and there is a tremendous amount of construction in the local area. The ride is very rough resulting in a lot of added noise to the interior of the vehicle."

Anonymous, TN (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"General noise"

Anonymous, FL (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"The hood squeaks"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)

"The body squeeks when going over moderately rough roads. I have tried various lubricants but have not been able to quiten the noise in the cab."

Anonymous, TN (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"The rattle was due to a lost clamp on the exhaust"

Anonymous, (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"High pitched squeakfrom the dashboard and loud road noise from rear right cab door started almost from date of purchase."

Anonymous, (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"I have had the truck for less than 2 years, and every little bump makes a rattle underneath. Also the fan cowling came lose, and made a heck of a racket intermittently, the dealer couldn't find the problem for months. The wind shield washer stopp"

Anonymous, AB (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

"Very noisy"

Robert S., MA (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)
Wind noise

"At highway speeds the combination of wind and road noise make it very difficult to carry on a conversation. It is not an issue when driving city speeds."

Anonymous, TN (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"The noise becomes unacceptable when the touch starts to approach normal highway driving. It interferes with normal occupant conversation."

Anonymous, TN (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"From the day I bought it. It always sounds like a door is ajar."

Anonymous, WA (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Always the faint sound of a window not being closed"

Beth B., NC (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 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

Display screen difficult to see

"Design flaw -- backup camera screen unviewable in bright sunlight -- dealer unable to fix. I finally glued piece of cardboard to dash to shade screen. This with normal glasses; unviewable with polarized sunglasses under any circumstances"

Michael M., VA (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)
Display screen freezes up

"Radio freezes and needed to be replaced twice"

Anonymous, CA (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"water leaking from the w/s dripping down on the dash"

Joe D., VA (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

"Stopped working at 36000 miles. Message says that "SIM card is missing""

Robert S., MA (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)
Radio

"The radio is tied into the GPS, Bluetooth....all in one package. When the radio quit working the whole nine yards had to be replaced"

Joe D., VA (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

"factory sirus radio changes channels on its own. turn the steering wheel the radio changes channels. cruising down the highway the radio changes channels on its own. can not use the radio tuner knob to choose a station because it skips several stations at a time....can not fine tune. SUCKS"

Anonymous, VA (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

"sirius-xm"

Anonymous, CA (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Serius XM radio antenna failed. The whole radio unit needed to be replaced. Warranty. No charge"

Anonymous, VA (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Sirius radio stops working. Unable to access features during subscription"

James B., PA (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Speakers

"Cracking/static when radio playing, lose connection or blown speaker"

Anonymous, MB (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 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

"Air Compressor went out within the first 24 months of owning the vehicle"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Nissan Frontier 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Automatic climate control

"AC is slow responding and temp. Control doesn't seem to work well"

Anonymous, CA (2013 Nissan Frontier 4.0-L V6)

"It failed. Took two trips to dealer to fix"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"All of a sudden the blower fan will turn on high even if it is shut off. The only way to reset it is to turn the vehicle off and - sometimes - it will stay off for a little while. There is a lot about this and replacing the switch on the internet so it must be a common problem."

Anonymous, ID (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)
Evaporator

"I have had the evaporator replaced three times, twice under warrenty and once out of pocket. The Emmission light is on again but we got a extended 15 year warrenty from Nissan to fix it so we too it in. Now it is not the evaporator but the lines that go to the evoporator and this IS NOT covered under the new extended warrenty. I even called Nissan direct and they still refused to fix it or reimburse me for our out of pocket replacement from earlier. They said we are filling the gas tank too full-this is impossible because every since it was new the gas switch shuts off when the tank is half full and you have to slowly add more fuel until it is full with the gas switch switching off constantly while trying to fill it."

Anonymous, ID (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)

"Had to change the radiator following a crack in the system."

Anonymous, QC (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)
Heater system

"In cold weather there is no heat from the heater when the truck is idling. There is heat when the truck is going down the road."

Anonymous, CT (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"The Heating system is terrible when we took it in to get the truck serviced they are suppose to top off all fluids and they failed to do this. when the anti-freeze is low the defrosters won't work or the truck won't heat"

Anonymous, VA (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Not heating up when the truck in park. Nissan fixed under warranty"

Anonymous, AK (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Trim around the windows ( side ) does not fit well against the body"

James P., TX (2013 Nissan Frontier 4.0-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"LOOSE SUN VISER"

Anonymous, WI (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)

"The driver's door interior panel sometimes snags on something (bottom door sill ) and pulls away from the door when the door is opened. I have to push it back into place"

James P., TX (2013 Nissan Frontier 4.0-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Front end paint chipping, roof chipping, started at about 2 years old"

Mauro M., TX (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)

"Paint on the hood is peeling off. Started with a small spot 3 years ago but in the past year has spread to two places about 10 inches in diameter each."

Anonymous, FL (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Rust

"Surface started appearing when adding a new coat of wax. This was two weeks ago. I don't understand how that could happen. The is covered until use. Right now it's small specks. So I am keeping vigilant"

Anonymous, HI (2013 Nissan Frontier 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Rust places on the running board mounting brackets."

Anonymous, FL (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Rear bumper rusted in first 4 years. Nissan had a 5 year body warranty for rust. Nissan said the bumper was not part of the body and would not fix it. Have since found out, rusted rear bumpers are common on Nissan Frontiers."

Anonymous, (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"A SENSOR"

Anonymous, ON (2013 Nissan Frontier 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Exhaust manifold

"Cracked. Replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, MA (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Manifold blew out in first 6 months/10,000 miles"

John I., MA (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)

"Exaust manifold simply blew apart one day. Mechanic said it was defective construction and he has seen it before in this model."

Anonymous, (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Exhaust manifold cracked due to manufacturing defect"

John I., MA (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)
Other/unsure

"Wiring for the passenger side airbag shorted out because the plastic coating around the wiring wore off."

Anonymous, UT (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"Had to have brakes checked twice as the rear brakes did not work there fore the ABS system wasnt working"

Anonymous, SC (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Premature brake wear

"Complete change of brakes (4 wheels) at 40 000 kilometers or so ..."

Anonymous, QC (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

"all 4 rotors, brake pads and one rear caliper had to be replaced around 30000 miles."

Anonymous, VA (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)
Regular brake failure

"Lost power boost on a long trip. The next day it was ok, and repair shop could not duplicate. They changed brake fluid and it has not happened again."

Anonymous, TX (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Rotors

"all 4 rotors, brake pads and one rear caliper had to be replaced around 30000 miles."

Anonymous, VA (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)
Squeaking

"When putting the truck in reverse for some reason the brakes will squeak ??"

Anonymous, VA (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Difficult to fill up gas tank

"When filling gas blows back if not careful filling have to manually fill tank slowly. I thing the fuel nozzle will not fit deep enough in the filler neck."

Eric T., AZ (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)
Engine knock or ping

"When cold the piston slap is very loud till after running for about 3-4 min depending on temperature . Sound as loud as a diesel motor when revving up. Would not purchase again!"

Eric T., AZ (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)
Engine mounts

"All four engine mounts had to be replaced this spring."

Anonymous, TX (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)
Oil leaks

"Fitting on power steering not installed properly from factory resulting in loss of power steering. Very unsafe. What kind of quality control is that? Also, rear differential leaks oil. Bit disappointed with this truck with 18,000 mileage."

Anonymous, NY (2013 Nissan Frontier S 4.0-L V6)

"Leaking valve cover gasket"

Anonymous, CT (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 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)

"Check engine light remains on and if reset comes back on. Apparently vehicle requires new canister"

Anonymous, MB (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Engine oil cooler switch went bad tripping the check engine light"

Anonymous, VA (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)
Fuel cap

"The engine icon comes on constantly and Nissan service says the fuel cap is not put on tight, even though we turn it until it clicks."

Shelley W., ID (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"rare to fail at 22K. not covered by emissions warranty. $300 repair"

Anonymous, NJ (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)

"During warranty the canister was replaced twice, then out of warranty we had to replace it once. Tey would not look at it being previously replace and charged us in full. They said when refueling we filled it past the first click off-we responded that of course we did because it would click off at 1/2 to 3/4 full. It will never giveus a full tank unless we continue to put more in. It also clicks off constantly while refueling, it takes a while to refuel because of having to restart it som many times."

Shelley W., ID (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)

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

Driveline vibration

"Clunk from start"

Anonymous, AZ (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Driveshaft or axle

"Rear axle went out at 72000 miles"

Anonymous, CO (2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

"Front propeller shaft replacement required due to slop/clunking in driveline"

Anonymous, GA (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 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

Interior lights

"Cabin light over driver stays on all the time"

Kenneth D., CA (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)
Warning lights

"backup warning light"

Anonymous, FL (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"rear sensor"

Anonymous, FL (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 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.

What Owners Say

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Broken latch"

Anonymous, IL (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)
Windows

"Passenger power window would not operate up. Needed to replace motor and control assembly"

Anonymous, OR (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 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

Rough shifting

"When starting from rest at stop sign or light, feel "bump" from drive train when initially pressing gas pedal"

Anonymous, FL (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission leaks

"leaking seal on rear differential. Warranty"

Jeff B., MO (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"clutch began slipping in third gear around 45000 miles"

Anonymous, MA (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Rear differential went out on long road trip. Cost $1500 to repair. UGH. Extended warranty covered 80% of cost."

Raymond H., CO (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 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

Springs or torsion bars

"Leaf springs broke. Dealer rep claimed it was a common problem"

John I., MA (2013 Nissan Frontier SL 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

Alternator

"Alternator failed. Would have cost $1200 to replace if not under warranty"

Anonymous, TX (2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

Engine Major

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

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