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 the Frontier quick and nimble, with a tolerable ride. The powerful engine gives it a V8-like feel. A tight rear seat is a drawback and the tailgate is very heavy. Side- and curtain-air bags and stability control are standard.
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.
NA
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.
NA
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.
NA
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.
NA
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.
NA
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
NA
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
NA
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
NA
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
NA
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.
NA
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.
NA
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.
Model Summary
Dating back to 2005, the compact Frontier pickup truck shares a platform with the discontinued Xterra SUV and the outgoing larger Titan pickup. In our tests we found the Frontier to be quick and relatively nimble, with a stiff though tolerable ride. The strong 4.0-liter V6 revved smoothly and felt very strong, but fuel economy was a decidedly unimpressive 15 mpg overall. A 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine powers base models. Only crew- and extended-cab body styles are offered, but rear-seat room is tight even in the crew cab. A model with a longer pickup bed is available, but the tailgate is very heavy.
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 2016 Nissan Frontier owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"molding on top came off and the dealer replaced them"

Anonymous, NC (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"poor quality control; roof trim fell off"

James R., AR (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"Plastic rivet holding interior right rear cabin panel sheared"

Alberto S., NV (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"The area around the stereo is actually painted, which has now cracked and peeled off with no explanation or reason."

Anonymous, FL (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"paint peeling off the front bumper"

Anonymous, NC (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"paint chipping in front of rear tires. Those spots will start to rust."

Anonymous, MN (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"paint peeled off in front of the rear tires"

Peter S., MN (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"paint peeling on back fenders"

Anonymous, MN (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Rust

"rust spots appearing on various areas"

Anonymous, (2016 Nissan Frontier DR 4.0-L V6)

"Chrome wheel nuts rust after two years, even with warranty replacement, rust after two years."

Anonymous, PA (2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

"Paint peeled off in front of rear tires and the metal started to rust right away"

Peter S., MN (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Rusted chrome wheel nuts."

Gerry D., PA (2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

"rusted where paint peeled off didn't look like there was any primer under paint"

Anonymous, MN (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 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

Air or water leaks

"Windshield leaked on the passenger side. No air noise, water intrusion during rain or washing"

George P., FL (2016 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)

"Antenna on roof has small leak. Corrected"

Anonymous, OR (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Have not taken it in to the dealer for repair yet, seems like it might be the windshield"

James G., TX (2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"Passenger side window rattled when window was partially rolled down"

Anonymous, CA (2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

"The driver window clicks when it is rolled up"

Anonymous, WA (2016 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)

"REAL PROBLEM IN GETTING THE NISSAN DEALER TO REMEDY THE PROBLEMS"

Anonymous, TX (2016 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)

"Evap emission system failed. Truck made gurgling noises, warning light came on. Known issue."

Anonymous, MD (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"No noticable performance issues, dash light came on."

Jeffrey L., OH (2016 Nissan Frontier S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"There is a know issue with the evap emission systems on frontiers. I had to convince the dealer that I had the issue, but they did fix it. Hopefully it will not happen again. I think this should be a recall."

Anonymous, MD (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Check engine light has been on constantly for 80,000 miles due to oxygen sensor malfunction. Mechanic says it's fine but the light is annoying"

Anonymous, (2016 Nissan Frontier S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Oct 2019 accelerating up steep incline bridge engine light came on. Brought to mechanic who said after computer testing it could possibly be O2 sensor. Mechanic recommended driving for a while to determine if it reoccurred. Going up steep incline in 02/2020 engine light came on again. Mechanic retested and I opted to replace O2 sensor. ( I have owned different Nissan models since the late '80s and O2 sensors problems have been an ongoing issue with Nissan)."

Anonymous, TX (2016 Nissan Frontier Unsure 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"Had the temp control at 69° and it would be freezing. Turned it to 70° and it would be hot. Nissan paid for the whole replacement of the climate system after the dealership tried changing out the sensors. It still needed the whole system changed out. Now works great."

Anonymous, FL (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Dificult to maintain set temperture. Legs dont get enough heat."

Anonymous, NY (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"Made strange noises"

Anonymous, (2016 Nissan Frontier Unsure 4.0-L V6)
Evaporator

"The driver and passenger floor filled with water. Repair indicated the drain line was plugged and the water backed up into the passenger compartment. Took three days to repair and dry out. Carpets had to be removed and fan were placed in the vehicle to dry everything out. We believe this was due to a factory assembly error"

Don T., NY (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

"Radiator cap leaking"

Anonymous, WI (2016 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

Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

"Failure of keyless system, intermittent operation."

Anonymous, FL (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Body control module

"failed new tire pressure monitor failed"

James R., AR (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Keyless entry

"Car locked itself with my keys inside"

Dorothy W., CA (2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)
Wiper motor or washer

"My air conditioning vents on either side of the entertainment center fell off and came undone. Also, my drivers side window motor is shot. The real issue is with my son's 2008 frontier."

Anonymous, TX (2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

"Wiper jets barely spray"

Dorothy W., CA (2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 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 goes blank

"After starting the vehicle the entertainment screen went blank and after about 20 to 30 seconds turned on and displayed the Nissan logo, as though the system rebooted."

Anonymous, MB (2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"i had to go tot the dealer at least 4 or 5 times, i had to show them video of the frozen bt screen, the rep from nissan north america was rude and dismissive. they finally replaced the in dash unit, the replacement is much better but still the worst connectivity of any bt device i own."

Matt K., CA (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Radio

"Volume control erratic, both with volume control knob and steering control."

Anonymous, AZ (2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

"There was a very minor oil leak in one spot on the oil pan gasket. It was so minor I waited until 2 yrs after it was discovered to get it fixed, and that was so it would be covered before the warranty ran out."

Anonymous, ID (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Took dealer 3 tries to find oil leak"

Darrell B., PA (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Problem(s) fueling the tank

"Somehow the fuel nozzle bent and now when I fill the tank it "clicks" about every five seconds and stops the pump. Only way around is to fill it VERY slowly, which takes about 10 minutes to fill the tank"

Anonymous, (2016 Nissan Frontier S 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

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

Driveshaft or axle

"rear axle bearing seals leaked because differential vent plugged. did not disable. replaced under warrantee. no chge."

Anonymous, ME (2016 Nissan Frontier Unsure 4.0-L V6)
Electrical failure

"The engine warning light came on and a sensor was replaced. The light came on shortly thereafter and a different sensor was replaced. Then the ABS and differential warning lights stayed on and a major repair was accomplished in the differential."

Anonymous, VA (2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)
Transfer case

"shifts into high gear too quick"

Anonymous, NC (2016 Nissan Frontier SL 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

Locks and latches

"Front passenger seat electric lock actuator stopped working"

Alberto S., NV (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Tailgate latch on right side is substandard as it is easily bent by loading items. It was replaced once and needs to be done again."

Anonymous, FL (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 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

Premature brake wear

"the brakes need replacement due to corrosion from the deicing chemical applied to the roads in the winter months"

Anonymous, CT (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 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

Electronic ignition

"some electronic component was defective and the truck stalled and wouldn't start with only 33 miles 0n it. Was towed and repaired in a day"

Anonymous, FL (2016 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

Shocks or struts

"Leaking, found on oil change"

Anonymous, WI (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"REPLACED TRANMISSION"

Anonymous, TX (2016 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

Engine Major

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

Exhaust

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

Engine Cooling

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

Transmission Minor

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

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