Dating back to 2005, the compact Frontier pickup truck shares a platform with the discontinued Xterra SUV and the previous-generation 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.
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 previous-generation 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. A redesign is in the pipeline.
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 2017 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

"When pulling a trailer uphill for several minutes, the vehicle starts to leak coolant and gives off a stronger coolant smell. Twice the coolant started to boil out of the plastic filler reservoir."

Anonymous, OR (2017 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"After purchasing the truck and cleaning the floor. I have found rust on the carpet. Coming from underneath the carpet. Where the water is coming in the truck. Through the seals on the door."

Clyde S., IN (2017 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Air leaks since I purchased the vehicle. Dealer refused to acknowledge the air leak issue. Kept telling me the couldn't hear it. The two front doors both had noisy air leaks. This is no molding or weatherstripping on the window area of either door. Back doors had rubber around the entire door including the windows. 2018 model has molding around the entire area including the window area. Obviously a design flaw from Nissan."

Anonymous, FL (2017 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

"An intense coolant smell emanates when hauling a load, even though the load is only 50% of the maximum capacity of the vehicle. Once the coolant boiled out of the filling reservoir."

Anonymous, OR (2017 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Driver door seal had to be replaced as it did not fit properly around window. Also, the door did not drain water as it should & had to return on several occasions to determine there was insulation in bottom of door causing it to hold water unless it was opened."

Anonymous, GA (2017 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"From the time I purchased this vehicle there have been air leaks on the drivers door and front passenger door. Dealer kept telling me they couldn't hear anything. When I compared my truck to a 2018 model there was actual weather stripping and. Molding around the front doors now. My 2017 had no molding or weatherstripping on the top part of the doors. Back doors did."

Anonymous, FL (2017 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"Hood stops were not properly set causing hood to move and squeek. Dealer diagnosed and fixed it in roughly an hour."

Adam S., LA (2017 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Headlights were not reattached correctly by mechanic, Fender lining was not secure when purchased."

Anonymous, GA (2017 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"Rattles, The two rear doors rattle really bad. Turning around corners. Driving on an uneven road. The passager side door panel rattles all the time. The dash has started to rattle too. it's like the truck was not put together well. Under the cab. The frame sounds loss."

Clyde S., IN (2017 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Wind noise

"Seals on the two front doors let in a bit of wind sound."

Nina G., NV (2017 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

"Passengers can hear an annoying buzz at highway speed. It seem to be coming from a passenger side window or door. We have not figured out what is causing it and I can't hear it from the drivers seat. I'm more often alone in the truck, so, it doesn't attract my attention."

Daniel F., GA (2017 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)

"This vehicle had a lot of wind and road noise coming in from the right side. The dealer however didn't find anything wrong."

Anonymous, KY (2017 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

Automatic climate control

"There is only one Nissan in my family, check your survey program"

Anonymous, CA (2017 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)

"Dealership replaced temperature sensor and control unit under warranty"

Anonymous, CA (2017 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

"Two (2) o-rings failed, leaking refrigerant and had to be replaced. I had absolutely no problems getting the work done quickly and efficiently with no subsequent issues."

Anonymous, FL (2017 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

External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"I have 4 different iPods. One old style 160 gb iPod and a couple of nanos and a newer iPod touch. After about 5 minutes of being connected and playing music, all 4 lock up. It would appear the Rockford Fosgate music system must be sending some sort of unexecutable signal to the iPods which then have to be reset in order to be usable"

Jim M., MO (2017 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 4.0-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"A Bluetooth connection has been established several times but remains inconsistent. Sometimes it connects, sometimes it doesn't. When it does, sometimes the volume of the incoming call is non-existent."

Jim M., MO (2017 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 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

Doors or sliding doors

"The door to the crew cab would not open."

Bill Z., FL (2017 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)

"Door trim was incorrectly installed causing the door to not close properly prompting the electronic alarms to go off."

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Nissan Frontier 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

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)

"Replace fuel filler neck.was hard to fill up with gas acting as if were full."

Anonymous, SC (2017 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Fuel gauge/sender

"Fuel gauge inside cabin does not accurately reflect the gas in the tank. Shows less gas than actual."

Anonymous, MD (2017 Nissan Frontier SV 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

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)

"Clear coating on bumper is pealing. Will discuss with dealership at next visit."

Anonymous, PA (2017 Nissan Frontier SL 4.0-L V6)

"Paint peeling on front bumper"

Anonymous, (2017 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 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

Alignment

"The problem was there were no camber bolts.The dealer placed them at no charge."

Anonymous, TX (2017 Nissan Frontier SV 4.0-L V6)
Power steering leaks

"Improperly routed fluid line from factory that rubbed on oil pan and eventually burst"

Anonymous, VA (2017 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.

What Owners Say

Head gasket

"Already answered"

Mel C., BC (2017 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

"When in for scheduled oil change an oil leak was found & repaired immediately by Duncan Nissan"

Mel C., BC (2017 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X 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

Starter

"The starter often would not engage the flywheel gears consistently. The dealer replaced the starter with a rebuilt starter. Since the truck had less then 1000 miles on it at the time, I think a new starter should have been installed. Also there was a third problem with the car, but you didn't have a category for it. The crankshaft position sensor went out causing a check engine light."

Anonymous, KY (2017 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

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"rear exterior cab light stays on unless doors are slammed shut"

Mark T., OR (2017 Nissan Frontier 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"My back up sensor and alarm has been a problem since I bought the car. But when I brought in they couldn't duplicate the problem since it was intermittent. However, now it has failed completely and doesn't work at all. I have not brought in for warranty repair yet. I kind of like it not being in alarm and me having to bypass it actually."

Tom D., ME (2017 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

Rotors

"Had to be replaced under warranty because became warped."

Anonymous, PA (2017 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.

Drive System

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

Engine Cooling

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

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