Nissan
Frontier
2016
Go
James Flammang
Contributing Editor - October 21, 2015

Expert Rating

3.5 (Good)
MPG
16 City / 22 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

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1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

2016 Nissan Frontier OVERVIEW

Choices for a midsize pickup truck have been shrinking in recent years, but the Nissan Frontier carries on as a strong, work-ready contender. Though relatively small for this group, the Frontier stands tall on capabilities.

Available with two-or four-wheel drive, and a four- or six-cylinder engine, the Frontier has a lot to offer pickup fanciers who favor a truck that delivers plenty of substance and flavor, but little fat.

What's New for 2016

Updates are minor for 2016, led by a moonroof added to SV Crew Cab models. Three new exterior colors are offered: Forged Copper, Magnetic Black, and Gun Metallic.

Nissan Frontier Front Quarter

Choosing Your Nissan Frontier

The Frontier is offered in two body styles, King Cab and four-door Crew Cab, and in five trim levels: S, SV, PRO-4X, Desert Runner and SL.

It comes with either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, rated 152 horsepower, or a 4-liter V6 that makes 261 horsepower. Engine availability varies between two- or four-wheel drive, and by trim level. Fuel-economy estimates range from 19/23 mpg city/highway with the four-cylinder, manual shift and front-drive, down to 15/21 mpg with V6, automatic, and four-wheel drive.

Crew Cab SV and SL models come on a long or short wheelbase, with long or standard-length cargo bed.

S

The base-level Frontier has a two-tiered configuration. King Cab models are equipped with the 2.5-liter four, a five-speed manual transmission, and rear-wheel drive; Crew Cabs have a 4-liter V6, a six-speed manual transmission, and rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive. A five-speed automatic transmission is available for both. The S Preferred Package (optional on King Cab, standard on Crew Cab) adds an AM/FM/CD audio system with Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, air conditioning, cruise control, steering-wheel audio controls, and front map lights. Steel 16-inch wheels are standard.

SV

SV comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, Bluetooth, cruise control, and a radio with 5-inch screen, satellite radio, and NissanConnect mobile apps. Both King Cab and Crew Cab models are available with four-wheel drive, and a V6 King Cab 4x2 is available. The SV Value Truck Package adds a backup camera, rear parking sensors, remote keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, foglamps, and a spray-on bedliner with tie-down cleats and a sliding bed extender.

Desert Runner

The Desert Runner incorporates a 4x4 look on a 4x2 truck with V6 engine, five-speed automatic transmission, 16-inch off-road alloy wheels, Bilstein off-road shock absorbers, foglamps, and special cloth upholstery.

PRO-4X

The PRO-4X takes the Desert Runner’s appearance and adds four-wheel drive, along with a six-speed manual transmission, locking differentials, skid plates, dual-zone automatic climate control, rearview camera, and navigation system. A five-speed automatic transmission is optional.

SL

Topping the line, an SL comes with the most comfort features. Available only as a Crew Cab, in 4x2 or 4x4 format, SL is fitted with an automatic transmission, 5.8-inch touchscreen, power heated front seats, leather-appointed seating, 18-inch wheels, a 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system, rearview camera, spray-on bedliner, and step rails. Long-wheelbase 4x4 models get a power moonroof.

CarsDirect Tip

Facing all those choices, you're probably going to pick a V6-equipped model. In addition, it's hard to pass up a 4x4 because of its greater capabilities, jacked-up suspension, and more rugged looks. Then again, a nicely optioned SV Frontier could make the most financial sense, compared against full-size pickup trucks that are often heavily discounted.

Get your price on a Nissan Frontier »

Read our review on the Nissan Frontier »

Nissan Frontier Rear Quarter

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