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:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
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.
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.
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.
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