The 2018 Nissan Frontier remains a strong seller among mid-size pickup trucks, despite its advanced age. Although outclassed by newer models, the Frontier’s good value, classic style, and strong V6 engine are its strengths. For some shoppers, that's enough to overcome some of its demerits, including an aged infotainment system and unrefined cabin.

Best Value

The 2018 Nissan Frontier is offered as an extended (King) or Crew Cab model with room for up to five. Nissan supplies a base four-cylinder engine, although most trucks are powered by a V6. You'll find manual and automatic transmission options, along with rear- and four-wheel drive.

Our pick is the Frontier Crew Cab SV 4x2, as it offers the interior room most truck buyers want. This model also has a 6,450- to 6,710-pound tow rating with a payload capacity of up to 1,480 pounds. It comes with remote keyless entry, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and satellite radio.

  • Model: 2018 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab SV V6 4x2 5-Speed Automatic
  • Engine: 4.0-liter V6
  • Output: 261 hp / 281 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Five-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • MPG: 16 City / 22 Hwy
  • Options: Value Truck Package ($1,890, fog lights, spray-on bedliner, bed channel system, sliding bed extender, tow hitch receiver, rear sonar system, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, auto-dimming rearview mirror).
  • Base Price: $27,325 (including a $975 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $29,215

Performance

Nissan Frontier

You get a choice of a four-cylinder or V6 engine with the 2018 Nissan Frontier. We think the base engine is simply too underpowered and is also outclassed by competing models. That said, the V6 is aged too, but this 4.0-liter engine delivers a robust 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the wheels by means of a five-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual.

Although the V6 isn't as loud as the inline-four, it's far from quiet and is unrefined. Nissan sells a large number of manual transmissions with this model, but we think most will prefer the automatic. This transmission works well with the engine, finding the right gear and doing so without complaining. The V6 also delivers payload and towing numbers within the range of its competitors. Compare that to the inline-four with a 3,500-pound rating.

Style

The Nissan Frontier delivers a traditional style that, in some eyes, is reassuring, but otherwise points to a dated design. We like its strong layout marked by a powerful grille and oversized wheel well arches. Much of the rest of the design is what you'd expect with some variations based on trim level.

Crew cab models come with the same 73.3-inch bed found in the King Cab, but you can also order one with a shorter 59.5-inch bed. The bedliner that’s standard with the SV makes a whole lot of sense.

On paper, the Frontier Crew Cab seats five, but it's best for four. Even then, if your rear-seat passengers include a couple of big guys, you might begin your search with the full-size Nissan Titan.

The interior reflects this truck’s older design, with plastics dominating. We find it a mood spoiler and especially a disappointment in models costing $30,000 or more. The front seats offer average comfort, the rear seat even less so. The sight lines are average, but only the SL and PRO-4X models offer a height-adjustable driver’s seat.

The Best and Worst Things

Perhaps the best attribute of the 2018 Frontier is its low starting price. But we recommend better-equipped models with the V6 engine, which drive the cost up significantly. Still, we think the Nissan offers a solid price point in the segment. As for the worst things about this model, where do we start? It's aged, outclassed by everyone, and the infotainment system is very outdated.

Right For? Wrong For?

Nissan Frontier

Nissan Frontier faithful continue to buy this truck, demonstrating strong brand loyalty. Despite its age, it's a good basic truck for consumers. On the other hand, it lacks the refinement and strong safety attributes of more modern models and would be a wrong purchase decision for a strong cohort of truck buyers.

The Bottom Line

Yes, the Nissan Frontier is outclassed by every model in its segment. We have heard rumors of a new model for several years and witnessing new Titan pickup trucks arriving, but still no Frontier. Nissan will at some point deliver a new one, but for now, the 2018 Nissan Frontier is it. Outside of Nissan faithful, we think most shoppers should direct their gaze elsewhere.