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2013 Nissan Frontier: Familiar Look, Higher MPG, More Tech Inside

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Although full-size trucks (from Ford and Ram especially) have made some major gains in fuel economy over the past years, compact and mid-size pickups have largely been left out of the gas-mileage game. Thankfully that changes this year, with the 2013 Nissan Frontier gaining 1 to 2 mpg across the board.

The gains arrive thanks to reduced engine friction and improved aerodynamics. Most notably, a seal has been added between the cab and bed, while spoilers at the front and at the tailgate help smooth airflow.

Visually, nothing much has changed on the 2013 Frontier—which we continue to count as just fine on the outside but not so much for the dated interior. And powertrains are essentially the same otherwise—engines make the same output, even—but there are a few key changes that should make the Frontier a little more appealing.

As before, the Frontier is offered in S, SV, SL, and off-road-oriented PRO-4X models, with SL models offered in Crew Cab form only. Most of the lineup can be equipped with rear- or four-wheel drive, in King Cab or Crew Cab body styles.

A Desert Runner model is new on the 2013 Nissan Frontier; offered only with rear-wheel drive and the automatic transmission, it includes 16-inch Off-Road alloys, Bilstein off-road shocks, fog lamps, a special seat upholstery, embroidered logos, decals, and badging. There's also a new Value Truck Package, adding Dual Zone climate control, the RearView Monitor, rear sonar system, a sliding bed extender, fog lamps, a trailer hitch, spray-in bedliner, and Utili-track tie-downs.

Dual-zone automatic climate control is a feature that's new to the Frontier for 2013; other new items include rear sonar sensors and a RearView Monitor system. All of those have been added to SL models, while a navigation system is on offer on SL models as part of the PRO-4X Luxury Package. SV and PRO-4X models now get an upgraded Display Audio system; also for 2013, Bluetooth has been added to the SV (and Desert Runner) models, and all models in the lineup get sliding sun visors.

And if those features aren't enough, perhaps one of the sharp new colors will grab you. Glacier White, Graphite Blue, and Cayenne Red have been added as new exterior hues for 2013.

See our full review of the 2013 Nissan Frontier lineup for more details, specifications, pricing, and pircutres. The 2013 Frontier for the U.S. will be built in Canton, Mississippi and Decherd, Tennessee.

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Comments (3)
  1. That's what's killing small truck's the mileage is no better then the large ones and the large big boys due to volume can be cheaper.With Ford introducing an all Aluminum F150 that will get better mileage then the Tacoma or the Frontier whats the point.Hopefully the new car based Colorado mid size which will also come in diesel will get better mileage.Toyota had the BAT hybrid small truck in development but that seems to have been on the back burner.Light duty trucks made for Europe and Austral/Asia like the new Ford Ranger are not being imported here for some jack hole reason.
     
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  2. Sad, but true! Same mpg with less hauling power and weaker engines. Then they ask almost the same as the big boys with maybe 2-4K difference. Which one would you get?
     
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  3. F150 Ecoboost is next. Currently drive the Tacoma w/2.7 and always average 20 mpg. Would like a little more beef with same or better mileage.
     
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