2002 Nissan Frontier 4WD Preview

2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Our top-of-the-line, near-$30,000 Frontier reminded me of the once-skinny kid who chugged steroids, hit the weight room and suddenly sprouted facial hair. It’s grown into an impressive-looking specimen, but questions remain about its capabilities.

With plenty of styling cues shared with the Xterra sport-ute, Nissan’s compact pickup has proved to be a hit with youths and wanna-be youths alike. Bolted-on fender flares and fascias on the tailgate and nose reek of testosterone. The nosepiece, in particular, gives the Frontier an almost cruel, Darth Vaderesque aspect, handy for intimidating slowpokes blocking the road. Kudos to the crowd at Nissan Design America in La Jolla, Calif., who sought to create a “modern industrial” look for the Frontier—they’ve succeeded in spades. A colleague’s Chevy S-10, parked alongside, looked almost puny in comparison.

Endless possibilities

Now available in 19—count ’em—19 different models, the Frontier can come with a standard two-door cab, an extended cab, or a four-door Crew Cab; two- or four-wheel drive; three bed lengths; and three engine choices: a 143-hp, 2.4-liter four; a 3.3-liter V-6; and the latter’s blown variant.

The last is only one mill to spec if you’re at all concerned with getting anywhere in a reasonable amount of time—the 3.3-liter V-6 capped with an Eaton-built, Roots-type blower, fully warranteed by Nissan. Our black-on-charcoal Frontier was so fitted, and bright red decals proclaim to all your supercharged engine choice. The blower and enlarged fuel injectors provide horsepower and torque numbers of 210 hp and 246 lb-ft. You can chirp the P265/65R17 Goodrich Rugged Trails away from the line and as you start passing maneuvers, but torque peaks at 2800 rpm, and much as Steroid Boy discovers in a wind sprint, the engine runs out of breath. Nissan may have opted for a conservative blower pulley size before giving the blown mill the warranty.

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Saturday, November 21, 2015
2005 Nissan Frontier 4WD SE Crew Cab V6 Manual

Great Truck

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I have had my Nissan Frontier for 3 years. Gets 20mpg tows my boat and camper with out problem. Has been very reliable only minor issues like power window motor, brakes, tires. I have had to replace clutch as... + More »
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Monday, April 20, 2015
For 2001 Nissan Frontier 4WD

Awesome small truck

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Was not looking for a 4WD when I bought it-but glad I did now. Other than the so-so MPG, this little truck has performed extremely well with everything I have thrown at it-and I have thrown some things. I have... + More »
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