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2015 Nissan Frontier Photo
7.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
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Reviewed by Nelson Ireson
Senior Editor, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
$17,252
BASE MSRP
$17,990
Quick Take
The 2015 Nissan Frontier is one of your best bets if you don't quite need a full-size pickup, but maneuverability and functionality are high on your priority list. Read more »
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2015 Nissan Frontier
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Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features
Mileage

romp-and-stomp styling

Car and Driver »

rugged disposition

Edmunds »

trying to emulate many of the Titan's styling features

Car and Driver »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$17,990 $35,260
2WD King Cab I4 Manual S
Gas Mileage 19 mpg City/23 mpg Hwy
Engine Regular Unleaded I-4, 2.5 L
EPA Class No Data
Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 4
Passenger Doors 4
Body Style Extended Cab Pickup - Long Bed
See Detailed Specs »
7.2 out of 10
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Choose a Style Below for Colors and Options
STYLE INVOICE MSRP
2015 Nissan Frontier 4WD Crew Cab SWB Automatic S
4WD Crew Cab WB Automatic S S
Regular Unleaded V-6, 4.0 L
Four Wheel Drive
$ 25,064 $ 26,450
2015 Nissan Frontier 2WD Crew Cab LWB Automatic SL
2WD Crew Cab LWB Automatic SL
Regular Unleaded V-6, 4.0 L
Rear Wheel Drive
$ 30,843 $ 32,560
2015 Nissan Frontier 2WD King Cab I4 Manual S
2WD King Cab I4 Manual S
Regular Unleaded I-4, 2.5 L
Rear Wheel Drive
$ 17,252 $ 17,990
2015 Nissan Frontier 2WD Crew Cab SWB Manual S
2WD Crew Cab WB Manual S S
Regular Unleaded V-6, 4.0 L
Rear Wheel Drive
$ 21,756 $ 22,700
More Styles »

The Basics:

With the compact pickup segment significantly reduced in size over the past decade—despite the re-entry of mid-size offerings from GM—the Nissan Frontier is one of the last stalwarts of this small but highly functional portion of the pickup market. The Frontier itself has grown over the years, but for those seeking a do-it-all vehicle that’s not as enormous as today’s full-size trucks, it’s one of the only real options.

There are very few competitors in the market, with the Toyota Tacoma serving as the biggest competitor here. However, GM's new Canyon and Colorado compact pickups are back in the mix now, and they will soon come with a diesel option that may also come to the Frontier. Despite all of that, the Frontier remains one of the most comfortable, functional options, even as it shows its age, a full decade after its redesign. Changes for this year are minimal, with exception to the standardization of the NissanConnect with mobile apps infotainment system to upper-trim models.

Four core trim lines are offered on the Frontier: S, SV, SL, and PRO-4X. The Frontier S is the entry point, with equipment and options increasing as you move up through SV and SL trims. The PRO-4X model has features and options selected with an eye for off-road suitability as well as on-road daily driving. 

Two cabs are offered, the King Cab and the Crew Cab. With four doors and good rear seat space, the Crew Cab is the clear choice for Frontier shoppers who need to transport more than two people regularly. For the driver, a comfortable, upright seating position is comfortable for most; taller drivers may find the high floor level requires a legs-out seating position. As with most pickups, especially shorter-wheelbase models, the Frontier's ride can get choppy when the road--paved or unpaved--turns rough. 

When it's the work that's rough, the Frontier has some handy factory features: a sprayed-in bedliner, available Utili-Track cargo tie-down system, and a Value Truck Package that bundles a trailer hitch, dual-zone climate control, a bed extender, and more. 

Under the hood, there's a choice of a 261-horsepower, 281-pound-foot 4.0-liter V-6 engine or a 152-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder. The V-6 is the star of this show, with pep and pulling power that's almost equal to some smaller V-8s. Improvements to the engine's internal components last year reduced friction and boosted gas mileage slightly (along with minor aerodynamic improvements), helping to keep the V-6 competitive. The four-cylinder is fine for the commuter who occasionally needs a pickup, but it's ill-suited to heavier duty. Both 4x2 (rear-wheel drive) and 4x4 drivelines are available as well.

In 4x2 guise, four-cylinder models offer a choice of five-speed manual transmission or five-speed automatic; V-6 models can choose between a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. If you want a 4x4 Frontier, the V-6 engine is your only option, mated to either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic.

The 2015 Nissan Frontier hasn't been officially rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but the structurally identical 2014 model earned top marks of "good" in moderate overlap front-impact, side-impact, and roof strength tests.

Despite the available four-cylinder engine and lack of a V-8 offering, the Frontier doesn't get much better gas mileage than many new full-size trucks. Ranging from as low as 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway (4x4 V-6 automatic models) to as much as 19 mpg city and 23 mpg highway (4x2 four-cylinder manual models), the Frontier isn't an ideal commuter vehicle in any form--but then, what truck is?

Likes:

  • Hauling and towing strength (V-6)
  • Potent V-6 engine option
  • Sharp pickup looks
  • Among the safest small trucks
  • Spacious Crew Cabs

Dislikes:

  • Maximum bed length is only six feet
  • Interior design showing its age
  • Busy, choppy ride
Next: Interior / Exterior »

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