10.21.2008

Nissan Frontier 4X4 CC SE Review



Having pushed the physical dimensions and sticker prices of the once-lowly pickup truck about as far as possible (Lincoln? Cadillac?), a return to sanity is a welcome thing...and just in time, Nissan refreshes its mid-size Frontier pickup.

Now that Nissan has announced it will be outsourcing its big truck, the Titan, to Chrysler (2011 Titans will be re-badged Dodge Rams), the Frontier is the standard-bearer for Nissan's truck business...and the impression it makes is a good one.

Not too big, not too small...there's a "just-right" quality to the size, capabilites and handling of the new Frontier. Nope, it won't cut the mustard as a heavy-duty construction truck, but for the average truck owner, the Frontier is more than up to the job.

More good news: It's affordable. The base price on the four-door crew cab I tested was only $25,960...bringing with it a 4-liter 261 horsepower V6, a 5-speed automatic transmission, shift-on-the-fly four wheel drive, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and most of the features that you could wish for on a truck option list 15 years ago.

So what's to add? Well, Nissan specified the SE Value Truck Package for this tester, adding remote keyless entry, power windows, power door locks, power outside mirrors, cruise control, 16 inch alloy wheels, a sliding bed extender and a security system for a package price of $1,380. That plus another $700 for a moonroof, along with destination charges brought the bottom line to $28,785. Not bad at all for a roomy, capable all-wheel drive truck.

The EPA estimate is 15 city, 19 highway miles per gallon...again, not bad for the size and capability (thank the 5-speed auto and the V6 for getting the mileage that high).

This is a great time to seriously evaluate how much truck you need. If it's not a monster workhorse, then the Nissan Frontier is a solid choice.

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