Trusted, Tried and True – Nissan Frontier Rides On

Nissan Frontier
The Nissan Frontier is first and foremost a workhorse – designed to tackle both professional and personal projects. Enhancements include the addition of standard RearView Monitor across all models and updated base grade content – including standard air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, 5.0-inch color display audio and Siri® Eyes Free.

2019 Nissan Frontier- Better With Age

Looking at Facebook earlier this week I noticed someone had posted a photo of a pickup truck and noted the pricetag being over $67,000. My gosh, I thought. Trucks have come a long way in recent years, haven’t they? Sure, they do a whole lot, but it doesn’t make my old Mercedes-Benz sedan seem quite as expensive any more.

Then, I looked at my email from Nissan detailing information on my weeks test vehicle – a 2019 Nissan Frontier. What was that starting MSRP? Let me read it again. Could it be possibly true? Let me quote the opening statement made by my friend who supplied me the truck: “America’s most affordable pickup with a starting MSRP of $18,990, unchanged from 2018.”

2018? How about 2000? Wasn’t that about what a pickup truck cost then? Let’s look into this a bit further. Is the Frontier powered by a giant rubber band? Are the seats plywood benches? Is this the Yugo of this year?

No, the Nissan Frontier, is actually the highest ranked midsize pickup truck in initial quality – an accolade it has been provided by J. D. Power in their Initial Quality Study for the past three years running. It looks like this will be a much more interesting and enjoyable week than I might have originally anticipated!

Of course, there are different models of the new Nissan Frontier. Yes, you can get a base model for under $20,000, quite a feat in today’s trucking world. You can move all the way up to an S Crew Cab model with a V6 engine for only $24,950 – still a quite remarkable price in today’s trucking world.

Affordable Midsize Pickup Choices

Every 2019 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab starts with a full-length, fully boxed ladder frame with a 4.0 liter DOHC V6 engine sporting 261 horses and 281 lb ft of torque. The buyer can opt for a sporty 6-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic transmission. Five different trim grades are available from the base S to an SV, a PRO-4X, a Desert Runner and an SL.

My test truck was the Frontier PRO-4X with a 4×4 2-speed transfer case offering 4-wheel drive Hi and Lo, making it very capable in all types of terrain. Even though one would have thought we lived in Oregon because of all the rain we got during my week with the Frontier, I didn’t get to go mudding with it, although I’m quite sure the truck would have enjoyed it.

2019 Nissan Frontier steering wheel
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Off Road Capable, On Road Comfort

While I would have loved to take the Frontier to the famous Barnhill Mountain off-road park with a myriad of special trails where I could experience the Bilstein off-road high pressure shock absorbers, special skid plates protecting the fuel tank, oil pan and transfer case and the electronic 4-wheel limited slip rear differential locker, torrential rains kept me close to home.

I did get to spend a lot of freeway time with the Frontier however. After a week of mainly highway time, I found that my fuel economy was quite reasonable at a shade over 21 mpg. That’s significantly better than the 17 combined fuel economy from the EPA. I guess I just wasn’t driving it to its full potential level of power. Although, I certainly thought I was pushing the accelerator just as quickly as I usually do.

This mid-size pickup wasn’t missing any creature comforts inside, although the interior feels dated. Power seats, a touch screen, SiriusXM, dual air – so much to love and even fully equipped, not even half the MSRP cost of that truck I had seen discussed on facebook. My faith in reasonable truck pricing has returned!

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Marlon Hanson
Marlon Hanson has been in the media since 1970, beginning with the New York Daily News. In 1988, he founded Focus Newspapers, expanding the paper from weekly to daily over the past 28 years. He has covered the automotive industry since 1995 and is a three-term president of the Texas Auto Writers Association. Besides Focus Daily News, Hanson is a judge for the Consumers Digest Best Buys, and Auto Judge from TAMA. He also publishes and His automotive articles appear in Consumers Digest Magazine, Focus Daily News and various other websites and magazines.