2019 Nissan Frontier

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2019 Nissan Frontier Review

The fact that the Nissan Frontier still sells well, despite having received only marginal updates since 2005, is a testament to its design. It's no surprise that it won J.D. Power's Most Dependable award in 2016. However, nothing can beat time, and the Frontier's age is starting to show as younger, more exciting compact pickups are hitting the market. If that wasn't enough, most of the vehicle's long-standing competitors like the Toyota Tacoma have moved with the times and incorporated many new features that have become standard on new releases.

Despite the lack of features such as driving assistance or modern infotainment, the Frontier is popular for its powerful 4.0-liter V6 engine and the host of transmission options, which include a five- or six-speed manual and five-speed automatic gearboxes with rear or all-wheel drivetrains. This V6 engine produces a decent 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. And, with the lowest price tag for a new mid-size truck, it's not surprising that many buyers still view the Frontier in a good light.

Read in this review:

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2019 Nissan Frontier Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2018 Frontier?

The Nissan Frontier is almost the same truck it was when first released in 2005. Over more than a decade, it has only received minor tweaks to its kit, and the 2019 model follows this trend. The standard S and SV trims have received a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, but the lack of any new features to synergize with it is disappointing. Also new is the Cayenne Red body paint option. It has been rumored that a whole new Frontier model will be released for 2020, and that will hopefully incorporate many of the features that its predecessor has refused to.

Pros and Cons

  • Low price
  • Multiple configurations to suit a variety of needs
  • Powerful V6 engine and capable transmission
  • Surprisingly responsive throttle
  • Competitive hauling and towing capacities
  • Pro-4X is a great off-roader
  • Horribly outdated design
  • Lacks common modern tech features
  • Inefficient fuel consumption
  • Uncomfortable rear seats
  • Lags behind almost all competitors in overall performance

What's the Price of the 2019 Nissan Frontier?

With a multitude of configuration options available on the Frontier, prices can vary substantially. However, the truck still manages to be quite affordable, even at higher trim levels. The 2.5-liter inline-four King Cab Frontier S has an MSRP of $19,090 while the SV starts at $23,960. But since the V6 engine is the Frontier's strongest selling point, the SV V6 will start at $27,720. The King Cab Desert Runner and Pro-4X both feature a V6 by default and go for $26,400 and $33,530, respectively. The premium trim Frontier SL is only available in the more expensive Crew Cab configuration and starts at $34,110. Adding all-wheel-drive to the popular SV V6 will raise it's base MSRP to $28,619. All these prices exclude tax, licensing, registration, and incentives. Nissan adds a destination charge of $1,045.

Best Deals on 2019 Nissan Frontier

2019 Nissan Frontier Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
4.0L V6 Gas
5-Speed Automatic
5-Speed Manual
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
4.0L V6 Gas
5-Speed Automatic
5-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
4.0L V6 Gas
5-Speed Automatic
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
Desert Runner
4.0L V6 Gas
5-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
4.0L V6 Gas
5-Speed Automatic
6-Speed Manual
Four-Wheel Drive
See All 2019 Nissan Frontier Trims and Specs

2019 Frontier Exterior

2019 Nissan Frontier Front Angle View Nissan
2019 Nissan Frontier Side View Nissan
2019 Nissan Frontier Side View 1 Nissan
See All 2019 Nissan Frontier Exterior Photos


  • Wheelbase 125.9 in
  • Height 68.7 in
  • Max Width 72.8 in

Exterior Colors

  • Magnetic Black Pearl
  • Cayenne Red Metallic
  • Glacier White
  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Gun Metallic
  • Arctic Blue Metallic

2019 Frontier Performance

2019 Nissan Frontier Front View Driving Nissan
2019 Nissan Frontier Rear Angle View Nissan
2019 Nissan Frontier Engine Nissan

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    2.5L Inline-4 Gas, 4.0L V6 Gas
  • Transmissions
    5-Speed Automatic, 5-Speed Manual, 6-Speed Manual
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

For a truck designed to be a workhorse with off-road capabilities, the Nissan Frontier manages to achieve good daily driveability, making it suitable for work or even family use. The throttle is responsive, allowing it to maneuver well in town traffic and the suspension smooths out most road abrasions. However, the drive comfort begins to wane at higher speeds, with wind noise becoming an issue alongside the bobbing of the elevated cabin. While not unbearable, this persistent discomfort can make the Frontier unappealing for extended use when its competitors offer a much smoother and quieter ride.

Considering its weight, the Frontier handles quite well, taking corners without losing control. However, the steering can feel a little loose and unresponsive if you haven't grown accustomed to it. This may be fine for off-road driving where space isn't at a premium, but it can limit the truck's fun factor in town. The brakes are adequate at normal traveling speeds but have a poor stop time of 135 ft at 60 mph - meaning you don't want to be caught by surprise when traveling at higher speeds.

The Frontier is definitely better designed to roam the wild like the beast its engine makes it sound like. And if off-road fun is what you have in mind, the Pro-4X is your best bet. Ideally fitted with improved suspension and off-road tires, this premium trim optimizes the rugged kind of fun that the Frontier seems designed to deliver.

2019 Frontier Interior

2019 Nissan Frontier Dashboard Nissan
2019 Nissan Frontier Steering Wheel Nissan
2019 Nissan Frontier Front Seats Nissan
See All 2019 Nissan Frontier Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 42.4 in
  • Front Head Room 39.7 in
  • Rear Leg Room 25.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 36.6 in

2019 Frontier Trunk and Cargo Space

2019 Nissan Frontier Rear Passenger Seats Nissan
2019 Nissan Frontier Rear Passenger Seats 1 Nissan
2019 Nissan Frontier Side View 2 Nissan

2019 Frontier Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Nissan Frontier A Good Truck?

The Nissan Frontier is a sturdy and capable mid-size pickup. However, it has fallen behind the times due to a lack of updates while its competitors release new models or refit their current models with updated features. The optional V6 engine is the truck's saving grace, providing decent power and above-average torque, allowing the truck to feel punchy and fun despite its age. The lack of modern infotainment features or any driver-assistance features does hurt its appeal though.

It is true that, when looking at value for money, the Frontier could fool a buyer into thinking it is the best deal with a low starting price of around $20,000. But falling into this trap would be a mistake. To get performance that would actually begin to rival more modern trucks, you would have to opt for the V6 engine and higher trim levels that add improved handling features. You would ultimately end up looking at around $26,000 to start with, and for that amount, you could very easily pick up an entry-level Toyota Tacoma or even a mid-tier Chevrolet Colorado, both of which offer many of the modern amenities a discerning buyer would expect in 2019.

The Frontier is a great throwback to a time when compact pickups were all about being rugged and imposing, but it's the man out of time now, looking unnecessarily brutish compared to its more refined and powerful rivals. Nissan has had a good run, but it may be time to start looking at another manufacturer or else wait to see if the long-awaited successor to the Frontier arrives in 2020, as we all hope.

What Nissan Frontier Model Should I Buy?

The model you choose to buy depends very much on your reason for purchasing a compact pickup. If you are looking for good work utility where hauling cargo will be a commonplace requirement, but you still want good value for money, then the Crew Cab SV with the standard V6 engine and rear-wheel-drive would be the logical choice. However, if pure fun in the mud is your goal, the Pro-4X is hands-down the best choice. The improved shocks and high-grade tires make handling rocky roads a breeze. And you get the choice of adding the Premium package if you want that extra level of comfort while enjoying getting your undercarriage dirty.

2019 Nissan Frontier Comparisons

Toyota Tacoma CarBuzz
Chevrolet Colorado Chevrolet
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Nissan Frontier310 hp18/24 mpg$29,190
Toyota Tacoma 159 hp20/23 mpg$27,750
Chevrolet Colorado 200 hp19/25 mpg$26,135
Ford Ranger 270 hp21/26 mpg$25,980

2019 Nissan Frontier vs Toyota Tacoma

Much like the Frontier, Toyota's Tacoma comes in a plethora of configurations. It, too, offers a four-cylinder or V6 engine as well as two or four-wheel-drive. However, both the Tacoma's engine configurations offer more power than their counterparts on the Frontier. As if this weren't enough, Toyota has equipped its mid-size contender with a host of off-road-focused features to make it even more rugged than the Frontier. But don't let its rough-and-tumble attitude fool you; the Tacoma is tech-savvy too, with basic driver-assistance and safety features included as standard, and smartphone integration available at higher trims. Sadly, it suffers from similar ride comfort problems as the Frontier, but this is a small price to pay for its utility. With a slightly higher price tag of $25,850 to $42,960, the Toyota Tacoma is still a better deal than its outdated rival.

See Toyota Tacoma Review

2019 Nissan Frontier vs Chevrolet Colorado

With a starting price of $21,300, the Chevy Colorado has already declared itself the rival of the Frontier as a low-cost mid-size pickup. With truly monstrous power coming from both it's in-line four (200 hp and 191 lb-ft) and V6 (308 hp and 275 lb-ft) motors, the Colorado is not to be taken lightly. This power gives Chevy's truck the power to tow up to 7,700 lbs, putting all its rivals to shame. And even with this raw power, the Colorado handles well and doesn't get choppy when put through its paces on the road. This little powerhouse might not be as spacious as some of its rivals, nor as capable in the rough, but it's pure brawn, matched with some brainy features, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, make the Chevy Colorado a clearly superior choice over the Frontier for day-to-day driving.

See Chevrolet Colorado Review

2019 Nissan Frontier vs Ford Ranger

While not a totally new design, the 2019 Ford Ranger is new to the US market. Unlike Nissan, Ford has taken the time to work on its long-time contender in the mid-size pickup segment. Although not entirely as fresh as it may seem, since it is based on the 2015 Ranger that was sold internationally, the 2019 Ranger still features many of the modern features that the Frontier is lacking. Chief among these are key safety features such as blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and lane-keeping assist. Add to this the fact that the Ranger incorporates convenience amenities that buyers have come to expect, such as smartphone compatibility and Wi-Fi, and it makes the Frontier seem like a fossil. Although the 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine only puts out 270 hp, the Ranger still manages to surpass the Frontier's hauling capacity by 1,000 lbs. With a reasonable price tag ranging from $24,300 to $38,565, this scrappy contender is in a league above the Frontier.

See Ford Ranger Review
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