2015 Nissan Frontier

Starting MSRP: $17,990 - $35,260

Estimated MPG: 19 city / 23 hwy

2015 Nissan Frontier Review

The 2015 Nissan Frontier is an old timer in the midsize truck market, but it remains just as sprightly and fun as its recently redesigned competitors.

By Aaron Turpen
Last Updated 05/03/2016

The 2015 Nissan Frontier is a midsize pickup truck offered in both extended cab (King Cab) and crew cab body styles. The former comes with a 6-foot-1-inch cargo bed while the crew cab is offered with either a 5-foot bed (standard) or 6-foot-1-inch bed option. There are five trim levels for the Frontier: S, SV, Desert Runner, SL and Pro-4X. The base engine is a four-cylinder that's coupled to a five-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive.

While the Nissan Frontier has not been redesigned since the 2005 model year, it remains a popular choice, especially among off-road enthusiasts and those who prefer versatility in their small trucks.

Exterior

Exterior
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The 2015 Frontier's exterior has a timeless quality. The truck's bodywork begins with a prominent grille and front fascia with a bumper cover that extends into wide flares for the front wheel wells. Similar flares cover the rear wells. The roofline is flat, though some models feature a robust set of roof rails that add to the Frontier's "ready for action" look.

The base Frontier comes with 15-inch steel wheels, while higher trims add features like a sliding rear window, alloy wheels and running boards.

Interior

Interior
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The best way to describe the interior of the 2015 Frontier is by saying it's simple, with adequate materials and comfortable front seats. Front bucket seats and cloth upholstery are standard in the base model, and upgrading to an automatic transmission adds air conditioning to the list of standard features. Also available are heated front seats, power-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery and dual-zone automatic climate control.

The Frontier in its extended cab configuration seats four, though those in the back won't find much passenger space with the fold-down jump seats. 

The Crew Cab models can seat up to five with a little more accommodation. Headroom and legroom in the front seats are excellent, but lacking in the rear, even with the Crew Cab model.

However, the Crew Cab's 60/40 split-folding rear seats can be lowered to create a relatively flat loading area if need be. In addition, the bottom of the rear seats in the Crew Cab lift to reveal a semi-hidden storage area for valuables, coats or gloves.

Performance

Performance
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The 2015 Nissan Frontier has two engine options, two transmission options and is offered with rear- or four-wheel drive. Pro-4X models come standard with off-road tires and a beefier suspension system.

The base Frontier has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that outputs 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, and a five-speed automatic is optional. The base Frontier gets an EPA-estimated 19/23 mpg city/highway, while models with the automatic transmission get 17/23 mpg. The four-cylinder Frontier can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

A 4.0-liter V6 engine is available, which outputs 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, while a five-speed automatic and four-wheel drive are optional. The V6-powered Frontier gets up 17/22 mpg city/highway. Choosing an automatic transmission or four-wheel drive results in slightly lower estimates.

Technology

Technology
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The base Frontier comes with few standard features, though opting for an automatic transmission will also add features like cruise control, Bluetooth and steering wheel audio controls.

Available features include satellite radio, the NissanConnect system with smartphone app integration, a rearview camera and navigation with a 5.8-inch touch screen.

Safety

Safety
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The 2015 Frontier Crew Cab earned a top rating of Good in most crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It received the second-highest Acceptable rating in testing for the head restraints and seats. The IIHS has not conducted small overlap front crash tests as of this writing.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has only evaluated the Frontier in rollover tests, with rear-wheel drive models receiving three out of five stars and four-wheel drive models receiving four out of five stars.

All Frontier models come standard with anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and a suite of air bags. Parking sensors and a rearview camera are available as options.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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The price of entry for the base level Frontier is just under $18,000, which is a great deal for those who need a small working truck without any frills. The more popular Frontier trims, however, such as the Pro-4X, can push the price into the mid-$30,000 range easily.

Our test model, a nearly fully-loaded Frontier Pro-4X with the Luxury package, rang in at $36,205 (after an $860 destination charge). At that price, you could be looking at a full-size truck.

Overall

Overall
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The 2015 Nissan Frontier is a solid, popular choice in the midsize pickup truck market. The base Frontier is a good workhorse with few frills and a low cost of entry. Meanwhile, the Frontier Pro-4X excels with eye-catching looks and off-road prowess that can rival anything in the price range. In either case, the Frontier hits the mark.