2016 Nissan Frontier

Starting MSRP: $18,290 - $35,610

Estimated MPG: 19 city / 23 hwy

2016 Nissan Frontier Review

The 2016 Nissan Frontier presents a familiar package to truck buyers, with no significant changes for the new model year and an overall package that’s relatively dated as compared to the other midsize pickups. That said, Nissan may not feel a need to mess with success: The Frontier won its segment in the J.D. Power 2016 Initial Quality Study and the AutoPacific 2016 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards.

The 2016 Frontier is available in extended cab (King Cab) and crew cab body styles. Five trims are available for the four-door crew-cab model: S, SV, Desert Runner, SL and Pro-4X. Meanwhile, the Frontier King Cab is offered in S, SV, Desert Runner and Pro-4X editions. Frontier S and SV King Cab trucks are available with four-cylinder and V6 power plants, while the upper trims (and all crew cab models) come with the V6 as standard equipment.

Exterior

Exterior

The 2016 Nissan Frontier features a strong, chiseled appearance that’s highlighted by some of the automaker’s traditional truck cues. An “angled strut” grille with thick, tilted vertical bars is up front, while bold wheel flares are stamped out of the pickup’s sheet metal. Desert Runner and Pro-4X editions are further distinguished by trail-friendly function and design upgrades that range from skid plates and splash guards to off-road tire-and-wheel packages. Those trucks get a bit more ground clearance, too, but even the standard Frontier sits 8.6 inches off the road.

The Frontier also provides standard- and long-bed configurations with spray-in bedliners and cargo-management systems.

Interior

Interior

A major difference between the crew cab and King Cab versions of the 2016 Nissan Frontier shows up inside, where the former has two full rows of seating and the latter has two smaller, flip-up seats in the back that are best-suited for children. Although standard amenities are rather Spartan - the Frontier S comes with manual locks and windows - upper trims furnish leather-appointed seating, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Performance

Performance

The 2016 Nissan Frontier also delivers two very different driving experiences depending on its engine. The standard unit for King Cab model is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. Tow ratings for that setup reach 3,500 pounds, and its top EPA grades of 19/23 mpg city/highway come with a five-speed manual transmission. With the available five-speed automatic, fuel-economy ratings slip to 17/22 mpg.

The Frontier’s 4.0-liter V6 is optional for the King Cab and standard for crew-cab trucks, with a tale of the tape that includes 261 horsepower, 281 pound-feet of torque, a towing maximum of 6,300 pounds and an EPA best of 17/22 mpg city/highway. Opt for the V6 and a six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a five-speed automatic is optional.

Pairing the V6 with four-wheel drive nets EPA ratings of 15/21 mpg city/highway when the Frontier is relying on a five-speed automatic, and 16/21 mpg with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Technology

Technology

A lack of the latest technology hints at the older architecture for the 2016 Nissan Frontier. For example, although navigation and NissanConnect with Mobile Apps are available, that’s only offered in the Pro-4X model and only with a smallish 5.8-inch touch screen. Moreover, the Frontier’s driver-assistance measures are limited to a rearview camera and sonar-enabled parking assistance. The basics are all covered, however, as the truck supplies Bluetooth for hands-free calling as standard equipment. There’s also a nice bonus for audiophiles: an available 10-speaker Rockford-Fosgate sound system.