What's New for 1998
Nissan introduces an all-new truck for 1998. This model, named the Frontier, is larger than the model it replaces, and has improved interior ergonomics.
Nissan has been selling trucks in this country for almost 40 years. In 1998 they decided to redesign the pickup and for the first time ever give it a name. Without any further ado, we would like to introduce the 1998 Nissan Frontier compact pickup truck. What's that you say? You think that it looks a lot like the model it replaces? Well, you may be right, but we promise that there are some changes to this vehicle that you will notice and appreciate upon closer inspection.
Take the Frontier's increased size, for instance. Nissan's 1998 regular cab pickup truck is 9.7 inches longer than the model it replaces; the King Cab is 6.1 inches longer. This translates into greater passenger comfort and more usable interior space. Speaking of interiors, shoppers are sure to value the Frontier's more ergonomical layout. The dashboard is oriented toward the driver, with stereo and climate controls within easy reach. The seats in this truck are also improved, offering drivers and passengers good support that makes long trips easier to manage.
The Frontier also features a new bed design that has sturdy double wall construction. In addition, the Frontier's bed is one of the largest available in a compact pickup. Measuring 17.1 inches deep, the Frontier's pickup box can be partitioned horizontally and vertically, perfect for keeping loads separate and secure.
The truck's greatest demerit is its lack of a V6 engine. Powering the Frontier is the familiar inline-four that helped last year's Nissan Truck move down the road. Despite its lack of cylinders, this 2.4-liter unit makes a healthy 143 horsepower and 154 foot-pounds of torque, enough to give this compact a 3,500 pound towing capacity. Although the engine is a carryover, it does receive some refinements this year including lighter pistons and thinner rings. These help reduce the Frontier's emissions enough so that the vehicle qualifies as a Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) in California.
The Frontier is not the breakthrough truck that some of us had hoped for. Its styling is evolutionary and its powerplant uninspiring. Nevertheless, it is a much better truck than the one it replaces, offering owners greater comfort and more utility. Before you decide that this is the truck for you, however, bear in mind that Nissan is planning on introducing a V6 model next year that might suit your needs even more.