This truck has been a lemon since the day I bought it.
The knock sensor and the catalytic converters (yes, plural) go bad at 100k miles, and you're looking at 3k to fix all this, or else you can't pass emissions.
I've talked to mechanics and they say that they see this all the time with Nissan frontiers.
You'll need to get the Nissan parts, because aftermarket parts aren't compatible and you'll waste your money, & still not pass emissions.
The AC has gone out on me twice, and even the electrical components struggle.
I've only got 145k highway miles, and I've struggled mightily with the catalytic converters, knock sensors, AC unit (broken twice), electrical, tailgate handle, door handle
Exterior design, I guess, but it's not that great.
Definitely not worth the trouble you'll have with reliability
Catalytic converters, knock sensors, AC unit, and battery cables are all junk.
Even the tailgate handle and the door handle broke.
My suggestion is to actually have parts that work.
I looked long and hard for the perfect
truck - and I've found it.
I've always driven full-size pickups but wanted better economy, 4wd, a decent cargo capacity, and room for my two big dogs for everything except hauling the big round bales of hay.
Still have the 2500 Ram for the latter, but the Frontier handles everything else beautifully.
Since I tend to drive my vehicles forever, I wasn't concerned about this being older and having a bit over 100k miles on it.
I did have my mechanic go over it thoroughly, freshening several things that needed to be addressed, but still brought it in at my budgeted figure - and expect to drive it at least another 100k miles.
Can you tell I love it??
It delivers everything I wanted and then some.
Finding one with the 5-speed manual took some doing, but I found it.
I'm not used to the 'luxury' of power everything, especially in what is a working vehicle - this little beast is spoiling me fast.
My only complaint is that the owner's manual (yes, all manuals were in the dash, even after 9 years) is that the instrument panel/controls diagram is incomplete.. still trying to figure out
what one toggle does, since it isn't identified in the manual.
I use the truck primarily to tow a 3000 lb camper. The 3.3 L engine in the 2002 was rated at only 170 hp but this little truck seems to use all of them as it tows the camper plus another 500 lbs of camping gear as though it is not there. That is both with power and mileage. The camper and gear doubles the weight of the truck alone with no more than a 15-20 % increase in fuel consumption. For power I'm comparing it to my old Ford full-size with a 351 V-8. Never any maintenance in nearly 8 years of use other than regular preventative maintenance. Cannot recommend this little truck too much!!
Acts like a truck and a sedan too with the extra passenger seating. Never needs repair as long as you keep it maintained.
A few more inches of legroom in the back might allow the backseat passengers some comfort if traveling more than a few hundred miles.
I have 2 complaints with my truck. It's averaging below 20 mpg. I previously owned a '99 S-10 V6 that averaged just over 20 mpg. I was really expecting the newer Frontier to be a little over 20, but I average about 18. Half of my 60 daily commute miles are highway. A few months ago I drove 1500 miles to visit family in California and it averaged 19 mpg (averaging 80 mph). I am very impressed with it's performance. Shortly after purchase the stereo won't play or eject CDs (err03), but it sounds great still. I am also considering buying a new extended cab Frontier when this one is paid off. Overall I'd give it about a 95% satisfactory rating.
Rockford Fosgate 6 disk CD with 7 speakers, bed extender, roof rack, power windows and doors,
6 spd manual transmission for improved economy (especially at highway speeds). Basically, keep the current ratios, just add a highway gear. Also, a stereo that allows you to manually eject CDs (but has the same quality sound!)
This truck has been a delight to drive. In only 4 short months, I grew to LOVE it and the ability it provided to haul things around. However, last weekend, I ran off the road in the rain and crashed head-on into a large tree. My truck gave its life for me! The police officer said I probably would have been killed, or certainly seriously injured, were it not for the air bag and seat belt. My air bag, seat belt, and the structural integrity of the truck saved my life. I had only a few bruises. The truck was totaled, but I was so impressed by its performance while I owned it and in this worst of circumstances, that I'm buying another one!
Structural integrity and safety features. Driving comfort in spite of being a truck.