2004 Nissan Frontier Review | Edmunds.com

2004 Nissan Frontier

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Nissan Frontier Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 143 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2004 Nissan Frontier

  • With its numerous body styles and trim levels, the Frontier provides plenty of practicality, but power-hungry truck buyers will find its V6 engine thirsty and weak.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Wide variety of body configurations and trim levels, many safety and convenience features.

  • Cons

    No third door on King Cabs, cramped rear seats for Crew Cabs, poor mileage from supercharged models.

  • What's New for 2004

    The SE now sports 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels and tires.

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

The good, bad and ugly

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

My 2nd Nissan Pickup-last was a '98- great-this one not quite as good. This one had good ride, dependability, great mileage. Owned 6 years, 42,000 miles- same tires mileage between 25 and 28 normal, and on trip to Yellowstone, 32+ amazing! Range 290- 330 miles 'cause gas gauge design always made truck look like it was running out! Full was 9 O'clock, 1/2 was 7 pm and empty was 6 PM. Very bad on confidence. Overall, truck performed ok but emission controls choked what could have been more horsepower. Problems were, Steering wheel squeaked from new, Oxy sensor failed, Parking brake cable fell off mount, Horn quit in snowy winter, rattle in headliner. All in all a good truck but some small issues

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A fun little truck

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

A neat small truck with great mileage and pretty good performance even with the small engine. It has been trouble free and is really fun to drive.

Will not buy another frontier

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

This truck is very slow. I know it is a 4 cyl, but it has this habit of shifting into the highest gear when I need it the least (going uphill and accelerating). When I need to accelerate, I have to either press the pedal 1/2 way down to shift, or push the Over Drive button on the shift lever. Speaking of which, you can't shift into a lower gear if you have something plugged into the cigarette lighter. The shift lever is in the way. Also, the plastic plug to the cigarette lighter is always falling out. DO NOT DRIVE this truck in the snow. It will not make it up even the slightest of grades. Even with XL tires, the back end is very light and slips everywhere. Don't buy this death trap.

Solid reliable and a great

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I've owned my '04 for 4 years now. Just got done with a 1500 mile trip to Lake Tahoe and not a single problem, fuel economy average was 26.95 mpg!!! It's true that it lacks power but just use the lower gears and you will be just fine! I have towed 2000 lbs regularly without issues. As far as reliability goes, it is GOLD, I haven't had a single problem so far. In the last 4 years and 55,000 miles I only had a flat tire once!! For the money you can't get anything better in the entry level compact truck segment.


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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I've owned the Frontier for over 8 months now, and I am selling it today. Any major problems? No, just a coolant leak. Maybe I am too young and immature yet, but the truck, while not bad in any particular way, is just not what I was looking for. I would keep it if perhaps if I needed a truck and wasn't using it as a daily driver.

Great value, quality & reliable

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

You cannot go wrong with this truck or really any Nissan. Good quality and no issues to report. Great acceleration and power for size of engine and vehicle. Own the 5 speed and had cruise installed at dealer when purchased new.


Full 2004 Nissan Frontier Review

What's New for 2004

The SE now sports 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels and tires.


Nissan has been building trucks for the U.S. market since 1958. Now in its seventh generation of pickup offerings, the company's 2004 Frontier-badged model is the result of constant improvement since the last major redesign in 1998. A reskin in 2001 gave the Frontier its current look along with an available supercharged V6. Since then, the Frontier has added a long-bed version, and options like electronic stability control and a tire-pressure monitor -- all compact truck exclusives. The wide variety of body styles, features and trim levels are the Frontier's best attributes. The lineup ranges from a basic (and inexpensive) two-wheel-drive King Cab to the supercharged Crew Cab long bed. The supercharged S/C trucks are pricey, but lower-priced value versions are also available. The Frontier isn't the best compact truck in every category, but few trucks offer a comparable blend of modern styling, high-tech features and all-around versatility.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Frontier comes in two body styles -- extended cab (known as King Cab) and crew cab. Available trim levels include the no-frills standard truck and four-cylinder XE, the V6-powered XE and SE and the supercharged S/C and SVE. Available only as two-wheel-drive King Cabs, the standard and four-cylinder XE models come with only basic amenities, along with front bucket seats and fold-down rear jump seats. The V6-equipped XE and SE are available with more features, including alloy wheels, air conditioning and a six-speaker CD stereo. The S/C is the most feature-laden, offering full power accessories. Leather upholstery and a 300-watt Rockford Fosgate stereo are optional on the SE and S/C. Those looking for supercharged power and a smaller price tag should consider the more reasonably priced SVE. Four-wheel drive is available on most of these models, but if you just want the tough look of a 4WD, Nissan offers the Desert Runner, a 2WD King Cab featuring the same heavy-duty chassis, ride height and stance as the 4WD Frontier. Compared to the King Cab, the Crew Cab has a larger cabin with expanded rear-seat accommodations as well as a pair of conventional rear doors that offer easier access to those seats. The V6 (normally aspirated or supercharged) is the only engine available. Two cargo bed lengths are available on the Crew Cab -- a 56.3-inch short bed and a 74.6-inch long bed.

Powertrains and Performance

A supercharged 3.3-liter V6 is the most powerful engine, and it makes 210 horsepower and 246 pound-feet of torque when mated to the four-speed automatic transmission (the five-speed manual drops the torque rating to 231 lb-ft). There's also a normally aspirated V6 worth 180 hp and a 2.4-liter four that produces 143 hp. If you want to tow, our suggestion is to go with the V6 and the automatic transmission. This configuration gives the Frontier its maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds. Four-wheel drive is available on V6 trucks only.


Last year, Nissan upped the safety ante among compact pickups with the addition of optional stability control (called VDC) and a tire-pressure monitor. ABS is standard on all trucks. In government crash testing, the Frontier earned four out of five stars for frontal impact protection and a perfect five stars for side impacts. The IIHS, however, gave the Frontier a "Poor" rating, the worst possible, in frontal offset crash testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Frontier's cabin is one of the better ones available in the compact pickup class, with comfortable front seats and an attractive design. A common complaint for the Crew Cab, however, is its cramped rear seat. A shortage of rear legroom is the major culprit.

Driving Impressions

Nissan likes to tout that its supercharged V6 offers the most horsepower in any V6 compact pickup. While that's true, we've found that real-world results are a bit disappointing. The supercharged engine has great off-idle response but runs out of breath quickly. Off-road performance is about average for this class of truck.


Talk About The 2004 Frontier

2004 Nissan Frontier Discussions See all Started By

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