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 3.3 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 180 hp @ 4800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/19 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


  • 15
  • cty
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Such a great truck

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

I have had this truck for 5 years now and i love it. Never gave me any problems and i have done very little maintenance to it in 53,000 miles. The cab space could be a little better and engine performance can be upped a little but i have a K&N intake and magnaflow exhaust to help a bit. It does make rattling and squeaky noises but this is a frontier not a bently. All and all this is a great little truck, i would however like to test drive one of the newer ones with the more powerful engines, one of them could very well be my next truck.

Great truck

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

I have had this truck for a year and a half. I looked at the other midsized trucks and could not find a better deal. bought for 19k compaired to 26 or 27 for the others. I have driven in all conditions such as 4 feet of snow, dry roads, and some light off road. Never had a problem with the truck getting me where I want to go. I would buy again if I had the chance.

Highly recomended truck

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

I bought this a year ago great truck so far taken it off road, commuted, towed, and snow. Not disappointed yet I once slid into a ditch in the snow just put in reverse and 4wd low and came right out. No body damage extremely tough truck can be used and abused high reliability. Only things I don't like I knew about going in was going to buy a Tacoma but Toyota wouldn't negoiate price and had a sticker of 27k configured same as the Frontier got this brand new for 19k sticker was 25k.

Good truck revisted

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

1st reviewed a year ago. I still love this truck. My wife bought an '05 Xterra. Very jealous of the new design. Considered new Frontier, but sticking w/the '04. Feature I would like most the rear door on extended cab for easier access. Golf clubs are hard to get in and out from behind back seat. Other than that, I've really enjoyed this truck. Good commuter vehicle and great for hauling whatever.

Not bad for the price.

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Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

Overall it's a decent truck but have been questioning its durability from day one. The drivetrain is clunky and loose and when in 2WD the gearbox has an annoying rattle which the dealer says is "normal for these trucks." The lack of true power would make one expect better gas mileage but both power and gas milegae suck. It does look great and I have enjoyed taking it off-road. And it came at a great price. However, my final thought on this truck after owning it a few months is, "You get what you pay for."

Darn good truck

by on
Vehicle: 2004 Nissan Frontier 2dr King Cab XE-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl 5M)

I purchased 04-dr. frontier 4x4 xe-v6. (xtra value pkg incl.) I brought this truck just on consumer reviews and prof. reviews. The Flag-pole nissan 30 miles delivered to my dad upstate ny home. I was a little p/o when the truck wasn't prepped, low on fluids in the truck. There was a prob.engaging the tran. P to D. was getting worse. Did bring it back to the d/s. I did express the lack of prep. and trans. The service mngr. was prof.&courteous. ALL IN ALL THEY TOOK CARE OF ME. All fluids were taken care of and the shift linkage had to be adjusted. U should here a click when stepping on the brake pedal to engage the gear-shift. Drives like a german car/truck.Great!- SOLID,HANDLES,& QUIET.


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

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