2004 Nissan Frontier King Cab Review | Edmunds.com

2004 Nissan Frontier King Cab

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Nissan Frontier Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.3 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 210 hp @ 4800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/17 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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (37 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great light duty pickup

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Frontier

I test drove all the light duty trucks before I bought this in 2007. Tacoma was small, lower to the ground, and more bouncy. Mazda felt loose, Ranger couldn't touch the interior space. The Nissan is stable, feels larger than others, has great towing capacity (3000#), and I get 27 mpg. For the size, it has power you wouldn't expect. Best of all, it has had no major problems, and that's at 175,000 miles.

Too many issues

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Frontier

My previous truck was a 95 Nissan Hardbody XE V6 ext Cab. I traded it in on my current truck and only had to replace the fan belt when it broke at about 100k. Loved that Truck. I have had numerous issues with this one however. I have had to replace the clutch and the AC compressor at 62k. The speed sensor had been on its way out since before then, and finally quit outright at about 85k. Now at 95k and need to replace AC comp again. Nissan dealer installed it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great truck

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Frontier

I've had this truck now for over a year. And with 90,000 on the odom. Ive given it 1 full engine and tranny tune- up. It cruises on the hiway at 2500 rpm's doing 70 mph. And Idle's Smooth as glass. I give it 4 out of 5 Starz

Are ya kidding

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Frontier

I just bought a new tundra, (let my wife take it over). Took over her frontier for work. It's a tuff little truck that can take a beating and gets great gas mileage. 4 cyl bear basics does the job, been getting 24 mpg driving across New Orleans. Pot holes, railroad tracks, ya name it, handles it all. Be my work horse till she wears out, gets wrecked, flooded or stolen. 29k on it.

So far so goog little

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Frontier

Bought this truck used in May 2006. Inside is comfortable. Outside is nice. have taken couple of trips of 300+ mile and it was a comfortable ride. cab is quite in highway speed. turning radius could be better. horrible gas milage (15 city, 17 highway)!! I pulled a boat and a trailer with a combined weight of about 4200 lb from LA to Las Vegas. the truck had no problems except going up hill (it could only go 50 mph up hill!!)

Enjoy the ride!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Nissan Frontier

I LOVE this truck! I have almost 45000 miles on it now and not a single problem. The interior does not have the cheap look and feel that the Toyota has. The interior is also extremely user friendly. Once you get rid of those horrible BFG rugged trail tires for a real All Terrain tire, I suggest the Yokohama Geolander A/T+II's, the off-road ability is amazing. I had NO wet road traction with the BFG's and the Yoko's solved that problem. I ordered mine with the 5spd manual which has a 4LO crawl ratio of nearly 40:1. Gas mielage is good for a 4x4... I average 20mpg on the highway and 15-16 in town, also while towing my '72 240Z on the hwy (3300lbs w/trailer) I averaged 16mpg @ 65-70mph.

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

Gas Mileage


  • 13
  • cty
  • 17
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs