Full 2007 Nissan Frontier Review
What's New for 2007
For 2007, the Nissan adds a long-bed version of the crew cab to its lineup, allowing Frontier Crew Cab buyers to get a King Cab-size bed. At 6 feet in length, the Long Bed model provides an extra foot of load space. The optional CD changer now has MP3 playback capability, and all models add a passenger-side seatbelt reminder light. All V6-equipped 2007 Nissan Frontiers get a bump up in their emissions rating to LEV2 ULEV.
Americans love their pickups. This is a nation in which for decades, the best-selling vehicle has been a truck. Though the market has long been dominated by domestics, foreign nameplates have made inroads, turning out quality products that have justly won fans. One of these quality products is the Nissan Frontier.
The 2007 Nissan Frontier is cut from the same cloth as its larger sibling, the Nissan Titan. It shares that truck's beefy lines and pugnacious stance, as well as its suite of well-thought-out features. The Frontier offers a useful bed channel tie-down system, factory-applied spray-in bedliner and a fully boxed frame that's tough enough to handle a steady diet of rocks and gravel.
Buyers of this midsize Nissan pickup may choose between extended cab (known as King Cab) and crew cab configurations. A regular-cab version of the Frontier is not available. Frontier Crew Cabs are the same length as their King Cab counterparts, but they offer greater utility via a more spacious backseat and forward-hinged rear doors. All this comes at the expense of some bed space; however for 2007, SE and LE Crew Cabs are available in long-bed configuration, with a 6-foot, 1-inch bed that's more than a foot longer than the standard crew cab bed. All Frontiers offer split-folding rear seats that fold into an upright position, making it easy to transport cargo in the cabin. The pickup's interior is comfortable, but there's a bit more hard plastic than we'd expect from a truck in this price range.
We generally recommend that buyers opt for this Nissan's top engine -- a 4.0-liter V6 with 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, as it provides ample torque underfoot in any situation. The brawny drivetrain also allows the pickup truck to haul up to 6,300 pounds when equipped with the towing package.
With smart features, abundant power and a rugged disposition, the V6-equipped Nissan Frontier ranks at the top of its class. Still, if you're shopping for a small truck, you'd be remiss not to try the Frontier's chief rival, the Toyota Tacoma. The Toyota isn't as forgiving to drive on pavement and its cabin isn't as functional or comfortable, but it's a bit quicker than the Frontier (because of its lower curb weight) and has higher-quality interior materials. Although the 2007 Nissan Frontier is our first choice for a midsize pickup, there's no going wrong with either of these excellent trucks.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
A midsize pickup truck, the 2007 Nissan Frontier is available in two body styles: extended cab (known as King Cab) and crew cab. Additionally, there are four trim levels: XE, SE, LE and Nismo trim levels. King Cabs come with a 6-foot bed. Crew Cabs have a standard 5-foot bed, but a 6-foot bed is also available on SE and LE models.
Available only on the King Cab, the XE comes with only the basics, including cloth front bucket seats and 15-inch steel wheels. The SE adds more features, including 16-inch wheels, air-conditioning and a CD stereo, while the LE includes 17-inch alloys, keyless entry, cruise control and power windows, locks and mirrors. Equipped similarly to the LE, the Nismo trim, with its special suspension and tires, is for those who plan to do serious off-roading with their Frontier. A leather upholstery package with power front seats is available on the LE, and a premium Rockford Fosgate sound system with an in-dash six-CD changer is optional for LE and Nismo.
Powertrains and Performance
The XE comes with a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine rated for 152 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque; it can be paired with a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. All other models come with a 4.0-liter V6, which produces 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. All SE models and Nismo King Cabs can be equipped with either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic with the V6, while Nismo Crew Cabs and all LE models take the automatic only. The Frontier can be had with two- or four-wheel drive, except the XE model, which is 2WD only. Properly equipped, a V6 Frontier can tow up to 6,500 pounds.
Antilock disc brakes are standard on all Nissan Frontier models. Optional on all models are front seat side-impact airbags and curtain airbags that provide side-impact and rollover protection for front and rear outboard passengers. Additionally, Frontier LE and Nismo buyers can opt for the Traction Package, which provides stability control, hill start assist and hill descent control. In NHTSA crash testing, the Frontier earned four out of five stars for driver and front passenger protection in frontal impacts. In side-impact crash tests, it received a perfect five stars for both front- and rear-seat occupants. IIHS frontal-impact crash tests saw the 2007 Nissan Frontier receiving a "Good" rating (the highest possible) for occupant protection.
Interior Design and Special Features
Slide into the Frontier King Cab and you'll find fold-up jump seats and reverse-opening doors; the crew cab has a larger cabin with fully usable rear-seat accommodations (that also fold up) and conventional rear doors that offer easier access to those seats. The roomy cabins offer straightforward controls, comfortable front seats and an attractive design, though excessive use of hard plastic detracts from the overall look. The truck's utility bed package includes a factory-applied spray-in bedliner and the "Utili-track" tie-down system. The tie-down system provides extra cargo-hauling flexibility through the use of five special "C" cross-section rails mounted in the bed (two channels in the bed floor, and one each on the bed side rails and the bed header panel). Removable utility cleats slide into the channels to provide a wide range of attachment points for securing cargo. In addition to the tie-down cleats, a full range of accessories are offered for use with the channel system, including bed dividers, sliding cargo trays, modular storage units and bike racks.
As you'd expect, acceleration is no more than adequate in the base Frontier XE model, making it a decent choice only for those who need a low-cost work truck. It's quite a different story with the V6-equipped Frontier, however. Step on the throttle in this Nissan truck and the 4.0-liter V6 comes through with plenty of low-end torque, and the automatic transmission delivers perfectly timed shifts whether you're maneuvering in traffic or flinging the truck around in the sand. Ride quality on pavement is surprisingly good for a compact/midsize pickup truck, and the steering is tight and communicative. All 2007 Nissan Frontiers are capable off-road, thanks to 10.1 inches of ground clearance and plenty of suspension travel. That said, the knobbier tires and retuned springs and shocks on the Nismo model make it easier to control in this environment -- for regular off-roaders, it's a worthwhile upgrade.