2009 Nissan Frontier Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Nissan Frontier

Nissan Frontier Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 261 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/19 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Nissan Frontier

  • The 2009 Nissan Frontier is a top pick for a compact pickup, thanks to its brawny nature and innovative features.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Capable chassis, plenty of ground clearance, superb off-roader, beefy V6, pleasant highway ride, roomy interior, clever truck bed accessories.

  • Cons

    Interior heavy on hard plastics, regular-cab body style not available, inflexible option packages.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Nissan Frontier receives minor styling updates that include a new front fascia, headlights and instrument panel. Also new is available leather seating and the PRO-4X trim level, which is essentially the same thing as last year's Nismo package.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (6 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Great truck

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Frontier SE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I've owned this truck for almost a year now and I am very happy. The truck drives very well and is tightly made. I commute in this truck and get about 19mpg on a regular basis (I have a bunch of stop lights to go through). This truck can do it all - commute, tow, haul, offroad!




A keeper, at least for

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Frontier SE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

After 6 months good power and economy combination, average low 20's unless in 4 wheel drive. OE tires are mediocre for snow and mud, but do fine on dry roads: disappointing to need new tires since I live in an area that has snow 4- 5 months. Surprised that neither the salesman or sales manager knew that this truck does have a break in period. More truck for the price than I could have gotten a Toyota for. Radio works well, even in fringe reception areas. Radio and heater controls are easy to reach and understand.




Research

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Frontier SE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Edmunds:reviews this is a good truck, been Toyota man since 68 corona, glad I researched, this frontier has surprised me with ride, motor, tran.! 4wd but mpg is great, getting better mpg than Tacoma 4cy 4wd that I had !




It's a truck... really.

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Frontier SE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

After considering a variety of cars to upgrade to from my previous vehicle, I chose the Frontier as it provided a high level of features, great build quality, and is very comfortable to drive both around the city and on long HWY hauls. As a commuter vehicle, the Frontier has all the necessary comforts and features of a comparable sedan while also handling well. However, as I also needed a vehicle that would accommodate the tools and supplies used for home renovation, the Frontier was an easy choice to make as even with the 5ft bed it




Excellent truck

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Frontier SE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I bought the 09 Frontier back in August of 08 and since then I have put 23,000 miles on it so far. It gets really good gas mileage for it's engine size I average about 18 or 19 basicly I fill up when it gets to 1/4 tank and I have driven about 325 miles. It's really smooth on the highway and offroad the handling is second to none. The hill descent feature and hill start assist are really great options to have esp in the winter with snowy conditions. Overall just a great truck that can fit four people comfortably on long trips.




Proud nissan owner

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Vehicle: 2009 Nissan Frontier SE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I've only owned this truck for a month but extremely satisfied. Fun to drive, attractive, and roomy for 4 average size people. Fuel economy 16 around town, 21 highway. After thorough research, glad I choose the Frontier over Tacoma. Pros & Cons below.



Full 2009 Nissan Frontier Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Nissan Frontier receives minor styling updates that include a new front fascia, headlights and instrument panel. Also new is available leather seating and the PRO-4X trim level, which is essentially the same thing as last year's Nismo package.

Introduction

Trying to get the best of both worlds seems to be an eternal struggle in automotive circles. Whether it's a sports car with practicality, a family car that doesn't look like you gave up on your dreams or a pickup that's as useful in the city as it is out on the range, people want a vehicle that can do everything. Of course, no vehicle can actually achieve this, but the 2009 Nissan Frontier comes pretty close for a midsize pickup.

Available in numerous combinations of body styles, bed sizes and trim levels, the Nissan Frontier likely has a configuration that fits your needs. Whether you're looking for a work truck that can also haul the family or a commuter truck that can also scream through the woods on the weekend, the Frontier stands tall among compact trucks with its versatility and ingenuity.

The Frontier's advantages clearly outweigh its faults, with its clever features, off-road prowess and plentiful V6 power overcoming inferior plastics in the cabin and a frustrating options structure. The Frontier's closest rival, the Toyota Tacoma, is certainly worth a look when truck shopping, but we found the Frontier to have better on-road manners and a more functional interior.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Nissan Frontier is a compact-class pickup truck that is offered in King Cab (commonly known as extended cab) and Crew Cab (four-door) configurations. A 6-foot bed is standard for the King Cab, while the Crew Cab comes with a 5-foot bed, with the 6-footer available as an option. The entry-level Frontier is the XE, with more amenities progressively added to the SE, LE and PRO-4X trims. In typical Nissan fashion, options are only available via large and expensive packages.

As the bare-bones model, the Frontier XE is available only as a King Cab, with a four-cylinder engine and manual transmission and very little in the way of creature comforts or accessories. Included are 15-inch steel wheels, front bucket seats and cloth upholstery. Adding the XE Preferred Package gets you an AM/FM/CD audio system and air-conditioning.

The four-cylinder SE trim level adds 16-inch wheels, a chrome front bumper, a sliding rear window, air-conditioning and a tilting steering wheel. Options for the SE include the Power Package, which consists of remote keyless entry, full power accessories and cruise control. For V6-powered SE Frontiers, the Value Truck Package is available and equivalent to the Power Package, but also includes a bedliner and 16-inch alloy wheels.

For those actually planning on taking the road less traveled, the PRO-4X is capable of tackling most off-road conditions. Upgrades include 16-inch alloy wheels with rugged off-road tires, a locking rear differential, Bilstein off-road shocks, underside skid plates, splash guards and white-faced gauges. Besides the off-road bits, the PRO-4X package shares many amenities with the LE trim level, including foglights, a spray-on bedliner, the Utili-track cargo-management system, keyless entry, full power accessories, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a trip computer and a first aid kit. However, the LE trim trades the PRO-4X's off-road equipment for 18-inch alloy wheels, body-colored side molding, chrome exterior trim, tubular step rails and a power driver seat.

Options for the PRO-4X and LE models include the Technology Package, which includes a 10-speaker sound system with a six-CD/MP3 changer and an auxiliary jack, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, satellite radio and Bluetooth. This year's new Value Truck Package includes the Technology Package's equipment as well as leather seating, heated front seats and a power front passenger seat. The Traction Package is available with the Technology Package -- but only in 4x4 models with automatic transmissions -- adding hill-start assist, hill descent control and stability control.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2009 Nissan Frontier comes with a choice of two engines -- a 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque, or a 4.0-liter V6 producing 261 hp and 281 lb-ft. The V6 is the only engine choice for Crew Cabs and four-wheel-drive variants, while the four-cylinder is available only in 4x2 King Cab models. The four-cylinder models are offered with a standard five-speed manual transmission with an option for a five-speed automatic on the SE. The V6 is equipped with either a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic, depending on the trim level and configuration.

Of the entire Frontier line, the King Cab V6 4x2 has the highest towing capacity at 6,500 pounds. EPA-rated fuel economy for automatic-equipped four-cylinder models comes in at 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. V6-equipped models with the automatic and 4WD rate 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes are standard on all Frontier models, with side and side-curtain airbags available as an option. Stability control is offered only as an option for LE and PRO-4X models.

In government crash tests, the 2009 Nissan Frontier earned four out of five stars for driver protection in frontal collisions and a top five-star rating for side impacts. Front-passenger protection was rated at five stars for the King Cab and four stars for the Crew Cab. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Frontier a "Good" rating (the best rating possible) for frontal impacts but only a "Marginal" rating for side-impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2009 Nissan Frontier King Cab utilizes small, reverse-opening doors to allow rear passenger access to the fold-up jump seats. The Crew Cab employs conventional rear doors that open to a larger rear cabin. As expected, the smaller rear passenger quarters in the King Cab are rather cramped but offer extra seating in a pinch. The otherwise roomy cabin is attractively designed, with intuitive controls and comfortable front seats. However, the liberal use of cheap, hard plastics detracts from an otherwise successful execution.

Anyone planning on a fair amount of cargo hauling would be well advised to spring for an options package that includes the spray-on bedliner and Utili-track system. Using two "C" cross-section channels running the length of the bed floor, one channel on each side bed rail and one channel mounted on the rear of the cab, the Utili-track tie-down system employs removable cleats and a host of accessories like dividers, trays, storage bins and bike racks, providing a very flexible cargo storage solution.

Driving Impressions

The Frontier's four-cylinder models make it a fair choice as an inexpensive light-duty work truck, especially considering higher fuel prices. However, for those who need anything above "just getting around," the V6 is really the only choice. Providing an abundance of low-end torque, six-cylinder models are up to most any task, with a competent automatic transmission delivering well-timed shifts whether you're tearing up the sand dunes, hauling supplies to a work site or navigating a morning commute. Ride quality is unexpectedly pleasant for a pickup truck and steering is precise, with ample feedback. Frontier 4x4 models are capable off-roaders, thanks to a maximum ground clearance of 10.1 inches and an abundance of suspension travel. For those seeking an even more accomplished off-road ride, the PRO-4X model is definitely the pick of the litter.

Talk About The 2009 Frontier

Read more about the 2009 Nissan Frontier

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs