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The Nissan Frontier has long been a popular choice with consumers who don't need the greater towing and hauling abilities of a full-size pickup. Debuting about a decade and a half ago, the Frontier has offered four-cylinder or V6 power in a rugged yet livable package. There have been two generations. The current truck is bigger and more powerful than the original and could be considered more of a midsize pickup than a compact, but either one should work out well for a broad spectrum of consumers.
Used Nissan Frontier Models
The current-generation Nissan Frontier arrived for the 2005 model year. Compared to the older Frontier, this second-generation Frontier offered bigger dimensions, new styling inside and out and stronger engines.
If you're considering a used Frontier from the current generation, there have been a few changes to look out for. Compared to the current Frontier, the Desert Runner and several upgrade features like a rearview camera and dual-zone auto climate control were not available through 2012. Prior to 2010, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and stability control were optional, so we'd suggest making sure a used Frontier has these important safety items. Prior to 2009, the Frontier's styling was a little different and the Pro-4X was known as the Nismo off-road package. Nissan added the long-bed version of the Crew Cab model starting in 2007.
The first-generation Nissan Frontier did not possess as much muscle or variety as the current model, but as a used truck, it could still be a solid choice. This model was angular and boxy outside and similarly utilitarian inside. Nissan offered a regular cab or extended cab (King Cab) body style with a 143-hp four-cylinder engine. A 3.3-liter V6 engine became available as an option the following year.
A Crew Cab variant with four regular doors debuted in 2000 and was the first such compact pickup truck on the market. Unfortunately, the Crew Cab's backseat wasn't exactly full-size, nor was its abbreviated bed. Nissan added the Desert Runner trim level in 2000, combining the look of the four-wheel-drive Frontier with two-wheel-drive economy.
In 2001, a face-lift gave the Nissan Frontier a more aggressive look. The fenders wore bolt-on extensions and the tailgate was more sculpted than that of any truck that came before it. This was also the year Nissan offered a supercharged version of the 3.3-liter V6 that produced 210 hp and 246 pound-feet of torque. A long bed and the "Open Sky" top (a huge power-operated fabric sunroof ) for the Crew Cab were available in subsequent years.
If you are looking for newer years, visit our new Nissan Frontier page.