When I was looking for a truck I needed something that I could get into relatively cheap that I could haul my motorcycle around with, and last a long time. After doing lots of research I decided on the Frontier. I bought the truck with 75k on it 2 years ago, and it currently has just under 100k. The previous owner took good care of it and gave me a bunch of maintenance receipts and so far it's been trouble free except for a bad knock sensor, but that doesn't really effect anything. That said, it's not very powerful and it drinks gas like a V8. It should have had a 6 speed but with this truck you trade power and efficiency for reliability. If your Ok with that, then it's great.
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.
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.
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
I drove a '99 Frontier XE 4cyl King Cab until it had 207,000 miles in it when I worked for a Nissan dealer as a parts driver, and I can tell you this is the most durable truck I've ever been in. The updates are mostly cosmetic between '99 and '03, so I feel this experience relevent. I'm planning on buying a 2003 Frontier sometime next year.