My grandfather bought this truck new from the dealership in 2004. The whole time he owned it through my childhood and teen years it was phenomenal, and still is today. Recently due to medical issues he had to give up driving and the truck went to me. It is still the the magnificent truck it was the day he brought it home. My wife and I own a small hobby farm and we use it frequently for hauling feed, supplies, produce, animals, and just about anything else you can think of. It's easy to maintain, very simplistic in that there is not a lot of electronics to fail and the gas mileage is unbelievable. We recently took a trip from our home in Western Maryland to the Adirondack Mountains in upstate NY and the truck averaged 34mpg for the trip, and that was with the bed loaded with camping gear. When my grandfather bought this truck he traded in a 1984 Nissan truck for it which had 483,000 miles on it an I expect that and so much more out of this beautiful piece of machinery. If you have the opportunity to purchase a 1st gen (1998-2004) Nissan Frontier with the bulletproof 2.4L KA24DE engine get it. It will be the best investment you'll ever make.
Bought new in 2004 for 17700. 95K miles and no problems. Replaced OEM tires at 55K with same (BFG's) and battery died in 2008, replaced front brake pads around 60K. No other problems, just oil changes. 18-20MPG consistently. Wanted something I could keep for a few years with little to no issue and this has been great. Definitely a 'truck' ride, especially on bumpy roads and interior starting to feel small, but overall it's been a fantastic truck, never let me down.
Overall a cheap truck, both good and bad. Engine torque performance at start up and pulling grades was poor, especially with a load. Number 2 plug wire was against a metal bracket and shorting out intermitently for first 5000 miles, once repositioned, performance became marginal. Traction has been very poor when unloaded, until it resulted in a crash into a road bank at 15 mph and $5K of damage. Have now replaced the original 225/70 tires with 205/70 tires. So far that change has proven to be useful, wet and dry traction seems to have improved and the torque/gearing now is acceptable. The speedo/odometer, of course, is off now, as nissan offers no adjustment.
I do courier work in South Florida and put around 50,000 miles a year.The reason I named it Cricket is because since I bought it has a cricket noise on the front end , the only thing wrong from new.Cricket now has 238,000 miles and so far the only thing wrong was the battery once and the alternator once. If you are looking for quality this is it none better. Make sure you change the oil every 3000 miles and these babies are really INDESTRUCTIBLE