2004 Nissan Frontier Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Wide variety of body configurations and trim levels, many safety and convenience features.
  • No third door on King Cabs, cramped rear seats for Crew Cabs, poor mileage from supercharged models.
List Price
$11,790

Used Frontier for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

cash graphic with confetti

Get More For Your Trade-In

2004 Nissan Frontier appraisal values can range from $1,280 - $3,427.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

With its numerous body styles and trim levels, the Frontier provides plenty of practicality, but power-hungry truck buyers will find its V6 engine thirsty and weak.

Vehicle overview

Nissan has been building trucks for the U.S. market since 1958. Now in its seventh generation of pickup offerings, the company's 2004 Frontier-badged model is the result of constant improvement since the last major redesign in 1998. A reskin in 2001 gave the Frontier its current look along with an available supercharged V6. Since then, the Frontier has added a long-bed version, and options like electronic stability control and a tire-pressure monitor -- all compact truck exclusives. The wide variety of body styles, features and trim levels are the Frontier's best attributes. The lineup ranges from a basic (and inexpensive) two-wheel-drive King Cab to the supercharged Crew Cab long bed. The supercharged S/C trucks are pricey, but lower-priced value versions are also available. The Frontier isn't the best compact truck in every category, but few trucks offer a comparable blend of modern styling, high-tech features and all-around versatility.

2004 Nissan Frontier models

The Frontier comes in two body styles -- extended cab (known as King Cab) and crew cab. Available trim levels include the no-frills standard truck and four-cylinder XE, the V6-powered XE and SE and the supercharged S/C and SVE. Available only as two-wheel-drive King Cabs, the standard and four-cylinder XE models come with only basic amenities, along with front bucket seats and fold-down rear jump seats. The V6-equipped XE and SE are available with more features, including alloy wheels, air conditioning and a six-speaker CD stereo. The S/C is the most feature-laden, offering full power accessories. Leather upholstery and a 300-watt Rockford Fosgate stereo are optional on the SE and S/C. Those looking for supercharged power and a smaller price tag should consider the more reasonably priced SVE. Four-wheel drive is available on most of these models, but if you just want the tough look of a 4WD, Nissan offers the Desert Runner, a 2WD King Cab featuring the same heavy-duty chassis, ride height and stance as the 4WD Frontier. Compared to the King Cab, the Crew Cab has a larger cabin with expanded rear-seat accommodations as well as a pair of conventional rear doors that offer easier access to those seats. The V6 (normally aspirated or supercharged) is the only engine available. Two cargo bed lengths are available on the Crew Cab -- a 56.3-inch short bed and a 74.6-inch long bed.

2004 Highlights

The SE now sports 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels and tires.

Performance & mpg

A supercharged 3.3-liter V6 is the most powerful engine, and it makes 210 horsepower and 246 pound-feet of torque when mated to the four-speed automatic transmission (the five-speed manual drops the torque rating to 231 lb-ft). There's also a normally aspirated V6 worth 180 hp and a 2.4-liter four that produces 143 hp. If you want to tow, our suggestion is to go with the V6 and the automatic transmission. This configuration gives the Frontier its maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds. Four-wheel drive is available on V6 trucks only.

Safety

Last year, Nissan upped the safety ante among compact pickups with the addition of optional stability control (called VDC) and a tire-pressure monitor. ABS is standard on all trucks. In government crash testing, the Frontier earned four out of five stars for frontal impact protection and a perfect five stars for side impacts. The IIHS, however, gave the Frontier a "Poor" rating, the worst possible, in frontal offset crash testing.

Driving

Nissan likes to tout that its supercharged V6 offers the most horsepower in any V6 compact pickup. While that's true, we've found that real-world results are a bit disappointing. The supercharged engine has great off-idle response but runs out of breath quickly. Off-road performance is about average for this class of truck.

Interior

The Frontier's cabin is one of the better ones available in the compact pickup class, with comfortable front seats and an attractive design. A common complaint for the Crew Cab, however, is its cramped rear seat. A shortage of rear legroom is the major culprit.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2004 Nissan Frontier.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Nissan Frontier Forever
Vicki Kemmerer,04/24/2016
2dr King Cab XE Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
This is my second Frontier. I've had this one for 11 years. These are great small trucks. I just wish it got better mileage. Both trucks had problems with tailgate lock in both trucks.
Good Truck, Super Reliable
norcalboon,10/30/2010
2dr King Cab XE-V6 Desert Runner Rwd SB (3.3L 6cyl 4A)
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.
The Perfect Truck
David Mock,01/01/2016
2dr King Cab XE Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
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.
Great small truck
Ronald Rehm,08/17/2018
2dr King Cab XE Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
This is a great small truck,With 170K on a 14 year old truck,never a problem with it.Its been all over the country,23 miles per gallon.Its a 4 cyl.,so there have been times when I would have liked a little more power,but over all it is a great truck,loves to run down the Hwy at 75 all day long. Still Going Strong! This is Great,just turned this over to my son,he loves this little truck,now has 182,000 miles on it. Still no problems,just oil changes,and tires

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Marginal

More about the 2004 Nissan Frontier

Used 2004 Nissan Frontier Overview

The Used 2004 Nissan Frontier is offered in the following submodels: Frontier Crew Cab, Frontier King Cab. Available styles include 2dr King Cab XE Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Crew Cab XE-V6 Rwd LB (3.3L 6cyl 5M), 4dr Crew Cab SC-V6 Rwd SB (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A), 2dr King Cab XE-V6 Desert Runner Rwd SB (3.3L 6cyl 4A), 4dr Crew Cab XE-V6 Rwd LB (3.3L 6cyl 4A), 2dr King Cab XE Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Crew Cab SC-V6 4WD LB (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A), 2dr King Cab XE-V6 Desert Runner Rwd SB (3.3L 6cyl 5M), 4dr Crew Cab SVE-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A), 4dr Crew Cab SVE-V6 4WD LB (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A), 2dr King Cab Standard Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Crew Cab SC-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A), 4dr Crew Cab XE-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl 4A), 4dr Crew Cab XE-V6 4WD LB (3.3L 6cyl 4A), 2dr King Cab XE-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl 4A), 4dr Crew Cab XE-V6 Rwd SB (3.3L 6cyl 4A), 2dr King Cab SVE-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A), 2dr King Cab SC-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A), 4dr Crew Cab LE-V6 Rwd LB (3.3L 6cyl 4A), 4dr Crew Cab XE-V6 Rwd SB (3.3L 6cyl 5M), 4dr Crew Cab SC-V6 Rwd LB (3.3L 6cyl S/C 4A), 2dr King Cab XE-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl 5M), 4dr Crew Cab LE-V6 Rwd SB (3.3L 6cyl 4A), 4dr Crew Cab XE-V6 4WD LB (3.3L 6cyl 5M), 2dr King Cab SVE-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl S/C 5M), and 4dr Crew Cab XE-V6 4WD SB (3.3L 6cyl 5M). Pre-owned Nissan Frontier models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine or a 3.3 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 210 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2004 Nissan Frontier comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual. The Used 2004 Nissan Frontier comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2004 Nissan Frontier?

Price comparisons for Used 2004 Nissan Frontier trim styles:

  • The Used 2004 Nissan Frontier XE-V6 is priced between $11,790 and$11,790 with odometer readings between 84360 and84360 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2004 Nissan Frontiers are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2004 Nissan Frontier for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2004 Frontiers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,790 and mileage as low as 84360 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2004 Nissan Frontier.

Can't find a used 2004 Nissan Frontiers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Nissan Frontier for sale - 2 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $17,991.

Find a used Nissan for sale - 7 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $15,585.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Frontier for sale - 8 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $10,003.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan for sale - 9 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $13,812.

Should I lease or buy a 2004 Nissan Frontier?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Nissan lease specials
Check out Nissan Frontier lease specials