2014 Nissan Frontier Review
2014 Nissan Frontier Review
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Nissan Frontier model years
Nissan Frontier types
- Crew Cab
- King Cab
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Fun-to-drive nature whether you're off-road or just commuting
- strong V6
- easy-to-use interior controls
- stout bed lining and tie-down points.
- No regular cab body style
- doesn't handle that well on paved roads
- uncomfortable rear seats with tight legroom in crew cabs
- some cut-rate interior materials.
There are minor standard and optional equipment updates on the 2014 Nissan Frontier, and trucks equipped with the factory navigation system have enhanced voice control and smartphone app integration features.
The 2014 Nissan Frontier is a solid pick for a midsize pickup truck, thanks to its brawny V6 engine, surprisingly good ride quality and, in Pro-4X trim, superb off-road capability. Toyota has it beat on rear-seat accommodations, though.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2014 Nissan Frontier S 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.24 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$195/mo for Frontier S
Avg. Compact Truck
Although full-size trucks dominate the pickup kingdom, there's also a small but stable population of midsize trucks like the 2014 Nissan Frontier. Along with its rivals, the versatile Frontier is aimed at shoppers who don't require maximum towing and hauling abilities -- and don't want to pay extra for a truck that has more than they need.
That said, short of pulling a 10,000-pound trailer, the Nissan Frontier can take on most any truck-related task. The base S model will serve small business owners well as a light-duty work truck, while the Frontier Pro-4X is one of the most capable and entertaining off-road vehicles on the market. In addition, you can equip Nissan's midsize truck with features like moveable cargo tie-downs, a spray-in bedliner and a sliding bed extender that enhance its utility. Along with all that, the Frontier is surprisingly comfortable as a daily driver. Although it's starting to feel dated on the inside, Nissan has added amenities like a rearview camera and, for 2014, smartphone app integration and voice control to help modernize it.
However, the Frontier hasn't received a major overhaul since 2005, and compared with newer trucks, it feels pretty rudimentary. Drive it on a road with tight turns, and you can't ignore its slow steering and low handling limits -- typical hallmarks of an old-school truck. In addition, if you're considering the Frontier alongside its main rival, the 2014 Toyota Tacoma, you'll notice that Nissan doesn't offer a regular cab body style. On the opposite side of the spectrum, you'll likely find the Frontier crew cab's backseat smaller and less comfortable than the roomier quarters in the Tacoma Double Cab.
If rear-seat space is truly a priority, the carlike 2014 Honda Ridgeline is also worth considering, though in most respects, it's not as capable as the others. And come 2015, the midsize truck class will get significantly more competitive when General Motors rolls out its new-generation 2015 Chevrolet Colorado. For now, though, the 2014 Nissan Frontier remains a very viable midsize pickup choice, especially if off-road capability is on your must-have list.
Performance & mpg
The 2014 Nissan Frontier is offered with a choice of two engines. Extended-cab S and SV models come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder good for 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual and rear-wheel drive are standard, and a five-speed automatic is optional. EPA-estimated fuel economy with the manual transmission is 21 mpg combined (19 mpg city/23 mpg highway), and 19 mpg combined (17 mpg city/23 mpg highway) with the automatic.
Optional for the SV extended cab and standard for all other models is a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. The S, SV and Pro-4X can be had with either a standard six-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic, while the Desert Runner and SL are automatic only. In Edmunds performance testing, an automatic-equipped Pro-4X crew cab went from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, which makes it a little slower than a comparable Tacoma.
Except for the specialized Desert Runner and Pro-4X models, the V6 Frontier gives you a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive. The Frontier uses a part-time 4WD system with a low-range transfer case. Automatic 4WD models also have hill start assist and hill descent control, while the Pro-4X has a locking rear differential.
EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg combined (16 mpg city/22 mpg highway) manual-shift 4x2 V6 models, while the ratings drop to 18 mpg combined (16 mpg city/21 mpg highway) with 4WD. Automatic-equipped V6 Frontiers rate 18 mpg combined (16 mpg city/22 mpg highway) with rear-wheel drive and 17 mpg combined (15 mpg city/21 mpg highway) with 4WD.
Properly equipped, four-cylinder models can tow up to 3,500 pounds, while V6 versions can tow as much as 6,500 pounds.
Every 2014 Nissan Frontier comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard is a brake-activated limited-slip differential. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are available on all Frontiers, except the S and Desert Runner models.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Frontier Pro-4X came to a stop from 60 mph in 134 feet -- a typical distance for an off-road-oriented truck with all-terrain tires.
The Frontier received the top rating of "Good" in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Its seat/head restraint design was given the second highest rating of "Average" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
On the road, the 2014 Nissan Frontier's performance depends on what's under the hood. While the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine will go a couple of miles farther on a gallon of gas, the significantly more muscular 4.0-liter V6 delivers much more satisfying acceleration and towing capacity. Although the six-cylinder Tacoma has quicker 0-to-60-mph times, the V6 Frontier is quite satisfying in real-world driving situations and even with the extra weight of the Pro-4X off-road hardware, this truck feels quick. Though we like the availability of the five- and six-speed manual transmissions, we think most owners will be better served by the well-tuned five-speed automatic.
Ride quality is better than you'd expect, even on the Pro-4X model, but when you're going around turns, the Frontier's heavy, slow steering is a hindrance, and there's no disguising the fact that this truck would rather be going straight. In addition, the brake pedal has a spongy feel that doesn't inspire confidence, even though actual stopping performance is adequate. Wind noise is also intrusive at highway speeds, and if you choose the Pro-4X or Desert Runner, you'll also get some noise from the knobby all-terrain tires.
Of course, nearly all of these faults are forgiven when you get the Nissan Frontier on an off-road trail. With 8.9 inches of ground clearance and a capable suspension, the Frontier Pro-4X is not only highly capable, it's seriously fun.
Inside the 2014 Nissan Frontier you'll find a good balance between comfort and practicality. The dashboard and various cabin controls in the Frontier are basic and functional. The interior plastics feel a bit hollow, though, and some of the controls fail to provide the weighty, tactile feedback you'd expect in a sturdy truck. Modern tech features like Bluetooth audio connectivity and smartphone app integration are available, but you have to pony up for a loaded Pro-4X or SL model to get them.
King Cabs feature rear-hinged doors that swing open to reveal a pair of fold-down jump seats that are really only useful for an occasional short trip due to their vertical seatbacks and limited legroom. The crew cab's rear seat is more hospitable, though it's still not all-day comfortable because of the severely upright angle of the seatbacks, low seat-bottom cushions and lack of legroom.
When it comes to transporting cargo, the Frontier gets higher marks. For items you'd rather not leave out in the open bed, the rear seats in both body styles fold to create a secure storage area. As far as the bed itself is concerned, the 6.1-foot version that's standard on King Cabs and available on crew cabs is the way to go if you plan to do any serious hauling. The available movable tie-downs and sliding bed extender offer added flexibility when needed.
2014 Nissan Frontier models
The 2014 Nissan Frontier is a compact-to-midsize pickup truck that's offered in extended cab (known as the King Cab) and crew cab body styles. King Cab models come with fold-down rear jump seats and a 6.1-foot cargo bed, while crew cab versions get a 60/40-split folding rear bench and a choice of a standard 5-foot or optional 6.1-foot bed. There are also five trim levels available: S, SV, Desert Runner, Pro-4X and SL.
On two-wheel-drive (2WD) King Cabs with a manual transmission, the entry-level S trim level includes 15-inch steel wheels, rear privacy glass, front bucket seats (with a flat-folding front-passenger seat) and cloth upholstery. Automatic transmission-equipped S King Cabs also come with air-conditioning, cruise control, steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary input; these items can be added to the manual version via the S Preferred package (late availability). Meanwhile, S crew cabs add the V6 engine, 16-inch steel wheels, a sliding rear window and a six-speaker audio system as standard.
Stepping up to the SV trim level gets you all of the above (though the V6 engine is optional on SV King Cabs), along with 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, full power accessories, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, satellite radio with a 4.3-inch color display, a USB/iPod integration, satellite radio and an additional 12-volt power outlet. Options for the SV (V6 model) include a Value Truck package that adds foglights, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a sliding bed extender, adjustable cargo tie-downs, a Class IV trailer hitch, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and two extra speakers on King Cabs.
The Desert Runner (2WD V6 only) builds on the base SV equipment list, adding special exterior and interior styling details, foglights, Bilstein shock absorbers, off-road tires and an eight-way manual driver seat. The SV Value package equipment isn't available on the Frontier Desert Runner.
For serious off-roaders, there's the four-wheel-drive-only Pro-4X, which features the off-road tires and Bilstein shocks along with a locking rear differential, underbody skid plates, automatic headlights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a trip computer, a first-aid kit and everything in the SV Value Truck package, except the trailer hitch and bed extender (which are optional). Pro-4X crew cabs get a 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system as well. The Pro-4X Luxury package (automatic-equipped crew cabs only) adds a sunroof, roof rack with cross bars, heated mirrors, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger), a rear-seat center armrest, Bluetooth audio connectivity, a navigation system (with a 5.8-inch touchscreen display and traffic data), voice control (nav and audio functions), smartphone app integration and hands-free text messaging.
The top SL trim (automatic crew cabs only) loses the Pro-4X's off-road-oriented equipment but retains most of the items in the Pro-4X Luxury package except for the sunroof, which is available as an option. Additional standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels and side steps that ease access to the cab. The trailer hitch and bed extender remain optional on the Frontier SL.
Reliability Ratings by RepairPal
4 out of 5 stars4/5Excellent
#2 out of 8 among Midsize Trucks
RepairPal Reliability Ratings are based on the actual cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance on make/model data for select 2008-2022 vehicles. The reliability of a specific vehicle may vary depending on its maintenance and driving history, model year, trim, and features.
CostThe average total annual cost for unscheduled repairs and maintenance across all model years of the Nissan Frontier from 2008-2022.
for Average Midsize Truck
for Average Midsize Truck
FrequencyThe average number of times this model is brought into the shop for unscheduled repairs and maintenance in a single year. RepairPal calculates this metric by tracking millions of unique vehicles over multiple years to determine an average number of visits per year (omitting small routine visits, e.g., oil changes).
for Average Midsize Truck
for Average Midsize Truck
SeverityThe probability that a repair will be a major issue, meaning the repair costs 3x the average annual repair cost for all models. This threshold will be higher for vehicles that have higher labor rates and parts costs (such as a premium brand).
for Average Midsize Truck
for Average Midsize Truck
powered by RepairPal Based on RepairPal reliability data as of 8/23/2023. Ratings are provided by RepairPal and Edmunds is not responsible for their accuracy.
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
3.88 out of 5 stars
2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4dr King Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
So far, truck is working out well. Minimal road noise for a pickup. Plenty of power. Steering tracks very good, especially at high speed. Seats firm and comfortable. Interior not well thought out. Too many cup holders that could have been used for storage compartments. Cheap plastic chrome exterior trim. 21+mpg mixed hwy/city. Overall, good value when compared to competition with similar … equipment. Fun to drive.
4 out of 5 stars
Embarked on an (almost) new Frontier
Robert L. Van Elsberg, 02/15/2017
2014 Nissan Frontier SV 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
I traded in a well-worn but very reliable 2003 Toyota Tundra base model with regular cab, 5-speed manual transmission and a 3.4 liter V6 engine. I'd badly injured my left foot in a falling accident and kicking the clutch was painful. I love Toyotas, but the price on the used Tacomas was too much for my budget. Enter a well-maintained 2014 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab with the SV package. … While not as big as the Tundra, the Frontier was quite comfortable and its automatic transmission and cruise control were blessings to my injured left foot. I also found the Frontier tracked well in its lane rather than wandering the way my Tundra had. The only fault was in the limited rear view along the driver's side of the car via the door-mounted rearview mirror. After a few hair-raising moments I learned to lean forward and look back along the driver's side of the truck to watch out for traffic. Once I got used to that it wasn't a problem. I love the 4.0 liter V6 engine, which offers 60-plus more horsepower than I had in my Tundra. No more being left behind at the stop light by everybody else (including grandma). I bought the truck in December 2016 with just under 35,000 miles on it. I saved a good $8,000 to $9,000 compared to a new car. Do I see that as a great deal? Oh yes--Nissan trucks are made to last and I saved a lot more than I gave up by purchasing a late-model used pickup. The previous owners clearly maintained the vehicle well. Also, the built-in towing package is a plus as my wife and I--both in our 60s--are ready to trade tent-camping for the comforts of a trailer. The more I drive this truck, the more I like it. And while I would have preferred a gray-colored truck, the shiny black highlighted with chrome bumpers, sidesteps, etc., is definitely a "sexy" combination. I worried about going from Toyota to Nissan, but both companies make great vehicles. Like the old saying, "You pays your money and you takes your choice."
5 out of 5 stars
2013 SVV6 KC AT 2WD
2013 Nissan Frontier SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
This make's my 2nd Nissan Truck. Purchased New 7/3/13, so far so good. A very nice Truck, with lot's of power. So far I get 20.6MPG Averaged, in mixed driveing, which is about the same that I was getting with a '93 Nissan KC 4 cylinder AT 2WD that I had purchased New 20 year's before. No problem's after 2 year's as only vehicle. I looked at and drove them all. Came down to Tacoma, … Siverado, But Nissan Frontier came out on top,, with Most Truck for the Money. UPDATE @ 3 Years: So far so good with no problem's. One advice that I can give, is to not put these Truck's in Mud, Water, or Rough Off Roading. I don't think these Truck's will stand up to that type of abuse. So Far I'm Pleased with this 2013 SVV6 KC AT 2WD Nissan Truck. UpDate 1/8/17: So far so good. It's the Best Truck so far, that I've ever owned. Just got a fillup and got 21mpg mixed driveing. Plenty of power to pull my utility trailer. Take's curve's better than the '93 Nissan Truck that I had previously. Truck is so Tight,, that it took about 8K Mile's to start limbering up. So Far no problem's, and so far, it is a very good truck for the money. If you get one, Stay out of the Mud, Water and any Rough Off Roading like some Dumb Punk's do that abuse their Truck's and don't care if their Truck will last and be dependable. UpDate @ 4 Years 7/9/17: So Far So Good. Still the Best Truck so far that I've ever owned. Am Averageing 20.4 MPG. Steering was very tight in the beginning,, but limbering up nicely at almost 10 K Mile's. Much better to be too tight than too loose. Get you one now,, before this 2nd Generation Frontier is upgraded with a New Style Model, and enjoy saveing Money. When the New Style Model come's out,, they'll have to pay for the New Style Cost's,, and they will cost you more. Don't Put it in the Mud, Water, and Severe Offroading, Like Some Dumb Punk's do, if You Want Your Truck to Last and Be Dependable. Remember this; Marketing show's Severe Activitie's,, which a Pickup Truck is not intended for. Remember those Commercial's showing Truck's Pulling Tree Stump's Out Of The Ground. Don't be a Dumbo; A Big 4 Wheel Drive Tractor can't even do that without first haveing to dig the Stump out with a Backhoe or Pushed over with a Bull Dozer before the Tree is Cut Off. These are not Heavy Duty Truck's,, but if used according to the Owner's Manual, ie Transporting People, Cargo, and Pulling a Trailer within the Maximum Tow Rateing,, then I think that these Truck's will last a long time. If you want the Paint to stay Nice and Shiney, use Meguiar's #6 Mirror Glaze Professional Cleaner/Polish/Wax Regularly. Save Money and Get You One before the New Style Model come's out. **UpDate @ 4.5 years** 1/12/18 So far so good. No problem's. Motor run's smooth. Average MPG is 20.4 mpg. Still on original battery. So far no oil consumption. Engine seem's to like midgrade gas better than Regular Grade. My advice is keep them out of the Mud and Water. If you want Mud and Water get a Jeep or a Tractor. Use the Nissan Truck's for their intended Purpose, Transportation, Hauling Cargo, and Pulling a Trailer within their Rated Range, if you want them to last. Don't get suckered into Rock Climbing and other OffRoad activitie's that will do your truck in, and don't buy one that has been abused by Mud, Water, Rock Climbing and Other OffRoad Activitie's cause you'll be buying a messed up Nissan Truck. A Nissan Truck is the Least Expensive Truck that's available New,, and there are Many Punk's out there that buy them to Abuse them because they are the Least Expensive New Truck, then they get rid of them after the Warranty Run's Out. Don't buy a Punk Driven Truck of any Brand.
4.5 out of 5 stars
So far...so good
2014 Nissan Frontier SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Traded my F150 for the Frontier due to size considerations. I just don't need a full size truck 365 days a year. Maybe twice a year but that's about it. I have about 1500 miles on the Fronty, like the size, styling and acceleration. MPG is only about 16.5 mpg with 75% highway driving. So it's averaging about 1.5 less than my 2wd F150 with a V6. But the engine is still breaking in so … hopefully the mileage will increase. More engine noise in the cabin than the F150 but it's not bad. F150 seats were/are way better than the Frontier. The Frontier seats need more thigh support and longer seat bottom.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2014 Nissan Frontier, so we've included reviews for other years of the Frontier since its last redesign.
2014 Frontier Highlights
|Cost to Drive
|rear wheel drive
|Max Towing Capacity
|3 years / 36,000 miles
Key safety features on the Frontier include:
- Tire Pressure Warning
- Stability Control
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover3 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover21.2%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintAcceptable