2014 Nissan Frontier Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • 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.
List Price Range
$15,995 - $27,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

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.

2014 Highlights

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.

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2014 Nissan Frontier.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

First Mid-sized and Happy
racrfanny,10/15/2014
SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
I've always owned full size Chevy or Dodge p/ups. Now that kids are moved on it was time to downsize. I needed to still have the pulling power to haul a trailer and car, as well as true 4wd (not AWD) capabilities. Looked at the Honda (no locking 4wd over certian speeds) and Toyota (less towing, HP and MPG) and settled for the Nissan. I'm very happy with my choice. Recently towed a Boxter hour and half and couldn't have been happier. The truck towed without hesitation. The power was more than adequate and the ride was great. I hear complaints of fuel mileage but coming from a full size I'm used to it. Currently averaging 17 around town but reached 24 on my last highway trip to Charlotte.
Best Value in the Small Truck Segment
dynamos,01/22/2015
SV 4dr Crew Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Purchased our Frontier about a week ago. Very pleased so far. Ours also has the Value package which includes the bed track system, backup camera and automatic a/c. V6 is smooth and powerful, with excellent acceleration. Interior is comfortable, and feels roomier than the new Colorado. Materials are nice and have quality feel. We like the fold up rear seats, which provide a flat floor with the removable storage bins. Storage in the backseat of the Colorado is not removable. Utility track system is well designed and included spray on bed liner-an excellent value. Comparably equipped Chevy would be much more expensive, and the Frontier has a proven record of reliability.
So far...so good
jay357,02/09/2015
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.
Transmission No gears
Ed,10/29/2015
SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A)
I have a 2014 Frontier at 32000 miles transmission started to slip within five miles no transmission. Forward and reverse gone. You could smell the clutch a mile away. I hadn't shifted in 5 miles. Towed vehicle to dealership where I bought truck I have extended warranty as well. 1689.99 later clutch flywheel pressure plate throw out bearing all replaced. 1000 miles after repairs I could feel the clutch was already wearing. Service director wanted me to test drive him and show issues I was now having, Heat plate rattle, grinding fourth gear clutch already wearing out and lets not forget the crease in the passenger door, Service director thanked me for knowing how to drive a stick. Gee only 30 years driving one. Now its in the shop see what they say this time. 1 year and already 1700 maintenance for an issue that wasn't my fault! Is it the hydraulic system to clutch? Yesterday another 2014 coasts into gas station 27000 No transmission clutch smell months later a new clutch flywheel. Then rebuilt transmission back at mossy Nissan for pressure plate and throw out bearing. Just over 40k.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover21.2%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Acceptable
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2014 Nissan Frontier

Used 2014 Nissan Frontier Overview

The Used 2014 Nissan Frontier is offered in the following submodels: Frontier Crew Cab, Frontier King Cab. Available styles include SV 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), S 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A), SV 4dr King Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), PRO-4X 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A), SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SL 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), S 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Desert Runner 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Desert Runner 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), S 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5M), S 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), SV 4dr Crew Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5M), SV 4dr King Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), PRO-4X 4dr King Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), PRO-4X 4dr King Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SL 4dr Crew Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), PRO-4X 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), S 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), and S 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M). Pre-owned Nissan Frontier models are available with a 4.0 L-liter gas engine or a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 261 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2014 Nissan Frontier comes with rear wheel drive, and four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic. The Used 2014 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 2014 Nissan Frontier?

Price comparisons for Used 2014 Nissan Frontier trim styles:

  • The Used 2014 Nissan Frontier SV is priced between $19,790 and$29,998 with odometer readings between 29828 and103113 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X is priced between $22,399 and$28,990 with odometer readings between 35212 and107493 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Nissan Frontier SL is priced between $23,850 and$23,900 with odometer readings between 84482 and84666 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Nissan Frontier S is priced between $15,995 and$15,995 with odometer readings between 48305 and48305 miles.

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Which used 2014 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) 2014 Nissan Frontier for sale near. There are currently 17 used and CPO 2014 Frontiers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $15,995 and mileage as low as 29828 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 2014 Nissan Frontier.

Can't find a used 2014 Nissan Frontiers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Nissan Frontier for sale - 7 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $7,771.

Find a used Nissan for sale - 8 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $11,627.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Frontier for sale - 5 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $17,051.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan for sale - 3 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $7,416.

Should I lease or buy a 2014 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.

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