2017 Nissan Frontier
- Pro-4X model is a capable off-roader
- Available with automatic or manual transmission
- Truck bed has clever, repositionable tie-down system
- Doesn't steer or handle with confidence on pavement
- Fuel economy lags far behind that of rivals
- Uncomfortable crew-cab rear seats have tight legroom
- Interior materials are cheap-looking
2017 Nissan Frontier pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which Frontier does Edmunds recommend?
In our opinion, the 2017 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X is the truck to get. Sure, the four-cylinder gets slightly better fuel economy. It is also true that the less aggressive tuning and tires of other trims ride smoother, are quieter and are generally more pavement-friendly. But the Pro-4X benefits from that torquey V6, which makes us happy. And of all trims, its off-road worthiness makes it the most competitive against its peers, which were all recently redesigned. And you still get the utility of a truck, with features such as a spray-in liner and bed extender plus a maximum tow capacity of 6,290 pounds.
Edmunds' Expert Review
The midsize pickup segment was effectively in stasis for about a decade, with its handful of trucks coasting along year after year with only minimal updates. Even if a particular truck grew stale, so did its competitors. That changed when General Motors completely redesigned its midsize trucks in 2015 and Toyota followed suit for 2016. As a result, Nissan is at a distinct disadvantage with its unaltered 2017 Frontier.
Its age is especially evident inside the Frontier. Controls are antiquated, materials lackluster and cabin noise levels excessive. Together these characteristics give a bare-bones look and feel that those competing models have risen above. Still its ride quality is surprisingly good, and in Pro-4X trim, it performs off-road with confidence. And it gets all of the practical details right, such as cargo tie-downs, a spray-in bedliner and a sliding bed extender. If you're just looking for these basics, the Frontier still holds its own in this class.
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Nissan Frontier is a midsize truck offered in numerous configurations, depending upon your preference. It offers an extended-cab (King) or crew-cab body style and 5-foot or 6.1-foot bed length. The engine options are a 2.5-liter four-cylinder (152 horsepower, 171 pound-feet of torque) or a 4.0-liter six-cylinder (261-hp, 281 lb-ft), and both can be hooked up to either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. There are five trim levels: S is the base model; the SV, with an upgraded interior; the Desert Runner, which adds off-road-oriented features but with two-wheel drive; the four-wheel-drive-only Pro-4X; and the top-tier SL, which is the best-optioned overall.
Your first step into the Frontier is in base S trim, with two-wheel drive, extended cab, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission. It has 15-inch steel wheels, rear privacy glass and four-way manual-adjusting cloth bucket seats up front. Select the automatic transmission to get air-conditioning, cruise control, steering-wheel audio controls, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. These items can be added to the manual version via the S Preferred package. Meanwhile, crew cabs with the S trim add the V6 engine, 16-inch steel wheels, a sliding rear window and a six-speaker audio system as standard.
In SV form, you get the above (though the V6 engine is optional for SV extended-cab models), along with 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, power windows, locks and mirrors, a tilt-only steering wheel, upgraded cloth upholstery, a sliding rear window, a 5-inch NissanConnect touchscreen interface with Bluetooth audio connectivity and smartphone-integrated apps, a USB port, a media player interface, satellite radio and an additional 12-volt power outlet. Options include a sunroof on the crew cab, and for the V6-powered SV, a Value Truck package that adds foglights, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a sliding bed extender, a spray-in bedliner, 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 extended cabs.
The Desert Runner is a two-wheel-drive V6 only, in either cab configuration, and it builds on the base SV equipment list. It adds special styling details, foglights, high-performance shock absorbers, off-road tires and an eight-way manually adjustable driver seat. The SV Value package equipment isn't available with this trim.
For serious off-roaders, there is the four-wheel-drive-only Pro-4X. This trim features knobby off-road tires, specially tuned shocks, a locking rear differential, skid plates, automatic headlights, a 5.8-inch NissanConnect touchscreen with navigation, satellite radio and voice controls, the eight-way-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a first aid kit. It includes everything in the SV Value Truck package except the trailer hitch and bed extender, which are optional. Crew cabs also get a 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system. The Pro-4X Luxury package, only available on automatic-equipped crew cabs, adds a sunroof, a roof rack with crossbars, heated mirrors, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats and a rear-seat center armrest.
The top-level SL is only available as a crew cab with the automatic transmission. It loses the Pro-4X's off-road-oriented equipment but retains most of the items in the Pro-4X Luxury package, including a sunroof for long-bed SLs (the sunroof is a stand-alone option for short-bed SLs). 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.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite Frontier safety features:
- NissanConnect Audio Interface
- Upgraded emergency services such as automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle locator and remote alarm notification are available.
- Zone Body Construction
- Front and rear crumple zones, Nissan says, can further reduce the chance of injury in a collision.
- Airbags with Rollover Sensors
- Roof-mounted supplemental curtain side-impact airbags with rollover sensors can protect the heads of outboard occupants in front and rear.
2017 Nissan Frontier for Sale
If the 2017 Nissan Frontier had a theme song, we could imagine it being the triumphant anthem from the movie Rocky. After all, this midsize pickup is something of an underdog, going up against superior talent with little more than grit and determination.
While that may be a little too much anthropomorphism for your taste, the fact remains that the Frontier is at a distinct disadvantage compared to its recently updated competitors. Both the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins and the Toyota Tacoma have received extensive makeovers in the past two years that have left the decidedly dated Frontier design eating their dust.
Which isn't to say the Frontier doesn't have its high points. Topping that list is the rugged Pro-4X model, which has a well-earned reputation for being a rather stout and reliable off-roader. The available Desert Runner model offers many of the same rugged styling cues, but is strictly two-wheel drive.
As you'd expect, the Frontier is offered in both two- and four-wheel drive, and with a choice of inline four-cylinder or V6 power. Tow ratings run from a fairly typical 3,500 pounds with the four-cylinder engine, to a respectable 6,500 pounds on V6 models.
EPA fuel economy estimates range from 21 mpg combined (19 city/23 highway) for the 2.5-liter four-cylinder mated to a five-speed manual transmission and two-wheel drive, to 17 mpg combined (15 city/21 highway) for the 4.0-liter V6-automatic transmission combo with four-wheel drive. To put those numbers in perspective, several competitors manage to wring more miles out of a gallon of gas.
As for other downsides, it bears noting that the Frontier feels somewhat unrefined with on-road handling and steering, which don't inspire a great deal of confidence. Somewhat counterintuitively, the Frontier's ride quality is actually quite good.
Both extended cab (a.k.a. King Cab) and crew cab body styles are offered, but legroom is in notably short supply even in the crew cab's backseats. Limited seat and steering wheel adjustability may also make it difficult for some drivers to find an ideal driving position.
Elsewhere in the interior, the large swaths of hard plastics give the cabin a low-budget look. On the upside, gauges and controls are well-placed and user-friendly. Out back, an available spray-in bedliner, bed extender and a well-thought-out system of adjustable cargo tie-downs add flexibility when it comes time to secure a variety of different-size items in the bed.
Ultimately, while the 2017 Nissan Frontier may not be leading the pack of midsize pickups, it remains a viable alternative to newer models, primarily in its rugged off-road-oriented Pro-4X trim level, which has more than enough guts to make Rocky Balboa proud.
2017 Nissan Frontier Overview
The 2017 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 w/Prod. End 02/17 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 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A), PRO-4X 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV w/Prod. End 02/17 4dr King Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Desert Runner 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV w/Prod. End 02/17 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), S 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5M), SV 4dr Crew Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5M), SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), S 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), PRO-4X 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), SL w/Prod. End 02/17 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV w/Prod. End 02/17 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), S w/Prod. End 02/17 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr King Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SL w/Prod. End 02/17 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), S 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), PRO-4X 4dr King Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SL 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Desert Runner 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), S 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), and SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M).
What do people think of the 2017 Nissan Frontier?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Nissan Frontier and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Frontier 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 Frontier.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Nissan Frontier and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 Frontier featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Which 2017 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) 2017 Nissan Frontier for sale near. There are currently 1 new 2017 Frontiers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $25,115 and mileage as low as 7 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2017 Nissan Frontier. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $3,054 on a used or CPO 2017 Frontier available from a dealership near you.
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Should I lease or buy a 2017 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.