2017 Nissan Frontier Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • 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
List Price Range
$20,999 - $30,799

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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

Overall rating

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.

2017 Nissan Frontier models

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.

Driving

In Pro-4X trim, the Frontier is just as capable in the dirt as its peers despite a lack of significant updates in the past decade. But on the pavement, the Frontier's lack of refinement, in all trims, really puts the truck at a disadvantage compared to its competition.

Comfort

We found the Frontier had a surprisingly comfortable ride quality on the road. Limited seat and steering-wheel adjustability on most trims made for an awkward driving position. And even on the Frontier crew cab, the rear seats lack legroom.

Interior

The interior looks dated, and the liberal use of hard plastics doesn't help. Still, most of the controls and switches are easy to use.

Utility

The Frontier gets the basics of being a work truck right. It has a clever cargo tie-down system in the bed, available spray-in liner, bed extender and optional 5-foot and 6.1-foot lengths. And properly equipped, four-cylinder models can tow up to 3,500 pounds and V6s as much as 6,500 pounds.

Technology

The latest technology, including a NissanConnect touchscreen interface, Bluetooth audio connectivity, hands-free text messaging and smartphone app integration, is available on most Frontier models. But the same can be said of its competitors.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2017 Nissan Frontier.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Don't listen to the critics
Denver D,08/09/2017
SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
Auto reviewers need something to write about. They write that the Frontier has below-average gas mileage and a cheap-looking interior. Well, I get 19-20 mpg in my 2017, which is just fine for a truck, IMO. You get better advertised mileage in a Tacoma and other models, but drive it and see why: the manufacturers hobble the transmission with sluggish response and shifting to artificially inflate mileage numbers. The Frontier has a responsive transmission and the V6 has plenty of power to get this truck off the red light. As to the cheap interior, it is a light truck not a luxury vehicle. I test drove the other models in this class of light truck and I saw nothing better. It is well better than the 2000 Ranger I used to own, and worlds better than my dad's trucks in the 1980s. If you want leather appointment and woodgrain dash, you are looking in the wrong class of vehicle. The visibility in the cab is better in the Frontier compared to the competition too, with the pillars blocking much less of the rear view. The seats are more comfortable than the Tacoma. The rear seats are a little tight, but not so tight that an adult can't sit back there and it fits a carseat, too. I don't understand the criticism of the handling, either. Once the steering is broken in, it has a good turning radius and the engine has enough power to get you through a tight curve hugging the road just fine. The factory tires could use an upgrade, though, to a Michelin or Goodyear radial. Overall, I'm very glad I purchased this vehicle and not the competition, and the price is right. UPDATE: Almost 3 years later and my opinion of this truck remains the same. It is a great deal for what you get. I've had zero problems with this truck, and it performs well. The gas mileage is a bit less, but now that I'm used to the truck my foot is a little heavier, too. I still get about 17-18 mpg combined.
What a nice surprise
Sam,11/02/2017
Desert Runner 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
I am writing this because of how surprised I was with the quality of the truck. I had a 2017 Tacoma which was a mistake. Don't get me wrong I have always had Tacoma's and loved them but the new model leaves a lot to be desired. This Nissan surprised me quite a bit. I have read some disappointing reviews so I tried it for myself. This truck is fast and the transmission shifts perfectly, unlike the Toyota. I will admit it doesn't get the gas mileage the Toyota got but that was because Toyota fiddled with the transmission to make it shift weirdly to try to get better gas mileage. This desert runner is smooth and looks great. I got this truck for an amazing price about $9,000 less than the Toyota. As of the date of this writing, the reliability of Nissan Frontiers outweighs the Tacoma, Colorado and Canyon. I am very happy with my purchase. Only downsize is that it is a little small.
The critics who know trucks love the Frontier
evaheidi@aol.com,08/21/2017
SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB w/Prod. End 02/17 (4.0L 6cyl 6M)
A near perfect truck that LOOKS like a truck. Not trying to look like SUV or mini-van like most others. It's a reliable nice driving vehicle that I would definitely buy again. It does what it is designed to do and does it well. This truck does not disappoint...
This truck is not for city folks
Small trucks rule,02/06/2018
SV 4dr King Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
The only issue I had so far was replacing the knock sensor at 15k miles. At least it was under warranty! I read the reviews and don't agree with them. This is a great truck and about $7-8k cheaper than the competition for the same truck, just not as fancy. I replaced a 1999 ZR2 that I loved, but they don't make them anymore and the new trucks cost too much for a vehicle. Poor investment. I looked for 2 years to try and replace my ZR2, and so far I'm glad I chose the Frontier. I get 20.2 mpg and have 20k miles on it with no issues other than the knock sensor. It's a great TRUCK!

Safety

Our experts like the Frontier models:

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.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall3 / 5
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger2 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover21.2%

More about the 2017 Nissan Frontier

Used 2017 Nissan Frontier Overview

The Used 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 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB w/Prod. End 02/17 (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 4dr King Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB w/Prod. End 02/17 (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Desert Runner 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB w/Prod. End 02/17 (4.0L 6cyl 5A), S 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5M), SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5M), SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr Crew Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), S 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB w/Prod. End 02/17 (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), PRO-4X 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), SL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB w/Prod. End 02/17 (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB w/Prod. End 02/17 (4.0L 6cyl 6M), SV 4dr King Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), S 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB w/Prod. End 02/17 (4.0L 6cyl 5A), S 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), PRO-4X 4dr King Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr Crew 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), SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), Desert Runner 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), and S 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A). 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 2017 Nissan Frontier comes with rear wheel drive, and four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic. The Used 2017 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 2017 Nissan Frontier?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Nissan Frontier trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Nissan Frontier SV is priced between $20,999 and$28,500 with odometer readings between 17667 and90990 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X is priced between $28,900 and$30,799 with odometer readings between 23595 and39040 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Nissan Frontier SL is priced between $29,500 and$29,500 with odometer readings between 25589 and25589 miles.

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Which used 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 15 used and CPO 2017 Frontiers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $20,999 and mileage as low as 17667 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 2017 Nissan Frontier.

Can't find a used 2017 Nissan Frontiers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Nissan Frontier for sale - 4 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $23,483.

Find a used Nissan for sale - 10 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $16,934.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Frontier for sale - 12 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $21,254.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan for sale - 1 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $25,282.

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.

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