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 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.
- 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