2018 Nissan Frontier
- Pro-4X model is a capable off-roader
- Available with automatic or manual transmission
- 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 look and feel cheap
2018 Nissan Frontier pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which Frontier does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
The midsize truck segment has undergone plenty of change in recent years. General Motors kicked off the renaissance with its redesigned Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks, and new versions of the Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline soon followed. Left in the dust is the Nissan Frontier, which has loped along largely unchanged since this current generation's debut more than a decade ago.
That could change next year when an all-new Frontier is expected to arrive. But for now, the 2018 Nissan Frontier is outdated in just about every area. The interior, though certainly durable, has a low-buck look and feel to it and lets in plenty of noise. The Frontier's engines burn fuel with the abandon of a failed missile test, and technology and advanced safety features are few and far between.
On the upside, the Frontier offers a surprisingly comfortable ride, a bed with all manner of useful cleats and tie-downs, and legitimate off-road fun and capability when equipped in the Pro-4X trim. It's also relatively affordable compared to its newer rivals. As such, the 2018 Frontier could be a good pick for truck shoppers seeking simple utility and fun. For a more modern take on a midsize pickup, though, you'll want to look elsewhere.
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Nissan Frontier is a midsize truck offered in two body styles (the King extended cab or four-door crew cab) and with 5-foot and 6.1-foot bed lengths. Two engines are available, 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). Both can pair to either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission (the four-cylinder is also available with a five-speed manual). There are five trim levels: S is the base model; the SV, with an upgraded interior; the Desert Runner, which pairs off-road-oriented features with two-wheel drive; the four-wheel-drive-only Pro-4X; and the top-tier SL, which is the best optioned overall.
The base S trim starts with two-wheel drive, an extended cab, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. Standard features include 15-inch steel wheels, rear privacy glass, cloth front bucket seats, air-conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, a 5-inch central display, steering wheel audio controls, Siri Eyes Free voice command, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, USB input and an auxiliary audio jack.
An optional Work Truck package adds a spray-in bedliner, bed rail caps, splash guards and rubber floor mats.
The SV builds on the above features with 16-inch alloy wheels, power accessories (windows, door locks), sliding rear window, and satellite radio. Options include a sunroof on the crew cab and 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 SV crew cab is also available with the Midnight Edition package, which adds blacked-out 18-inch wheels, side steps, body-colored bumpers, and side mirror housings.
The Desert Runner is a rear-wheel-drive V6 only. Available in either cab configuration, it builds on the base SV equipment list with special styling details, foglights, high-performance shock absorbers and off-road tires. 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, 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 Premium 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 Premium 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.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2013 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X Crew Cab (4.0L V6 | 5-speed automatic | 4WD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Nissan Frontier has received only minor revisions, including increased feature availability throughout various trim levels (Bluetooth, updated displays and navigation systems, for example). Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Nissan Frontier.
Noise & vibration2.5
Ease of use3
Getting in/getting out3
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.
2018 Nissan Frontier for Sale
If the 2018 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 it 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, a Honda Ridgeline with the V6 and 4WD gets 21 mpg combined.
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 (aka King Cab) and crew-cab body styles are offered, but legroom is in notably short supply even in the crew cab's back seats. Limited seat and steering wheel adjustability could 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.
Today's Frontier will get a significant overhaul for next year, placing it more inline with the comfort and modern touches available in its rivals. Those seeking a solid utility truck or off-road adventure machine may find great deals as the current model nears the end of its cycle. So while the 2018 Nissan Frontier might not lead 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.
2018 Nissan Frontier Overview
The 2018 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), Desert Runner 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), PRO-4X 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A), S 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5M), S 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Desert Runner 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 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), PRO-4X 4dr King Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5M), S 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), SL 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SV 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), and PRO-4X 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M).
What do people think of the 2018 Nissan Frontier?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Nissan Frontier and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 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 2018 Frontier.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Nissan Frontier and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 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.
What's a good price for a New 2018 Nissan Frontier?
2018 Nissan Frontier SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A)
The 2018 Nissan Frontier SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $25,655. The average price paid for a new 2018 Nissan Frontier SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A) is trending $1,927 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $1,927 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$23,728.
The average savings for the 2018 Nissan Frontier SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A) is7.5% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 2 2018 Nissan Frontier SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2018 Nissan Frontier S 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A)
The 2018 Nissan Frontier S 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $23,655. The average price paid for a new 2018 Nissan Frontier S 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A) is trending $2,025 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $2,025 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$21,630.
The average savings for the 2018 Nissan Frontier S 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A) is8.6% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 16 2018 Nissan Frontier S 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
Which 2018 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) 2018 Nissan Frontier for sale near. There are currently 109 new 2018 Frontiers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $23,635 and mileage as low as 0 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 2018 Nissan Frontier. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $3,757 on a used or CPO 2018 Frontier available from a dealership near you.
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Find a new Nissan Frontier for sale - 7 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $17,424.
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Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.
Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.