2018 Nissan Frontier Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- 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
- Rearview camera standard on all models
- Some previously optional features, including air conditioning and cruise control, now standard on base S model
- Midnight Edition package adds blacked-out cosmetic enhancements (wheels, grille, mirrors and body-colored bumpers)
- Part of the second Nissan Frontier generation introduced for 2015
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 But for now, the 2018 Nissan Frontier is outdated in just about every area.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.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.1 / 10
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Nissan Frontier SV 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.
|Overall||7.1 / 10|
Noise & vibration7.0
Ease of use8.0
Getting in/getting out7.5
Child safety seat accommodation7.0
Audio & navigation7.0
Which Frontier does Edmunds recommend?
2018 Nissan Frontier models
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.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
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 Rating4 out of 5 stars
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall3 / 5Driver3 / 5Passenger2 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover3 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover21.2%
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintAcceptable
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
Used 2018 Nissan Frontier Overview
The Used 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 Crew Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Desert Runner 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), PRO-4X 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), SV 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5A), S 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 5A), SL 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), SV 4dr Crew Cab 6.1 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), SL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.0 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 (4.0L 6cyl 5A), S 4dr Crew Cab 5.0 ft. SB (4.0L 6cyl 6M), S 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), and S 4dr King Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 5M). 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 2018 Nissan Frontier comes with rear wheel drive, and four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic. The Used 2018 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 2018 Nissan Frontier?
Price comparisons for Used 2018 Nissan Frontier trim styles:
- The Used 2018 Nissan Frontier SV is priced between $19,888 and$30,999 with odometer readings between 1242 and93508 miles.
- The Used 2018 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X is priced between $29,500 and$32,998 with odometer readings between 28933 and71776 miles.
- The Used 2018 Nissan Frontier S is priced between $20,998 and$24,999 with odometer readings between 26155 and51853 miles.
- The Used 2018 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner is priced between $27,990 and$28,998 with odometer readings between 32104 and58329 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 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 59 used and CPO 2018 Frontiers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $19,888 and mileage as low as 1242 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 2018 Nissan Frontier.
Can't find a used 2018 Nissan Frontiers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a used Nissan Frontier for sale.
Find a used Nissan for sale.
Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Frontier for sale.
Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan for sale.
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.