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2006 Nissan Frontier King Cab

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San Francisco: Like a smaller version of the Nissan Titan, the Frontier offers big-truck performance and versatility in a more affordable package.

A spacious, comfortable interior makes the Frontier pleasant to drive. It's available in King Cab configuration with small, rear-swinging doors or the bigger Crew Cab version with traditional, front-hinged doors for the back seat.

I know what I'm about to write is pure blasphemy considering I was born and raised in Texas, but I simply don't like big pickup trucks. Never have. They're hard to park, ugly, noisy, get pathetic gas mileage, are less comfortable than a car and are hard to climb in and out of.

As if that weren't enough, all but the best trucks feel like they're bouncing around the road on a suspension made of pogo sticks and pulled by an engine that sounds like it belongs in a two-story-tall Weed Eater.

I don't see the point of driving one unless you're towing a 10-ton yacht or carrying a load of granite down a mountain, like they show in the commercials. I don't do those things, so I'd rather borrow or rent a truck when I really need one instead of suffering with driving one day in, day out.

So there, I said it. Now that I got that blasphemy off my chest, I can tell you about the new Nissan Frontier, a truck that, oddly enough, I don't hate.

The Frontier is one of those just-right-size trucks that is significantly bigger than a dinky Ranger but smaller than the F-150, Silverado and Ram. It's not so small that it's stupid, nor is it so big that you think your driving a piece of real estate around town.

That just-right feeling also extends to the Frontier's performance. It's powered by a 4.0-liter V6 that makes 265 horsepower and gets 20 miles per gallon on the highway, enough to do some serious work without having to drink gas like a Kennedy at happy hour. It's not quite a fuel miser, either, but compared to the alternative of driving a full-size truck with a big V8, it could provide some welcome relief at the pump. For better efficiency, Nissan offers a 2.5-liter, 154-horsepower, four-cylinder engine too.

While I think the engine noise is an improvement over the previous Frontier's V6 - now, instead of sounding like a giant Weed Eater, it sounds like a bumblebee that ate too many beans - it feels fantastic from the driver's seat. It's very responsive and smooth, adjectives I rarely use to describe truck engines.

Overall, the Frontier looks and performs like a downsized Nissan Titan, and it's available with some of the same cool features that make the Titan stand out. Some of my favorites are a factory-applied, spray-on bedliner and a nifty system of adjustable tie-downs called Utili-track.

Pricing, like on most trucks, is spread over a huge range that depends on how you configure it. A basic, rear-wheel-drive, King Cab model with a four-cylinder engine starts under $16,000, and a NISMO off-road-equipped Crew Cab with four-wheel drive costs more than $27,000. In between to these two are 17 other flavors of Frontier with prices to fit virtually any budget.

Best of all, for a person who usually hates trucks, I found this one pretty darned comfortable to drive. It still had a pogo-stick suspension, but it was quiet and roomy enough on the inside to make up for the bounciness.

Everything about it seemed like a perfect fit, neither too big nor too small, neither too wimpy nor too brutish. And that's why I don't hate the Frontier.

What was tested? The 2006 Nissan NISMO Frontier King Cab V6 4x4 with a manual transmission and a base price of $24,100. Options: Side airbag package ($550), utility bed package ($700), traction package ($500). Price as tested including a $605 destination charge: $26,455.

Why buy it? It's a just-right-size truck that slots perfectly between the micro trucks and the big boys. It offers good performance with a V6 engine and lots of configurations to suit your needs. Why avoid it? It's still a truck.  By Derek Price © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

Nissan Home Page

Byline: Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo ©AutoWire.Net
Column Name: A truck you can live with
Topic: The 2006 Nissan Frontier King Cab V6 4x4
Word Count:  757
Photo Caption:  The 2006 Nissan Frontier King Cab
Photo Credits:  Nissan Internet Media
Series #:   2006 - 42

Download the Microsoft Word version here:   2006 Nissan Frontier

Download the Original Image File here:   2006 Nissan Frontier








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