Review: In the world of trucks, it seems that bigger is always
better. TV ads brag about how much stuff you can haul, how roomy the
cabin is and how many horses lurk under the hood. But does bigger size
always mean a better value? That's the question you have to ask before
checking out the 2010 Nissan Frontier.
This isn't the biggest
truck, or the most powerful truck, but it can do nearly everything the
big boys can and save some cash at the same time. The Frontier is part
of a frequently overlooked category of less-than-full-size pickups.
While this segment was pioneered with itty-bitty trucks like the Ford
Ranger, there's nothing compact about them today, that is, unless you
compare them to their giant siblings.
This feels like a real
truck. If you could put the big and brawny Nissan Titan into the dryer
for a few cycles, a Frontier would come out at the end. It's heavy and
rides way up high, almost like you'd expect in a full-size truck, but it
has the added benefit of squeezing into tight parking spaces. Even on
the road, it feels a little better, less like a barge, and more like a
The only thing most
truck buyers look at though is performance, and the Frontier doesn't
disappoint. It's available with a 4.0-liter V6 engine that, if it wasn't
written on the window sticker, I would have sworn was a V8 because it's
so smooth, powerful and torquey. It makes 261 horsepower and 281
foot-pounds of torque, which is a huge amount for a truck this size.
All that power
translates into good towing capacity. It can pull up to 6,500 pounds,
and, let's face it, that's more than the vast majority of full-size
truck buyers tow anyway. And if you need to haul a lot of long stuff,
it's available with a long bed too.
Inside the Frontier has
the same tough-truck styling as the Titan. It's not quite as car-like as
Toyota's trucks, nor as luxurious as the cabins of full-size trucks from
Chevy and Ford, but it's a fairly nice space nonetheless. Compared to
other mid-size trucks, which is a much fairer way to measure it, the
Frontier stacks up nicely.
The cabin is available
in two configurations: King Cab or Crew Cab. The King Cab version I
tested comes with little doors that open backward to let passengers in
the back. They'd better be small passengers though, because the seats
are tiny. They fit my 4- and 6-year-olds perfectly. If you'll be
carrying adults on a regular basis, the Crew Cab is worth the extra
money for its 4 full-size doors and bigger back seat.
Speaking of money, the
Frontier starts at $17,540 for a King Cab with a four-cylinder engine.
The Crew Cab starts at $22,290. Considering the cheapest Titan will set
you back $26,320, and the Crew Cab Titan costs a cool $28,870, and
that's before you add any options.
Now the Frontier starts
to look like a downright bargain. Knowing that, and the fact that it can
save you a little money at the gas pump, those truck commercials on TV
don't sound so appealing when they brag about size.
What was tested?
The 2010 Nissan Frontier 4X4 Pro4X with a base price of $27,730. Options
on the test truck: The Technology package for $900, an iPod interface
for $270 and floor mats for $106. The total MSRP price as tested
including the $900 destination charge came to $29,830.
Why avoid it? It
doesn't have the same presence and outright performance of a true
Why buy it? It
nearly matches the capability of a full-size truck, but it's more
affordable, more fuel efficient, and more maneuverable than the big
trucks. By Derek Price © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The Bottom Line:
The 2010 Nissan Frontier looks and feels like a scaled-down Titan
pickup. With the powerful V6 engine it can tow up to 6,500 pounds, while
getting better gas mileage than a full-size truck. Inside, the
Frontier's front seat is roomy and comfortable, and outside it mimics
the styling of the bigger Titan.
Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy”
is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay
Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to
TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at
And remember: “ You Are
what you Drive ”
Nissan Home Page
Column Name: Nissan
Frontier has the appeal of a mini-Titan
Topic: The 2010 Nissan
Frontier 4X4 Pro4X
Word Count: 806
Photo Caption: The 2010
Nissan Frontier 4X4 Pro4X
Photo Credits: Nissan
Frontier Internet Media
Series #: 2010 - 43
the Microsoft Word version here:
Download the Original Image File here: