Buying Guide

2011 Nissan Frontier

Fair Market Price $13,283 SL 2WD Long Bed Crew Cab
Motor Trend Rating
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EPA MPG:

17 City / 22 Hwy

Towing (Max):

3,500 lbs.

Payload (Max):

937 lbs.

The Nissan Frontier is Nissans newest pickup and is now in its own second generation. It competes in the dwindling midsize truck segment. Once this was one of the most contested genres, but of late, there are only a few auto makers who remain to compete in this class. The Nissan frontier is one of the main competitors here.

This generation of frontier is more comfortable and civilized than the previous iteration. It features a very car like ride and proves far easier to maneuver than its looks would suggest. The ride is, however, rather on the firm side. The Frontiers strength comes from a fully boxed, ladder frame, construction completely of steel. This frame rides on control arm suspension up front paired with an old school solid rear axle, with leaf springs to absorb the bumps.

Power for the Frontier comes from two engine choices; a base 2.5 liter four cylinder making 152 HP or a 4.0 liter V-6 good for 261 HP. Either engine can be matched to either a 5 or 6 speed manual. A five speed automatic comes as an optional transmission.

Bodystyle: Truck
Engines: 2.5L I-4, 4.0L V-6
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
Models: S, SV, PRO-4X, SL

For the 2011 model year, the Frontier’s lineup gets a minor shakeup and some revised packaging. A new SV model replaces last year’s SE, and is available with an exclusive Navy Blue exterior paintjob. Short-wheelbase S and PRO-4X Crew Cabs can now be had with a six-speed manual, while SV, PRO-4X, and SL models receive a vehicle immobilizer and bed rail caps.

Frontier’s signatures design cues are evident in the angled strut grille, big bumpers, short overhangs, and prominent fender flares. All models offer a bed that includes available factory-applied spray-on bedliner and Nissan’s Utili-track tie-down system.

Inside, the Frontier is all about versatility, thanks to flip-up rear seats (King Cab), removable storage boxes under the backseat, a dual glove box, myriad cupholders and power points, and an available fold-flat front passenger seat.

The Frontier’s top-line engine is a 4.0-liter V-6 that delivers 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. If that’s more power than you need, a standard 2.5-liter I-4 generates 152 ponies and 171 pound-feet. The V-6 is mated to a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual, while the I-4 can be had with a manual or auto, both five-speeds. All Frontiers use a front control-arm/rear solid-axle leaf-springs suspension.

Nissan equips every Frontier pickup truck with front, front-side, and side curtain airbags. The Frontier also gets front-seat active head restraints, stability control (V-6 only), and a tire pressure monitoring system.

14-19 mpg city/19-23 mpg highway

  • Choice of king- or crew-cab
  • Available 4WD
  • Available long bed
  • Rugged looks
  • Ample power

  • New model not far off
  • Bouncy ride

One of the top compact trucks

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  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Ford Ranger
  • GMC Canyon
  • Suzuki Equator
  • Toyota Tacoma

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