New For 2013

A new front lip, a seal between the cab and bed, and various other aerodynamic add-ons help improve fuel economy by a few mpg. A new Desert Runner model for rear-wheel-drive trucks includes unique wheels, Bilstein shock absorbers, and special badges. The SV Premium Utility package is replaced by the Value Truck Package, and bundles floor mats, dual-zone air conditioning, a backup camera, parking sensors, and a trailer hitch. Glacier white, graphite blue, and cayenne red join the list of color choices. On all models, the grille, badges, and seat embroidery has been redesigned.


Although the Frontier is smaller than the full-size pickups that dominate the truck market, it is plenty of truck for most buyers. A fully boxed chassis, steel construction, and a leaf-spring rear suspension mean the medium-size Frontier has almost as much capability as a bigger vehicle. Ample tow ratings, a large bed, and a big interior make the Nissan a real workhorse. It’s available with a King Cab and hinged rear half-doors or with a four-door crew cab. There is a 152-hp four-cylinder engine for the base King Cab model, but all other trim levels get a 4.0-liter V-6 with 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. For serious work, four-wheel-drive models come standard with a low-range mode and can be equipped with a locking rear differential, tough Bilstein shock absorbers, and skid plates, making the Frontier useful off the beaten track. Hill-descent control and hill-start assist are standard on 4WD models with the automatic transmission. The Frontier’s interior has such practical touches as dual locking glove boxes, an optional fold-flat passenger seat, and lots of cupholders. The plain design and the durable plastics look a bit dated. However, the Nissan Frontier is nearly as capable as some full-size trucks, and its tidier dimensions and lower price make it an attractive choice for buyers who need to do light towing, hauling, or off-roading.


Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are stability and traction control, ABS with brake assist, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Hill-start assist and hill-descent control are standard on four-wheel-drive models with the automatic transmission.

You’ll like:

  • Macho looks
  • All the truck most people need
  • Good payload and towing capacities

You won’t like:

  • Somewhat dated interior
  • V-6 drinks fuel like the bid boys do

Key Competitors For The 2013 Nissan Frontier

  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Toyota Tacoma

Sum Up

Big-truck performance in a medium-truck package.

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