New for 2014
The 2014 Nissan Frontier gains new alloy wheels ranging from 16- to 18-inches in size, a manual sliding rear window for SV and PRO-4X Crew Cab models, standard heated seats on the PRO-4X grades, standard Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control for the S trim, and an upgraded navigation system with NissanConnect app integration for smartphones.
The Frontier is Nissan’s compact/midsize truck, slotting below the full-size Titan. It is sold in S, SV, PRO-4X, Desert Runner, and SL grades with a choice of King or Crew Cab body styles and in rear- or four-wheel-drive configurations.
Along with the Toyota Tacoma, the 2014 Nissan Frontier is one of two remaining compact/midsize trucks left on sale in the market before the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and 2015 GMC Canyon join the market before long. The truck is available with a 2.5-liter I-4 making 152 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque or a 4.0-liter V-6 producing 261 hp and 281 lb-ft. I-4 models are available with either a five-speed manual or automatic while trucks equipped with the V-6 are paired to a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. Convenience and premium features such as navigation, leather upholstery, 60/40 folding seat bottom, and a roof rack with crossbars improve the truck’s livability, usability as a work vehicle, and overall practicality for its size. Off-road capability remains a Fronting strong suit particularly PRO-4X models with Bilstein off-road dampers, skid plates, hill descent control/hill start assist and a locking rear differential.
Fuel economy is unimpressive in the 2014 Frontier with I-4 models rated by the EPA at 17/23 mpg city/highway with the automatic and 19/23 mpg with the manual. Rear-drive V-6 trucks are estimated to achieve 16/22 mpg with either transmission. Opting for four-wheel drive drops those numbers down to 15/21 mpg with the automatic and 16/21 mpg for the manual.
Inside, the 2014 Frontier offers good space for front passengers but rear seats are tight for adult passengers particularly in King Cab models. The cabin offers ample storage space and flexibility with rear seats with a seatback and cushion that can fold down and up respectively.
Depending on the body style, the Frontier has a three- or four-star rollover rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and the truck earned a good rating for three out of four tests from the IIHS (good is the highest possible score).
What We Think
The Nissan Frontier remains a viable choice for a compact/midsize truck with its flexible cabin and bed, off-road capability, and reasonable size. In a 2013 review, we said that the Frontier “packs a lot of utility in a moderately sized package,” making it a compelling choice as a work truck despite being nearly a decade old. We also noted in a 2005 review that since “The body is not perched absurdly high off its wheels,” it has a lower step-in height, which makes entry and exit easier without sacrificing ground clearance. However, it makes less sense as a family vehicle because of the lack of space for rear passengers particularly in King Cab models.
- Flexible bed configuration
- Off-road capabilities
- Impressive utility despite not being a full-size truck
You Won’t Like
- Tight rear seating
- Weak I-4
- Lackluster fuel economy
- Toyota Tacoma
- Used full-size truck