2005 Nissan Frontier

Front Passenger Side View

The new Frontier is more stylish than the outgoing model. It is also bigger, with a 9.8-inch-longer wheelbase, sizing it more like a Dodge Dakota than a traditional mid-size pickup. Like most of Nissan's new trucks, it uses a derivative of the F-Alpha platform that underpins the Titan and the Armada, and it has an available 4.0-liter DOHC V-6 engine mated to either a five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. Those who are (truly) budget-conscious can buy a King Cab model with an in-line four-cylinder engine. As before, King and Crew Cab variants are available, along with a shift-on-the-fly all-wheel-drive system. Niceties include a factory-fitted spray-in bedliner and a track bed tie-down system.

ON SALE: December 2004PRICE: $14,500 (est.)ENGINES: 150-hp, 2.5-liter I-4; 250-hp, 4.0-liter V-6BOTTOM LINE: As subtle as a flying brick.

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