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EDITORS NOTEBOOK: 2008 Nissan Frontier Nismo 4x4

Read Rusty Blackwell's comments on driving the 2008 Nissan Frontier Nismo 4x4.

I've always had a soft spot for small pickups, and the Frontier is probably my favorite of the current bunch. This particular one, with the Nismo package and four-wheel drive, is a bit pricey at about $27K, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to find another "small" new pickup that's as fun to drive (in a small-truck way) and tough-looking as this one. The six-speed manual is pretty ropy, but at least it's offered. The six-cylinder engine is pretty powerful, and it accelerates surprisingly hard once you've shifted into 2nd gear. The back seat is tiny ... very much like sitting in the back seat of a Porsche 911 (yes, I can sort of almost fit; I am that small), but with more head and elbow room and much easier entry. I adore the sliding rear window, but I'd give up sliding rear windows forever just for a chance to test this truck on an off-road circuit like the one I experienced recently at the Jeep Jamboree in Virginia.