Consumer Reviews Summary
21 of 24 (87%) customers said they would recommend this vehicle to a friend.
2013 Nissan Frontier Overview
The 2013 Nissan Frontier is a capable and affordable midsize pickup, perfect for those who like the function and form of a pickup but don’t want to drive one of the full-size behemoths.
The small truck segment of the market is changing; Ford stopped selling its midsize Ranger and GM’s small truck platform also needs updates. The Frontier’s main competition is also Japanese, the Toyota Tacoma and the Honda Ridgeline.
Stylistically, the Frontier looks like a rather generic pickup truck especially in base trim. It’s available as a smaller two-door King Cab configuration or an extended cab configuration with four doors. In addition, the Frontier comes in several trim variations, including long-bed, Pro-4X, and Desert Runner configurations. The Desert Runner trim is new for 2013 and features an upgraded suspension along with several unique styling cues, including decals, fog lights, and unique 16-inch wheels. The Frontier’s exterior options list is quite extensive, offering a sliding in-bed toolbox, side step-rails, protective underbody skid plates, fog lights, automatic headlights, splash guards, and powered wing mirrors.
The interior of the 2013 Nissan Frontier is understated but functional. All of the knobs are chunky and easy to use, and the dashboard surfaces are all easy to clean. The standard seats are trimmed in cloth, but premium sporty cloth trim is available in the top-of-the-range Pro-4X model. In addition, the most basic Frontier gets a four-speaker audio system. Air-conditioning, power-adjustable seats, an AM/FM/CD receiver, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite navigation, and Bluetooth/iPod connectivity – are all optional.
The 2013 Frontier comes with a choice of two engines. The basic engine is a 152-horsepower, 2.5-liter inline-four with 171 pounds-feet of torque, paired to either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. With the manual transmission, the four-cylinder Frontier will do 19/23 mpg city/highway, or slightly less with the automatic at 17/23 mpg city/highway. The more powerful engine is a 260-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6 with 281 pounds-feet of torque. This engine is available with either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic, and four-wheel drive is also offered. Options include a Dana 44 rear axle and a locking rear differential. With the V-6, customers should expect around 16/22 mpg city/highway, or just slightly less with four-wheel drive.
Pickup trucks have always been a double-edged sword where safety is concerned. On the one hand, the rear crumple zone is massive; but on the other hand, there’s not much cabin space for airbags and the handling of most pickups is boat-like. Nevertheless, Nissan feels that they have created a very safe truck with the 2013 Frontier. It comes as standard with six airbags, side-impact door beams, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, front seat active headrests, and stability control.