Nissans compact pickup truck gained a new Crew Cab Long Bed body style for the 2002 model year; it sports a 74.6-inch cargo box and an extended wheelbase. For 2003, Nissan offers the industrys first power retractable roof in a compact truck. Called Open Sky, its optional on all Crew Cab models.
Nissans Vehicle Dynamic Control electronic stability system and a tire-pressure monitor are newly available, and the non-supercharged engine gains 10 horsepower for 2003; it is now rated at 180 hp. A 4x4 King Cab MT Supercharged Value Edition has joined the Frontier lineup, and all models gain electronic brake-force distribution. The six-spoke 16-inch wheels have been restyled.
Redesigned in extra-bold form for 2001, the Tennessee-built Frontier features a front end that is dominated by a massive bumper. Prominent wheel flares have a bolted-on appearance. The Japanese automaker responded to complaints about the previous Frontiers pull-type parking brake by installing a foot-operated version for 2002.
Aggressive touches that create what Nissan calls a modern industrial look start with the front fascia, hood, fenders and bumper and match up with bold headlights and fog lamps. Nissan does not offer a regular-cab model, but three body styles are available. King Cab (extended-cab) pickups are equipped with a 74.6-inch cargo bed and have a 116.1-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 202.9 inches. Unlike some rival extended-cab pickups, the King Cab does not have four doors. Four-door Crew Cab pickups get a 56.3-inch bed and are 199.9 inches long overall with a 116.1-inch wheelbase. The Crew Cab Long Bed model is 217.8 inches long overall, rides a 131.1-inch wheelbase and sports a cargo bed thats 74.6 inches long.
Desert Runner models are offered in XE, SE and S/C forms and are equipped with two-wheel drive. They have the same heavy-duty chassis, ride height and stance as a 4x4. Supercharged S/C Frontiers have 17-inch alloy wheels, a specially tuned suspension and a raised ground clearance for 4x4 versions.
King Cabs come with either a split, three-place front bench seat or two buckets, along with a pair of folding jump seats in the rear. Crew Cabs have front bucket seats and a three-place rear bench. Selected models can have an optional leather-appointed interior with red-on-charcoal stitching.
The interiors contain an instrument panel with three cockpit-style round gauges, as well as a console with side map pockets. Frontiers equipped with the supercharged engine have titanium-colored gauges. A 300-watt Rockford Fosgate-powered audio system with an in-dash six-CD changer is an option for Crew Cab models.
Under the Hood
The King Cab 4x2s base engine is a 143-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Standard in Desert Runner, 4x4 and Crew Cab models, the 3.3-liter V-6 now yields 180 hp. A supercharged version of the V-6 that cranks out 210 hp goes into S/C and SVE models. All engines are available with either a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission.
Four-wheel antilock brakes are standard on the Desert Runner, V-6 and Crew Cab models; other versions come with rear antilock brakes only. Dual-stage front airbags with a passenger-side cutoff switch are installed.