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Expert Reviews 1 of 4
By Mike Magda
November 5, 2008
Vehicle Overview The Nissan Frontier received a mid-cycle freshening for 2009. The minor face-lift will help distinguish the Frontier from the 2009 Suzuki Equator, which Nissan will build for Suzuki and which is based on the Frontier's platform. The Frontier is still the youngest of all midsize pickups; it came out just after the 2005 Toyota Tacoma. Towing and payload are comparable to the Tacoma, the segment's best-seller.
New for 2009 An all-new offroad trim clones the Titan's PRO-4X badge; it replaces the Nismo offroad package on the 2008 Frontier. Many of the features are the same, including Bilstein high-pressure shock absorbers; additional skid plates on the oil pan, fuel tank and transfer case; an electronic rear-locking differential; and unique 16-inch alloy wheels inside P265/75R16 BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires. All PRO-4X King Cab models receive a factory spray-on bedliner and Utili-track channel tie-down system. The PRO-4X package is available on both two- and four-wheel-drive trucks.
Exterior The new front end features redesigned headlights, and the familiar angled-strut grille has a slightly refined appearance. The exterior gets a monochromatic appearance with a body-colored grille, bumpers, mirrors and door handles. New 16- or 18-inch wheels accent the side views. The Frontier is available in King Cab and crew cab body styles with either a 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrain.
Offroad worthy approach/departure angles
Muscular but not intimidating wheel flares
Factory spray-on bedliner on V-6 models
Adjustable tie-down system on V-6 models
Interior Interior upgrades include white-faced gauges and red-stitched leather on the steering wheel and manual gearshift knob. The new PRO-4X model has a unique interior with custom seating. The center stack gets a new look on V-6 models, and LE models receive new seat fabric. Leather seating and a Rockford Fosgate premium audio system is available on crew cab models. All models have supportive, comfortable front bucket seats. Adults have adequate legroom in the rear of the crew cab.
Removable underseat storage in King Cab
Two glove boxes, two 12-volt outlets
Under the Hood
Base engine is a 152-horsepower, 2.5-liter dual-overhead camshaft, inline-four-cylinder that makes 171 pounds-feet of torque, mated to a five-speed manual transmission
261-hp, 4.0-liter dual-overhead camshaft V-6 that makes 281 pounds-feet of torque
Available five-speed automatic transmission (standard on crew cab)
Available six-speed manual transmission on King Cab
Electronically controlled, shift-on-the-fly, part-time transfer case
Safety Traction control is available on select models. The Frontier offers advanced brake controls in 4x4 models, including an electronic stability system, Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist. HDC allows slow hill descent without constant pressure on the brake pedal. HSA allows the driver to stop on an incline, release the brake and not roll back for two seconds as the driver's foot moves to the accelerator. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags are optional.
Three-point seat belts in all seating locations
Latch child-seat anchor system in crew cab
Of Interest to Truck Owners King Cab
Maximum towing capacity: 6,500 pounds for 4x2 V-6, 6,300 pounds for 4x4 V-6
Maximum payload range: 899-1,547 pounds (depending on trim, engine, transmission)
Maximum towing capacity: 6,300 pounds for 4x2, 6,100 pounds for 4x4 V-6
Maximum payload range: 1,125-1,437 pounds (depending on trim, transmission)
Standard bed dimensions: 59.5 inches long, 58.8 inches wide at tailgate, 44.4 inches wide between wheel wells
Long bed dimensions: 73.3 inches long, 58.8 inches wide at tailgate, 44.4 inches wide between wheel wells
Approach angle: 32.6 degrees (4x4 PRO-4X)
Departure angle: 23.3 degrees (4x4 PRO-4X)
Expert Reviews 1 of 4
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