This Nissan Frontier Costs Less Than $20,000; Should You Buy One?

If you’re familiar with new pickup trucks, you know that pricing is out of control. There are $65,000 trucks available with features that rival luxury cars. But affordable trucks still exist, and this is one of them. In fact, this is the most affordable truck out there: the 2018 Nissan Frontier. This exact model that we’re looking at is less than $20,000: $19,965 with destination fee.

Related: 2017 Nissan Frontier Review: Cheap Trucks Do Exist

But what exactly do you get in a sub-$20,000 truck?

  • The steering wheel is made from urethane.
  • Not just regular dish steel wheels, but styled steel wheels.
  • The front seat is adjustable in four ways.
  • The stereo has four speakers.
  • You may be surprised to find two backseats, and there’s plenty of headroom.
  • There’s a bed.
  • The transmission is manual.
  • The locks are manual.
  • And the windows? They’re manual too.

There are, however, a few surprises. There’s a backup camera. Now, it is a federally mandated backup camera, but it’s actually pretty decent. It’s displayed in the main multimedia screen and not in a little square in the rearview mirror.

Also part of the multimedia system is a USB port, plus you get Bluetooth and steering-wheel audio controls, which is a nice little touch at this price range. The USB port looks like a truck-stop adapter that’s been glued to the cigarette lighter, and the multimedia screen is smaller than some phone screens — but those are ridiculous sizes for a phone anyway.

Shop the 2017 Nissan Frontier near you

2017 Nissan Frontier SV
53,272 mi.
$23,998 $1,000 price drop
Great Deal | $1,052 under
2017 Nissan Frontier S
57,439 mi.
Fair Deal

All joking aside, this is a real truck for less than $20,000. You can’t even get a Volkswagen hatchback for less than $20,000, and this has a 900-pound payload capacity, and it can tow up to nearly 3,800 pounds with a 152-horsepower four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive. And all of the nasty crap that you can put in this bed is stuff you wouldn’t dare put inside your Volkswagen Golf.

So it’s cheap, but should you buy one? Well, if you’re willing to spend around $1,200 more, the Chevrolet Colorado has power windows and locks, six-speed manual transmission, better ride and handling, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, more room and nicer interior quality.

But, really, if you’re a small-business owner and that bottom line is everything, you need a dirt-cheap truck to haul your dirt. And that truck is the Nissan Frontier.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.



Photo of Joe Bruzek
Managing Editor Joe Bruzek’s 22 years of automotive experience doesn’t count the lifelong obsession that started as a kid admiring his dad’s 1964 Chevrolet Corvette — and continues to this day. Joe’s been an automotive journalist with for 16 years, writing shopper-focused car reviews, news and research content. As Managing Editor, one of his favorite areas of focus is helping shoppers understand electric cars and how to determine whether going electric is right for them. In his free time, Joe maintains a love-hate relationship with his 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that he wishes would fix itself. LinkedIn: Email Joe Bruzek

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