Vehicle Overview
Nissan’s compact pickup truck gets a new body style for 2002. The regular Crew Cab model has a 56.3-inch cargo box, while the Crew Cab Long Bed’s cargo box measures 74.6 inches in length. The Long Bed model also rides a wheelbase that is 15 inches longer than the regular version.

A new instrument panel with three “cockpit style” round gauges, a console with side map pockets and a bigger glove box go into all Frontier cabs. Responding to complaints about the previous Frontier’s pull-type parking brake, Nissan installed a foot-operated version for 2002. A Rockford Fosgate-powered audio system with an in-dash six-CD changer is a new option for Crew Cab models.

Redesigned in extra-bold form for 2001, the Tennessee-built Frontier features a front end dominated by a massive bumper. Prominent wheel flares have a bolted-on appearance. Nissan was the first manufacturer to offer a Crew Cab pickup with four conventional, front-hinged doors. A four-cylinder and two 3.3-liter V-6 engines, available in regular or supercharged forms, are offered for 2002.

Nissan no longer offers 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 with a 116.1-inch wheelbase. The new Crew Cab Long Bed model is 217.8 inches long overall and rides a 131.1-inch wheelbase and has a cargo bed that’s 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 and a specially tuned suspension with a raised ground clearance for 4x4s.

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. A bench seat is standard in the regular cab, and bucket seats are optional. SE and S/C models can have an optional leather-appointed interior with red-on-charcoal stitching. Frontiers with the supercharged engine have titanium-colored gauges.

Under the Hood
The base engine for the Frontier is a 143-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder. The optional supercharged, 3.3-liter V-6 makes 210 hp with a five-speed-manual shift, but it cranks out 231 hp with an automatic transmission. Occupying a middle ground, the regular 3.3-liter V-6 yields a more modest 170 hp. All engines are available with either a five-speed-manual or four-speed-automatic transmission. The supercharged engine is available on the S/C Desert Runner, S/C 4x4 King Cab, S/C Crew Cab and the new Crew Cab Long Bed models.

Nissan’s four-wheel-drive system can be engaged at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour by using a floor-mounted shift lever. Four-wheel-drive models with the four-cylinder engine have manual front hubs that must be engaged or disengaged by hand while the vehicle is stopped. Frontiers with a V-6 engine have automatic front hubs.

Four-wheel antilock brakes are standard on V-6 and Crew Cab models. All others come only with rear antilock brakes. Dual-stage front airbags with a passenger-side cutoff switch are installed.

Reported by Jim Flammang  for
From the 2002 Buying Guide