• (4.2) 14 reviews
  • MSRP: $3,066–$10,410
  • Body Style: Truck
  • Combined MPG: 16-23
  • Engine: 170-hp, 3.3-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: 4x2
  • Towing Capacity: 5,000 lbs.
2002 Nissan Frontier

Our Take on the Latest Model 2002 Nissan Frontier

2002 Nissan Frontier Reviews

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 cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 14 reviews

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This pickup has Done everything ive asked of it

by Sasquatch 360 from Kelso WA on June 17, 2017

I have used and abused this truck to an extent and she always preformed at or above expectaions An absolutely great truck

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23 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2002 Nissan Frontier trim comparison will help you decide.

Nissan Frontier Articles

2002 Nissan Frontier Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 8 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $5,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years