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2012 Nissan Frontier

$9,895 — $23,563 USED
Truck
4-5 Seats
16-21 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 5 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • V-6 tows up to 6,500 pounds
  • Maneuverability
  • Forward visibility

The Bad

  • Basic interior
  • Tiny backseat (King Cab)
  • Mushy brake feel
  • Wind noise on the highway
2012 Nissan Frontier exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2012 Nissan Frontier
  • Four-cylinder or V-6
  • King Cab or crew cab only
  • no regular cab
  • Standard side curtain airbags
  • Off-road-oriented PRO-4X model

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

After our Duel in the Desert challenge in which Mopar’s Ram Runner beat the Ford SVT Raptor, we decided to let truck makers offer us their biggest and baddest off-road trucks for our Ultimate 4X4 Shootout.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.6
63 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.3)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

GREAT LITTLE TRUCK!

by Jeff from BOISE on November 6, 2018

So far I am really enjoying the truck, I have never owned a Nissan but very impressed so far. It has all the options I was looking for and then some. Read full review

(5.0)

Nissan is very reliable.

by Redsox Fan from Keene, NH on October 15, 2018

Owned a home and truck was well worth the money for everything I needed it for. Would recommend Nissan to anyone. Only got rid of it because we no longer owned a home. Now own a home and looking for ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2012 Nissan Frontier currently has 3 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2012 Nissan Frontier S

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
acceptable
Overall Rear
acceptable
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
marginal
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
acceptable
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
acceptable
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Nissan

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    6 years/less than 80,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    84 months/100,000 miles from original new-car in-service date

  • Powertrain

    84 months/100,000 miles (includes LEAF electric vehicle system and powertrain)

  • Dealer Certification Required

    167-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2012 Frontier Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Frontier received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

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.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

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.

What is included in 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).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

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.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker