Best Bet
  • (4.5) 53 reviews
  • MSRP: $10,443–$24,547
  • Body Style: Truck
  • Combined MPG: 16-21
  • Engine: 261-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: 4x4
  • Towing Capacity: 6,100 lbs.
2012 Nissan Frontier

Our Take on the Latest Model 2012 Nissan Frontier

What We Don't Like

  • Basic interior
  • Tiny backseat (King Cab)
  • Mushy brake feel
  • Wind noise on the highway

Notable Features

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

2012 Nissan Frontier Reviews

Vehicle Overview

Nissan has the longest history in the U.S. among import automakers of selling compact and midsize pickup trucks. Its current small truck, the Frontier, is available with a choice of four-cylinder or V-6 power, and rear- and four-wheel-drive versions are offered. With seating for four or five depending on the cab style, the Frontier competes with the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado.

New for 2012
A new Sport Appearance Package available for King Cab and crew-cab SV trims includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a dark grille, body-colored bumpers, fog lights and special graphics.

Exterior

The Frontier is available only in King Cab (extended cab) and crew-cab body styles, with crew-cab SV and SL models offering a long-box option that measures 13 inches longer than the standard bed. Exterior features include:

  • Tough PRO-4X appearance
  • Off-road-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
  • Available roof rack on crew-cab models
  • Locking tailgate

Interior

All models have supportive, comfortable front bucket seats. Adults have adequate legroom in the rear of the crew cab. Leather seating and a Rockford Fosgate premium stereo are available on crew-cab models. The PRO-4X truck has a unique interior with custom seating. Interior features include:

  • Removable underseat storage in King Cab
  • Easy-to-read gauges
  • Two glove boxes, two 12-volt outlets

Under the Hood

Mechanical features include:

  • Base engine is a 152-horsepower, 2.5-liter, dual-overhead-camshaft inline-four-cylinder that makes 171 pounds-feet of torque
  • 261-hp, 4.0-liter, dual-overhead-camshaft V-6 that makes 281 pounds-feet of torque
  • Choice of a manual or automatic transmission
  • Available electronically controlled, shift-on-the-fly, part-time transfer case

Safety

The Frontier offers side curtain airbags as standard equipment on all four- and six-cylinder models and a standard electronic stability system.

Hill start assist and hill descent control comes on all SV and SL four-wheel-drive models with an automatic transmission. Hill descent control allows slow hill descent without constant pressure on the brake pedal. Hill start assist 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.

Additional safety features include:

  • All-disc antilock brakes
  • Three-point seat belts in all seating locations
  • Latch anchor system in crew cab

Consumer Reviews

(4.5)

Average based on 53 reviews

Write a Review

ONLY OWNED IT A COUPLE OF WEEKS BUT NO COMPLAINTS

by RANDALL C from HEISKELL, TN on November 7, 2017

THE TRUCK IS THE BEST I'VE OWNED AND I HAVE ALWAYS HAD A TRUCK. THIS IS THE FIST NISSAN I HAVE OWNED BUT I LOVE IT.

Read All Consumer Reviews

16 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2012 Nissan Frontier trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Nissan Frontier Articles

2012 Nissan Frontier Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

Head Restraints and Seats
A
Moderate overlap front
G
Roof Strength
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
A
Overall Rear
A
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
G
Left Leg/Foot
M
Overall Front
G
Restraints
G
Right Leg/Foot
A
Structure/safety cage
G

Other

Roof Strength
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
A
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
G
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
G
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

Recalls

There are currently 3 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: $3,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

36mo/36,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/60,000mi

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

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

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.

Powertrain

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