First known as a compact pickup, the Nissan Frontier has now evolved into a larger and more powerful all-around truck. Its pickup functionality makes it a favorite among off-roaders. And, with its tough appeal, it matches its superb rugged capabilities with a hard-hitting charisma. Today, the mid-size pickup has proven that maneuverability can exist with the strong and jagged frame.
1997-2004: The compact pickup
Introduced as a replacement for the Nissan Hardbody truck, the Nissan Frontier’s first generation came with a four-cylinder engine. A few years later, a V6 engine became an option for the compact pickup truck. Otherwise known as the D22 series, this generation soon released a four door version in the Frontier Crew Cab model.
While its market generally leaned to older drivers, the start of the new millennium shaped the Frontier with bolder styling to appeal to younger buyers. Although the Nissan Frontier showed an early boom in the compact pickup truck category, it transitioned quietly into the second gen D40 series.
2004-2012: Size and power boost
The second batch of the Nissan Frontier was introduced in the 2004 North American International Auto Show where it featured a change of class. The former compact pickup was made bigger and more powerful to a mid-size type. And it received an incredible boost in engine capacity with 265 horsepower and 284 lb/ft of torque – one of the strongest in its class.
However, the larger Nissan Frontier limited the cab configurations into just the Crew Cab and four-door King Cab. This generation was built on a Nissan F-Alpha platform, and came with standard six-speed manual transmission that could be upgraded to five-speed automatic.
2008 -2012: Six-spoke steel alloy upgrades
By the second half of the second generation, Bluetooth technology became a standard. The Nissan Frontier manufacturers refurbished its exterior appeal with rounder bumpers, a less pronounced v-shaped grille, and gave subtle changes to the headlights and bonnet. Moreover, the biggest change for the pickup truck was the six-spoke 17-inch steel alloy wheels that came with an optional 18 inches.
By 2010, the Frontier received another facelift with the new 3.0-liter V6 turbo V9X diesel engine that produced 240 horsepower and 406 lbs/ft of torque. Additionally, the upgraded truck was equipped with the Vehicle Dynamics Control that improved its stability. Also, all the petrol V6 and diesel variants now have side-impact and side-curtain airbags to pair with the ones in front.