Hold up. Wait a minute. Why are we testing a 2019 Nissan Frontier? Isn’t there an all-new Nissan Frontier on the way for 2021? And if we don’t want to wait for that truck, shouldn’t we be reviewing the 2020 Nissan Frontier, which has the 310-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 pulled ahead from the upcoming truck in place of the, ahem, historical four-liter, 261-horse chugger that can trace its ancestry all the way back to 1994?
These are all good questions, and they have a single answer: This is all we could get. And by “get,” I mean “rent.” Nissan wasn’t eager to get a 2020 Frontier to our man in California, Phillip Thomas, so I sauntered down to Enterprise and rented a 2019 for our test. That being said, there are two very good reasons to evaluate the 2019 Frontiers:
0. They’re still at dealerships, brand new. Hundreds of them, across the country;
1. They’re significantly cheaper than the 2020 models, as much as three grand cheaper before discounts. Which is real money in what we call These Challenging Times.
Read the full review on Hagerty.com:
Another excellent article, even though your sworn duty as an automobile journalist is to make your readers lust after this year's model. Real-world advice from an iconoclast. Also, thanks for exposing the fraud that is "real time" (or whatever) 4-wheel drive. (I drive a Saabaru in winter, so I can assume the mantle of smugness). Finally, in my annoying way, I feel the need to point out an extra "to" in "central to Ohio". Love reading your work.
I have a similar 2013-model-year version of this truck, which replaced a 2002 Frontier Crew Cab 4x4 that I sold at around 170,000 miles and that is still in daily use by its second owner 7 years and who knows how many miles later. My 2013 is approaching 180,000 miles and can still pull a trailer and without a trailer averages around 23 mpg. I really like that it has 100 more horsepower and an extra gear compared to the 2000 model. I wish the voice recognition system was better, but otherwise I'm quite happy and even contented with my truck. Well, except for the fact that my 15-year-old grandson expects to swipe it from me when he gets his license. -- Larry Edsall
Jack, you've let the cat out of the bag.....bought my own 2018 SV 4x4 a little over 10 months ago with 6k miles on the odo, after much research. The Frontier provides exactly what I wanted, no frills truck with a history of dependability at a fraction of the price of it's competitors, without all the unnecessary gee-gaws and nannies that will only cost a small fortune to repair in the future when they break. I specifically wanted to get my hands on one of the final years of the "same old design" before the changes were made. Great truck and I couldn't be happier at this point after the first 12k miles.
Added bonus for those who require it, that your forgot to mention, it's made in the US.
I always enjoy a good rental review. Because the Frontier is so old, Nissan can throw cash money on the hood like a domestic full-sized truck. The Frontier thus sidesteps the problem that this segment has. You end up paying nine-tenths the price of a full-sized truck, but end up getting something that is half as capable and refined. Emphasis on the latter, as the American full-sized trucks have seen serious investment in the last decade that the global midsizers haven't. The Ford Ranger and Chevrolet Colorado are a decade old, the Honda Ridgeline looks like a minivan plus it's really only for Honda loyalists, and the Toyota Tacoma is quietly just as old as this Frontier but with zero slack in the out-the-door price.