Flash Drive: 2009 Nissan Frontier
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2005 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The Nissan Frontier is a perfect example of how small pickup trucks aren't so small anymore. The 2009 model is a foot longer than its previous generation and provides much of the utility once found only in a full-size truck. Nissan makes it easy to take full advantage of the Frontier's capabilities. Its Utili-Track system allows you to secure practically any type or size of cargo. Tie-downs can be secured in just about any area of the truck bed. The 4.0-liter V6 engine that propelled our tester did not feel particularly powerful, and the ride was rather stiff, even for a truck. Steering provided good feedback, but maneuverability suffered due to a surprisingly large turning circle. – Perry Stern
Nissan makes trucks that an enthusiast can love, and for 2009, the automaker offers off-road enthusiasts the Pro-4X. Equipped for excellent off-road performance, it sports a more rugged appearance, with body-color grille, unique wheels and big, BFGoodrich off-road tires. The Bilstein high-pressure gas shocks are designed for the bumpy stuff, but do an admirable job on flat pavement as well. The strong 4.0-liter V6 makes the Frontier fun to drive, with quick throttle response and lots of power, and the transmission delivers smooth, quick shifts, across the board. The King Cab includes rear-hinged doors to access the second-row seats and storage. However, they cannot be opened independent of the front doors, hence, alot of room is required to access the rear seating or cargo area — park too close to another car and you'll find yourself in a pinch. – Mike Meredith
The Nissan Frontier is an "old school" small pickup truck. It's minimalist, it's rugged, it's frugal, and it's not too expensive. The engine doesn't have that much power, but the Frontier still felt fleet of foot. However, I never needed to haul anything; I got the impression that the engine could soon feel underpowered if you were trying to carry anything really heavy. The truck bed did come with a sprayed-in liner, and the tie-down system looked well-designed. The Frontier delivers good fuel economy — I achieved around 20 mpg. This truck would make a good everyday vehicle for someone who values the flexibility of a pickup should they ever need it, but if I was looking for a work truck and was going to be carrying a lot of gear, I think I'd look for something a bit more substantial. – Paul Hagger