Flash Drive: 2008 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab 4X4 SE
This 2008 review is representative of model years 2005 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
Sporty and comfortable for up to five adults, the 2008 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab is a perfect example of how compact pickups have evolved — it’s really more of a substitute for an SUV than a truck, but with an open cargo bed. Quick with nice throttle response and plenty of torque from the 4.0-liter V6, the Frontier 5-speed automatic also delivers smooth, quick shifts expected from Nissan products. But the size and power impact fuel economy with city economy less than 15 mpg and highway under 20 mpg. The shorter bed mitigates the longer length of the Crew Cab for improved maneuverability, but the optional Bed Extender still provides maximum usability. Combined with the UTILI-TRACK channel system in the bed, the Bed Extender can be used to secure loads within the bed as well as extend the length when needed. – Mike Meredith
After only five minutes behind the wheel, Nissan’s Frontier illustrates just how far the modern midsize (formerly compact) pickup has come. Gone are the bouncy ride and booming cabin, mercifully replaced by a surprising level of compliance and interior calm. Plenty of V6 grunt makes passing, hauling or high-speed cruising a breeze, but drive it with any sort of gusto and don’t expect your gas mileage to break out of the mid-teens. Interior space with the Crew Cab comfortably fits four (five in a pinch), but does come at the cost of reduced bed size. Those who place a premium on cargo space may want to consider the King Cab, which delivers a foot more bed length, or go the Crew Cab long-bed route. Either way, the Frontier delivers impressive levels of comfort, performance and utility in a package that could very well change the way people think about small trucks. – Kim Wolfkill
The ride was quite smooth for a truck, and with a 261-horsepower V6 under the hood, there was never a lack of power. While the interior is nothing fancy, it is perfectly functional as an everyday vehicle for a small family. When not being used for passengers, the rear seat bottoms fold upright to expose storage trays as well as plenty of room for groceries and other packages. For big cargo Nissan added a number of innovations to the bed. The adjustable bed extender that puts a cage over the tailgate adds more than a foot of additional space, and Nissan’s track system makes it possible to put the movable tie-downs anywhere on either side of the bed, the front of the bed, or even in the floor of the bed. With this functionality you can still purchase a smaller, more maneuverable pickup but still have much of the functionality of the long-bed version. – Perry Stern