Why Are Nissan Frontiers So Cheap?

Trucks have gotten bigger over the past ten years to keep up with consumer demand and safety standards. The half-ton trucks from the 2000s are comparable in size to the midsize trucks of today. Once upon a time, almost any truck you could purchase would fit safely within a garage.

Trucks have evolved to become more complicated and expensive as a result of these changes. It’s simple to get a half-ton truck into the $50,000 range by checking a few option boxes. If you want a few alternatives, many mid-size vehicles start in the low $40,000 area.

One truck appears to defy that pattern, at least on paper. With a starting price of $20,000, the Nissan Frontier is the least expensive truck you can purchase in the United States. Additionally, compared to all of its current mid-size truck rivals, it has a reduced total footprint.

The Nissan Frontier has aged in comparison to the competition yet continues to enjoy moderate volume sales since its last significant redesign in 2004. Why? We were curious to know.

We’ve compiled a list of reasons why you might want to add the 2018 Nissan Frontier SV Midnight Edition Crew Cab to your purchasing list after living in one for a week.

What is the 2019 Nissan Frontier’s price range?

Recently, MotorTrend evaluated the price ranges of all the most affordable new trucks available for purchase in 2019 and 2020. Unsurprisingly, the Nissan Frontier is the most affordable option.

This is primarily due to the Frontier not having undergone a significant makeover since 2004. Nissan is revamping the Frontier for 2020, despite this. However, that 15-year-old design will nonetheless serve as the foundation for the Frontier’s 2019 model year.

Here are the statistics as stated by MotorTrend. The Ram 1500, which has a starting price of roughly $33,500, is the most costly new “affordable” vehicle. The Chevy Silverado, which starts at slightly under $30,000, is in the middle of the field.

The Frontier, with a starting price of slightly more than $20,000, is the most economical of them all. For comparison, the Chevy Colorado, with a starting price of roughly $22,000, is the second most cheap new truck.

The Most Regular Nissan Frontier Issues Are Exorbitantly Pricey

The Nissan Frontier is known for being a hard-working, no-frills small pickup truck. For those looking for additional off-road experiences beyond the pavement, the Nissan Frontier Pro-4X is a cheap alternative.

The current 2022 Nissan Frontier has had a recent redesign and is equipped with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque along with a nine-speed automated transmission to provide you enough power for both on- and off-road activities. According to Consumer Reports, the high expected reliability rating of the newest models of the Nissan Frontier may be the best justification for purchasing one. Nissan Frontier cars from the past, however, were everything but dependable. These Nissan Frontier issues are frequent and pricey.

Should You Purchase This Nissan Frontier for Less Than $20,000?

If you are familiar with modern pickup trucks, you are aware of how outrageously expensive they are. There are $65,000 trucks on the market with features comparable to luxury automobiles. However, there are still reasonably priced trucks, and this is one. The 2018 Nissan Frontier is actually the most cheap vehicle on the market. The price of the specific model we’re considering is around $20,000 ($19,965 with destination fee).

  • There are two backseats, which might surprise you, and there is plenty of headroom.
  • A bed is present.
  • Manual transmission is used.
  • Manual locks are used.
  • The windows, too? They are also manual.

There are a few surprises, though. A backup camera is present. Although it is a backup camera that is required by law, it is actually quite good. Instead of appearing in a tiny square in the rearview mirror, it appears on the primary multimedia panel.

A USB connector, Bluetooth, and steering-wheel audio controls are all included in the multimedia system, which is a pleasant extra at this price point. The multimedia screen is smaller than some phone screens, and the USB connector resembles a truck stop converter that has been permanently attached to the cigarette lighter, but they are absurd sizes for a phone otherwise.


Given that we had to wait almost 20 years for a new Nissan Frontier, it’s possible that we had unrealistic hopes for the brand-new 2022 model. Our expectations weren’t dashed by the styling; we were enthralled with the new Frontier’s appearance. With the exception of the optional “sport bar,” which we felt destroyed the pickup’s proportions, we thought it was beautiful and robust. (However, should we ever feel the need to use the Frontier for an overlanding adventure, we’ll keep its availability in mind.)

But as we took the Frontier for a test drive during our 2022 Truck of the Year competition, excitement rapidly gave way to dissatisfaction. Although we were aware that the new model was constructed on a modified version of the old truck’s structure, we weren’t prepared for the overall design to feel so out-of-date. It was disappointing how little innovation there was virtually entirely. Features editor Christian Sebaugh encapsulated our opinions as follows: “It is comparable to reviving a corpse with fresh organs (heart, lungs), but the bones are frail and ancient. Nissan has the ideal opportunity to raise the standard at this moment. Instead, it accomplished this.”

Even while the majority of our editors thought the Frontier was capable, trustworthy, and sturdy, our notes nevertheless featured a lot of small issues. Some of them are: a loud engine, a shaky ride, outdated switchgear, a steering column that can only be tilted, a lack of active safety measures, an unsure transmission, and foolish ergonomics. — “Why are the stability control and diff lock switches next to my left knee?” —a top-of-the-line vehicle with low-rent trim and an uncomfortable rear seat back. And almost all of the editors asked the same query: “Why is the steering so heavy?”

Nissan was open about wanting to replace the outdated Toyota Tacoma (akin to setting the difficulty level to “beginner”). Mission accomplished, for sure, but it appears that the business disregarded the other midsize pickup brands since it was so preoccupied with Toyota. If anyone at Nissan had ever driven or even sat in a Chevy Colorado or a GMC Canyon, more than one Truck of the Year judge wondered aloud.

We all agreed that the 2017 Nissan Frontier is a good truck that excels at accomplishing typical truck tasks, but there is nothing particularly innovative or ground-breaking about the way it accomplishes these tasks. Even the 2020 Frontier’s 310-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 engine, which is largely new, is practically antiquated in comparison to the turbocharged, electrified, and all-electric powertrains found in other TOTY finalists. The Frontier Pro-4X variant we tested struggled to transfer power to the ground on the sand-covered off-road course since it only had a locking rear diff to supplement its basic low-range transfer case. Senior editor Alex Kierstein commented, “It doesn’t feel like a new car made with modern parts; it feels more like a 15-year-old truck resculpted to look like a 2021 truck.”

In fact, it didn’t take the judges long to rule out the Frontier as a genuine candidate for this year’s Truck of the Year award. We concurred that while the 2022 Nissan Frontier might not be a contender currently, it may have been in 2015. According to features editor Scott Evans: “A rough-and-tumble little truck like the 2017 Frontier might pique my curiosity if it cost half as much. As it is, it costs a lot of money and offers little improvement over the model it replaces, which is 17 years old.”

The price of a used Nissan Frontier may seem low.

Due to Covid-19’s impact on new car components manufacture, which resulted in a decrease in the supply of new automobiles entering the market and an increase in demand for old cars, most used vehicle prices have increased over the past couple of years. Well, the majority of used autos, especially pickup trucks, have increased in value.

Malaysians also looked at secondhand pickup trucks since many of them started modest home-based enterprises and started providing delivery services, where a pickup truck with a diesel engine and lots of cargo space became a reliable workhorse.

Not all pickup trucks, though, experienced an increase in value, and we failed to pay much attention to one particular model whose asking price was being ignored by the majority of buyers.

It’s a pickup truck, which is unusual, with a manual gearbox (which means cheaper maintenance expenses) and a reasonably economical diesel engine. The Nissan Frontier is this. When we were asked to recommend a secondhand pickup truck to readers and friends during the past two years, it slipped under our “radar,” and it wasn’t until we heard from a pleasant owner who had just purchased one that we learned about its problems.

To compete with the then-popular Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, and Mitsubishi Triton, Tan Chong Motor launched the Nissan Frontier (also known as the D22 Frontier) to Malaysia sometime in 2002. The Mazda BT-50, Tata Xenon, and a few pickups built in China under different names were also available, although their market share was quite low.

The 2.5L common-rail diesel engine in the Frontier held much potential, and a manual transmission was also available. Sales were excellent, and they held a commanding position in the market.

As the years went on, the Frontier moniker was discontinued in favor of the Nissan Navara, which was introduced in late 2004 and is still in production today. What accounts for the early D22 Frontier’s poor performance in the used car market? The body mounts on this model don’t last very long, the suspension is soft, the interior panel rattles, and other minor problems are caused by factory parts.

The D22’s Bosch supplied diesel pump, which is expensive to replace and repair, is the major problem, though. Some workshops estimate that replacing with workmanship will cost between RM12,000 and RM13,000. The authorized Nissan dealer then offers a price of RM15,000 with a warranty.

For between RM3k and RM4k, although without a warranty, certain junkyards may be able to help with a used diesel pump. For the Navara, the next-generation Nissan pickup vehicle, this Bosch diesel pump was quickly enhanced.

So, now that you are aware of what could go wrong the day after purchase or three years later, purchasing a secondhand Frontier can seem a little “sticky.” The cost of that diesel pump is close to the truck’s used buying price.

When compared to what its competitors are asking, there are quite a few cars for sale, with prices ranging from RM12,001 to RM29,001 (before haggling). There are factors you should be aware of, as we have already discussed, and even a skilled mechanic cannot foresee when a diesel pump may fail. If the seller has recently changed the pump, it suggests you will have a better ownership experience if you really like the truck.

The basic pricing of the Frontier S is $29,340 for the Crew Cab and $27,840 for the King Cab.

How good are Nissan Frontiers?

The Nissan Frontier is an excellent pickup, yes. It has a respectable payload capacity and a powerful V6 engine. It also has a comfortable ride and good handling for a pickup. The interior is stylishly contemporary (a welcome change from the previous generation), and the front seats are incredibly comfortable and supportive.

Nissan Frontiers typically last how long?

A Nissan Frontier should have at least 100,000 miles on it. Nissan Frontier can last between 7.5 and 10 years if you drive between 10,000 and 15,000 miles annually on average. If the Nissan Frontier is properly maintained and cared for, it will last longer.