Desert Runner 4x2 Crew Cab 4.75 ft. box 125.9 in. WB
2019 Nissan Frontier

2019 Frontier Photos
The 2019 Nissan Frontier marks a milestone: The compact pickup truck has been on sale since 2004, without too many major changes. None for 2019 in fact, after a big year in 2018, when it added air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth, and a rearview camera to the base S model. Modern active-safety features, such as automatic emergency braking or even blind-spot monitors, aren't available on any Frontier.

The 2019 Frontier is a basic pickup for those who don't need more. It's a rear-wheel-drive truck with available four-wheel drive. There are two engines, either challenged or robust, take your pick. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder carries a big burden, making a marginal 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. The 4.0-liter V-6 with 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet better handles the workload and is more popular.

The 4-cylinder engine would make more sense if there were a simple work truck version with a bench seat to carry three people-but there isn't, only an extended cab called King Cab. It mates with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or 5-speed automatic transmission. We're not sure why the automatic costs nearly $4,000 more than the manual in the base S model, but it's not worth it, especially not in a truck like this.

The V-6 comes as King or four-door Crew Cab, and offers either a manual 6-speed transmission of the 5-speed automatic.

The King Cab has a cargo bed that measures a tad over six feet, at 73.3 inches, and second-row jump seats that are reached through rear-hinged half doors that can only open when the front doors are open. Crew Cab models get four conventional doors, a regular rear bench, and either a short (59.5-inch) bed or the longer (73.3-inch) version.

Ground clearance of nearly 9 inches helps make the Frontier competent off the road. Two of the five models focus on that ability. The rear-wheel-drive Desert Runner has a raised suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers and oversize all-terrain tires. The four-wheel-drive PRO-4X includes a transfer case and electric locking rear differential, making it even more capable.

Fuel economy is relatively poor. The 4-cylinder with rear-wheel-drive and the manual gearbox is EPA-rated at 19/23 mpg City/Highway, or 21 mpg Combined ? comparable to some full-size V-8 pickups. The expensive automatic drops the mileage to 17/22/19 mpg.

With V-6 power, rear-drive, and 6-speed manual, the Frontier is EPA-rated at 16/22 mpg City/Highway, or 19 mpg Combined. This time the automatic raises the highway figure to 23 mpg. The four-wheel-drive manual is EPA-rated at 16/21 mpg City/Highway, or 18 mpg Combined. The automatic manages only 15/21/17 mpg.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives a three-star rating (out of five) for the frontal crash-test. No side-impact testing has been performed. Rollover resistance (a calculated figure) is only three-star for rear-drive models, but four stars with four-wheel drive.

Crash-testing by the Insurance …
Full Review

The 2019 Nissan Frontier marks a milestone: The compact pickup truck has been on sale since 2004, without too many major changes. None for 2019 in fact, after a big year in 2018, when it added air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth, and a rearview camera to the base S model. Modern active-safety features, such as automatic emergency braking or even blind-spot monitors, aren't available on any Frontier.

The 2019 Frontier is a basic pickup for those who don't need more. It's a rear-wheel-drive truck with available four-wheel drive. There are two engines, either challenged or robust, take your pick. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder carries a big burden, making a marginal 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. The 4.0-liter V-6 with 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet better handles the workload and is more popular.

The 4-cylinder engine would make more sense if there were a simple work truck version with a bench seat to carry three people-but there isn't, only an extended cab called King Cab. It mates with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or 5-speed automatic transmission. We're not sure why the automatic costs nearly $4,000 more than the manual in the base S model, but it's not worth it, especially not in a truck like this.

The V-6 comes as King or four-door Crew Cab, and offers either a manual 6-speed transmission of the 5-speed automatic.

The King Cab has a cargo bed that measures a tad over six feet, at 73.3 inches, and second-row jump seats that are reached through rear-hinged half doors that can only open when the front doors are open. Crew Cab models get four conventional doors, a regular rear bench, and either a short (59.5-inch) bed or the longer (73.3-inch) version.

Ground clearance of nearly 9 inches helps make the Frontier competent off the road. Two of the five models focus on that ability. The rear-wheel-drive Desert Runner has a raised suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers and oversize all-terrain tires. The four-wheel-drive PRO-4X includes a transfer case and electric locking rear differential, making it even more capable.

Fuel economy is relatively poor. The 4-cylinder with rear-wheel-drive and the manual gearbox is EPA-rated at 19/23 mpg City/Highway, or 21 mpg Combined ? comparable to some full-size V-8 pickups. The expensive automatic drops the mileage to 17/22/19 mpg.

With V-6 power, rear-drive, and 6-speed manual, the Frontier is EPA-rated at 16/22 mpg City/Highway, or 19 mpg Combined. This time the automatic raises the highway figure to 23 mpg. The four-wheel-drive manual is EPA-rated at 16/21 mpg City/Highway, or 18 mpg Combined. The automatic manages only 15/21/17 mpg.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives a three-star rating (out of five) for the frontal crash-test. No side-impact testing has been performed. Rollover resistance (a calculated figure) is only three-star for rear-drive models, but four stars with four-wheel drive.

Crash-testing by the Insurance …
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Retail Price

$27,830 MSRP / Window Sticker Price

Smart Buy Price

$3,179 Nat'l avg. savings off MSRP
See Local Pricing
Engine 4.0LV-6
MPG 16 City / 23 Hwy
Seating 5 Passengers
Transmission 5-spd auto w/OD
Power 261 @ 5600 rpm
Drivetrain rear-wheel
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