When initially developing the latest generation Frontier pickup, Nissan chose “More” as its marketing mantra – more size, more power, more off-road capability, more towing and cargo capacity and more comfort and utility. More size put Frontier squarely in the new middle-sized class of pickups that feature performance figures rivaling those found in full-size pickups just over a decade ago.
The Nissan Frontier is available in two cab configurations – King and Crew – and is available in 4×2 and 4×4 running gear. A 2.5-liter 152hp four-cylinder engine is still available for the most entry-level model Frontier but Nissan is most proud of its VQ-series V-6 with a displacement of 4.0-liters and producing 261hp and 281 lb. ft. of torque.
Behind the V-6 is a choice of six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions that send power to a shift-on-the-fly electronic part-time transfer case in 4×4 applications. Limited-slip differentials are available on both 4×2 and 4×4 model trucks with 4×4 models getting the technology on both front and rear axles so drive can be achieved at any of the four corners in slippery conditions. Also in off-road applications, drivers can take advantage of Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist systems that rely on electronic technology to aid in extreme up- and downhill off-road situations.
The modified F-Alpha chassis provides a very stable platform under the Frontier, allowing for greater ride comfort and stability. Front suspension design is double-wishbone independent while the rear gets a solid axle leaf spring setup with overslung leaf springs and long suspension stroke for optimized off-road dynamics.
Our recent 2015 Nissan Frontier tester was outfitted with the larger engine backed by the automatic gearbox and trimmed in PRO-4X attire on 4×4 running gear. The PRO-4X package adds performance-oriented components including tuned Bilstein shocks, skid plates and special wheels and tires and adds an electronic locking rear differential to the mix. All Frontier pickups offer power rack and pinion steering and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS. A range of tire and wheel options are available including 16- and 18-inch aluminum alloys.
Exterior design includes Nissan’s now familiar chrome angled strut grille, chrome bumpers, short front and rear overhangs and large geometric stamped steel fender flares. Frontier also offers the high-utility bed system first seen in big brother Titan that features durable factory sprayed-in bedliner and Utili-track bed channel system with adjustable tie-down cleats.
Inside we find ample space for driver and up to four passengers complete with that familiar modern Nissan look and componentry. All modern amenities are available here including leather seating, power sunroof, side impact airbags and supplemental side curtain airbags that protect all occupants. This PRO-4X package added unique embroidered leather seating with power and heat in the front buckets.
The 2015 Nissan Frontier offers good on- and off-road ability and comfort while also providing a more pleasurable driving experience and even with the PRO-4X package it never got unruly. The V-6 engine provides very good acceleration and power throughout all the gears. Thanks to electronic throttle control engineers were able to give Frontier modified throttle mapping when put into four-low allowing for optimum control in extreme off-road situations.
Pricing for the 2015 Nissan Frontier begins at $17,990 for the entry S-trim King Cab version with I4 engine, manual tranny and 4×2 running gear. A base Crew Cab in similar configuration starts at $22,700 with our loaded PRO-4X tester arriving with a sticker of $35,655. Fuel economy for this V-6 with 4×4 gear is 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway. The PRO-4X also adds as standard NissanConnect infotainment technology with Mobile Apps. And as always we enjoyed the rocking Rockford Fosgate premium audio system.
We enjoyed our time in the 2015 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X, appreciating it for both its looks and abilities. This truck is ruggedly handsome with a go-anywhere, do anything attitude yet offers the comfort and amenities required of a daily driver.