The Nissan Frontier is a mid-size pickup truck that was introduced in the late 1990s.
Now approaching its third decade of production, the Frontier has earned a favorable reputation for offering decent driving dynamics and affordable work-truck abilities.
Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book have provided a lot of reviews for this vehicle line, and the recurring advantage of the Nissan Frontier through the years is its smooth and quiet driving experience.
If you would like to know which model years of the Nissan Frontier to go for (and which to avoid), continue reading our guide.
Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Nissan Frontier Are:
The best Nissan Frontier models ever made are the 1999, 2019, and 2022 model years. On the other hand, the worst Nissan Frontier models ever made are the 2005, 2006, and 2007 model years. Taking note of these model years is important, especially if you are looking to purchase a used Nissan Frontier.
What Are The Best Years For The Nissan Frontier?
The Nissan Frontier has had decent reliability ratings and overall reviews. Listed below are three of the models that stand out from the rest:
1999 Nissan Frontier
Although quite dated, the second iteration of the Frontier is considered to be one of the best and most reliable model years to date.
It comes equipped with a powerful V6 engine and was the first compact pickup with four full-size forward-hinged doors.
If you are looking for a vintage pickup that can pack a punch then the ’99 Frontier is a viable option.
Of the three model years on this list, the 1999 Nissan Frontier was given the highest consumer rating by both Edmunds (4.3 out of 5.0) and Kelley Blue Book (4.5 out of 5.0).
Based on data from CarComplaints.com, the 1999 Nissan Frontier has only received a total of 2 complaints, one was for electrical problems and the other was for transmission problems.
2019 Nissan Frontier
Despite the solid consumer scores the vintage ’99 model received there’s no denying that the more modern 2019 Frontier is a stronger choice.
The 2019 Frontier is the penultimate model of the second generation, it comes with a 7-inch touchscreen display, off-road capability, a configurable cargo box and is available with either manual or automatic transmissions.
If you are looking for a decent Nissan Frontier in the used vehicle market, the 2019 model is a top pick.
One satisfied customer had this to say about it:
“This truck is great; it handles well, has plenty of power, and is surprisingly comfortable. For the price, it can’t be beat.”
Of the three model years on this list, the 2019 Nissan Frontier was deemed second-best by both Edmunds (4.2 out of 5.0) and Kelley Blue Book (4.4 out of 5.0), only losing to the 1999 Nissan Frontier by a small margin.
Based on data obtained from CarComplaints.com, the 2019 Nissan Frontier has only received a total of 2 complaints, concerning drivetrain problems and wheel problems.
2022 Nissan Frontier
If you are looking for a futuristic bold design, up-to-date technology, and refinements that provide even better handling and maneuverability, then the 2022 Nissan Frontier is what you should have your eyes set on.
Here’s what one owner had to say:
“Just bought a 2022 Frontier Crew Cab SV Longbed…and this thing is sweet!! Comfy, techy, and downright cool looking!!”
The 2022 Frontier is the first iteration of the third generation.
It comes with an updated stylish interior, a bigger touchscreen infotainment system, and a more rugged exterior design.
Of the three model years on this list, the 2022 Nissan Frontier ranked third-best, being a few points behind the two aforementioned model years based on Edmunds (3.8 out of 5.0) and Kelley Blue Book (3.0 out of 5.0).
Consumer Scores for Best Nissan Frontier Years
Below is a table that presents all the consumer ratings of the best Nissan Frontier model years from reputable vehicle websites:
|Model Year||Edmunds’ Consumer Rating||Kelley Blue Book’s Consumer Rating||JD Power’s Consumer Rating|
|1999 Nissan Frontier||4.3 / 5.0||4.5 / 5.0||NA|
|2019 Nissan Frontier||4.2 / 5.0||4.4 / 5.0||77 / 100|
|2022 Nissan Frontier||3.8 / 5.0||3.0 / 5.0||NA|
What Are The Worst Years For The Nissan Frontier?
The Nissan Frontier has also had its fair share of problems and complaints. The models listed below are the versions of the vehicle that you should absolutely avoid:
2005 Nissan Frontier
Despite the more muscular and intimidating exterior design of the 2005 Frontier, this particular iteration left owners pulling their hair out.
This model had a lot of issues from the very beginning and was plagued by transmission failures.
The transmission problems were caused by the rupturing of the radiator which leaks coolant into the transmission thereby destroying it.
Numerous owners had to replace the transmission at an average mileage of 104,000 miles with a typical repair cost of $3,790.
One disgruntled owner had this to say:
“This problem has been known for a long time and there was a relatively cheap fix for it but I was never informed that a $200 replacement radiator would have prevented a $4000 repair.”
The 2005 Nissan Frontier received a total of 284 complaints based on data obtained from CarComplaints.com and logged a total of 696 problems based on information acquired from CarProblemZoo.com. The leading issue of this model year is transmission problems.
2006 Nissan Frontier
The 2006 Nissan Frontier shared a lot of the same problems as its immediate predecessor, and suffered from the major problem of radiators cracking, leaking coolant and destroying transmissions.
Another common complaint was that the fuel gauge wasn’t accurate.
The 2006 Nissan Frontier received a total of 213 complaints based on data obtained from CarComplaints.com and logged a total of 785 problems based on information acquired from CarProblemZoo.com. The leading issue of this model year is transmission problems.
2007 Nissan Frontier
The 2007 Frontier completes the trilogy for the worst years – 2005, 2006 and 2007 are all notorious for transmission failure.
Fortunately for Nissan, this was the last year before they managed to resolve the radiator issues that destroyed the transmission.
Another gripe with this model was that hard plastic was heavily used in the design and construction of the interior of the vehicle, regardless of trim or variant. This led to a cheap feeling for the driver and the passengers.
The 2007 Nissan Frontier received a total of 200 complaints based on data obtained from CarComplaints.com and logged a total of 656 problems based on information acquired from CarProblemZoo.com. The leading issue of this model year is transmission problems.
What Years Have The Most Complaints?
There are a handful of Nissan Frontier models that have received high numbers of complaints. Listed below are complaints and problems listed for each model year:
|Model Year||Complaints (CarComplaints.com)||Problems (CarProblemZoo.com)|
|2022 Nissan Frontier||NA||13|
|2021 Nissan Frontier||NA||6|
|2020 Nissan Frontier||NA||7|
|2019 Nissan Frontier||2||9|
|2018 Nissan Frontier||6||16|
|2017 Nissan Frontier||6||23|
|2016 Nissan Frontier||30||43|
|2015 Nissan Frontier||17||40|
|2014 Nissan Frontier||17||44|
|2013 Nissan Frontier||17||51|
|2012 Nissan Frontier||46||85|
|2011 Nissan Frontier||28||73|
|2010 Nissan Frontier||17||60|
|2009 Nissan Frontier||12||41|
|2008 Nissan Frontier||56||170|
|2007 Nissan Frontier||200||656|
|2006 Nissan Frontier||213||785|
|2005 Nissan Frontier||284||696|
|2004 Nissan Frontier||16||84|
|2003 Nissan Frontier||8||87|
|2002 Nissan Frontier||8||141|
|2001 Nissan Frontier||17||142|
|2000 Nissan Frontier||4||209|
|1999 Nissan Frontier||2||100|
|1998 Nissan Frontier||3||135|
What Problems Do Nissan Frontiers Have?
Listed below are a few of the typical problems owners have encountered with the Nissan Frontier:
- Radiator Problems
- Transmission Problems
- Engine Problems
What Are The Best Alternatives To The Nissan Frontier?
There are several great alternatives to the Nissan Frontier. Here are other models to check out if you are looking to get a compact pickup truck:
|Make & Model||Score||MSRP||Fuel Economy|
|Honda Ridgeline||8.3||$36,890 – $44,320||City: 18 mpg / Highway: 24 mpg|
|Chevrolet Colorado||7.8||$25,200 – $44,200||City: 16-20 mpg / Highway: 18-30 mpg|
|GMC Canyon||7.8||$26,800 – $45,000||City: 17-20 mpg / Highway: 24-30 mpg|
|Ford Ranger||7.7||$25,285 – $39,250||City: 19-21 mpg / Highway: 19-26 mpg|
|Toyota Tacoma||7.3||$26,500 – $48,640||City: 17-20 mpg / Highway: 20-24 mpg|
|Ford Maverick||NA||$19,995 – $25,490||City: 23 mpg / Highway: 30 mpg|
|Hyundai Santa Cruz||NA||$23,990 – $39,720||City: 19-21 mpg / Highway: 26-27 mpg|
|Jeep Gladiator||NA||$36,085 – $48,025||City: 16-22 mpg / Highway: 22-28 mpg|
|Nissan Frontier||NA||$27,840 – $37,240||City: 17-18 mpg / Highway: 23-24 mpg|