2007 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab
2007 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Bob McHugh

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Photo Gallery: 2007 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab

When Nissan introduced us to a crew cab version of the Frontier pickup truck back in 1999, it was a first in Canada in the compact truck segment. Larger cabs are now an industry-wide trend and Nissan no longer even offers a ‘regular’ (two/three seat) cab pickup.

Completely redesigned again a couple of years ago, the Frontier gained some serious muscle and larger proportions. It’s now rightfully considered a mid-size pickup, similar in size to a Dodge Dakota. Bigger and stronger all around, this new Frontier is offered in King Cab (historically an extended cab) and larger Crew Cab body styles.

The big news for the 2007 model year is that the Frontier Crew Cab comes with a longer wheelbase and a longer 1861-mm (73-inch) cargo bed in both SE and LE trim levels. Nismo, the off-road specialty version, continues with the shorter wheelbase and a 1511-mm (59.5-inch) cargo bed.

2007 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab
2007 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab. Click image to enlarge

Beneath the Frontier’s bigger body is a bigger chassis. It’s a trimmer version of the boxed ladder chassis that also supports Nissan’s full-sized pickup, the Titan. While the Frontier may be a slimmer and lighter than its big brother pickup it can still pull a 2,767-kg (6,100-lb) trailer or haul a 572-kg (1,261-lb) payload in the back.

The base two-wheel-drive Frontier King Cab XE ($24,448) comes with a fuel-efficient 2.5-litre, four-cylinder engine under its hood. All the others, including my test Crew Cab SE ($35,073), are powered by the large capacity 4.0-litre V6 engine. The maximum horsepower rating (261-hp) of this engine actually edges the most powerful version of the Dakota’s 4.7-litre V8 (rated at 260-hp).

Other ’07 Frontier changes include a passenger-side seatbelt reminder light, an MP3 player jack with the six-CD changer, and new option packages. In addition, the V6 now runs cleaner, which allows the Frontier to meet the Ultra Low Emissions standard.

Like previous generations, the Frontier is assembled at Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tennessee.

The Frontier takes its rugged, strong-box styling cues from its big brother, the Titan. All Frontiers have four-doors, but while the King Cab doors are rear-hinged, the Crew Cab has conventional forward-hinged doors.

The tailgate is lockable and the cargo bed comes with a durable spray-on bed liner. Some Frontiers also come with the Utili-track bed channel system. This has adjustable aluminum-alloy tie-down cleats and there are optional accessory racks, trays, dividers and modular storage systems.

Inside, big grab handles on the front A-pillars aid entry to the elevated seats. The exterior’s rugged industrial theme is continued in the interior, and there’s some nice brushed aluminum-look (plastic) trim.

2007 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab
2007 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab
2007 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab. Click image to enlarge

Features I particularly liked were the pull-up type hand brake, the tilt steering column, heated side mirrors and the (tray-like) fold-forward front passenger seatback.

There are storage spots a-plenty inside the Frontier including a double glove-box and an extra deep centre pocket. Under the flip-up rear seats you’ll also find removable storage bins.

The rear passengers get a reasonably spacious and inviting area to sit. While the seats are comfortable there’s no space behind the seatbacks to recline them.

Some safety features are available only on the top trim levels: side-curtain airbags, which come with a roll-over sensor, are not offered on the SE trim, but they are optional ($550) on the LE and standard on Nismo. You also have to move up to the LE or Nismo to get a stability control system.

The rear seat lower (UAS) anchors were particularly easy to use during my child seat check. The rear seat cushions are deep enough (a common issue with the shorter extended cab pickups) to accept a child seat – at least 80% of the child seat base must rest on the vehicle seat. The seatback had to be tilted forward slightly to attach the tether and it was a little difficult to tighten the strap after the seatback was returned to a locked position. Although still acceptable, the front seats had to be moved forward to fit a rear-facing child seat.

The Frontier’s part-time 4×4 system gives the driver a choice of two-wheel drive, four-wheel high or four-wheel low at the turn of a dial. It’s an electronically controlled transfer case that also allows shift-on-the-fly engagement. Primarily an off-road system, there is a noticeable difference in the vehicle when you shift to a 4×4 mode. You feel some driveline vibes through the body and the steering gets noticeably heavier.

2007 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab
2007 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab. Click image to enlarge

Additional off-road driving enhancements available with the Frontier include a four-wheel limited slip drive, an electronic locking rear differential, Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA).

Though fuel economy is not terrific and throttle tip-in rate is on the quick side, the overall performance of Nissan’s VQ-series V6 was excellent. This advanced engine has an aluminum block with cast iron cylinder liners, a forged steel crankshaft, a variable induction system, variable valve timing and a silent two-stage timing chain.

If found the ride on the firm side, yet considering its inherent truck limitations, I was surprised how well the Frontier handled. Its double-wishbone independent front suspension, speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering and four-wheel disc brake system, are all contributing factors, no doubt.

With its strong chassis, roomy crew cab and a powerful V6 engine, the Nissan Frontier is a smart alternative to a full-sized pickup that’s well worth investigating.

Pricing: 2007 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab SE


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