Used Vehicle Review: Nissan Frontier, 2005 2012 used car reviews reviews nissan
2005 Nissan Frontier NISMO Off-Road Crew Cab 4×4. Click image to enlarge

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Nissan Canada

By Chris Chase; photos by Russell Purcell

Nissan’s Frontier pickup went from wishy-washy to gaining the vehicular equivalent of washboard abs in a 2005 redesign that brought its look in line with that of the rest of Nissan’s trucks. Both King Cab and Crew Cab (there was no regular-cab model) versions of the Frontier grew in every direction, and were fitted with larger, stronger engines.

A 2.5-litre four-cylinder (154 hp/173 lb.-ft. torque) was the base engine and came with a five-speed manual, and a 4.0-litre V6 (265 hp/284 lb.-ft.) was paired with a six-speed manual; both engines could be optioned to a five-speed automatic. Both engines’ power figures were adjusted in 2007, to 152 hp/171 lb.-ft. in the four-cylinder, and 261 hp/281 lb.-ft. for the V6.

Fuel consumption estimates, per Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency, were 10.7/8.7 L/100 km (city/highway) for four-cylinder, manual transmission models, and 12.6/9.2 for four-cylinder/automatic versions. Six-cylinder Frontiers were rated 13.5/10.1 (manual transmission) and 14.4/10.2 L/100 km (automatic) with rear-wheel drive, and, for 4×4 versions, 13.8/10.4 (manual) and 14.8/10.6 L/100 km (automatic).

Used Vehicle Review: Nissan Frontier, 2005 2012 used car reviews reviews nissan
2005 Nissan Frontier NISMO Off-Road Crew Cab 4×4. Click image to enlarge

For 2005, the base XE King Cab came standard with air conditioning, four-speaker CD stereo, folding rear jump seats, tire pressure monitoring, anti-lock brakes, cloth seats, 15-inch steel wheels, sliding rear window and variable intermittent wipers. Basic Crew Cab models came similarly equipped.

Moving up to the LE Crew Cab added an upgraded stereo, heated leather seats, front seat side and side curtain airbags, aluminum roof rack, power sunroof and 17-inch alloy wheels. The SE Crew Cab got shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive, and the LE 4×4 got stability control. Both 4×4 models could be optioned with an off-road package of locking rear differential, upgraded shocks, skid plates, hill start assist/hill descent control and off-road tires.

All 2006 Frontiers got standard keyless entry, lockable glovebox. The King Cab XE added power windows, locks and mirrors, a security system and cruise control. A new NISMO King Cab trim got a six-CD/MP3 stereo, while the SE got upgraded tires. NISMO and LE models also got chrome interior trim, and NISMO with manual transmission got a new shifter.

The 2007 model year brought a long bed option for Crew Cab SE and LE models. All Frontiers got an auxiliary input for the stereo and the option of an appearance package of 16-inch wheels chrome front bumper for the King Cab XE.

Used Vehicle Review: Nissan Frontier, 2005 2012 used car reviews reviews nissan
2005 Nissan Frontier NISMO Off-Road Crew Cab 4×4. Click image to enlarge

For 2008, Nissan added an optional stereo with auxiliary input and steering wheel-mounted controls, Bluetooth, satellite radio and security system. LE models got a standard power driver’s seat and NISMO models added a standard utility bed package.

2009 Frontiers got a new front fascia and headlight design, new 16- and 18-inch wheel designs, a new centre stack in V6-powered models and new seat cloth for the LE trim level. Also new was a PRO-4X off-road package, which replaced the old NISMO setup.

Side and curtain airbags were made standard in 2010, and all V6-powered models got stability control. SE and LE 4WD trucks added standard hill start assist and hill descent control, while the LE Crew Cab got standard heated leather front seats. The six-foot bed was made standard (except for PRO-4X models, which retained the old five-foot bed).

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