10 Best & Worst Nissan Frontier Years (Stats & Examples)

Nissan Frontiers are incredible vehicles built to last for years and are renowned for delivering exceptional performance over other cars. 

The Frontier is a 2-door or 4-door pickup truck manufactured by Nissan and possesses enormous power and ruggedness.

It is also known for its excellent fuel efficiency and this article will discuss important details about each model and what you should check while buying a new or used Nissan Frontier. 

The Best and Worst Years for the Nissan Frontier Are:

The best Nissan Frontier models are the 1998, 1999, 2017, 2018, and 2019 models while the worst Nissan Frontier models are the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2012 model years.

Thankfully, more recent models are among the most reliable Frontiers to own.

What Nissan Frontier Years Are The Most Reliable? 

The under-listed Nissan Frontier years are reliable. These model years make a list because they offer a pleasant riding experience. 

You need to pay attention to these model years when you are about to purchase your Nissan Frontier. They’re the models that come to mind when we consider how long Nissan Frontiers last.

1. 2019 Nissan Frontier

The 2019 Nissan Frontier comes in different trims and remains one of the best vehicles in the Nissan Frontier lineup. 

The 2019 Nissan Frontier is of the second generation. It has incredible features such as a

  • 7-inch touchscreen display
  • A personalized cargo box
  • Off-road capability, and
  • It also comes in automatic or manual transmission

It is easy to maneuver this vehicle, as its off-road feature is unique. It has a V6 towing capacity, and you can get a feel of a pickup truck with this model.  

Edmunds ranks this vehicle second-best with a score rating of 4.2 out of 5.0, and the 1999 Nissan Frontier is in the first spot. 

According to Car Complaints, only two complaints about the 2019 Nissan Frontier were made. 

These complaints are about the wheel and drivetrain of the vehicle. The base model of this vehicle did not come with heated side mirrors and leather seats. 

However, it does not take off the shine of this exquisite model, as it is an excellent addition to the list. 

2. 1999 Nissan Frontier

The 1999 Nissan Frontier is available in three trims and is one of the best vehicles renowned for quality performance. 

It has a robust V6 engine and a reputation as the first compact pickup vehicle.

Edmunds gave the 1999 Nissan Frontier a rating of 4.3 scores out of 5.0. Car Complaints also confirmed receiving two complaints about the 1999 Nissan Frontier. 

The first complaint concerns the transmission problem, while the other affects the electrical system. 

3. 2018 Nissan Frontier

The 2018 SV trim has the Rear View Camera as a standard feature.  

Despite offering a comfortable ride, the fuel economy of this mid-size SUV is unsatisfactory as it consumes 19 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. 

Despite sharing similar features with the 2019 model, it could not perform like the 2019 model. It is available in six various trims and comes with several standard features. 

Though this model is an excellent choice, purchasing the 2019 model will offer you more value for money. 

4. 1998 Nissan Frontier

The 1998 model comes in four trims and is preferred to the 1999 model, its successor. 

It has a 2.4-liter, inline four-cylinder engine rated at 143 horsepower. 

It also moves from 0 to 60 mph within 11.4 seconds. 

5. 2017 Nissan Frontier

If you are looking for a cheap pickup truck that offers you value for your money, the 2017 Nissan Frontier is the most suitable ride for you. 

It has incredible off-road capacity and forward visibility features. These are some of the attributes that endeared a lot of people to the model.

The infotainment system in this vehicle is excellent. Users can access AM/FM stereo, six speakers, a USB connection, auxiliary audio input, and USDB with external media control. 

Some features in the 2017 model aimed at making life convenient include

  • Electric power steering
  • Tilt-adjustable steering wheel
  • Cruise control
  • Front seatback storage, and
  • Single-zone front air conditioning

It is available in six trims and has notable features like most successors. 

What Nissan Frontier Years Should You Avoid? 

Not all Nissan Frontier year models are good; these are some of the year models you should avoid.

The Nissan Frontier is also among the Nissan models you can lease. That may come in handy if you’re skeptical about buying the Frontier.

1. 2005 Nissan Frontier

The 2005 Nissan Frontier tops the list of the worst model year of Nissan Frontier you should ignore. 

It is plagued by different problems that build up over time. As you are through fixing one issue, another issue will usually come up. 

One of the most critical issues with the 2005 model is the susceptibility of its radiator to trigger transmission failure.

When there is a problem, there will be a rupture of the radiator, and it will leak the coolant into the transmission. Once the coolant reaches the transmission, it will shut down. 

In some cases, several owners have to replace the transmission when they reach a mileage of 104,000 miles. The repair expense for the replacement of the transmission is around $3,790.  

Car Complaints confirmed that it received 284 complaints about the 2005 Nissan Frontier from different owners.

The transmission issue is the most prevalent problem out of all these complaints. 

2. 2006 Nissan Frontier

Like the 2005 model, the radiator in the 2006 Nissan Frontier tends to crack and cause transmission issues. 

The leakage in the radiator will hurt the transmission system. If not for this problem, the 2006 model would be a fantastic pickup truck. Its engine is also likely to lose its power and switch off abruptly. 

The 2006 Nissan Frontier has issues with defective timing chains, which would lead to a vehicle breakdown. 

An inaccurate fuel gauge is another issue with the 2006 model, and it gives you a false warning signal about your fuel consumption. 

Transmission issues are the most common problems numerous users report on most car complaint websites.

3. 2007 Nissan Frontier

The manufacturer failed to address the cause of the problem in the previous models, and the 2007 model is a significant testimony. 

The radiator can crack and leak its coolant content on the transmission. This compelled a lot of people to stop buying the Nissan Frontier vehicles. 

Other problems, such as defective timing chains and tensioners, are part of the 2007 nemesis. 

The manufacturer slowly addressed engine problems, but there were still instances of the engine not starting.

Transmission problems remain the central problem of this model, as clear on most car complaint websites. 

For instance, transmission issues are the most common of the 656 complaints from CarProblemZoo about the 2007 model. 

4. 2008 Nissan Frontier

The complaints from so many owners made Nissan work on the 2008 model. 

Fortunately, it addressed some issues, but users complain about rough shifting on this model. 

Some users have complained about engine stalling, defective fuel level sensors leading to false “check engine” warnings, and leakage of the radiator coolant. 

In some cases, the engine of the vehicle may fail to start. 

5. 2012 Nissan Frontier

The manufacturer of this model corrected the radiator issue. 

The 2008 model was the last model to have reports of radiator cracking. However, the 2012 Nissan Frontier has complaints about the paint chipping off. 

The body is made with inferior material, making it prone to corrosion and rust. 

The engine also loses its power while in motion, which needs improvement. According to RepairPal, about 153 persons have reported noise from the engine front on the 2012 model. 

About 149 owners have reported cases of engine stalling based on the data from RepairPal. 

One hundred forty-five people have also complained about the EVAP Canister Vent Valve failure. 

What Are Some Typical Problems With The Nissan Frontier Models?

These are some of the common problems with the Nissan Frontier models:

  • Timing Chain Tension Failure
  • Spongy braking 
  • Electrical system failure
  • Drivetrain problems
  • Exploding Sunroof
  • Poor Paint Quality
  • Vehicle structure problems
  • Airbags and seatbelts fail to deploy
  • Problem with Acceleration
  • Inaccurate Fuel Gauge and Air conditioning Failure
  • Engine Stalling
  • Transmission Failures and Radiator leaks

For a broader view, you need to probe into the problems with Nissan cars.


Back to best/worst years for all Nissan models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.