The Frontier is a midsize pickup truck manufactured by Nissan. It was formerly known as Nissan Hardbody until the nameplate changed to Frontier in 1997.
Since 1997, the Frontier has been one of the major lineups on the Nissan pickup list. Is the Frontier dependable? Is it reliable in comparison with other compact pickup trucks?
Let’s find out how long the Nissan Frontier lasts in this article.
Here’s the short answer to how long Nissan Frontiers Last:
You can expect at least 100,000 miles from a Nissan Frontier. If you drive an average of 10,000 to 15,000 miles a year, you can get about 7.5 to 10 years from Nissan Frontier. The Nissan Frontier can last longer with good maintenance and proper care.
How Many Miles Can You Expect From a Nissan Frontier?
You can expect up to 100,000 miles from your Nissan Frontier, although you can get up to 200,000 miles from your truck with good maintenance.
Moreover, most owners report getting high mileage on their Frontiers. According to the owner’s report on clubfrontier.org, some drivers reported getting up to 285,000 miles, 146,000 miles, and 243,000 miles on their Frontier pickup with no major problem.
The key to the longevity of your truck is maintenance. If you are diligent with your maintenance, it’s possible to get 200,000 miles or more from your Frontier.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust on a Nissan Frontier?
Rust is indeed a big problem for many truck owners, it spreads rapidly and weakens the car’s components.
You can expect rust as early as 2 to 3 years with approximately 45,000 miles on your Frontier.
It is very common for people living in the Rust Belt region in the US to notice rust on their Frontier earlier compared to others.
There is a high number of complaints about frame rust on the Nissan Frontier. This issue is very common for 2002 to the 2012 year model of the Nissan Frontier.
Here are other components to check for rust:
- Meeting places between body components
- Drain Holes
- Wheel Wells
How Long Do Nissan Frontier Last Compared to Similar Pickup Trucks?
Below, we compare the longevity of the Nissan Frontier to its competitors:
Nissan Frontier vs. Toyota Tacoma
The Frontier has remained one of the more reliable models in the midsize pickup category with the Toyota Tacoma’s as one of its competitors.
With an average mileage of 200,000 miles, the Tacoma can outlast the Frontier.
The Nissan Frontier is more reliable than the Toyota Tacoma; with a 4.0 reliability rating from RepairPal compared to Tacoma’s 3.5 ratings.
Maintenance cost is quite similar for both trucks. The Tacoma has a servicing cost of $473 per year, compared to $470 for the Nissan Frontier.
Nissan Frontier vs. Ford Ranger
The Nissan Frontier, like the Ford Ranger, is equipped with a powerful V-6 engine. However, the Ranger can go up to 200,000 miles while the Nissan Frontiers can last an average of 100,000 miles.
They both have a similar reliability rating of 4.0 on RepairPal. This produces a matching reliability score, but the Frontier is ranked 1st while the Ranger is ranked 3rd out of 7 midsize trucks.
It cost more to maintain a Ford Ranger, with an average annual cost of $615 compared to the $470 of the Frontier, a difference of $145 maintenance cost.
Nissan Frontier vs. Chevrolet Colorado
The Chevrolet Colorado offers an exceptional off-roading experience with a dash of luxury which the Nissan Frontier lacks.
Both vehicles deliver similar mileage coverage in a life span with a range between 100,000 and 200,000 miles. Also, both have the same reliability rating of 4.0 from RepairPal.
The Nissan Frontier costs an average of $470 for repair and maintenance expenses per year. This is about $129 lower than the Chevrolet Colorado’s $599 annual maintenance cost.
How Reliable Is a Nissan Frontier?
The Nissan Frontier is a reliable truck as proven by its rating on all major platforms that rate vehicles’ reliability. The Frontier has forged a reputation to be reckoned with as a reliable compact truck, earning it a spot on lists of reliable trucks year after year.
RepairPal rated it a score of 4.0 out of 5.0, topping the list as the first out of seven midsize truck models.
From 2010 to 2019, J.D. Power has rated the Frontier 80 to 85% on quality and reliability.
This shows that the Nissan Frontier stands out in durability and reliability among its competitors.
The Best and Worst Years for Nissan Frontier
The worst model years for the Frontier are the year 2005 through 2010.
A lot of complaints from owners center on issues with the truck’s transmission oil and engine oil.
Out of these models years, 2005 stood out with the highest numbers of compliant. Car Complaints rated it the worst year based on two major factors which include:
- Repair cost: average cost to fix is $3,700
- Average mileage when problems occur: average mileage of 103,000 miles
The radiator causing engine failure is the biggest issue with the 2005 Nissan Frontier.
The failure results from coolant and engine oil cross-contamination, which presents a tremendous problem and a huge hazard to Frontier drivers.
The probability of a repair being a severe or major issue is 12% for the Nissan Frontier, compared to an average of 13% for midsize trucks and 12% for all vehicle models.
The newer Nissan Frontier models from 2011 upwards have been rated highly and the issues that occur are more often moderate than serious.
We can argue that 2011 is the best year of Nissan Frontier with zero recall and a few complaints from owners.
What About Recalls for These Models?
In the two generations of Nissan Frontier, it has had 33 recall campaigns. The 2002 model year has been recalled more times than any other model year.
Here is a full list of Nissan Frontier recalls:
- 2019: 1
- 2018: 2
- 2017: 1
- 2016: 1
- 2014: 2
- 2013: 1
- 2012: 3
- 2010: 5
- 2009: 4
- 2008: 5
- 2007: 2
- 2006: 7
- 2005: 6
- 2004: 4
- 2003: 7
- 2002: 8
- 2001: 7
- 2000: 6
- 1999: 5
- 1998: 5
Nissan Frontier Model Year List
Here is a list of model years for the Nissan Frontier:
- 1998 Nissan Frontier
- 1999 Nissan Frontier
- 2000 Nissan Frontier
- 2001 Nissan Frontier
- 2002 Nissan Frontier
- 2003 Nissan Frontier
- 2004 Nissan Frontier
- 2005 Nissan Frontier
- 2006 Nissan Frontier
- 2007 Nissan Frontier
- 2008 Nissan Frontier
- 2009 Nissan Frontier
- 2010 Nissan Frontier
- 2011 Nissan Frontier
- 2012 Nissan Frontier
- 2013 Nissan Frontier
- 2014 Nissan Frontier
- 2015 Nissan Frontier
- 2016 Nissan Frontier
- 2017 Nissan Frontier
- 2018 Nissan Frontier
- 2019 Nissan Frontier
- 2020 Nissan Frontier
Are Nissan Frontier Expensive to Maintain?
RepairPal estimates the annual maintenance cost of a Nissan Frontier at $470. However, it should be noted that the repair and maintenance costs of a Frontier may vary depending on age, mileage, and location.
It is relatively cheaper to maintain a Frontier compared to an average of $548 for midsize trucks and $652 for all vehicle models.
Here are some Nissan Frontier Repairs and Prices from RepairPal:
- ABS Control Module Replacement: $881 – $902
- Steering Center Link Replacement: $445 – $475
- Power Steering Pump Replacement: $675 – $712
- Spark Plug Wire Replacement: $114 – $121
- Brake Booster Replacement: $411 – $453
- Drive Axle Assembly Drain & Refill: $73 – $87
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
Nissan Frontier brakes’ lifespan is between 30,000 and 70,000 miles, depending heavily on your driving habits.
Commuters within a city with heavy traffic use their brakes often. If you fall into this category, you’ll need to get an inspection for your Frontier’s brakes more frequently.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
The Nissan Frontier’s tires can last about 60,000 miles, which is roughly three or four years for an average driver.
Your tire can become worn before 60,000 miles if you have the habit of driving or accelerating too quickly and brake harshly.
Also, exposure to adverse conditions such as extreme temperatures can affect the longevity of the tires.
Therefore, it is recommended that you inspect your tires regularly and not wait till you have covered 60,000 miles.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
The Frontier’s transmission system can last up to 100,000 miles. It is important to note that how long your transmission lasts will depend on how well you maintain it.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
The Frontier’s spark plug can last up to 95,000 miles before replacement. Therefore, the replacement of the spark plug should be scheduled for every 95,000 miles covered.
What About Insurance Cost?
According to The Zebra, the average auto insurance rate for the Nissan Frontier is approximately $119/month.
Comparing the cost of insurance of Frontier against the average vehicle insurance cost, the Frontier is $10 less expensive than the average vehicle.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Nissan Frontier
Here are ways to prolong the life of your Nissan Frontier:
- Take care of the Nissan Frontier and follow the schedule maintenance from Nissan. As the saying goes, if you take care of your vehicle, it will take care of you.
- Prevent corrosion and increase the lifespan of the vehicle by:
- Treat your Frontier with an anti-rust coating most especially on the frame.
- Wash your truck regularly to get rid of mild salt (during winter) to prevent rust.
- Change the transmission fluids periodically to avoid transmission problems.
- Fix issues as soon as you notice them; don’t wait until they turn into bigger problems.