The Nissan Frontier pickup was redesigned in 2005, so it will only receive minor changes for 2006. New is a Power Package for the King Cab XE model, chrome trim ring accents for meter gauges, and chrome vent trim is standard on NISMO (Nissan Motorsports) and LE models. The glovebox gets a standard lock this year, and there's an available Satellite Radio Package for those who love tunes but hate commercials. Three new exterior colors are offered for 2006: Red Alert, Red Brawn, and Majestic Blue.
Nissan's foray into midsize pickups started 20 years ago, and while the styling has changed the "hardbody" toughness hasn't. The Frontier has seen much iteration, but remains a force in the segment. Brand identification plays a role in the Frontier's looks. The grille features the same angled strut grille found on the full-size Titan pickup as well as Nissan's sport utility vehicles. The Frontier also shares the F-Alpha platform that's used on the Titan, Armada, and Pathfinder models. Available in King Cab and Crew Cab and in both two-and four-wheel-drive configurations, the Frontier is built in America at Nissan's Smyrna, Tennessee factory.
Inside, the Frontier feels and looks more like a car than a pickup. It has flip-up rear seats in all cabs, removable storage boxes beneath the rear seats, a dual glovebox, available leather seats, and a factory-installed sunroof. Safety is paramount, with an occupant classification sensor that can determine if and how the air bag should be deployed for the front-seat passenger based on a variety of inputs, and available side curtain air bags. Nissan claims that the Frontier has the most powerful engine in the segment: a 4.0L DOHC V-6 with 265 hp and 284 lb.-ft. of torque. However, the Dodge Dakota's Magnum engine produces six more lb.-ft. of torque.
In addition to the Frontier, there's a NISMO edition of the truck that features an extensive list of performance-based parts like off-road-tuned NISMO-spec Bilstein performance shocks, skid plates, unique 16-inch alloy wheels with BFGoodrich off-road tires, and an electronic-locking rear differential. The NISMO Frontier comes in the same cab configurations as the regular Nissan Frontier.
What used to be a playground for the domestics, the Midsize Pickup segment now encompasses 14 different models covering more than one-half dozen import nameplates.The Toyota Tacoma was the best-selling model in the segment in calendar year 2005, with sales of 168,831 units, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM The Chevrolet Colorado (128,359 units sold) edged out the Ford Ranger (120,958) for second place. The Frontier, with sales of 72,838 units in calendar year 2005, was fifth on the sales list. The segment also includes the Dodge Dakota, Honda Ridgeline, Ford Explorer Sport Trac, and GMC Canyon, and a handful of low-volume models.
|XE (M5)||5 speed manual||$15,900||154-hp / 2.5L 4-cyl||22/25|
|SE (M6)||6 speed manual||$19,100||265-hp / 4.0L 6-cyl||17/21|
|NISMO Off Road (Retail Orders Only) (A5)||5 speed automatic||$22,450||265-hp / 4.0L 6-cyl||16/20|
|LE (A5)||5 speed automatic||$22,650||265-hp / 4.0L 6-cyl||16/20|