Ratings, Reviews, Pictures, Features | J.D. Power

2009 Nissan Frontier Truck - Overview

Research another Frontier:

$17,460 – $29,740 MSRP

$16,562 – $27,555 Invoice

15 / 19 MPG City/Hwy

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Power Circle Ratings

Overall Quality 4.0

Overall Performance and Design 3.0

Overall Dependability 5.0

Ratings data for all body styles and trim levels within a particular model family are aggregated when calculating the model's overall Power Circle Rating.
2009 Nissan Frontier Truck

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Overview

What Changed for 2009:

  • Completely redesigned for 2009
  • Built on Nissan's "D" platform with enhanced rigidity
  • Standard 290-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • Revised Xtronic CVT transmission
  • New TOPS power steering
  • "Liquid Motion" exterior design
  • "Super Cockpit" interior design
Overview
The Nissan Frontier, a compact pickup truck in production since 1998, replaced the Nissan "Hardbody" pickup first introduced in the mid-1980s. The first-generation Frontier was innovative, as it was the first compact truck to offer a 4-door body style (Crew Cab) in North America, according to Nissan. It was replaced by the second-generation model in 2005. The all-new Frontier, with a 261-hp V-6 engine, was built on the same F-Alpha platform shared with Nissan's full-size Titan. It shares a number of significant features with its larger sibling including its rugged suspension design, innovative spray-in bedliner, and a fully boxed, all-steel frame based on the Titan platform. For 2009, the Nissan Frontier has been updated with a new front fascia grille with redesigned headlights. The exterior of the PRO-4X and LE models receive new machine-finished 16- and 18-inch wheels, the interior of the V-6 models gain a new center radio and HVAC controls, and the LE models receive new seat upholstery.

Nissan's New Vehicle Limited Warranty covers the 2009 Nissan Frontier during the first 3 years/36,000 miles. A powertrain warranty extends to 5 years/60,000 miles. There is no deductible on either warranty, and towing may be reimbursed if the vehicle is less than 36 months old.

Model Lineup
The 2009 Nissan Frontier is available in many different configurations. The chassis is available in both King Cab and Crew Cab body styles, with an optional Long Bed model featuring 13 more inches of cargo capacity. Both King and Crew Cabs offer the choice of rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive (RWD or 4WD) configurations with 6-cylinder power (the King Cab 4x2 is offered with a 4-cylinder engine). New for 2009 is the Frontier PRO-4X off-road model, the Crew Cab LE model, and the PRO-4X Value Truck packages (CTP). At a glance, the model lineup for the King Cab is comprised of XE, SE, LE and PRO-4X trim levels. The model lineup for the Crew Cab is comprised of SE, LE and PRO-4X trim levels.

Standard features on all 2009 Nissan Frontier models include cloth front bucket seats, halogen headlamps, and 4-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock control (ABS). The XE model is considered the base model. It is the only model with standard 15-inch steel wheels and is offered without air conditioning (which is sold as part of a package). The SE model adds features such as a tilt steering wheel, 16-inch steel wheels, chrome bumpers, and rear privacy glass. The upscale LE and NISMO trim levels offer such amenities as 16- and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, dual power exterior mirrors, remote keyless entry and cruise control. The LE and NISMO models are equipped with a factory-applied spray-on bedliner and Nissan's Utili-track Bed Channel System with 4 tie-down cleats.

Optional packages for all models include: Value Truck, Preferred, Technology, Power and NISMO/LE Traction. The Leather package, only available on the LE Crew Cab, adds leather seating surfaces, power passenger seat, heated front seats, dual heated outside mirrors, and a rear center fold-down armrest.

Powertrain
The base powertrain on the 2009 Nissan Frontier (available only on King Cab RWD models) is a dual-overhead-cam (DOHC), 16-valve, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 152 hp and 171 lb.-ft. of torque. The 4-cylinder powerplant is only available with a 5-speed manual or 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. All other Frontier models are equipped with a DOHC, 24-valve, 4.0-liter 6-cylinder engine rated at 261 hp and 281 lb.-ft. of torque. The larger and more powerful engine is available with an upgraded 6-speed manual or the 5-speed automatic transmission. Fuel-economy estimates range around 14 mpg city/23 mph highway, depending on engine and drivetrain choice.

The standard driveline in the 2009 Nissan Frontier is RWD. Six-cylinder models are offered with an available shift-on-the-fly 4WD system with RWD/4H/4LO modes and an electronically controlled part-time transfer case. To enhance overall off-road capability, Nissan offers several optional off-road traction systems including 4-wheel limited slip, electronic locking rear differential, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Hill Descent Control (HDC), and Hill Start Assist (HSA). The front suspension is independent while the rear is a traditional multi-leaf design with a solid rear axle. When properly equipped, the 2009 Frontier has a maximum towing capacity of 6500 pounds.

Safety
The 2009 Nissan Frontier is manufactured from corrosion-resistant, high-strength steel with side-guard door beams, energy-absorbing steering column, and front crumple zones. In the event of an accident, passengers are offered protection by Nissan's Advanced Air Bag System (AABS). On the Frontier, it includes driver and front passenger front air bags. Curtain side-impact, and side supplemental air bags are optional. All passengers are offered standard 3-point seat belts. Driver and front passenger belts are equipped with pre-tensioners and load limiters.

The 2005-08 Nissan Frontier was crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It earned a "Good" rating (the Institute's highest) in the frontal offset test. No side-impact testing was done on the vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2009 Nissan Frontier (4-door) receives 4 stars in frontal crash testing for both driver and front passenger, as well as 5-star side-impact scores for both front- and rear-seat occupants. The Frontier also receives 3 stars for rollover resistance in 2WD, and 4 stars with 4WD. The Frontier Extended Cab received slightly different ratings. Those ratings were 4 stars for the driver and 5 stars for the passenger in frontal testing. It also received 5 stars for the driver in side testing (it was not tested for the passenger). Rollover ratings on the Extended Cab model mirrored the 4-door model (3 stars 2WD, and 4 stars with 4WD).

Technology
As advanced technology envelops the passenger-car marketplace, Nissan ensures their rugged Frontier pickup truck is not left behind. Many models of the 2009 Nissan Frontier are available with an optional Technology package featuring an AM/FM radio with in-dash, 6-disc CD player, 6 speakers, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The audio system includes XM satellite radio, MP3 capability, and an aux-in (auxiliary) jack for external audio sources. Bluetooth hands-free phone control, and a vehicle immobilizer with the Vehicle Security System (VSS) are also standard Technology package offerings.

Available Trims for the 2009 Nissan Frontier Truck

  Transmission MSRP Engine City/Hwy MPG
XE (M5) 5 speed manual $17,460 152-hp / 2.5L 4-cyl 19/23
SE-I4 (M5) 5 speed manual $19,560 152-hp / 2.5L 4-cyl 19/23
SE (M6) 6 speed manual $20,360 261-hp / 4.0L 6-cyl 16/20
LE (A5) 5 speed automatic $24,840 261-hp / 4.0L 6-cyl 15/20
PRO-4X (A5) 5 speed automatic $24,930 261-hp / 4.0L 6-cyl 15/20

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    Overall Dependability 5.0

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