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2015 Nissan Frontier

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/25/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The 2015 Nissan Frontier gains one new exterior color and standard moonroof on long wheelbase SL models. Pro-4X models gains NissanConnect with navigation and smartphone integration while SV and Desert Runner variants only gain the latter.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Nissan Frontier is a midsize truck sold in five grades, two cab styles, two cab lengths, and in rear- or four-wheel-drive configurations.

Overview

The 2015 Nissan Frontier is available with a 2.5-liter I-4 with 152 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque or a 4.0-liter V-6 making 261 hp and 281 lb-ft paired to either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is average with rear-drive V-6 models achieving 17/22 mpg city/highway with the manual and 16/22 mpg with the automatic. Four-wheel-drive trucks are rated at 16/21 mpg while those equipped with the I-4, which is only available in rear-drive configuration, get 19/23 mpg.

Off-road performance is where the 2015 Frontier excels, especially in the Pro-4X trim with the V-6 engine. Additionally, it remains just as capable on pavement with “carlike steering” and “suspension tuning that rides well on- and off-road.” Towing capacity is also generous on the V-6 equipped trucks with up to 6,500 pounds. The I-4, however, is a disappointment due to its lack of output and little fuel economy benefit despite its 109 hp and 110 lb-ft deficit compared to the V-6.

The 2015 Frontier’s interior focuses on being utilitarian with fold up rear seats, a dual glove box, and a large central console storage area make the trucks interior functional. Features such as leather seats, and NissanConnect with smartphone integration and navigation are available to give owners connectivity options in their trucks.

Depending on the cab and drivetrain combination the 2015 Nissan Frontier has a three- or four-star safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars).

What We Think

The 2015 Nissan Frontier is a good choice for those looking for a utilitarian midsize truck with excellent capabilities and a great balance of on- and off-road performance. In a 2012 First Test review, we said that “the Frontier is enduring and fun to drive” due to its excellent all-around performance despite the aging V-6 engine. Its interior, while conservatively designed, is highly functional with its folding rear seats and many storage cubbies for small items. However, available tech features are not as plentiful as newcomers like the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado with only NissanConnect with navigation and smartphone integration available on the most expensive variants.

You’ll Like

  • Available V-6 engine
  • Off-road capabilities
  • Functional interior

You Won’t Like

  • Weak I-4
  • Average fuel economy
  • Dated interior design

Key Competitors

  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • GMC Canyon
  • Used full-size truck

Rating

3 star

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