1998 Nissan Frontier XE 2.4 KA24DE from North America
A truck. Nothing more, nothing less
Cracked exhaust manifold at 80k from fording an icy river with a red hot engine.
A/C pulley at 100k - probably for the same reason since it's on the bottom.
Driver's seatbelt wore out - replaced by Nissan for free outside of warranty.
Paint clear coat is flaking on hood for some reason, rest of the body and paint is perfect.
I bought this truck to use as a daily driver and four wheel in the Colorado Rockies. It has never let me down in either capacity. I have a 6" Calmini lift and 33" tires. I love that everything is manual. Manual transmission, manual transfer case, manual locking hubs, manual windows, manual locks. These components are so simple, they would be trivial to fix if they ever failed. It has some creature comforts too - nice radio, great two way speakers, ice cold A/C, fog lights, cruise, intermittent wipers.
I'm happy about the old-school approach to this vehicle. It's a truck and it doesn't pretend to be anything else. If you want a cushy ride with power everything, buy a late model American truck and deal with all the repairs. If you want a truck, get one of these. Especially the 2.4. Yes it's a little underpowered, but it's rock solid and ridiculously easy to work on. The engineering is top notch. I've never needed to consult a manual when working on it. Everything is very obviously well constructed and comes apart with a metric 10, 12, or 14.
I've given it Valvoline red its entire life and it neither burns, nor leaks oil. It has never overheated, even hauling a full bed with the A/C on uphill. Gas mileage is 25 MPG on the highway. All fluids are still crystal clear and it's quiet.
At times, I wish it had softer more comfortable suspension - it was rough even before the lift. However, when the sky dumps 4' of snow on us or the s**t hits the fan, we're glad we have the Nissan.
This truck just doesn't quit. I hope the newer ones are built to this same quality level, but I kinda doubt it. Being a 1st gen, it's essentially a hard body with a facelift. Nevertheless, if you're looking for a reliable truck that reminds you of the American trucks you grew up with, look no further - this is what you want. I loved my Chevy, but I would never trade it for my Fronty.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th July, 2016