2003 Nissan Frontier XC 4 cylinder from North America
A very sturdy, fun truck to drive, great on gas, but still gets the job done
All belts need to be replaced at 70k (normal wear).
Front dash power point fuse keeps blowing, had to route power to a different power point in the middle console.
I've owned my Frontier for almost three years now. I bought it my senior year of high school in November, and I'm now a junior in college.
The Frontier I own is 2WD, with no extra features besides a CD player and automatic transmission.
I drive 300 miles from the central valley in California to the North Eastern corner of the state to visit my family at Christmas, and sometimes during the summer. To get there, I have to navigate Donner Pass, which seems to ascend into the heavens for miles. The transmission and engine keep up nicely, but not without a couple quirks. If I want to go the same speed as a V-6 or V-8 going up the pass, I have to make sure that I'm going under 65 before flooring the gas, then leave the pedal floored. If it's 66 or above, the overdrive won't kick on. This sometimes means that I pass someone, then on the hill they pass me, which just means I'll have to pass them later on in my trip.
The design is very nice, and makes the Frontier a unique looking truck. Nissan sometimes does bold work on their designs, and this time it really did work out for the better. I like the fact that the tailgate is so easy to remove, making runs to the dump a since when I load the bed with grass or leaves. I like that I can lock the tailgate when I have the canopy on. It keeps my mind at ease knowing that I can leave sound equipment back there and go into McDonald's without having to constantly look over my shoulder.
The inside of the cabin is cozy, yet more spacious that I would have thought. The middle console was designed very well, I love the removable (and washable) cup holders, the additional flip-top compartment to store phones and iPods out of view when I leave my truck in the parking lot, and the extra storage compartment at the bottom of the middle control console. The only complaint that I have about the design is the location of the cigarette lighter. Having the main power-supply in a location where you can't plug anything in without it being in the way of the shift lever is... slightly stupid in the least. I ended up re-routing main power to the power point in the back cab as the main power source, then getting a power strip from target to plug my gadgets into.
The A/C started giving me problems around 80k miles, but that took a simple belt change job (normal maintenance) to fix that issue. I HAVE had to get a few cables in the transmission adjusted (this is just what the dealer told me) to fix a problem with joltier-than-usual transitions from the 1st to 2nd gears.
Gas mileage is still topping out at a whopping 27mpg, though most of the times it's around 23 on the highway, 21 in the city. I get the 27mpg when traveling from Visalia to Fresno late nights on a 55mph highway with hardly anyone around to get in my way, so I can keep the pedal at 50-55 most of the way there.
My only complaint to Nissan is not installing cruise control as standard now. The model year is 2003, and vehicles have had "cruise control" since the early 1900s (granted it was a metal lever back then). I'd think that in the day and age we are in now, cruise control would be a standard just like airbags and seat belts. That's my personal opinion, however.
To finish, I am very happy with my truck. It's a great city truck for using to get to and from school and work. I would not recommend this for those who deal with snow and ice. I have had a few near heart attacks because I have lost control going 25 mph. A small rear wheel drive truck just doesn't have enough guts and gumption to get you where you need to go if you're on a slippery surface.
I still give this truck 5 stars, though I will probably buy a 4x4 model when I do upgrade to a second generation Frontier.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 15th June, 2009