2004 Nissan Frontier Reviews

2004 Nissan Frontier XE V6 from North America

Model year2004
Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission V6 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired34000 miles
Most recent distance71000 miles
Previous carNissan Frontier

Summary:

Good looking truck, but not as reliable as I thought it would be

Faults:

- The dealer in the winter of 2004 sold me a truck with a none working A/C. Sadly, since I bought the used truck during the winter, I did not find this until two years later in 2006. The summer of 2005 it did not work, so I had it recharged and it worked. Then the summer of 2006, I went to use the A/C and it did not work. It was not holding the charge. Brought back to the dealer, and they could not do a damn thing about it. Important lesson learned; test everything in my next auto purchase.

- The clamps underneath my front truck have gone. Makes a lot of noise and will need to be replaced.

- Originally the service light used to come on when I first bought it, but brought back to dealer and it was fixed.

- Throughout the years, it squeaks and makes noises, which means things need to be looked at. The front of the truck used to make a loud grinding noise. Fixed by adding some lubricant.

General Comments:

I love the red color of my truck, along with its unique styling. Looks very original.

Rides very smooth on flat roads.. on bumpy roads that is a different story.

Handles awesome in bad weather.

The seats are very snug and comfortable.

The engine is nice and powerful. Accelerates smoothly and fast.

The truck begs to be customized.

I have put on about 35,000 miles and have done the following maintenance:

1) Removed scratches - it scratches easily

2) New tires

3) New brakes

4) New belts

5) Grill guard - front bumper scratches way too easily

6) Seat covers - original seat covers stain too easily too

7) New radio - original car radio died on me

8) Leather Tonneau cover - I live in the city, and for some reason people in the city see an open truck bed as a garbage can. You leave your truck parked, and overnight the truck bed is filled with litter.

Overall, I love the ride comfort, the looks, the handling, and the 4 wheel drive.

Only wish the truck was a bit more reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st August, 2010

2004 Nissan Frontier XE KC 2.4 4 cylinder from North America

Model year2004
Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 2.4 4 cylinder Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.4 / 10
Distance when acquired8 miles
Most recent distance35000 miles
Previous carSaturn SL

Summary:

Very reliable and efficient vehicle

Faults:

Nothing major has gone wrong with the truck. I had to have it in once because the door gasket was coming out and they replaced it. That is the only time it has needed service besides regular maintenance (oil, fluids).

General Comments:

Great reliable truck. I have owned the truck since new. Very simple design for operating and maintenance. I'm still on the original tires, probably go another 10k before replacing them. The truck has been on several long trips, could be quieter inside but this isn't a luxury car.

I recently added a new topper to the truck, which expanded the capability of the truck. Fuel economy is anywhere from 25 to 30MPG depending on conditions and type of fuel. I also installed a frame mounted hitch and have towed loads up to 2000lbs with no problems. I probably would not tow anything heavier though even though it's rated for it, the truck is too small.

If I would have waited a few months I could have got an 05' model with some extra room and the back doors for the king model. I have no plans to sell this truck anytime soon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th February, 2009

2004 Nissan Frontier XE 3.3 litre V6 from North America

Model year2004
Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 3.3 litre V6 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired0 kilometres
Most recent distance42000 kilometres
Previous carHonda Prelude

Summary:

Solid and dependable, and good looking

Faults:

Rattle from passenger side dash, from the 1st month. Went back to dealership twice before end of 12 month warranty, where they told me they couldn't replicate the rattle. Went back once after the warranty where they acknowledged the rattle but wouldn't cover it.

Locking tailgate handle broken - locking mechanism inside broke and jammed the whole release assembly; replaced under warranty.

General Comments:

I compared the Frontier to the Ford Ranger extended cab, the GMC Canyon quad cab (it's first year out at the time), the Dodge Dakota, and the Toyota Tacoma. The Ford was outclassed (no quad cab) and the GMC was its first model year so I got turned off by the "all-new 5 cylinder engine" at that time.

I walked into the Toyota dealership and thought maybe I'd mistakenly walked into a Rolls Royce dealership with the arrogance of the salesperson. When I asked about the benefits of the Tacoma over the Frontier in relation to the $6000 price difference between comparably equipped Tacoma versus Frontier, I got "Well... It's a Toyota... I don't know anything about what you've been looking at... (imagine a sarcasm-ladled voice saying that) " And the encounter pretty much went into the toilet after that so I left that dealership.

I liked the Dakota for its interior size, but the bottom line was that I wanted as big a box as I could get with a quad cab, so with its 6 foot box, the Frontier was the biggest in it's class (Dakota was 5 feet at that time).

It is adequately powered with the 3.3 litre V6; not underpowered, but no barn-burner. The automatic works well under load. I pull a small tent trailer once or twice a year, and the truck handles the weight just fine. I have loaded a yard of soil at a time in the back, which is pretty much the truck's limit. The handling is competent at all times.

The rattle as outlined above is a thorn in my side. The selling dealer and another dealership both failed me, for this as well as other concerns. I am not a fan of any of the local Nissan dealerships. I bought this truck because I wanted "Japanese quality", something I had enjoyed with my previous Hondas and Toyotas (all those were purchased used with at least 80,000 km).

Sadly the fit and finish isn't quite up to my Hondas. It is still very good however, and I'd put it up against the North American three anytime. My plan was and is to keep this truck until it's towed to the junk yard. I'm sure that in spite of the rattle, this truck will do me well for many years.

I bought this model because it had been on the market for 4 previous years and based on the 1st gen Frontier from 98, so a good likelihood that the bugs were well worked out.

The other reviews touch on the same issues I have had;

1) Slightly rough idle (nothing too annoying).

2) Less than perfect paint quality; seems to be quite susceptible to paint chipping (I expect a lot from my "Japanese quality").

3) Adequate but not great seat comfort - I compare every seat to my Volvo, and there's no comparison, it's just not that comfortable for whatever reason, but to be fair, the Volvo was hella more money when it was new anyway.

4) A/C system turns on whenever the truck is started with the defroster on, and you cannot turn it off by simply turning the defroster over to floor or dash vent. There is some software setting that leaves it running until the vehicle is turned off. The solution is that you don't leave it on defrost when first starting the truck. For some reason the software will allow it to be turned on and off by the defrost/ vent/floor switch if it was not in the defrost position on startup. (Yes, yes, I know that having the A/C system on during defrost is beneficial for taking moisture out of the air... but sometimes you don't want the A/C system on, you just want the ambient air temperature coming through the vents or floor.)

5) The "automatic" hubs in this vehicle are the same style as what was offered in the late 80's on their trucks, which means you have to be moving no more than about 15 km/hr before engaging the 4X4 the first time in order to lock them. Once locked you can shift in and out of 4X4 at any speed. The book says up to 40 but I did that a couple of times and what a WHAM/BANG type reaction! Once you're used to locking them at the start of your trip, it's no problem. They of course become unlocked whenever you back up 6 feet, but again that's just something to get used to and be aware of. Having said that, Jeeps have been offering a true shift on the fly setup since at least 1990 when I owned one, so it surprises me that Nissan didn't figure that out until 2005.

What do I like about the truck? It is a good looking vehicle. It does a solid job every time when put to work. It gets consistent and respectable gas mileage (though not great). Heating and A/C system do a good job though it does take awhile to get the good hot heat out of the heater. My Hondas never heated up as well as this truck. The quad cab give the extra rear space that the king cab doesn't; a baby seat sits in the back just fine. The base CD stereo 6 speaker system works great. And overall, I still believe that in another 10 years, it will still be a better running truck than a comparable North American product.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd November, 2008

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 9 reviews