• Final Frontier #5: 2017 Nissan Frontier King Cab 2WD: Top 5 Things We Love [Video]

    2017 nissan frontier final top 5

    You asked us to pay more attention to base truck, and we got it! This is a 2017 Nissan Frontier S King Cab 2WD, our long-term test truck that we call “Final Frontier”. This is our “Top 5 Things We Love” about this little work truck.

    5. Manual Transmission

    The base model of the Frontier comes standard with a 5-speed manual transmission. Having a manual transmission in a new truck is becoming a rarity. This 5-speed has a relatively positive feel, and it makes the truck more fun.

    4. Bed Access

    This 2-wheel-drive pickup is so low and small, that getting things in and out of the bed super easy. The King Cab has a 6-foot 1-inch long bed. This is enough for most midsize truck jobs. Leave the tailgate down to carry longer items, and use the provided tie-downs to secure the cargo.

    3. Ride Quality

    The little pickup actually has a nice ride loaded or empty. We took it on a road-trip with maximum payload, and it handled rough pavement with ease. Yes, some bumps fully compressed the suspension for a harsher hit, but it was a pleasant experience in general.

    2. Value / Price

    The 2017 Nissan Frontier starts at $18,300 before any options or destination charges. It is the most affordable new pickup truck in the U.S. Our Frontier S model stickers at $20,735. This price is hard to argue with.

    1. Usability / Honesty

    This truck does not pretend to be something it’s not. It is meant to do light jobs, and it does this very well.

    Bonus: Fuel Economy

    While driving the Final Frontier over the Rocky Mountains at interstate speeds, loaded at a maximum payload, the truck returned 22 MPG.  This is great real-world fuel economy from a small 2.5L four-cylinder engine (that makes 152 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque).


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    15 thoughts on “Final Frontier #5: 2017 Nissan Frontier King Cab 2WD: Top 5 Things We Love [Video]

    1. I would buy something cheap like this just to get by until they actually build a midsize with a V8 or something with better power just to pass the time but I know I would get stuck everywhere with 2wd which forces me into a quad cab and then a V6 as the price is so close at that point. And resale is another factor. There is very little difference from regular cab to 4 door when you get into the 4×4. And the 4 doors retain their resale better.

    2. Good job on this Nissan Frontier review, Tommy! Agree with your Top Five Things.

      I have a 2010 Nissan Frontier (manual), and would never part with it (again it’s honest). And I think it is probably “America’s Best Kept Secret”. The truck is fantastic, and I even wrote a note to Carlos Ghosn letting him know that. (He, — actually his secretary — sent me a coffee mug, with a “thank you”.)

      There are just a tiny few things I would change on the truck, but have to scratch my head to remember them: nothing at all substantial.

      Keep up the good work!


    3. Don’t you guys at TFL have any friends?
      Borrow a ram diesel manual from someone for a test. Haha

    4. There’s beauty in simplicity. After watching and reading the review, I would consider putting this truck on my list as a good value medium duty truck.

    5. I’m surprised that you didn’t mention overall cabin comfort for 2 – 6ft tall guys. But @Tommy, you weren’t on that Moab trip. It was Roman and Andre. I thougt you might bring it up with ‘ride quality’. Regardless, it’s a reason why so many guys also love the Ranger and want a new one. Because you can fit inside a small truck w/o folding yourself in half. Yeah, I’m talking to you Toyota.

    6. After owning one of those Frontiers with a 4 cylinder engine and currently owning a 6 cyl. Tacoma I must say that current model midsize trucks ought to have a 6 cyl. at least since they have gotten much heavier than the mini trucks of the past such as the old Ranger. An extra cab is in the 4000# range compared to 3000# for my old Hardbody. At least they should make their 4 bangers turbo or delete those engines. Their high rev.torque makes for a rather unpleasant ride over hills and into headwinds.

    7. Frontier is a nice little truck and I appreciate the value Nissan is providing. Too bad its about to be redesigned which means they’ll expect more $$$$.

      1. The one thing I miss most about my Frontier is the rear steel bumper that’s big and stiff enough to stand on comfortably unlike my Tacoma. Probably true about the price going up on upcoming model but waiting a few years to get a used one if proven worthy would be my option.

    8. I wouldn’t mind the 2wd. Maybe because I started driving in the late 70s / early 80s, 4wd wasn’t that popular back then. People used trucks for work, they really weren’t a status symbol or used that much for play. So people got 2wd, it was much less expensive than 4wd, less maintenance, fewer breakdowns, better MPG, etc. Everybody got along just fine with 2wd.

      Nowadays, everyone thinks they have to have 4wd, even though tires are much better than we had back then (yep, tires [traction] are vitally important to keep you from getting stuck, or worse!).

      It all boils down to laziness. We are much lazier than we used to be. There are many many tricks for getting un-stuck or getting better traction when using 2wd. Just a few to mention are 1) airing down, 2) carrying a winch, 3) carrying old beach towels to throw under the tires, 4) chains, 5) changing weight distribution, etc.

      Fact is, most people want to just push a button from their driver’s seat and keep on going. And yes, you will probably recoup resale value on 4wd, because the next buyer will be just as lazy.

      Anyway, my whole point is, if all you have is 2wd, you are FAR from being limited with where you can go and what you can do. If it is better for you financially, then go for it!

      1. Longboat
        Great point! I started driving in the 60’s and didn’t get my first 4×4 until 1999. Besides my wife already has a 4×4 suv if we have to get out on a snowy day. This little truck is growing on me.

    9. Any chance you could compare the frontier to a base Chevy colorado? Prices are very similar but chevy has more options.

    10. It’s still too expensive. And $20,000 get you a heck of a used truck that will last years, with far more creature comforts and ability. Nissan needs to start this thing at 16 grand, and this version should be no more than 17 or 18.

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