Nissan Frontier

The mid-size 2008 Nissan Frontier pickup comes in two cab styles, King Cab and Crew Cab. The King Cab has smaller, rear-hinged rear doors, and the Crew Cab has full-size, front-hinged rear doors and a larger rear-seat area. The King Cab is available in a single bed length, but the Crew Cab is now available in standard bed and long bed versions; the new long bed is 13 inches longer.

The Frontier shares its basic layout, including the suspension and other components, with the larger Titan pickup. The suspension combines a double-wishbone front setup with a solid-axle and leaf springs at the rear.

The base XE and SE Frontier King Cab 2WD trucks have a 152-horsepower, 2.5L four-cylinder engine. All other Frontiers are powered by a 4.0L V6 engine, making 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. The predominantly aluminum, double-overhead-cam engine has continuously variable valve timing, variable induction, and a number of attributes for smooth operation and efficiency. Four-cylinder models have a five-speed manual transmission standard, while V6 models get six speeds. A five-speed automatic is available on both.

On V6 models, a four-wheel drive system is available, featuring electronically controlled shift-on-the-fly engagement and a low range. The 4WD models also bring a four-wheel limited-slip system. Hill Descent Control (HDC) helps maintain a steady slow speed while descending especially steep slopes, while Hill Start Assist (HSA) allows a smooth, controlled start on a steep incline without roll-back; both features are optional.

There's also an off-road Nismo edition, available in King Cab or Crew Cab versions with either 2WD or 4WD, which brings Bilstein performance shocks and an electronic-locking rear differential. Ground clearance is increased, with vital hardware tucked within the frame rails. The Nismo also includes skid plates and 16-inch off-road tires.

The Frontier has several innovative storage options, including storage boxes under the rear seats, a large center console, a dual-compartment glove box, and several power points. The Utili-track system, which brings removable utility tie-down cleats and secure attaching channels, is available and especially useful for securing heavy cargo that doesn't take up the entire bed.

Front-seat side air bags are optional, as are side-curtain air bags that cover front and rear occupants.

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Editors' First Take

It's been 17 long years since Nissan last introduced a brand-new Frontier pickup. The newborns from that time are now high school seniors, and back then, Twitter wasn't even a thing. Hell, 17 years ago, Nickelback had a top 20 Billboard hit. Nickelback!

Indeed, a lot's changed since late 2004, and thank goodness, the Frontier has finally changed, too. It's still a simple and serviceable midsize pickup truck, but it now comes with more features to make it commensurate with the rest of its class.

Though the new Frontier comes online for the 2022 model year, its powertrain has actually been around since 2020. Nissan threw its new 3.8-liter V6 into the old Frontier, and I have to say, old truck or new truck, this engine is a peach. It offers a healthy 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, and the nine-speed automatic transmission is perfectly smooth. Both rear- and four-wheel-drive models are available.

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