The 2016 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x easily climbed up "Starter Ridge" in the high desert outside Barstow, California.
A locking rear differential and a shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system make the Nissan Frontier an adventurous midsize pickup truck.
The Pro-4x comes standard with off-road tires for better traction in the dirt and rocks. A more stout Dana 44 rear axle is available in the Pro-4x but curiously only in the king cab, not the larger crew cab configuration.
If you're not looking for off-road capability, the Frontier is available in a variety of different trims and with a rear-wheel drivetrain.
The Pro-4x has skid plate protection on the oil pan, fuel tank and transfer case. So go ahead, tackle those rocks.
The Frontier Pro-4x is only available with a 4-liter V6 engine, good for 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque.
Other trims are available with a smaller 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, with 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque.
The Pro-4x can tow up to 6,100 pounds and has a payload of just over 1,000 pounds.
You can also grab the Frontier as a crew cab, as pictured here, or with the smaller king cab. The Pro-4x comes with a 5-foot bed, but a 6-foot bed is also available on other trims.
EPA fuel ratings are 15 miles per gallon, in the city, 21 mpg out on the highway and 17 mpg combined. During my time with the truck, which included a 600+ mile drive on the pavement, a few hours toddling around town as well as some off-road hijinx, I came out with a combined rating of 17.8 mpg.
The 2016 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x starts at $33,390. The total of my test truck with destination and the Luxury off-road package is $36,525.
Buyers have their choice of eight colors, but this forged copper is a great look for the Frontier.
While the cabin is comfortable, it lacks many features that consumers have come to expect. A small touchscreen can make it difficult to manipulate, and the whole design is due for a refresh.
Still, the cabin has most everything you need including bluetooth, iPod connectivity, voice recognition and a premium sound system. Just don't expect any frills.