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The Nissan Frontier is a compact pickup truck that has undergone many changes over the last decade. Unfortunately, one of these changes was in engine size, which is why it can be difficult to answer the question, “What kind of engine does a Nissan Frontier have?” But we’re here to help with an explanation of the engine currently available for this vehicle!
The Frontier now has a 3.8-liter V6 engine that makes 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque, which it pairs with either rear or four-wheel drive. In addition, it comes exclusively with a nine-speed automatic transmission and 6,710 lbs of towing capacity.
The Nissan Frontier has been in the pack with the Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma for many years now. However, with the new engine change, Nissan is hoping to get ahead of the pack. In this article, we will discuss the Nissan Frontier engine and how it performs.
What Kind Of Engine Does A Nissan Frontier Have?
The new Nissan Frontier features a V6 engine and nine-speed automatic transmission. This powerhouse can handle most driving situations, though the transmission may occasionally struggle with hesitation on rougher roads.
Nevertheless, the handling of this truck makes for reasonable performance even over varied terrain, while the ride remains comfortable overall.
The new engine is a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 310 horsepower, an improvement of 49 hp over the 4.0-liter V6 with torque remaining unchanged at 281 lb-ft and reaching 400 rpm higher in the rev range while maxing out 6,600 rpm rather than 6,000 on top-end.
The V6 engine provides impressive acceleration and plenty of power at highway speeds. The automatic transmission works well for the most part, but it occasionally has to look for the correct gear. This has been a common complaint from consumers thus far.
The gas mileage of rear-wheel-drive models is 18 mpg in the city and 24 on highways. Four-wheel drives get slightly worse ratings with 17/23 mpg city/highway, but it’s not a huge gap like few other class rivals, which get better numbers than them.
The Frontier is a spacious and comfortable truck that has an easy-going feel. It does well around turns and provides smooth rides over most surfaces, except its slightly wide turning radius, making it difficult to maneuver through cramped spaces.
This vehicle comes standard with rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive as optional equipment; it can carry heavy loads in rough conditions without any problems.
While these are good highlights of the new Frontier engine, is it any good? Keep reading as we discuss the performance and towing capabilities of the new 3.8L V6 engine.
Is the new Nissan Frontier engine any good?
The new 305 horsepower V-6 is very smooth and powerful, providing good torque down low. It loves to rev high. Nissan’s redesign of the Frontier will be a contender in the midsize pickup truck segment for this reason alone!
The engine is powerful, but it is also quiet. It delivers good acceleration at all speeds, making it great for passing maneuvers on the highway or merging onto other roads.
The powertrain does well in most conditions but struggles with hills when towing heavy loads up steep grades.
While these are some of the positive aspects of Nissan’s new Frontier engine, what about its towing capabilities?
The Frontier has a maximum payload of 1,460 lbs. King Cab models can tow up to 6,720 lbs, while Crew Cabs can pull up to 6,500 lbs.
This is less impressive than the rest of its class with better capacities for hauling and pulling heavy loads- almost every other compact pickup truck offers more—the difference is significant in many cases.
Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, and Jeep all have mid-size trucks that can tow 7,500 lbs. In addition, the payload capacity is up to 1600 lbs which means you could fit a lot of stuff in there and maybe even your whole family!
How long do Nissan Frontier engines last?
The Nissan Frontier, a reliable workhorse in the industry for nearly 20 years now. One of their vehicles has relied heavily on new technology and has been known to last longer than other vehicles out there.
The Nissan Frontier has a reputation for being dependable and lasting 100,000 miles or more. There are still plenty of used Frontiers available on the market too!
Nissan wouldn’t have kept the Frontier around for many years if it wasn’t selling and performing. Consumers will tell you everything about the quality of a vehicle, and so far, the Frontier has had a good reputation.
Nonetheless, the lifespan of a Nissan Frontier engine will depend on the year. Like other vehicle models, there are good years and really bad years.
For example, the 2005 Frontier is full of problems. Consumer Reports had 6 recall notices, and transmission issues were common in the industry back then.
In addition, the average fuel economy was 15 miles per gallon, but only 11 when driving around town. It also includes a faulty radiator seal that leads to cross-contamination between coolant and transmission oil, costing up to $4k for one fix!
These issues have been resolved, so they don’t affect you too much later on, though!
As the years went on, though our 2008 Nissan Frontier still got 15 miles per gallon in city and highway driving, it became more reliable.
If you are looking at an older Nissan Frontier, it is good to check a CarFax report. A CarFax will give you a good idea of how the vehicle was taken care of.
It will dive deep into its maintenance and repair history. In addition, it will tell you how many owners the truck had and if there were any accidents.
Also, check out sites like RepairPal that break down the years with the most issues and how much annually you can expect to pay in repairs.
What is the best year for the Nissan Frontier?
Out of all the dependable years, 2013 and 2014 stand out as some of the best. They aren’t flashy, but they’re reliable—perfect for buyers looking for a long-lasting truck that will get them from point A to B while still being comfortable along the way.
If buyers are looking for something that will stay true to the reliability, it is good to go with the newer models. 2019 to present models will ensure that you won’t be broken down on the side of the road.
But, again, the new technology and introduction of the new 3.8L engine are a safe bet.
Who makes the Nissan Frontier engine?
The new 3.8-liter V6 engine has 93 percent of its parts replaced and is built in Tennessee at Nissan’s plant, where the 5.6L V8 for Titan is assembled as well.
The cylinder heads of the 3.8L V6 have integrated exhaust manifolds, a variable displacement oil pump, variable timing control, and a tumbling valve for improved efficiency.
These changes are believed to improve fuel economy by up to 10% over previous engine options like 5-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
They are said to be noisy and less efficient overall than the new one that shares similar features with the Nissan Titan truck. Both are quieter cars improving their mileage even further.
What is more reliable, Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier?
The Toyota Tacoma is said to be more reliable than Nissan Frontier. However, this information is not enough to decide which truck you should choose because both trucks have an average reliability rating of four out of five!
The new Tacoma is even more functional than its predecessor. The midsize truck focuses on convenience with better connectivity and safety technology, plus it has an updated design that makes the interior of the vehicle feel roomier.
On top of all these great updates, drivers will also get to enjoy advanced off-road capabilities!
It’s tough to compete with any Toyota vehicle when it comes to overall reliability.
However, the Nissan Frontier has been around this long for a reason. Just because one is more reliable than the other doesn’t mean the Frontier is a bad choice.
Consumers also need to consider other factors such as drivability, towing capabilities, comfort, and cargo space. But, again, these are important features to prioritize because both mid-size trucks can serve you for several years when taken care of.
The Nissan Frontier is a good work truck, but the Toyota Tacoma offers more features and comforts.
If you’re willing to wait for an upcoming release of the redesigned 2021 model, it may be worth waiting before making your purchase decision, as this could change our recommendation entirely!
Overall, the new 3.8L V6 engine in the Nissan Frontier will take time to show its worth. New engines are always put in the spotlight to see if they will stay or go.
Therefore, consumers should consider driving the new Frontier and then compare it to others. For example, the GMC Canyon, Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, and Toyota Tacoma before making a buying decision.
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Have you driven the new Nissan Frontier? Let us know what you think of it below!