By on April 5, 2017

2017 Nissan Frontier S

There’s something innately endearing about a small pickup truck. Like an overeager puppy who yaps and seems to bounce instead of walk, fun-sized pick-‘em-ups just appear to be excited all the time. Come on! Come on! Let’s work! Let’s play! Are you ready? Can we play? Huh? Huh? Are you ready? How about now? To me, that’s the soundtrack of a small truck.

Nissan has been a large player in the small truck market ever since Methuselah was a boy, with the Hardbody (what a great name for a truck, by the way) finding itself on the nation’s gravel roads in a whole bunch of trims. In the Great White North, they even used the fantastic Hustler name. Hardbody Hustler. Tremendous.

(Read More…)

By on March 6, 2017

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – Image: Toyota

Nearly two and a half years since General Motors increased the number of offerings in the midsize pickup truck sector by two-thirds, and nine months since Honda revitalized its unique Ridgeline offering, we’re once again in need of new midsize pickup truck nameplates.

America’s pickup truck category began 2017 with a bang, growing by more than 7 percent and easily outpacing an industry that declined by more than 1 percent in the first one-sixth of 2017.

Yet virtually all of that growth — fully 90 percent — was fuelled not by midsize pickups but by the stalwarts: full-size trucks.  (Read More…)

By on February 11, 2017

2016 Nissan Frontier, Image: Nissan

European drivers have a problem. Motorists who own Nissan Navara pickups keep finding their trips cut short by an annoying noise: the sound of their trucks splitting in half.

So many Navaras — sold in North America as the Nissan Frontier — are snapping in two due to extreme frame rust that owners are pressuring governments to do something about. Check out these photos if you think it’s an isolated problem. (Read More…)

By on January 17, 2017

2016 Nissan Frontier

Some people have one mid-life crisis; I’ve had a series of them, rearing their ugly heads in widely disparate manners, off and on over the past 20 years. In fact, I’m now having midlife crises that are repeats of previous crises.

Example: After a fairly successful knee surgery last month, I decided to buy some new BMX bikes and go riding again, the same way I did back in 2001 or thereabouts. Last time, my partners in this ill-advised venture were a bunch of Bolivian pro BMX racers whose constant orbits around my house combined with the glossy presence of a CL55 AMG and an Audi S8 in my driveway to convince my neighbors that I was involved with the cartels. This time, my main homeboy is my seven-year-old son, newly mounted-up on a watermelon-green Sunday Primer 16 skatepark bike.

The last time I got this serious about riding, I bought a Nissan Frontier. This time I’ve thought long and hard about doing something similar. True, I have a very nice Tahoe Z71 as part of the dowry from my recent marriage, but driving anything as profoundly elephantine as a Tahoe depresses the hell out of me. What to do?

(Read More…)

By on October 25, 2016

Mercedes-Benz Concept X-CLASS

Mercedes-Benz unveiled two concepts for its mid-sized pickup, dubbed the X-Class, in Stockholm, Sweden today. The event was live-streamed across the globe and, at thirteen minutes in, two gussied up Nissans took the stage.

(Read More…)

By on August 23, 2016

2016 Nissan Frontier

At a recent Nissan truck and SUV event in Carmel, a senior Nissan rep indicated there is zero chance the Smyrna, Tennessee based operation will alter its winning mid-size pickup formula.

When asked about the prospects of a unibody Frontier, Dan Passe, Senior Manager of Nissan Brand Communications, laughingly responded, “We don’t normally comment on future product, but a unibody Frontier is not happening.”

Honda is encountering strong demand for its recently launched, second-generation unibody Ridgeline, but Nissan will not follow Honda down the dedicated lifestyle truck path.

(Read More…)

By on August 8, 2016

2017 Honda RidgelineMidsize pickup truck sales shot up 29 percent in the United States in July 2016, enough to drive the sub-sector’s share of the overall pickup category up three points to 17 percent.

Indeed, without the gains produced by the midsize truck sector, overall U.S. pickup truck volume would have flatlined in July on declining sales of the two top-selling truck lines, Ford’s F-Series and the Chevrolet Silverado. Moreover, without the midsize truck sector’s additional 8,973 July sales, total U.S. new vehicle sales volume would have risen by less than one-tenth of one percent.

Instead, because of a dramatic increase in sales of the second-generation Honda Ridgeline in its first month of availability, another huge uptick in Nissan Frontier sales, and continued growth from GM’s Colorado/Canyon duo, pickup truck sales grew four percent and the American auto industry reported nearly 10,000 extra sales in July 2016, year-over-year. (Read More…)

By on July 14, 2016

2005 Nissan Frontier & 2016 Nissan Frontier

The recent introduction of a thoroughly re-engineered Toyota Tacoma is propelling sales of the segment’s top seller to all-time highs. After an elongated hiatus, there are new options from General Motors, and they’re selling more frequently than GM anticipated. Just last month, Honda began selling an all new, second-generation Ridgeline, a pickup at the opposite end of the spectrum from the rough and tumble Frontier. That Ridgeline, we told you yesterday, is selling like it’s 2008.

Moreover, demand for small/midsize pickup trucks is roughly 30-percent smaller than it was a decade ago.

At Nissan, there are plenty of factors, internal and external, working against the Frontier. The current-generation pickup is more than a decade old. Yet Nissan USA is on track to sell more Frontiers in 2016 than at any point since the current truck debuted on the Titan’s F-Alpha platform in January 2004 at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show. (Read More…)

By on January 19, 2016

05-07_Nissan_Frontier

TTAC commentator suburbanokie writes:

Greetings,

Another longtime listener, firsttime caller … I have a two-parter.

First: My 2007 Nissan Frontier will soon be due for a rear brake job. I’ve never worked on rear disks. Should I replace the emergency-brake shoes as well as the service brake pads, or will a simple inspection of them do for now? Also, I’ve had varying advice here: should I have the rotors turned, replaced or simply let them be if no pitting or warping is detected?

Second: Last year, my father and I replaced the U-joints on the prop shaft and since that day there’s a vibration around 55-60 mph. Whether I’m in 4th, 5th or 6th gear is irrelevant and the vibration goes away above and below that range. I do remember when trying to remove the old U-joints, my father took a small chunk, maybe a half-inch square area, out of the shaft right at one of the ends, and I’m pretty sure this is causing it, but is there anything I can do about it? (Read More…)

By on March 31, 2015

navara_rear

A report in the Wall Street Journal is claiming that Mercedes-Benz’s newest pickup won’t be a home grown effort. The German auto maker is planning on expanding on its alliance with partner Renault-Nissan by using one of their existing pickups as the basis for the Benz.

(Read More…)

By on June 11, 2014

big_62046

The all-new Nissan Navara, unveiled today, will be Nissan’s mid-size truck in world markets. But unlike past Navaras, our next Frontier will be a completely different truck. Nissan is (literally) going back to the future on this one.

(Read More…)

By on June 9, 2014

nissan-frontier-leak-2_653

That soon-to-be-launched Nissan truck we showed you a few days ago? Apparently, this isn’t it.

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By on June 2, 2014

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Next Wednesday, Nissan will unveil a new compact truck, presumably the all-new Frontier/Navara.

(Read More…)

By on February 6, 2014

frontier-diesel-runner

 

What you’re looking at is a diesel powered Nissan Frontier. For now, it is not a production model, but Nissan is apparently studying it for production. Like its big brother, the next-gen Nissan Titan, there is a Cummins diesel, but it’s a 4-cylinder, not a V8. Displacing 2.8L and putting down an estimated 200 horsepower and 350 lb-ft, the Frontier uses a ZF 8-speed automatic to put power to the ground.

By on August 9, 2013

Colorado-Canyon-Teaser

 

TTAC readers looking to debate the “mid-size vs. full-size” truck matter have more fodder now that GM has unveiled a teaser photo of their new mid-size trucks.

(Read More…)

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