Ace of Base: 2019 Nissan Frontier King Cab S 4×2

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

The old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies to household plumbing, your kid’s Lego creations, and the squeaking ventilation fan in my Dodge Charger. It also applies to the Nissan Frontier pickup, apparently.

Seriously. Even though this thing is almost old enough to vote, Nissan is selling them by the boatload.

Compared to this time last year, sales are up 5.4 percent through the end of November. And this isn’t a case of miniscule numbers skewing the percentages, either. Nissan found 72,154 buyers for the Frontier in the first eleven months of this year. That’s more than their own Versa; more than the Pathfinder, too. It’s within a shout of the Murano, fer chrissakes.

For 2019, the Frontier actually gains equipment while keeping its price at a rock-bottom $18,990. As we learned last week with the Ford Fiesta, one of the cadre of sedans Ford is soon taking to the woodshed, long-in-the-tooth models sometimes benefit in the kit department thanks to a company eager to get just that much more life out of the thing. Or they’ve an abundance of said item in the parts bin.

Whatever the reason, it’s the customers who come up all aces. This year, Nissan’s small pickup earns the 7.0-inch color audio display touchscreen, a unit once reserved for snazzy machines in the company’s showroom. They’ve also expanded the availability of the Cayenne Red shade shown here, so one can drive a base Frontier without looking like they work for Herb’s Drywall.

It is a rear-wheel drive truck at this price, of course, powered by a 2.5-liter inline-four making 152 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque. Stirring the pot is a five-speed manual, whose baseball bat of a shifter sticks up out of the floor just like it did in the venerable Hardbody. In fact, Nissan is one of the few manufacturers to endow their pickups with a manual transmission pretty much across the entire range, with both King and Crew Cabs in trims ranging from S to Pro-4X allowing drivers to row their own gears.

Air conditioning is standard on the base truck, if you’re wondering, as is Bluetooth gear and cruise control. I’d check the latter with my own two eyes at the dealer, just to be sure, as manual transmission models are sometime exempt from controlling the cruise. No asterisks appear next to this feature on Nissan’s website, so I’ll assume it is present on all models, including this base truck.

Whenever a manufacturer introduces a new or refreshed pickup, there is guaranteed to be carping from the peanut gallery about how trucks are so big these days and why doesn’t anyone make trucks like they used to?

Newsflash: someone does. You’re looking at it in today’s Ace of Base.

[Image: Nissan]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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2 of 38 comments
  • JMII JMII on Dec 05, 2018

    Bonus point for Nissan showing this truck towing a race prepped old school Datsun Z on their website. Size wise I wonder how this compares to my Dakota. Its HP and TQ are not that far off my current 4.7l V8. Sadly MPG are about the same too with a last decade 5 speed auto.

  • SnarkyRichard SnarkyRichard on Dec 05, 2018

    Big fail because of the awful gas mileage . Stats say 19 mpg average for this roll up window blast into the past , with mid size truck mileage 20 mpg for my 2006 extra cab 2wd Toyota SR5 with all options . I average about 21-23 and 26-27 on long highway runs . Probably going to trade it in next year for a Corolla hatch . If I need a truck I'm looking at what my neighbor bought this year to replace his aging Explorer - used first generation Honda Ridgeline . It won't sell anyone on gas mileage , but is all wheel drive and over built to get 300K miles easily .

  • ToolGuy "Nothing is greater than the original. Same goes for original Ford Parts. They’re the parts we built to build your Ford. Anything else is imitation."
  • Slavuta I don't know how they calc this. My newest cars are 2017 and 2019, 40 and 45K. Both needed tires at 30K+, OEM tires are now don't last too long. This is $1000 in average (may be less). Brakes DYI, filters, oil, wipers. I would say, under $1500 under 45K miles. But with the new tires that will last 60K, new brakes, this sum could be less in the next 40K miles.
  • BeauCharles I had a 2010 Sportback GTS for 10 years. Most reliable car I ever own. Never once needed to use that super long warranty - nothing ever went wrong. Regular maintenance and tires was all I did. It's styling was great too. Even after all those years it looked better than many current models. Biggest gripe I had was the interior. Cheap (but durable) materials and no sound insulation to speak of. If Mitsubishi had addressed those items I'm sure it would have sold better.
  • Marty S I learned to drive on a Crosley. Also, I had a brand new 75 Buick Riviera and the doors were huge. Bent the inside edge of the hood when opening it while the passenger door was open. Pretty poor assembly quality.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Alan, I was an Apache pilot and after my second back surgery I was medically boarded off of flying status due to vibrations, climbing on and off aircraft, so I was given the choice of getting out or re-branching so I switched to Military Intel. Yes your right if you can’t perform your out doesn’t matter if your at 17 years. Dad always said your just a number, he was a retired command master chief 25 years.