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8.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 6.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.5
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Nissan Frontier Review

Reviewers praised the 2013 Nissan Frontier's sharp handling and powerful available V6 engine, though most weren't impressed with the low quality of its cabin materials.

Pros & Cons

  • Nimble handling for a truck
  • Robust acceleration with V6
  • Cheap cabin materials
  • Cramped rear seats

New for 2013

  • New Desert Runner trim
  • Slightly improved fuel economy over 2012 model

2013 Nissan Frontier Overview

The 2013 Nissan Frontier has a standard four-cylinder engine or an available V6. Test drivers said that the V6-powered Frontier has robust acceleration and plenty of towing and hauling power. With either engine, a manual transmission is standard and an automatic is available. The Frontier gets up to an EPA-estimated 19/23 mpg city/highway, which is a bit lower than that of its key rival, the 2013 Toyota Tacoma. According to critics, the Frontier has sharp handling and a firm, but generally comfortable, ride. When properly equipped, the Frontier can tow up to 6,500 pounds.

The automotive press wrote that the 2013 Nissan Frontier's cabin is built with quite a few hard plastics. King (extended) Cab models seat four and Crew Cab models seat five. Some reviewers said the Frontier's front seats are supportive and comfortable, but most agreed that the King Cab's rear seats are very cramped, even for kids. They found that the Crew Cab's rear seats offer adequate space, though some still complained that they're a bit too upright and mounted too low to the floor for optimal comfort. The 2013 Frontier comes with few notable standard features. Available features include air conditioning, power windows, door locks and mirrors, a 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a USB port, a rearview camera, leather seats, heated front seats and navigation.

See 2013 Nissan Frontier specs »

Other Trucks to Consider

With its standard four-cylinder engine, the 2013 Toyota Tacoma gets slightly better fuel economy than the Frontier. Test drivers said the Tacoma sets the standard for interior quality in the class, and wrote that the Double Cab model's rear seats are spacious and comfortable.

According to reviewers, the 2013 Honda Ridgeline has a comfortable, car-like ride, and they appreciated the novelty and usefulness of its lockable, in-bed trunk. They also said its rear seats offer adult-sized space and noted that the cabin has plentiful storage areas for smaller items.

Compare the Frontier, Tacoma and Ridgeline »

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Frontier Shoppers Should Also Consider...

Toyota Tacoma 2013 2013 Toyota Tacoma

#1 in 2013 Compact Pickup Trucks

Honda Ridgeline 2013 2013 Honda Ridgeline

#2 in 2013 Compact Pickup Trucks

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