2013 Nissan Frontier

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16 CITY / 21 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What's New for 2013:
  • Desert Runner trim level with V-6 engine, rear-drive, and off-road suspension
  • SV, SL and PRO-4X trim levels gain additional standard or optional equipment
  • New options include a reversing camera, rear park-assist sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation system, and Bluetooth streaming audio
  • Value Truck package with spray-in bed liner, Utili-track tie-downs, sliding bed extender, trailer hitch, reversing camera, rear park-assist sensors, and more
  • Improved fuel economy due to engine enhancements and aerodynamic modifications
  • Three additional exterior colors

Exterior Features
The 2013 Nissan Frontier is a compact pickup truck offered in extended cab (King Cab) and crew cab body styles, with a choice of a 4-cylinder or a V-6 engine, a manual or an automatic transmission, 2- or 4-wheel drive (2WD or 4WD), and a long or short bed. Trim levels include S, SV, SL, Desert Runner, and PRO-4X. The Frontier is based on the same \"F-Alpha\" platform as the full-size Titan pickup.

Standard equipment for the Frontier King Cab S includes 15-inch steel wheels, body-color front bumper, chrome rear bumper, chrome grille, dark-tinted rear privacy glass, locking tailgate, and a cargo bed light. The Frontier Crew Cab S model adds a V-6 engine, 16-inch steel wheels wearing outline white-letter tires, gray lower front bumper trim, and a rear window defroster.

Interior Features
The 2013 Nissan Frontier King Cab S is equipped with storage under the rear jump seat, fold-flat front passenger's seat, cloth upholstery, sliding sunvisor extensions, and a 4-speaker stereo. The Crew Cab S model adds air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, 6-speaker stereo and a CD player, oil pressure and voltage gauges, visor vanity mirrors, and a 60/40-split flip-up rear bench seat.

Optional Features
To upgrade a 2013 Nissan Frontier, buyers can choose a higher level of trim and they can add option packages. King Cab buyers can select SV, Desert Runner or PRO-4X trim, while Crew Cab buyers can additionally upgrade to the leather-lined SL trim level.

The Frontier King Cab S is offered with an automatic transmission and a Preferred package containing air conditioning and a CD player. Additionally, a variety of dealer-installed accessories can be added. The Crew Cab S is offered with the automatic and dealer accessories.

Buy the Frontier King Cab SV and the pickup is equipped with the Crew Cab S model's standard features. With SV trim, both cab styles add 16-inch aluminum wheels with upgraded outline white-letter tires, power side mirrors, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, front map lights, sliding rear window, bed rail caps, and a security system.

The new SV Value Truck package is optional on models with a V-6 engine, and adds fog lights, dual-zone automatic climate control, reversing camera, rear park-assist sensors, auto-dimming rearview mirror with a compass and outside temperature display, and floor mats. Additionally, this option provides a trailer hitch, spray-in bed liner, sliding bed extender, security system, and a Utili-track cargo tie-down system.

The Frontier SL is offered only as a Crew Cab model. It includes a standard automatic transmission, 18-inch wheels and tires, upgraded exterior trim, automatic headlights, heated side mirrors, side rails, and a roof rack. Inside, the Frontier SL includes a navigation system, leather upholstery, power heated front seats, rear-seat center armrest, and illuminated visor vanity mirrors. A premium sound system with 10 speakers, CD changer and Bluetooth streaming audio are standard, and a power sunroof is optional.

The 2013 Frontier Desert Runner model is new this year. Offered in both King Cab and Crew Cab styles with a V-6 engine, rear drive, and an automatic transmission, the Frontier Desert Runner is based on the SV trim level with the Value Truck package and adds \"Off-Road design\" 16-inch aluminum wheels, Bilstein off-road shocks, fog lights, special exterior trim and graphics, trip computer, white-faced gauges, 8-way adjustable driver seat, and unique cloth upholstery.

Nissan also sells the Frontier King Cab and Crew Cab in an off-road-ready PRO-4X trim level. The PRO-4X starts with SV Value Truck package trim, and adds 4WD, Bilstein off-road shocks, Dana 44 rear axle and an electronic locking rear differential, clutch start/cancel feature (manual transmission), hill-start assist, hill-descent control, and a skid plate package. Visual cues include machined-finish aluminum wheels, on/off-road tires, body-color grille and bumpers, and body-color trim. The PRO-4X model is also equipped with a first-aid kit, metallic cabin trim, special cloth upholstery, and an upgraded 10-speaker audio system with a CD changer.

A PRO-4X Luxury package essentially adds the equipment from the Frontier SL to the rugged PRO-4X model, including the power sunroof.

Under the Hood
The Frontier King Cab S and SV trims are equipped with a standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 152 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard, and a 5-speed automatic is optional.

The King Cab Desert Runner and PRO-4X models, all Crew Cabs, and all 4WD models have a 4.0-liter V-6 engine generating 261 horsepower and 281 lb.-ft. of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard for S, SV and PRO-4X trims, with a 5-speed automatic optional. The automatic is standard for Desert Runner and SL versions of the Frontier. Maximum towing capacity with this engine is 6,500 pounds.

Fuel Economy
As this overview is written, the EPA has not published fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Nissan Frontier models. Nissan claims that most 2013 models improve by 1 or 2 mpg from 2012 due to aerodynamic enhancements and powertrain modifications.

For 2013, the Frontier can be upgraded with a reversing camera and rear park-assist sensors, which complement 6 standard air bags, traction and stability control system, and 4-wheel ventilated disc anti-lock brakes. A hill-start assist system and a hill-descent control system are available.

As this overview is written, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has performed crash tests on the 2013 Nissan Frontier.


J.D. Power Ratings

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*Please note that JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards. Learn more about how J.D. Power Ratings are calculated.

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