Posted: 07/30/06 09:05 AM
FAQs The 2005 Nissan Frontier scored well in crash tests, and stacks up well against the competition in terms of power and capability. Choosing between the Frontier and its main competitor, the Toyota Tacoma, will be based on style and brand.
Why buy a 2005 Nissan Frontier rather than a 2005 Toyota Tacoma? The Nissan offers a more aggressive, edgy look when compared to the bulbous Toyota, and the Frontier’s V6 provides an additional 20 horses and two lb.-ft. of torque. Base prices are roughly equivalent and warranties are identical. These trucks are about as evenly matched as they can be, so the buying decision largely comes down to brand and style preference.
How does the 2005 Nissan Frontier stack up against other competitors? GM offers the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon (Isuzu’s version is the i-Series), a decent truck with an underpowered five-cylinder engine and an uncompetitive warranty. Dodge and partner Mitsubishi offer the Dakota and Raider. A Mitsu commercial displays a V8-powered Raider scaring a Frontier so much that it “wets” itself. Interesting, especially considering that the Nissan’s V6 offers 35 additional horsepower and is only two lb.-ft. shy of the Dodge/Mitsubishi V8’s torque ratings. The Ford Ranger (and twin Mazda B-Series) lack a crew cab option and ride on an ancient platform. That leaves newcomer Honda and its Ridgeline, a fine car-based truck that lacks the ruggedness of the 2005 Nissan Frontier.
How safe is the 2005 Nissan Frontier? The 2005 Nissan Frontier comes standard with dual front airbags, front active headrests, and antilock brakes. Upper level trims add traction control and a first aid kit. Front side-impact and side-curtain airbags are optional. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the 2005 Nissan Crew Cab four out of five stars for frontal crashworthiness and five stars for side impacts. NHTSA didn’t test a King Cab model. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested only the Frontier King Cab, with the Nissan achieving an overall Good rating, the highest available from the IIHS.
Specifications Competitors include the Chevrolet Colorado, Dodge Dakota, Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, Isuzu i-350, Mazda B-Series, Mitsubishi Raider, and the Toyota Tacoma.
Test Vehicle: 2005 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab NISMO 4X4
Price of Test Vehicle: $30,130 (including a $580 destination charge)
Engine Size and Type: 4.0-liter V6
Engine Horsepower: 265 at 5,600 rpm
Engine Torque: 284 at 4,000 rpm
Transmission: Five-speed automatic
Curb Weight, lbs.: 4,502
EPA Fuel Economy (city/highway): 15/20 mpg
Observed Fuel Economy: 15.1 mpg
Length: 205.5 inches
Width: 72.8 inches
Wheelbase: 125.9 inches
Height: 70.1 inches
Legroom (front/rear): 42.4/33.6 inches
Headroom (front/rear): 40.0/38.7 inches
Max. Seating Capacity: 5
Max. Payload: 1,098 lbs.
Max. Towing Capacity: 6,100 lbs.
Ground Clearance: 10.1 inches
Competitors: Chevrolet Colorado, Dodge Dakota, Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, Isuzu i-350, Mazda B-Series, Mitsubishi Raider, Toyota Tacoma
2nd Opinion -- Wardlaw The 2005 Frontier is another home run for Nissan, a company that has proven, time after time, that product is king when it comes to sales success.
Gotta tell ya, if I needed a compact pickup, this new Frontier would be it. Like any red-blooded American, how my personal transportation looks is just *** if not more, important as how it works, and this Nissan looks like it’s chewing up rocks while standing still. This truck is tough, chiseled, with a balanced look that totally escapes the oversized and oddly proportioned Toyota Tacoma.
But looks will only get a pickup so far – just ask Chevrolet how the Colorado was selling before the employee discount fire sale. No worries – the Nissan Frontier has the goods to work as a real truck, with a stout V6 underhood and a slick utility track system in the bed. Our test truck even had a spray-on bedliner to protect from scratches. And though I didn’t take it four-wheeling, if my experience in the Frontier’s platform-mate, the Xterra SUV, is any indication, this truck oughta rock off-road.
For its looks and performance, you don’t suffer inside the cab. The seats feature height and tilt adjustment, and provide decent support. The rear seat is a little tight when four tall adults are on board, but for short rides it’s just fine. And there are splashes of brightwork to help lessen what could otherwise be a pretty plain place to spend time. The seat fabric appears to be durable and water resistant, and the Rockford Fosgate audio system is terrific for a truck. If you wear polarized sunglasses, however, you can’t read the LCD display for the stereo.
Before this test drive, the Toyota Tacoma was the truck I recommended to anyone looking for a durable and capable pickup. But now, I’ll be sure to tell truck buyers to try the Nissan dealer, too. The 2005 Frontier is another home run for Nissan, a company that has proven, time after time, that product is king when it comes to sales success. – Christian J. Wardlaw