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2009 Nissan Frontier Truck

4WD King Cab Auto SE

Starting at | Starting at 14 MPG City - 19 MPG Highway

2009 Nissan Frontier for Sale

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  • Average Retail is not available
  • $24,110 original MSRP
Printable Version

2009 Nissan Frontier Truck

Benefits of Driving a 2009 Nissan Frontier Truck

The 2009 Nissan Frontier is a good, manageably sized alternative to full-size trucks, and its V6 engine is one of the most powerful in its class. The truck also stands out for its unique Utili-track system and plentiful interior storage bins. Towing ability is a strong point for the Frontier, too; properly equipped, it is rated to tow up to 6,500 pounds.

What's new for 2009?

For 2009, the Frontier gets some basic exterior styling upgrades including a bolder grille, a new headlight design, and two new exterior colors

Model Strengths

  • Utility and cargo versatility
  • PRO-4X off-road model
  • power (V6)
  • towing ability.

Model Review

The mid-size 2009 Nissan Frontier pickup comes in two cab styles, King Cab and Crew Cab. The King Cab has smaller, rear-hinged rear doors, and the Crew Cab has full-size, front-hinged rear doors and a larger rear-seat area. The King Cab is available in a single bed length, while the Crew Cab is available in standard bed and long bed versions.

Printable Version

2009 Nissan Frontier Truck

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2009 Nissan Frontier

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

The Nissan Frontier is a midsize pickup truck using a strong and proven 4.0-liter V6 engine, or a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder, with a fully boxed ladder-type chassis.

For 2009, the grille, front fascia, instrument panel have been slightly changed. There's also a new off-road model called the PRO-4X. The four-wheel-drive system for this model and other Frontiers is part-time 4WD with an electronically controlled transfer case offering shift on the fly.

The V6 engine boasts 261 horsepower, best in class, along with best-in-class towing and payload; but the EPA-rated fuel mileage with 4WD is just 15 mpg City and 19 mpg Highway. Safety features such as electronic stability control, side-impact airbags and airbag curtains are optional, while being standard with some of the Frontier's competitors. The Frontier earned four of five stars for the driver and five stars for the passenger, in government head-on crash testing.

We found the interior comfortable and well laid out, with good rugged standard fabric upholstery. The King Cab has auxiliary doors opening to two small folding seats, while the Crew Cab is a four-door with a three-seat bench in the rear offering comfort although limited legroom. The Crew Cab comes with standard or long wheelbase providing a 6-foot-long bed, same size as the King Cab's.

The ride is good with all models, and we drove them all, including the PRO-4X Crew Cab with off-road shock absorbers and rugged trail tires. The handling is tight and fairly nimble. On gravel roads, we found the 4WD works well to straighten things out.

Model Lineup

The 2009 Nissan Frontier comes in a King Cab or Crew Cab, 2WD or 4WD.

Frontier XE 2WD ($17,460) comes with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission. The XE is the base model and has steel wheels, wind-up windows, no air conditioning. The Frontier SE ($19,560) upgrades with alloy wheels and other features. An automatic transmission is optional ($1050).

Frontier SE King Cab 2WD ($22,210) and 4WD ($24,910) come standard with the V6, mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or five-speed automatic. King Cab seats four. The Crew Cab ($1050) has four doors and seats five, with a shorter bed; a longer wheelbase version ($800) makes the bed the same length as in the King Cab.

The Frontier LE 2WD ($26,540) and 4WD ($29,190) come with the five-speed automatic, and add a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights and auto headlights, power sideview mirror, tubular sidestep, moonroof, roofrack with crossbars, eight-way driver's and four-way front passenger's adjustable heated seats, cruise control, first aid kit, and power doors, windows and entry. Long wheelbase versions are about $500 more.

The Frontier PRO-4X off-road model comes in crew cab and automatic transmission only, available in 2WD and 4WD. It has Bilstein off-road shocks, skid plates for the oil pan and transfer case, locking rear differential, and its own 16-inch alloy wheels with BFGoodrich P265/75R16 Rugged Trail tires. Also standard is a spray-on bedliner and tough fabric seats with red stitching, as well as cruise control, remote keyless entry, and power windows, door locks and sideview mirrors.

Option packages include the XE Preferred Package, SE Power Package, Value Truck Package, Moonroof Package (Crew Cab only), Side & Curtain Air Bag Package, Active Brake Limited Slip (ABLS), Technology Package and Traction Package (4WD automatic only).

Safety equipment on all Frontiers includes two-stage front airbags, a tire pressure monitor, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution. Crew Cab models have three-point seat belts for all rear-seat occupants, including the center position, plus the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchor system. Electronic stability control (VDC, for Vehicle Dynamic Control) is optional only on the LE and PRO-4X models. Front-seat side-impact airbags and airbag curtains are optional.

Exterior Features

There's a family resemblance between the midsize Nissan Frontier and full-size Titan, but the Frontier is two feet shorter and feels it. After climbing out of a Titan and into a Frontier, it seems right, unless you need an eight-foot bed for work or need to tow a big trailer.

The grille, headlights, front fascia and alloy wheels have been retouched for 2009, but not enough for anyone to notice. The fender flares are big and smooth. The front end is a bit cleaner and shinier, and the wheels, two types of 16-inch and one 18-inch alloys, have a bit more style. The Crew Cab looks cool with the optional tubular black aluminum roof rack, taken from the popular Xterra SUV.

King Cabs have rear-hinged auxiliary doors behind the front doors, for access to the two small forward-facing seats. Crew Cabs have four full doors and a roomy and comfortable rear passenger compartment that seats three. The King Cab bed is 73.3 inches Crew Cab bed is 59.5 inches, or almost exactly five feet. It takes a Crew Cab long wheelbase, another 14 inches, to get a bed the same length as King Cab.

A spray-on bed liner and Utili-track tie-down system are available. Using five rails (two on the floor and one on each side and forward bulkhead) and cleats that slide in the channels, all kinds of cargo can be held down.

The new PRO-4X is not totally new; it already existed under another name, the Frontier Nismo (Nissan Motor Sports), technically aftermarket but all Nissan, and available from dealers. It does away with a bunch of chrome, in particular the grille, bumpers, outside mirrors and door handles, making them body-colored. It's got its own 16-inch alloy wheels and big distinctive off-road tires.

Walkaround

For 2009, parts of the instrument panel are new, in particular the HVAC control knobs and white-faced gauges. The standard seat fabric is also new, with perforated leather optional; the leather is excellent but the fabric is rugged and eminently livable, although we dropped a dollop of a Subway foot-long on it and it and the stain wouldn't go away with just a napkin and spit (upholstery cleaner got it later).

The PRO-4X, our test model for one week, has cool red stitching on its own black fabric. The bucket seats fit well; hours could be spent in them pleasurably, presuming they're not all off-road hours, but even if they were, the PRO-4X would make the time bearable on the backbone.

The front seat layout is excellent, with a console having gauges that are attractive and easy to read, and controls that are easy to operate. The center console is deep, while there are cubbies forward of the shift lever, cupholders galore, good armrests and door handles, and a double glovebox that opens up and down. A nice steering wheel has optional controls and short sturdy stalks. Good grab handles on the A pillars. The vinyl dashboard is ugly in brown, but just fine in black.

Options include an eight-way power driver's seat, four-way power passenger's seat, heated front seats, dual heated outside mirrors, and more.

We spent some time in a regular Crew Cab as well. Passengers back there will have a good time, especially if they're under an optional moonroof. They'll have cupholders, map pockets, grab handles, and an optional folding center armrest, although not a lot of knee room.

Rear seats in both the King Cab and Crew Cab fold up, and the front passenger seat folds flat, to create cargo space.

Interior Features

For 2009, parts of the instrument panel are new, in particular the HVAC control knobs and white-faced gauges. The standard seat fabric is also new, with perforated leather optional; the leather is excellent but the fabric is rugged and eminently livable, although we dropped a dollop of a Subway foot-long on it and it and the stain wouldn't go away with just a napkin and spit (upholstery cleaner got it later).

The PRO-4X, our test model for one week, has cool red stitching on its own black fabric. The bucket seats fit well; hours could be spent in them pleasurably, presuming they're not all off-road hours, but even if they were, the PRO-4X would make the time bearable on the backbone.

The front seat layout is excellent, with a console having gauges that are attractive and easy to read, and controls that are easy to operate. The center console is deep, while there are cubbies forward of the shift lever, cupholders galore, good armrests and door handles, and a double glovebox that opens up and down. A nice steering wheel has optional controls and short sturdy stalks. Good grab handles on the A pillars. The vinyl dashboard is ugly in brown, but just fine in black.

Options include an eight-way power driver's seat, four-way power passenger's seat, heated front seats, dual heated outside mirrors, and more.

We spent some time in a regular Crew Cab as well. Passengers back there will have a good time, especially if they're under an optional moonroof. They'll have cupholders, map pockets, grab handles, and an optional folding center armrest, although not a lot of knee room.

Rear seats in both the King Cab and Crew Cab fold up, and the front passenger seat folds flat, to create cargo space.

Driving Impressions

We got into the Nissan Frontier after stepping out of a full-size Titan, and we must say that the Frontier made the Titan feel huge. And for the week we were in the Frontier, it never felt too small. So we might suggest that the first things you should consider in choosing a Frontier (or any truck) are the size of the bed you need, and the seating capacity. (That's assuming you don't need the full-size Titan for towing.) Remember that tailgate extenders are available, if you occasionally need a longer bed to haul things.

On the road, the award-winning, all-aluminum DOHC V6 engine has very strong acceleration when you put your foot down. As it should, given 261 horsepower. At 4.0 liters, it's a stroked version of the award-winning 3.5-liter that's used in the 350Z sports car and other Nissans. It has all the right stuff: aluminum block and heads, Teflon-coated pistons, Continuous Valve Timing Control (CVTCS), Nissan variable Induction Control System (NICS), silent timing chain and micro finished camshaft and crankshaft surfaces, digital knock control system, and 105,000-mile spark plugs.

There's 281 pound-feet of torque, but it is isn't fully there at lower rpm, so you do have to put your foot down to find all the power, and that doesn't come without a price in fuel efficiency. The PRO-4X gets 15 City and 19 Highway miles per gallon, which is no more than the full-size Dodge Ram pickup with a 390-horsepower Hemi V8 engine.

The four-cylinder engine with manual transmission gets an EPA-rated 19/23 mpg. It's available in a nicely equipped SE King Cab, so this might be an option.

The five-speed automatic transmission shifts in and out of fifth gear frequently, even at fairly low speeds during casual driving, but always smoothly and often invisibly. A manual mode would be useful, but isn't available.

On the highway, we drove Frontiers with both the short and long wheelbase, as well as our week in the PRO-4X with the off-road Bilstein gas-charged shock absorbers and big BFG trail tires, and we didn't encounter any bumps or situations that made us say: This thing rides like a truck.

The handling is also good, tight, never flabby or wallowy. In fact, it feels better than the Nissan Xterra SUV, which uses the Frontier chassis but has a higher center of gravity. The turning circle isn't nearly as tight as that of the Xterra, however. The chassis is a boxed-in steel ladder frame, with double wishbone front suspension and solid rear axle with leaf springs.

The part-time four-wheel-drive system, which can be easily shifted on the fly, is there to be used. Don't even think of driving off the pavement without engaging it, because it makes a world of difference. Even when you don't need it to keep from getting stuck, it transforms the Frontier; on gravel roads the Frontier is totally squirrelly in 2WD, but in 4WD it's stable. Even the ride is improved using 4WD, because the tires remain more in contact with the ground.

On those gravel roads, riding as a passenger in a 4WD King Cab, we found things a bit rough. Later, driving the PRO-4X for a couple hours on fire trails in the Pacific Northwest, no problem. Lots of fun. The good seats were a relief. But that's when we most would have liked a manual mode in the five-speed automatic transmission.

We also got on a closed off-road course, with specific steep challenges. We used 4WD in its low range to get over some ridges and ruts, and found that it allowed higher speeds than some other systems; but also found that it wasn't really needed except in the most extreme situations, because 4WD in high range is good.

You have to get the optional Traction Package to make the PRO-4X capable off-road; it includes Vehicle Dynamic Control, Hill Descent Control, and Hill Start Assist. We tested the HDC that allows you to travel down a steep hill and rely on electronics to slow and keep the truck safe and steady at about 5 mph, with throttle control and ABS automatically applied, meaning all the driver has to do is steer. If you live in a place that has snowy and icy hills in winter, HDC could save your life or the life of another, for example a passenger on the sidewalk because it allows you to maintain steering control.

Hill Start Assist allows you to start moving forward on a steep uphill, without drifting back. It applies the brakes for two seconds after you lift your foot off the brake pedal. However with an automatic transmission, that's not really a problem, because you can use two feet on the two pedals.

Summary

Nissan Frontier offers a lot for a midsize truck, namely best-in-class power, payload and towing capacity, though with a price in fuel mileage. And some safety features, such as stability control, side-impact airbags and airbag curtains, are either optional or unavailable on some models. The Frontier interior is comfortable and laid out well, and the back seat of the Crew Cab offers good room for three passengers. Off-road, the Frontier is very capable, with its two-speed transfer case using part-time 4WD that can be shifted on the fly, plus Hill Descent Control on some models. It rides and steers well on gravel roads in 4WD, and on pavement, its ride is nice and handling tight.

Sam Moses filed this report to NewCarTestDrive.com.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$17,460
Model lineup:
Nissan Frontier XE ($17,460), SE I4 ($19,560), SE King Cab 2WD ($22,210), SE Crew Cab 2WD ($23,260), LE Crew Cab 2WD ($26,540), PRO-4X 2WD ($26,280), SE King Cab 4WD ($24,910), SE Crew Cab 4WD ($25,960), LE Crew Cab 4WD ($29,190), Pro-4X 4WD ($28,980), SE King Cab 2WD lwb ($23,010), SE Crew Cab 2WD lob ($24,060), LE Crew Cab 2WD lwb ($27,040), SE King Cab 4WD lwb ($25,710), SE Crew Cab 4WD lwb ($26,760), LE Crew Cab 4WD lwb ($29,740)
Engines:
2.5-liter I4; 4.0-liter V6
Transmissions:
5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard):
dual-stage frontal airbags, tire pressure monitor, ABS with EBD
Safety equipment (Optional):
electronic stability control, side-impact airbags, airbag curtains
Basic warranty:
3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in:
Tennessee
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Nissan Frontier Pro-4X 4x4 ($27,630)
Standard equipment:
Bilstein off-road shocks, skid plates for oil pan and transfer case, locking rear differential, 16-inch alloy wheels with BFGoodrich P265/75R16 Rugged Trail tires, spray-on bedliner, fabric seats with red stitching, cruise control, remote keyless entry, power windows, power locks, power mirrors; fog lights, automatic headlights, eight-way driver's and four-way front passenger's adjustable heated seats, cruise control, first aid kit, roof rack
Options as tested:
Technology Package ($950) including premium sound system with 6CD and MP3, Bluetooth and satellite radio capability, steering wheel controls; floor mats ($105); Side & Curtain Airbags ($550); Traction Package ($500) with including HDC, HAS and VDC
Destination charge:
745
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$30,480
Layout:
four-wheel drive
Engine:
4.0-liter 24-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
261 @ 5600
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
281 @ 4000
Transmission:
5-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
15/19 mpg.
Wheelbase:
N/A
Length/width/height:
205.5/72.8/73.9 in.
Track, f/r:
61.8/61.8 in.
Turning circle:
43.6 ft.
Seating capacity:
5
Head/hip/leg room, f:
40.0/55.6/42.4 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r:
38.7/58.0/33.6 in.
Cargo volume:
N/A
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
6300 lbs.
Suspension F:
independent, double wishbone
Suspension R:
solid axle, multi-leaf
Ground clearance:
8.6 in.
Curb weight:
4276 lbs.
Tires:
265/75R16
Brakes, f/r:
vented disc/vented disc in.
Fuel capacity:
N/A

Printable Version

2009 Nissan Frontier Truck

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
4-Wheel Disc Brakes Std
Traction/Stability Control Opt
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt
Side Head Air Bag Opt

Road Visibility

Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std
Printable Version

2009 Nissan Frontier Truck

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles

Nissan Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

7-year/100,000 mile limited warranty. Only Nissan models less than 6 years old and under 80,000 miles qualify for the Nissan Certified Pre-Owned program. The CARFAX® Vehicle History Report ensures your vehicle has a clean title history.
Age/Mileage Eligibility Model years 2010-2015 & less than 80,000 miles.
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 167 point comprehensive Certified Pre-Owned Inspection and reconditioning. Inspection includes OEM service bulletins and recalls, diagnostic trouble codes, powertrain/chassis, body frame, road test, interior and body exterior.
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes for the duration of the 7 year/100,000 mile limited warranty from the original in-service date of the vehicle.
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $50 per claim

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2009 Nissan Frontier Truck

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