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The Nissan Frontier Is Ancient, But it Has a Place in the Market

For some time now, I’ve made fun of the Nissan Frontier. I do this because the current model of the Frontier is an ancient vehicle whose arrival on the market predates Twitter. In fact, the Nissan Frontier is the oldest new car on the market today, having debuted for the 2005 model year — a lifetime ago, in the automotive world.

But I will admit that the Frontier does occupy an important place in the automotive world: It’s a really, really cheap pickup truck.

Consider the fact that the base price of the cheapest Frontier you can buy today is right around $20,000 with shipping, which makes it around $2,000 cheaper than the cheapest Chevy Colorado, nearly $5,000 cheaper than a base-level Ford Ranger, and a whopping $6,000 cheaper than the cheapest Toyota Tacoma. And the Honda Ridgeline starts at more than $30,000, which is vastly more expensive than the Frontier.

In other words, the Frontier’s place in the market is being the truck that you can get for less. But it isn’t just that — yes, the Frontier is a cheap truck, but it’s also a tremendously durable vehicle. It’s hardly a lifestyle choice, like top-spec Tacomas or Rangers, but it gets the job done for people who need a vehicle that can get the job done.

In that sense, the Frontier makes sense. No, the infotainment system won’t win any awards, and it lacks basic features that many other vehicles have, but Frontier sales are shockingly strong for a vehicle that’s 15 years old, and I strongly suspect this is the case because Nissan understands the unique position that the Frontier occupies in the automotive world. And because there will always be calls for a cheap, reliable pickup, Frontiers will continue to sell. Find a Nissan Frontier for sale

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1 COMMENT

  1. That reasoning doesn’t do well to try and sell people on why Nissan is a “premium” brand and you should buy their $50k Murano or Maxima. 

    Talk about a company that’s in bad shape all around. Your CEO is in jail, your newest vehicle is a sedan (Altima) and the rest of the lineup is aging quickly or using platforms/engines old enough it could get it’s own license. Quite honestly their best asset is the Infiniti QX50 and that’s just doing OK. 

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More

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