2001 - 2004 Nissan Frontier

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Nissan is among the first companies who started to build pickups and ever since the beginnings its models were highly appreciated.

The Frontier is along for some time now and its capable performances and the famous Japanese reliability have always helped it stay in front of the pack.

The vehicle benefited from a significant upgrade in 2001 when it received a modern exterior style and a supercharged V6.

The vehicle was available in Desert Runner, King Cab and Crew Cab configurations and was offered with both 4x2 and 4x4 drives.

Design

Nissan Frontier

At its time, the 2001 Nissan Frontier looked pretty good and the company designers managed to came with a good mix between sportiness and utility.

The front is dominated by a wide radiator grille which is mounted pretty deep and gives the truck a purposeful stance. The grille is flanked by a set of big headlamps which come with a pretty interesting design and cope good with the rounded lines of the body.

The hood received two creases which converge toward the grille and is fitted with the company’s logo up front.

The front bumper continues the curvy lines found at the rest of the body panels and underlines the robust nature of the vehicle. The rugged look is further enhanced by the oversized fender flares, which are now standard even on 4x2 models, featuring visible divot holes and exposed attachment bolts.

The Nissan Frontier comes in three body styles. The regular cab has a 6.5-foot cargo bed, the King Cab (extended cab) offers a 6.3-foot bed and the four-door crew cab comes with a 4.7-foot bed.

Around the back you’ll find the Frontier name embossed on the tailgate and a set of vertically mounted taillights. For more practicality, the rear bumper is fitted with an integrated foot step which helps you climb easier into the load bed.

Interior

Nissan Frontier

The exterior design was completely new compared to the previous generation, but we can’t say the same thing about the interiors, as the 2001 cab comes with only minimum upgrades which are hard to be spotted.

The plastics and materials remained mostly unchanged so there is nothing new worth to be mentioned in this department. The build quality however remained fairly solid and Nissan’s fittings and refinement won’t disappoint you.

The 2001 Frontier cab came with a new instrument panel fitted with reversible black/white gauges which are fairly easy to read. There are also larger controls for the radio and climate which are more practical and easy to use than the old ones.

The seats are the same as the old ones, but there are available new fabrics. The driving position is pretty good and there are also enough adjustments to help you get cozy behind the steering wheel. We also like the all around visibility which is very close to excellent.

The storage department it’s also pretty well represented and there are enough cubbies and consoles to keep your stuff.

Engines and performance

Nissan Frontier

The standard unit is a 143-horsepower 2.4 liter inline four cylinder engine mated on a five speed manual gearbox. There is also a supercharged 3.3 liter V6 which cranks out 210 hp and 245 lb.ft of torque. The supercharged unit can be ordered for both the King Cab and Crew Cab models with wither 2WD or 4WD configurations.

The V6 is mated on an automatic four speed transmission which up shifts sharply and is pretty smooth, coping great with the necessities of a work horse.

The 3.3-liter V6 accelerates with reasonable lightness, but it feels like it’s working too hard when it goes head to head with steep inclines. Needless to say that it’s not a sporty performer, but it’s pretty capable when it needs to tow heavy loads so you won’t have any significant complains about it.

2001 Nissan Frontier Engines Specifications

Enginehp @ rpmlb.ft @ rpm
2.4 liter143 @ 5200154 @ 4000
3.3 liter V6210 @ 4800245 @2800

Ride and handling

Nissan Frontier

When needed, the four-wheel-drive system can be engaged at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour by means of a convenient floor-mounted shift lever.

Despite its utilitarian character, the Frontier rides surprisingly good and absorbs most of the bumps without affecting the passengers comfort. The handling it’s also among the best you’d find in this segment and the Frontier feels very close to the performances of a sporty SUV.

The steering is also nimble and the front wheel stay well planted on the road. The body control is nearly perfect and the Frontier rides with the agility of the Xterra which was its’ chassis donor.

The 2001 Nisan Frontier truck is also fitted with anti lock brakes which offer a proper stopping power, despite the rear drum brakes.

Verdict

Nissan Frontier

The 2001 Nissan Frontier scores high marks in the ride and handling department and it’s also a fairly reliable vehicle. The supercharged engine is well suited for the truck’s needs, but it’s a bit noisy and rough. The all wheel-drive system is also less convenient to engage than other systems in the segment, yet this doesn’t mean that it’s less capable. The exterior style is pretty good, but the Frontier’s cab is less refined than its rivals from Toyota and Dodge.


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