The Nissan Frontier soldiers on another year with little in the way of changes. In fact, the only updates to the aging Frontier are three new color choices and a moon roof option in the Crew Cab SV model. Beyond that, the midsize pickup is the same the day it received its last refresh in 2009. Well, except for a change in price that’s just as subtle.

However Frontier is still a competitive truck, despite several new entries in its class. A fully boxed frame, two engine choices, two- and four-wheel drive options, and game-changing cargo management gadgets in its bed. What’s more, the Frontier still offers a good ole manual transmission with nearly all of its trim levels, including the rugged PRO-4X off-road edition. You won’t find that in the Toyota Tacoma or Chevrolet Colorado.

Don’t expect the Frontier to muddle on looking neglected by Nissan. Rumors are already swirling about the truck’s replacement. Word has it Nissan will turn its focus on the Frontier once the 2016 Titan XD and 2017 Titan are on the market. If that holds true, we could see a new Frontier by 2018 or so – about the same time the Colorado, Canyon, and Tacoma could be getting facelifts. Still, that’s only speculation.

So lets take a look at what the current 2016 Frontier has to offer and the slight changes Nissan gave it.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Nissan Frontier.

  • 2016 - 2020 Nissan Frontier
  • Year:
    2016- 2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    six-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    261 @ 5600
  • Torque @ RPM:
    281 @ 4000
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2016 - 2020 Nissan Frontier
- image 649411
2016 - 2020 Nissan Frontier
- image 649413
2016 - 2020 Nissan Frontier
- image 649420

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the Frontier’s styling. It’s almost classic at this point. The small grille, the large fender flairs, the cool roof rack on various trims – its just looks awesome.

The small grille, the large fender flairs, the cool roof rack on various trims – its just looks awesome.

The pickup comes in various flavors, including an extended cab called the King Cab and the four-door Crew Cab. There is no regular cab. Both a five-foot and six-foot bed are offered, but availability depends on trim and cab configuration.

As far as the 2016 updates, the Frontier now has three new color choices: Forged Copper, Gun Metallic, and Magnetic Black. That’s in addition to the carry-over crop of colors that include Glacier White, Cayenne Red, Brilliant Silver, Lava Red, and Arctic Blue Metallic.

The only other change is the new moonroof available on the Crew Cab SV model.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 125.9 SWB / 139.9 LWB
Overall length 205.5 (Standard) / 219.4 (Long Bed)
Overall width 72.8
Overall height 70.1 (w/o roof rack), 73.9 (w/ roof rack)
Front overhang 31.3
Rear overhang 48.2
Tread width FR 61.8
Tread width RR 61.8


2015 Nissan Frontier Pro4X - Driven High Resolution Interior
- image 619170

Note: 2015 Frontier pictured
Like the exterior, the Frontier’s interior digs are downright classic. Sadly, that doesn’t work so well here. The interior’s theme is simply dated with its bulky three-spoke steering wheel, small (and optional) navigation screen, and clunky shifter. Hard plastics abound and ergonomics leave much to be desired.

the interior is still highly functional and welcoming enough for long drives

That being said, the interior is still highly functional and welcoming enough for long drives. Six color and material combinations are offered, giving customers a range of options based on trim levels.

For those King Cab buyers, the back seats should only be used in dire situations. The old-school fold-down seats are cramped and offer no support. Cargo and small kids are best left for the rear.

Crew Cab seating is much improved, though still smaller than both the Tacoma and Colorado’s rear accommodations. Nissan does give the Frontier fold-up seat bottoms that allow for more cargo hauling options besides the bed.

Interior Dimensions

1st row
Head room 40.0
Shoulder room 58.3
Hip room 55.6
Leg room 42.4
2nd row
Head room 38.7
Shoulder room 58.3
Hip room 58.0
Leg room 33.6


2016 - 2020 Nissan Frontier
- image 649421

Two engines are available with the Frontier. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder is restricted to the King Cab and offers 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. For those seeking more power, the 4.0-liter V-6 brings 261 horsepower and a class-leading torque output of 281 pound-feet.

Surprisingly, both engines can be had with either a manual or automatic transmission in either cab configuration. The four-cylinder in the King Cab gets a five-speed manual while the V-6 is upgraded to a six-speed manual in the Crew Cab. The only automatic available is a five-speed unit.

Like all mid-size truck offerings, the Frontier comes in both 2WD and 4WD flavors. Those with 4WD get an electronically controlled transfer case that has both high- and low-range gears. An electronic locking rear differential gives even more traction in off-road situations.

For those seeking the adventurous outdoors life, the PRO-4X package is the one to get. It comes standard with 4WD and the E-locker, along with 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 265/75-series all-terrain tires. Bilstein shocks and skid plates round out the package, along with graphics on the bed.

Drivetrain Specifications

Name VQ40
Cam design DOHC
Orientation Longitudinal
Cylinders / configuration V6
Block / head composition Aluminum/aluminum
Displacement (liters / cc) 4.0L / 3,954 cc
Horsepower 261 HP @ 5,600 RPM
Torque 281 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM
Bore & stroke (mm) 95.5 x 92
Compression ratio (:1) 9.7
Spark plugs Platinum-tipped
Maximum engine speed 6,000 rpm


2016 - 2020 Nissan Frontier
- image 649412

Dual-stage front airbags, side airbags, and curtain airbags help protect occupants during a crash, along with three-point seatbelts in every position. As a result of these features and built-in crumple zones, the Frontier earned “Good” ratings front the IIHS in all but the head restraints and seats category where it scored “Acceptable.” The NHTSA rates the Frontier at three out of five stars.


2016 - 2020 Nissan Frontier
- image 649411

Pricing for 2016 stays pretty much the same as before, with very modest increases on a few trim levels and a drop in price – believe it or not – on one trim level. The base King Cab with the manual is $75 more than last year, the Desert Runner is $105 more, and the base Crew Cab is $125 more than 2015. But choose the SV trim level in the King Cab, and the price drops $15 over the outgoing model.

Not all the increases are so nominal, however. The PRO-4X model increases by $1,305.

All this means pricing starts at $18,090 for the base S trim in King Cab form. The term “base” isn’t an exaggeration either: air condition is an option! For those looking to drop some money on a Frontier, the top trim SL package on the Crew Cab with 4WD and the long bed starts at $36,275.

BASE VEHICLE Description Suggested List Price
S KC 4x2 M/T (I4) 2.5 Liter I4 M/T $18,090
S KC 4x2 A/T (I4) 2.5 Liter I4 A/T $20,760
SV KC 4x2 M/T (I4) 2.5 Liter I4 M/T $21,980
SV KC 4x2 A/T (I4) 2.5 Liter I4 A/T $23,030
SV KC 4x2 A/T 4.0 Liter V6 A/T $23,740
Desert Runner KC 4x2 A/T 4.0 Liter V6 A/T $24,320
SV KC 4x4 A/T 4.0 Liter V6 A/T $26,440
PRO-4X KC 4x4 A/T 4.0 Liter V6 A/T $31,880


S Preferred Package $1,200
SV Value Truck Package $1,990
Under Rail Bedliner $355
Bedliner & Hitch $630
Bed Extender & Hitch-A/T only $580
Bed Extender & Hitch-M/T only $580
Splash Guards $190
PRO-4X Graphics Package $465
Floor Mats $135


2016 Toyota Tacoma

2016 Toyota Tacoma High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 610534

The Tacoma enjoys a complete re-do for the 2016 model year, bringing a new body, interior, V-6 engine, and frame. Only the four-cylinder and its transmission are carry-over. The Tacoma gains tons of refinement inside its cabin. Its optional leather seating is high-class while its sporty cloth offerings are attractive. Toyota also equipped the 2016 Tacoma’s off-road package with it the 4Runner’s CRAWL control system.

The new 3.5-liter V-6 makes 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque while using an Atkinson combustion cycle during low-load situations for improved fuel economy. A new six-speed automatic also helps cut fuel consumption.

Prices start at $21,865 and range up to $38,515.

Read more about the Toyota Tacoma here.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado

2015 Chevrolet Colorado High Resolution Exterior
- image 532907

Redesigned for 2015 after a long hiatus, the Colorado and its GMC cousin, the Canyon, offer very competitive packages that help the GM brand stick out among their rivals. The Colorado comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, but the majority of folks will opt for the 3.6-liter V-6. Making 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, the V-6 moves the mid-size truck fairly well. For 2016, however, a 2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder joins the ranks. Kicking out 181 horsepower and an impressive 369 pound-feet of torque, the baby Duramax is the choice for trailer towers and fuel misers.

Pricing start around $21,000 and crests into the lower $40,000 range for top trim model.

Read more about the Chevrolet Colorado here.


2016 - 2020 Nissan Frontier
- image 649410

While the Frontier soldiers on another year without major updates, the truck is still competitive in the segment – both in terms of sales figures and its abilities. A peppy V-6 combined with a stout 4WD system helps the Nissan compete with its more advanced rivals while keeping costs down. For those wanting to haul cargo, the Frontier offers its class-exclusive in-bed tie-down rails.

Now that the 2016 Nissan Titan XD is headed to dealerships, Nissan is likely to turn its focus onto the Frontier. Sadly, we’ve got another year to wait thanks to the 2017 launch of the standard-duty Titan. Expect an all-new Frontier to appear for 2018.

Until then, the Frontier packs plenty of cool features and options to keep buyers interested. Sadly, Its low price in the segment might just be its best selling point.

  • Leave it
    • Interior really shows its age
    • Thirsty
    • Years before its replacement
Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read More
About the author

Press Release

The "solid to the core" 2016 Nissan Frontier starts with a full-length, fully boxed ladder frame. Add a choice of two powerful engines – 4.0-liter DOHC V6 engine rated at 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque or a 152-horsepower 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine (King Cab only) – mated to either a 5-speed manual (King Cab), 6-speed manual (Crew Cab) or 5-speed automatic transmission.

2016 - 2020 Nissan Frontier
- image 649410

Throw in a heavy-duty suspension, including available off-road tuned Bilstein® high-pressure performance gas shock absorbers and skid plates (PRO-4X grade), and either 4x2 or 4x4 drive. Select from King Cab or Crew Cab body styles, each wrapping durable and comfortable interiors, and a choice of two bed lengths equipped with available Utili-track® Channel System, locking tailgate and cargo bed light.

And finally, add in available NissanConnectSM with Mobile Apps and 5.0-inch color display or NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Mobile Apps and you start to understand why Frontier continues to be a leader in the mid-size truck segment. In fact, Frontier was named to’s "Most Popular" compact truck list in 2015.

Enhancements for 2016 include the addition of three new exterior colors: Forged Copper, Gun Metallic and Magnetic Black (eight colors total). Also, a Moonroof Package is added to Frontier Crew Cab SV model.

The 2016 Frontier is offered in both King Cab and Crew Cab body styles and in 4x2 and 4x4 driveline configurations, along with five trim grades: Frontier S (4-cylinder and V6), SV, PRO-4X (4x4 only), Desert Runner (4x2 V6 only) and SL (Crew Cab only).

Authentic Truck Style, Innovation to Get the Job Done
The exterior design of the 2016 Frontier embodies a number of signature Nissan truck themes – an angled strut grille, large bumpers, short front and rear overhangs and large, stamped-steel geometric fender flares.

Long Bed models are available with Frontier Crew Cab SV and Crew Cab SL. Measuring more than 13 inches longer than the Crew Cab’s standard bed, the Long Bed models offer the roomy interior of the Crew Cab plus the extended bed space of the King Cab. Frontier also provides levels of innovation in an area where it matters most to truck owners – the bed. Both Frontier King Cab and Crew Cab offer an available high-utility bed that includes a factory-applied spray-on bedliner and first-in-class Utili-track™ Channel System.

The Utili-track™ system provides ultimate cargo hauling flexibility through the use of five special "C" cross-section rails mounted in the bed (two channels in the bed floor and one each on the bed side rails and the bed header panel). Removable utility cleats slide into the channels, providing a wide range of attaching points for securing cargo.

2016 - 2020 Nissan Frontier
- image 649411

In addition to the tie-down cleats, a full range of accessories is offered for use with the channel system, including bed dividers, sliding cargo trays and modular storage units.

The Frontier exterior also features a tinted front window, rear privacy glass and a hitch ball provision on the rear bumper. Frontier SL models include chrome front grille, chrome outside mirrors and door handles, along with tubular step rails and front fog lights. A power tilt and sliding moonroof is available on Crew Cab SV, SL and PRO-4X models, while a tailgate spoiler is standard on all models.

Eight exterior colors are offered for 2016: the new Forged Copper, Gun Metallic and Magnetic Black, along with Glacier White, Cayenne Red, Brilliant Silver, Lava Red and Arctic Blue Metallic.

Just as the high-utility bed offers Frontier owners an exceptional level of flexibility and utility, Frontier’s interior features outstanding functionality combined with comfort and intelligent design. Both Frontier King Cab and Crew Cab feature large rear doors (rear hinged on King Cab) for easy access to the rear seating and cargo areas and flip-up rear seats, along with excellent cab storage and flexibility.

Removable storage boxes are tucked beneath the rear seats. A locking dual glove box, center console storage, one-liter bottle storage integrated into the front doors and a multitude of cupholders and power points are standard. Frontier Crew Cab also offers an available leather-appointed interior.

Ample Power for Rugged Off-Road Performance
The heart and soul of the Frontier is its rugged F-Alpha platform. Starting with a full-size, fully boxed ladder frame, the F-Alpha platform provides a rugged foundation on which to build. Constructed of high tensile-strength steel, the platform provides structural rigidity for rock-solid performance on- and off-road.

Frontier’s long 125.9-inch wheelbase helps enhance ride comfort, while the overall length of 205.5 inches (King Cab and Crew Cab Regular Bed) is a perfect "activity size" for buyers who don’t need a true full-size pickup. All 2016 Frontier models feature an all-steel double-wishbone front suspension and solid axle rear suspension with overslung leaf springs and a long suspension stroke for off-road performance. Frontier PRO-4X models add Bilstein® off-road high-pressure shock absorbers.

Exceptional acceleration, towing capacity and all-around off-roading ability is provided, in large measure, by its powerful engine – a 4.0-liter DOHC V6 producing 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. The 4.0-liter DOHC V6 is specifically tuned for the unique demands of truck use. Besides smooth torque delivery, the V6 offers good fuel efficiency and smooth operation. The 4.0-liter V6 design includes a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), Nissan variable Induction Control System (NICS), silent timing chain, microfinished camshaft and crankshaft surfaces, Teflon®-coated pistons, resin intake manifold, forged crankshaft, digital knock control system, high capacity muffler and lightweight aluminum block and cylinder heads. The Frontier V6 is assembled at Nissan’s advanced engine production facility in Decherd, Tenn.

An advanced 2.5-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine, with 152 horsepower and 171 lb-ft torque, is also available on the Frontier King Cab S-I4 and SV-I4 4x2 models. The 2.5-liter King Cab 2WD M/T-equipped Frontier is rated at an economical 19 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.

Frontier is offered with a choice of transmissions – a smooth 5-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission (King Cab 4-cylinder models) or 6-speed manual (Crew Cab V6 models). Frontier 4x4 models include a shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive system with 2WD/4H/4LO modes operated by an electronically controlled part-time transfer case.

2016 - 2020 Nissan Frontier
- image 649412

Frontier 4x4 models are available with 4-wheel limited-slip system, which helps transfer power to the drive wheels with more grip on low traction surfaces. The available Hill Descent Control feature allows slow hill descent without the constant application of the brake pedal. Hill Descent Control must be engaged by the driver (via a switch) and is available only when the transfer case is engaged in 4H or 4LO (it works in both forward and reverse). It can be activated at speeds up to 21 mph in 4H and 15 mph in 4LO.

Hill Start Assist (HSA) allows the driver to stop on an incline, release the brake pedal and not roll back for up to two seconds while the driver moves their foot to the accelerator for a smooth, controlled start. HSA operates in 4x4 models in 2WD, 4H and 4LO. HSA is designed for rugged, low-speed off-road driving situations. Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist are standard on all V6 Frontier SV, SL and PRO-4X 4x4 automatic transmission-equipped models. A 2-Wheel Brake Limited Slip (ABLS) system is standard on all 4x2 models.

All key underbody hardware is tucked up to the frame rails for a minimum 8.9 inches (4x4) or 8.6 inches (4x2) of running ground clearance on V6-equipped S, SV, SL and PRO-4X models. Every Frontier also offers good approach and departure angles for exceptional off-road capability.

Other Frontier driveline components include engine-speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering and standard 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). Frontier is offered with a range of available wheels and tires, including 16-inch off road style wheels with rugged 265/75R16 white-letter All-Terrain tires and 18-inch wheels with 265/60R18 tires.

Frontier’s maximum towing capacity is rated at up to 6,500 pounds (maximum, when properly equipped).

Every Frontier includes a long list of safety equipment, including Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones, Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (which includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and an occupant classification sensor), front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection.

Also standard are 3-point seat belts for all rear seat occupants, including center position (Crew Cab), 3-point front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchor system and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

A Wide Range of Available Models
The Nissan Frontier is again available in a wide range of models and configurations. The Frontier King Cab is offered in four well-equipped models, starting with Frontier S-I4 4x2 (2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission), Frontier SV-I4 4x2 (2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission); Frontier Desert Runner (4.0-liter V6, 5-speed automatic transmission); Frontier SV-V6 4x2 or 4x4 (4.0-liter V6, 6-speed manual); and PRO-4X 4x4 (5-speed automatic).

Frontier PRO-4X King Cab models receive a factory-applied spray-on bedliner, bed rail caps, Utili-trackÔ channel system and four adjustable tie-down cleats.

2016 - 2020 Nissan Frontier
- image 649413

The 2016 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab is offered in S, SV, SL and PRO-4X models, in regular or Long Bed body styles (SV and SL), each offered with a standard 4.0-liter V6. Frontier S, SV and SL grades are available in a choice of 4x4 or 4x2 drivelines, while PRO-4X is offered in 4x4 only and Desert Runner in 4x2 only.

Frontier Crew Cab S, PRO-4X and SV models are offered with either 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmissions, while Crew Cab Desert Runner and SL models are available with the 5-speed automatic transmission only.

Frontier SV models include NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, 5.0-inch color display, USB connection port for iPod interface and other compatible devices, Streaming audio via Bluetooth, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) and Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant.

Other standard Frontier SV features include an additional 12-volt power outlet (two in the instrument panel, one in the center console), Remote Keyless Entry, power windows with driver’s auto down, manual sliding rear window with lock, power door locks, dual power outside mirrors, bed rail caps, front reading/map lamps and more.

Frontier Desert Runner is offered with 4.0-liter V6 and automatic transmission and features Bilstein® off-road high-pressure shock absorbers, 16-inch Off-Road wheels and tires and unique design elements.

The PRO-4X (4x4 only) comes equipped with Bilstein® off-road high-pressure shock absorbers, skid plates on the fuel tank, oil pan and transfer case, an electronic rear differential locker 4-wheel limited-slip (ABLS) and unique machine-finished 16-inch aluminum-alloy off-road wheels with 265/75R16 All-Terrain tires.

All PRO-4Xs also feature body-colored grille and bumpers, outside mirrors and door handles and fog lamps. Added comfort and convenience features include cruise control, remote keyless entry, power windows and door locks and dual power outside mirrors.

The PRO-4X interior includes leather-appointed white-stitched shifter knob and steering wheel, chrome accent ring around the white-faced meter gauges and trip computer. PRO-4X models also include standard NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, with 5.8-inch display, touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for navigation and audio, SiriusXM Traffic, SiriusXM Travel Link™ (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®.

The Frontier Desert Runner (4x2 only) includes 16-inch Off-Road aluminum-alloy wheels, 265/75R16 All-Terrain tires, Bilstein® off-road high-pressure shocks, 8-way manual driver’s seat, unique seat cloth, embroidered Frontier logo on the front seats, Satin Chrome ring accent around white-faces meter gauges, fog lights, painted rear bumper, unique bedside Desert Runner decals, Desert Runner tailgate badge, Satin Chrome grille and trip computer. Desert Runner also adds NissanConnectSM with Mobile Apps 5.0-inch display.

2016 - 2020 Nissan Frontier
- image 649414

Four Available Option Packages
A limited number of option packages are offered for the 2016 Frontier, starting with the S Preferred Package (King Cab I4 M/T models only), which adds air conditioner, AM/FM/CD with digital clock, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, steering wheel audio controls, cruise control, roof console with sunglass holder and front reading/map lights.

The SV Value Truck Package (SV V6 models only) adds fog lights, RearView Monitor, rear sonar, Dual Zone Auto A/C, 2 additional speakers (King Cab), auto-dimming mirror with compass and temperature, spray-in bedliner, Utili-TrackÔ system with four adjustable tie-down cleats, sliding bed extender, trailer hitch, floor mats, Vehicle Security System (VSS), in-cabin microfilter, heated seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather-wrapped shift knob.

Frontier Crew Cab PRO-4X models have an available PRO-4X Luxury Package, which features leather-appointed seating with PRO-4X logo, 8-way power driver’s seat, 4-way power front passenger’s seat, dual heated outside rearview mirrors, rear fold-down center armrest, Bluetooth® Streaming Audio, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, tilt and slide moonroof and roof rack with crossbars.

Frontier Crew Cab SV and SL models are available with the Moonroof Package with a tilt and sliding moonroof.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release

Related Articles

Next-Gen Frontier: If You Didn’t Like Nissan DNA in Your Mercedes, Maybe You’ll Like Mercedes DNA in Your Nissan

Can You Make Out Anything From This Nissan Frontier Image?

Is Nissan Coming Up With A Frontier NISMO?

The 2021 Nissan Frontier Could Get A Lot More Expensive

Nissan’s Hoping That a New Engine Will Hold the Frontier Over Until the Next-Gen Model Arrives in 2021

2019 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: