The Frontier model line consists of S, SV and PRO-4X models. The only engine option for this year is a new 3.8L V6 with direct injection making 310 horsepower, it's mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission which sends power to the rear wheels, though four-wheel drive is optional. The V6 is ideal for hauling and towing, thanks to the engine's plentiful torque and strong, smooth character. When properly equipped, the Frontier can tow up to 6,500 pounds.
Built on a sturdy platform derived from the larger Titan pickup, the Frontier is perhaps better suited to off-roading or heavier hauling than other compacts. For the trail, Frontier 4x4 models include Hill Descent Control, which helps moderate speed down steep slopes when off-roading, while Hill Start Assist helps the driver get a smooth start on an incline. Additionally, rear-wheel drive models get an Active Brake Limited-Slip system that helps gain traction and stability.
While front seat accommodations are just as spacious in either body style of the Frontier, King Cab models -- with their rear-hinged back doors -- include flip-up rear seats that would work fine doing temporary duty for kids, while Crew Cab models have adult-size back-seat space and easy entry and exit. King Cab models come with removable storage boxes under the seats, while all models have center-console storage plus a locking dual glovebox. Crew Cab models can be had with either a standard-length bed -- for the best maneuverability -- or a Long Bed for more cargo capacity.
Because it shares the same underlying design and frame structure with the larger Titan, the Frontier doesn't break a sweat when heavy hauling is in order. The suspension--a double wishbone design in front and over-slung leaf springs in back--is also built for serious work without sacrificing ride quality. Critical underbody components including brake lines are tucked inside frame rails, and 4x4 models get at least 8.9 inches of ground clearance.
Frontier S, SV and PRO-4X models cover a wide span of prices, equipment, and needs. The PRO-4X model is kitted out with Bilstein high-pressure off-road shocks, skid plates, a 4-wheel limited-slip system, and tough off-road wheels and tires, plus keyless entry, cruise control, power windows and locks and a red-stitched leather interior with leather trim and white-faced gauges. Top-level crew cab PRO-4X trims also get a power driver's seat, heated front seats, a spray-in bed liner, front fog lights, leather upholstery and an integrated navigation system with voice activation.