Worst Nissan Frontier Years to Avoid (4 Major Problems)

Nissan Frontiers are sturdily built to last long and deliver outstanding performance over its competitors. The Frontier is a 2-door or 4-door pickup truck produced by Nissan since 1997.

No doubt, Nissan Frontier trucks pull a lot of power, look rugged, and the MRSP falls within an acceptable range for the trim levels.

However, whether you’re buying a brand new or used Nissan Frontier, it is advisable to steer clear of certain model years. So, what are the worst Nissan Frontier years to avoid and the ones to buy?

Basically, 2005, 2006, 2007, and Nissan Frontier models are regarded as the worst years to avoid, while the rest of the years are the best to buy.

Nissan Frontier Overview

The Nissan Frontier debuted in 1997 and has been in production since then; there are two worldwide generations of the Nissan Frontier and a North American third generation. Yes, the third-gen Nissan Frontier is designed for the North American market only; it is a standalone model – D41; 2022.

 Typically, the Nissan Frontier is available in the following trims: S, SV, Pro-X, and Pro-4X. The drivetrain is two- or four-wheel drive, paired to a 6.1-foot bed.

However, the higher-spec trim Pro-4X comes standard with a 4-wheel drive. More so, the engine is a 3.8L V6 engine paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission.

See Also: Worst Nissan Xterra Years to Avoid

Worst Nissan Frontier Years to Avoid

Interestingly, the Nissan Frontier has been around since 1997 – over two decades (20 years), and just three model years are flagged as the “Worst Years.”

This tells of the truck’s reliability and dependability. The Nissan Frontier is a solid pickup truck, but you should avoid these years because they’re more problematic.

  • 2005 Nissan Frontier
  • 2006 Nissan Frontier
  • 2007 Nissan Frontier

The 2008 Nissan Frontier also received a seemingly high number of complaints; however, the complaints are too severe for it to be considered among the “worst years.”

Common Problems With Nissan Frontier

Hereunder are the most typical problems you would experience driving any of the Nissan Frontier model years listed above.

1. Engine Problems

The Nissan Frontier models made in 2005, 2006, and 2006 have quite a lot of engine problems. Commonly reported problems included timing chain and tensioner failure, stalling, engine dies while driving, sensor problems, whining noise, and oil leaks.

These problems are alleged to occur above 55k miles, and the average repair cost is $2,200.

2. Transmission Problems

A high number of 2005, 2006, and 2007 Nissan Frontier owners reported severe transmission issues that cost an average of $3,000 to fix. The problems allegedly occur after putting out over 100,000 miles on the odometer.

Commonly reported problems are coolant leaking into the transmission and causing it to fail, shifting difficulty, shudders while in O/D, and slipping out of gear. The radiator leak (which is the most common problem) is caused due to head gasket cracks or damage.

3. Body & Paint Problems

Body panel and paint problems Nissan Frontier mostly reported on 2005 and 2012 Nissan Frontier models. The commonly identified problems include broken door lock pins, paint peeling, and body panel rust.

These problems typically occur from 51,000 miles upwards, and the average repair cost is $2,000 for full body repaint/rust cleaning.

4. Other Problems

A few other problems worth nothing about the Nissan Frontier include fuel gauge issues, fuel system problems, and AC/heater malfunctioning.

The Nissan Frontier is overall a good car – just a few complaints for some model years that seem not to hold up well.

Best Nissan Frontier Years To Buy

The Nissan Frontier models from 2000 to 2004 were really good and scored high in terms of reliability and safety.

However, if you’re going to buy a Nissan Frontier pickup truck, it is advisable to go for the newer model years. That said, hereunder are the best  Nissan Frontier years to buy.

  • 2009 Nissan Frontier
  • 2010 Nissan Frontier
  • 2011 Nissan Frontier
  • 2012 Nissan Frontier
  • 2013 Nissan Frontier
  • 2014 Nissan Frontier
  • 2015 Nissan Frontier
  • 2016 Nissan Frontier
  • 2017 Nissan Frontier
  • 2018 Nissan Frontier
  • 2019 to 2022 Nissan Frontier

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Nissan Frontiers Reliable?

Yes, the Nissan Frontier is one of the sturdiest, most reliable pickup trucks to own. Nissan really did a great job in this truck’s production, and it comes with solid components that last long. The Nissan Frontier scores 4.0 out of 5.0 in reliability – according to RepairPal algorithms.

How Long Does Nissan Frontier Last?

With proper maintenance and regular servicing, except a Nissan Frontier to cross 250,000 miles without needing major repairs. Also, the Nissan Frontier can last anywhere from 12 to 20 years of service life. It is a rugged, strong, midsize pickup truck.

Which Is Better, Nissan Frontier or Toyota Tacoma?

The Nissan Frontier is often compared with the Toyota Tacoma because both have a lot of similarities. However, the Nissan Frontier shifts more smoothly and feels more comfortable to drive than the Tacoma. But then, the Toyota Tacoma offers slightly higher hauling and towing capacity.


So, what are the Nissan Frontier years to avoid and why? The worst Nissan Frontier years are 2005, 2006, and 2007, while the best model years are from 2009 upward. Notwithstanding, the Nissan Frontier is a well-built midsize pickup truck with rugged components.

Although the Nissan Frontier’s higher trims come standard with off-road features and specs, the base model is also suitable for off-road adventures.

The Nissan Frontier is an ideal alternative to all Toyota pickup truck series: Hilux, Tacoma, and Tundra. Nissan Frontiers are also affordable and less expensive to maintain.

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