This week we’re looking at the 2011 Nissan Frontier 4X4 Pro4X Small Pickup truck with a King Cab (secret code for no room for the Queen). Other than the unimpressive fuel economy it is a very nice truck to drive. It is very comfortable and although it only has small jump seats in the rear of the King Cab model I tested, it IS after all classed as a small truck. You can move up to a 4-door for about $4,000 more if you need 4 real seats.
But if you intend to use it for off road-ing the V6 with 261 horsepower may appeal to most as more capable. I guess there is no substitute for more power and the 4 cylinder 152 hp engine will leave you wanting in some situations. However, serious off roaders will tell you more power is not necessary but rather nimble attributes are more important. The off road courses I have experienced, small Jeeps are the most effective climbers over and around and under obstacles.
Posted speed limits of 65 mph are archaic and should be changed. What’s your opinion?
Roads in today’s world are designed for a comfy ride at speeds far greater than the posted 65 MPH. With such well designed roads coupled with the evolving design and safety features of the cars that travel them, it is high time we increased the posted limits to 75 mph. That is the average speed anyway in America, unless of course, there is a California Cowboy lurking around the next corner or hiding behind the proverbial ‘billboard’. Why do we all do it…. BECAUSE IT IS SAFE. Sorry I didn’t mean to yell. But I have driven the Autobahn’s in Europe where cars travel at speeds well over 100 mph on a normal day, particularly in Germany, and I have personally driven for long stretches at over 125 mph.
I will remind you that these speed limits in America were made for cars with mechanical brakes and suspension systems that were very unsophisticated and dangerous at any speed. That simply is no longer the case, but the signs persist in telling us that the maximum speed that is safe is 65. I say BS and it is just a way to generate revenue.
Hell, a little over 100 years ago the ‘so called’ experts thought you would surely die if you traveled over 50 mph because the body couldn’t take such speed. Reminiscent today of such expert morons like that bozo Al Gore who conned folks into believing they were the cause of global warming and thus he bilked them out of a lot of money to grow his personal wealth by over $100 million in just a few years after leaving the VP spot. Yet, the polar ice caps on Mars have also been melting and there are no SUV’s on Mars that we know of.
Handling & Performance:
It’s a truck but the lousy turning radius is not common to all small trucks. Not a bad thing, I suppose, but a nuisance none-the-less. It is plenty powerful which explains the lousy fuel consumption. A friend’s very large Ford one ton pickup with 4 wheel drive gets about the same fuel economy, but I expected better from this ‘Small’ size Nissan Frontier pickup.
My first truck was a 1955 Ford ½ ton pickup and that style is classic. Designers gave up classic, unique and different styling long ago. Cars are far more aerodynamic than they ever were, but what can you do with a truck to make it streamlined when it is designed for work and not beauty. But still most trucks are darn nice looking outside and carlike inside. My ’55 Ford had no carpet and cardboard like panels on the doors and hand crank windows. 4 Wheel Drive was not practical until the 1970’s although it had been invented as early as 1893. It began to take off in the 1980’s and today is commonplace of course.
Fit and Finish:
Trucks have come a long way from the early days when close tolerances were not tolerated. These were work vehicles and needed lots of space between component parts as they would need to twist and give with loads. Today close fitting joints are nearly as much a part of the truck as they are in passenger cars.
Most of the competition is closely priced and cost more than they need to. As we’ve said before, truck based chassis vehicles are more profitable than passenger cars. Demand has pushed sales of trucks and SUV’s to about 40% of the vehicles you see on the highway, and thus the price has followed demand.
Conveniences and comfort:
This truck is loaded with not only creature comforts, it is well equipped with all the high tech safety features for vehicle control in the 21st century.
Don’t ya just love a small menu with few choices from which to select – so you can apply the KISS principal.
Nissan Frontier $18-32,000, Chevrolet Colorado $17-29,000, Ford Ranger $18-26,000, GMC Canyon $17-30,000, Honda Ridgeline $29-37,000, Ram Dakota $23-34,000, Suzuki Equator $18-31,000, Toyota Tacoma $16-28,000.
Perfect size truck for most non-commercial jobs, and thus car like comfort and powerful as well.
Only fair mileage, tiny rear jump seats, so you’ll need to move up to the Crew Cab if you want 4 doors, and that’s a few grand more.
4.0 liter 261 horsepower V6 engine, 5-speed automatic transmission, shift on the fly 4-wheel drive, 2-speed transfer case with 4 high and 4 low, electronic locking rear differential, power assisted steering, independent front suspension and multi-leaf rear suspension with solid axle, Bilstein off road high pressure shocks, 4-wheel ABS vented disc brakes, 4-wheel active brake limited slip, and electronic brake force distribution, dynamic vehicle control, tire pressure monitoring, security system with immobilizer, hill start assist and hill descent control,16” off road machine finish alloy wheels, front and side and roof mounted side curtain airbags, LATCH tether system for children, reclining front bucket seats, 8-way manual driver seat with lumbar support and fold flat passenger seat, tilt column with leather wrapped steering wheel with red stitching and cruise and radio controls, cruise control, audio with CD, MP3 and XM Satellite radio, Bluetooth phone, trip computer, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, power windows and auto locking locks, cargo light, fog lights, power mirrors, fuel tank and transfer case skid plates, sliding rear window with lock, utility track channel system with 4 adjustable tie down cleats, bed rail caps, detachable tailgate with lock, front and rear splash guards and front tow hook.
$3.29/ Gal avg. Jan 4, 2010
for more information.
14 City and 19 Highway MPG