Nissan’s mid-size pickup adds new color choices

This week, my friends at Nissan delivered the 2016 Frontier PRO-4X to evaluate.

I love everything about this mid-size pickup except for one thing — it’s not available with push button start. The first time I drove it, I couldn’t figure out why the engine wouldn’t start when I pressed the button. Then I realized I was pressing the button for the emergency blinker lights. It’s been so long since I’ve had to use one, I actually had to think about how to start the engine with a key.

But I digress.

The 2016 Nissan Frontier is a great mid-size pickup, delivering exceptional performance and a smooth ride both on and off the road.

There’s not much change from the 2015 model. 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.

With a base price starting at $18,290, the Frontier is available in King Cab or Crew Cab body styles as well as a choice of rear-wheel or four-wheel drive configurations, along with five trim level choices — S, SV, PRO-4X, Desert Runner and SL.

Consumers also have the option of two available engines.

The primary Frontier powerplant is a 4.0-liter V-6 engine rated at 261 horsepower and 281 lbs.-ft. torque.

A 2.5-liter I-4 engine (available only on King Cab rear-wheel drive models) delivers 152 horsepower and 171 lbs.-ft. torque.

As I mentioned earlier, performance is exceptional. Fuel economy, not so good, especially as many of today’s full-size pickups achieve higher EPA numbers than the 19 mpg city, 23 mpg city I-4 Frontier equipped with manual transmission.

What I enjoyed most about the Frontier is its comfortable ride, performance and its size.

I do a lot of driving in the city and it is easy to maneuver on crowded streets and in tight parking lots. And when I need to tow something, Frontier V-6 models have the capability to tow a trailer up to 6,500 pounds. I also appreciate the easy to use cargo management system in the bed.

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.

There is also lots of room for storage. 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. And the audio system is great.

For those in the market for a mid-size truck, the 2016 Nissan Frontier is an absolute must for the test-drive list.

 

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.