2015 Nissan Frontier

What's new for 2015? There are scattered content upgrades for the 2015 Nissan Frontier lineup. The SV and Desert Runner trims get a new 5-inch color audio display with the NissanConnect and Mobile Apps interface and smartphone integration, and a navigation system is now standard in the Pro-4X. A sunroof is standard on the long-bed Frontier SL.

Although full-size pickup trucks grab most of the headlines in the U.S., not everyone needs all of the capabilities of these large vehicles -- or wants to deal with their oversize proportions in everyday driving. That's the reason midsize trucks like the 2015 Nissan Frontier have stuck around all these years.

The 2015 Nissan Frontier offers serious off-road credentials in a tough and rugged package, all at a price that's considerably less than a full-size truck. Able to tow up to 6,500 pounds, the Frontier can pull more than most crossover SUVs.

Every 2015 Nissan Frontier comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard is a brake-activated limited-slip differential. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are available on all Frontiers except the S, SV four-cylinder and Desert Runner models. In Edmunds brake testing, a Frontier Pro-4X came to a stop from 60 mph in 134 feet, a fairly common stopping distance for an off-road-oriented truck with all-terrain tires. The Frontier received the top rating of "Good" in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Exterior Highlights
Available in Extended (King Cab) and Crew Cab body styles Available in S, SV, Desert Runner, Pro-4X and SL trim levels CONVERTIBLE: Base, Touring and Touring Sport trim levels

The 2015 Nissan Frontier is a compact-to-midsize pickup that's offered in extended cab (known as the King Cab) and crew cab body styles. King Cab models come with fold-down rear jump seats and a 6.1-foot cargo bed, while crew cab versions get a 60/40-split-folding rear bench and a choice of a standard 5-foot or optional 6.1-foot bed. There are also five trim levels available: S, SV, Desert Runner, Pro-4X and SL.

On two-wheel-drive King Cabs with a manual transmission, the entry-level S trim level includes 15-inch steel wheels, rear privacy glass, front bucket seats (with a flat-folding front passenger seat) and cloth upholstery. Select the automatic transmission for the King Cabs S, and you'll also get standard air-conditioning, cruise control, steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary input; these items can be added to the manual version via the S Preferred package. Meanwhile, crew cabs with the S trim add the V6 engine, 16-inch steel wheels, a sliding rear window and a six-speaker audio system as standard.

Stepping up to the SV trim level gets you all of the above (though the V6 engine is optional for SV King Cabs), along with 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, full power accessories, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, a 5-inch color display radio with the NissanConnect interface with Bluetooth audio connectivity and smartphone-integrated apps, USB/iPod integration, satellite radio and an additional 12-volt power outlet. Options for the SV (V6 model) include a Value Truck package that adds foglights, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a sliding bed extender, adjustable cargo tie-downs, a Class IV trailer hitch, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and two extra speakers on King Cabs. The Desert Runner (2WD V6 only in either cab configuration) builds on the base SV equipment list, adding special exterior and interior styling details, foglights, high-performance shock absorbers, off-road tires and an eight-way manual driver seat. The SV Value package equipment isn't available on the Frontier Desert Runner.

For serious off-roaders, there's the four-wheel-drive-only Pro-4X, which features the off-road tires and specially tuned shocks along with a locking rear differential, underbody skid plates, automatic headlights, a 5.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, Bluetooth streaming audio, satellite radio and voice controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a trip computer, a first aid kit and everything in the SV Value Truck package, except the trailer hitch and bed extender (which are optional). Pro-4X crew cabs get a 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system as well. The Pro-4X Luxury package (automatic-equipped crew cabs only) adds a sunroof, roof rack with crossbars, heated mirrors, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger) and a rear-seat center console.

The top SL trim (automatic crew cabs only) loses the Pro-4X's off-road-oriented equipment, but retains most of the items in the Pro-4X Luxury package, including a sunroof for long-bed SLs (the sunroof is a stand-alone option for short-bed SLs). Additional standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels and side steps that ease access to the cab. The trailer hitch and bed extender remain optional on the Frontier SL.

functional, upscale and artistic interior, automatic climate control, Bluetooth, steering-wheel audio and cruise controls, keyless entry and start

The interior layout of the Frontier is all fairly intuitive, from the design of the gauges and dash to the familiar placement for the secondary controls, including the drive-mode switch for 4WD models. Modern tech features like Bluetooth audio connectivity, hands-free text messaging capability and smartphone app integration are available starting at the SV trim level.

King Cab models have rear-hinged doors that swing open and two old-school folding jump seats for rear passengers who'd better like sitting bolt upright. That's why crew cabs are now the dominant configuration; with four conventional doors, the Frontier crew cab's rear seats are far more useful, particularly for ease of entry.

You're better off using the Frontier to haul cargo rather than people. A 6.1-foot bed is standard for the King Cab models and has enough room to handle whatever your everyday duties require. You also can get the long bed on the crew cab. The Frontier offers utility enhancements like adjustable cargo bed tie-downs, a bed extender/divider and a thoughtful area under the rear seats for smaller items you'd prefer to lock in the cab.

Skip the stripped-down, manual-transmission King Cab S model, and you'll find a reasonably well-equipped lineup with the Nissan Frontier. Getting an automatic on the S adds not just the transmission, but also air conditioning, cruise control, an AM/FM/CD stereo and Bluetooth. However, if you want power windows and mirrors, or a USB-equipped audio system, you'll have to move up to the SV trims, which this year also include NissanConnect. The Crew Cab SL adds leather seats, Rockford Fosgate audio and a standard V6 engine.

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