Most people who have owned pickup trucks absolutely love them. It doesn't matter if it was a modern luxury truck or an older and more primitive style, there's something about a pickup truck that is just good fun.
The 2017 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X Crew Cab is a perfect example of everything we love about trucks. It's got all the latest modern technology and comfort equipment, but when you get in, it's got the same great rough-and-ready feeling that you remember about every truck you ever loved. It's impossible to drive this truck without a big grin on your face.
Let's start with mechanicals. The Pro-4X comes with a 4.0-liter V6 engine good for 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, mated up to a 5-speed automatic transmission with an electronically controlled dual-range 4X4 system. A 6-speed manual transmission is also available if you want it. This drivetrain gives you plenty of power to accelerate, pull a load, or just carry a whole lot of stuff in the truck bed. With the crew cab, the bed is 59.5 inches long, just a half-inch short of 5 feet.
When Nissan says "PRO-4X" they mean it. You get skid plates underneath all the sensitive areas of the truck, tow-hooks, adjustable tie-down cleats in the bed, and a standard spray-in polyurethane bed liner. The PRO-4X trim also includes a locking rear differential, Bilstein shock absorbers, 4-wheel vented disc brakes, and 16-inch alloy off-road style wheels. You get all the usual vehicle safety and stability controls and anti-lock brakes, plug you get hill start assist and hill descent control.
Inside, The Frontier offers a full crew cab, which is what most people like. The ability to carry five passengers as well as a half-ton of cargo bridges the gap between the old-fashioned pickup and an SUV, giving you the best of both worlds. The test vehicle came with Nissan's PRO-4X Luxury package, including leather upholstery, heated front seats with power adjustments, a sunroof, roof rails, and power mirrors for $2,100 extra.
Standard equipment on the PRO-4X includes a 5.8-inch color touch screen display with navigation and backup camera. The sound system is a 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate unit, which is more than capable of playing your favorite tunes at pickup truck volume. The infotainment system includes SIRIUS/XM radio with traffic information, and you can control the whole infotainment system by voice.
Driving the 2017 is fun. The 4X4 suspension puts you well above most surrounding traffic, and the Frontier is still small enough to go anywhere. Even with all the luxury trim and modern technology, the Frontier will remind you of every truck you ever loved.
2017 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X
Base price: $33,390
Price as tested: $37,040
Type: Crew Cab Pickup
Engine: 4.0-liter V6 (261 hp, 281 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 15/21
Road noise: Above average
Curb weight: 4,561 pounds
Final assembly: Canton, Ohio