Nissan Truck



  • davepercdaveperc Member Posts: 76

    My ranger comparison was a compliment to ranger. People I know with rangers are happy with it and feel that it is a tough, inexpensive truck. I can't speak about anyone else, but I don't see the splash alluring p/u buyers to look at the ranger. Car & Driver gives the following stats: of 300,000 rangers sold last year, only 1,500 were splash. There is no room in the bed, 30.7 ft3 (Calculated from dimensions). The 4.0 V6 and 5 speed auto are both very good options. But a compact step side to me is a marketing ploy. 43.4" wide. S-10 is 41.5". Three and a half feet! What can you put in that?

    As for why Nissan didn't see it coming, from what I understand, they were not ready with the V6, and , instead of holding the truck from intro, they released it because most of Nissans P/U sales are I4s anyway.

    I think that Nissan does have a nitch. They make the affordable japanese P/U. Complaints about the toyota are always price. Complaints about the Nissan are never the price. I feel saving $2,000 is important. If people don't mind paying more, I guess I am in the minority. I drove other trucks setup the same and none were standouts from the rest. Cost was the main issue.

    When the V6 is out, I am sure the mags will rereview the truck, and will maybe look at the whole truck this time. Some reviews have been fine, but many just can't get past the lack of V6.

  • cncmancncman Member Posts: 487
    Hey everyone, good to see some more comments, I am willing to concede that perhaps I am biased towards nissans, but I have always had nissans, toyotas and hondas in my family, they all had around 100,000++ miles on them as my dad was too
    cheap to buy a car over 4,000 bucks, they were all
    great, dependable, it was just the nissans that were more fun to drive and seemed to have more extras for the money, maybe this is what sets nissan apart, "the most for the money" and that appears to be what most buyers are looking for,
    I was really just shocked when I read all about
    the styling problems and the slow sales and lack of power everyone said the frontier had, the frontier has been out for several months now, and
    I never had a customer tell me he/she did not like the styling, I did have some ask when the 6 was coming out, but they bought the 4 anyway, I could not sell them first, but in the last 3 months I can't keep them on the lot, again, I think people were waiting untill the prices came down, because
    noone could really discount the frontier more than
    about $500 at first. Now the Frontier is outselling toyota and mazda in texas where I live
    I have sold 13 new vehicles this month and 7 were
    frontiers, so if you can see this from where I stand, it came as a shock to see all of the negative info, just because I had never run into it before, and I do a lot of research on vehicles.
    To criticize nissan for not having a v-6 now seems
    to be ridiculous, I guess if they would have held off the intro of the four cylinder until the 6 was
    ready, then the press would say something bad about that too. I guess it boils down to this, you
    buy what you want, and for me and the others on here that have bought a frontier, it is just like my dad's old 280z, it is fun to drive and gives you the most for the money.
  • cncmancncman Member Posts: 487
    rsholland, thanks for the info, believe it or not,
    nissan does have a feed back channel for salesmen to send customer comments to nissan, I will pass your suggestions along to nissan later this week,
    if anyone else has ideas, let meknow and I will send it with them too.
  • davepercdaveperc Member Posts: 76
    Not to sound like I am not taking you serious, but, a compact truck with full four doors and a large bed would be a narrow full size truck. So lets just stick with your full size idea. 16" wheels should come with that. But that V6 that is equal to toyotas would be far to small for that full size truck (aka T100) so we had better give it a 5 speed auto. Fully independant suspension? It already rides good. Lets make it better. And full time 4x4? Barely use the part time, but hey we should be able to carry the extra weight with the better suspension and more powerful engine.

    OK. Seriously, do you think that these things are going to increase sales? Yes, the V6 is needed. Although does a super strong engine really make a difference in sales. I don't see many Ram V10s, most are the V8s. I am not sure that a big difference in sales would be seen between the current 3.3 and one that is 25% stronger.

    Nissan sells compact P/Us, not full size. A full size is not going to sell the compact better. It rides good as is, but maybe 4 wheel ind. suspension would ride so good that it could make a difference. I am not sure if leaf springs can go with that though, and leafs are good for trucks as they work better than coils when loaded. Full time 4x4. Has been available but not been in big demand in SUVs, why would p/u buyers want it? Tire/wheel package is good. May get some interest in a handling package. The four door deal is somewhat different, being a 4 person vehicle, I think. I agree that the bed looks small, but how long do you go. My personal opinion is that it is a compact, you can't carry everything in it, so get a full sized instead. 5 speed auto, probably will start being offered more and more now that the trend has started.

    Today there are two extreme setups that are marketed. The Hotrod, with handling setup and big motor. And the tough 4x4, with big wheels and tires and high ground clearance. Dodge did break new ground in making the dakota midsized instead of compact. I don't know where else a maker could go with the compact p/u. Sportside is a joke.

    I know I am probably out of my mind on this one, but I have the pleasure of dating a wonderful woman who drives a Mazda Miata. Cruising with the top down in this car is real nice. I would bet that a convertible P/U would be a hit. The interior is small enough that the top would not have to be too big and the heater/AC could handle it. I know, pretty far out there.

  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788

    The list I mentioned would get me and a number of people in the showroom, if for no other reason that it's different - and probably better too. If you don't get people into the showroom, you can't sell them a vehicle.

    Several points of disagreement:

    1. Fully independent suspensions can and do work on trucks. Witness the Hummer and ML-320 Mercedes, as well as a number of military assualt-type vehicles. True, these are expensive vehicles, but state-of-the-art technology almost always begins on expensive products, and then trickles down to mainstream products. Certainly a properly designed fully independent suspension wouldn't be too stressed on a small pickup - or even a full-size 1/2 ton pickup.

    2. Full-time 4WD capability (full-time "capability", not necessarily "full-time")is VERY popular on SUVs, contrary to what you stated. Check out Jeep's SelectTrac and QuadraTrac, Ford's ControlTrac, Land Cruiser, Land Rover and Range Rover, and GM's AutoTrac. For '99 GM will be offering AutoTrac (full-time capability) on their new redesigned pickups. It's coming. Nissan can be a leader in this area, or continue to be a follower.

    3. My comment regarding a full-size pickup meant also developing a proper engine for that segment.

    4. The bed in the new 4-door Nissan Crew Cab is roughly 5' in length. To me, that is too short to be anything but a sandbox. It should have been designed around the current 6' box (not a full-size [8'] box that you mentioned).

  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Lastly, Nissan needs to make some bold courageous product statements (like what Chrysler has done) to get the public's attention. Simple as that.

  • hcombs0hcombs0 Member Posts: 22
    One thing that's really interesting to me about this whole "Frontier: 4-v-6 cylinder" argument is how closely it parallels the controversy when the Altima was introduced in 1993.
    The Altima, which shares the same engine (KA24DE) with the Frontier and 240sx, was said to be "underengined" by some, mainly by people biased towards Taurus and Camry V-6's.
    However, the originals Altima's good points: sterling build-quality, drivability, relatively low price, and high feature content won over enough people to make the Altima a success.
    I hope that the inherent goodness in the Frontier wins-over the public, just as the Altima did, even without an image building truck.
  • davepercdaveperc Member Posts: 76

    1. Fully ind. suspensions on the vehicles you describe is not a good comparison. P/Us need a lot of spring travel because they must work over a very wide weight range AND provide a decent ride. Leaf springs can do this. Coil springs can be made stiff or soft and provide adaquate travel for a smaller weight range. Obviously a stiff spring will sacrifice less spring travel when loaded, but ride quality is sacrificed. Military vehicles are very stiff rides and I don't think this is what people want. I am not up on the Benz you mentioned, but their sport ute is probably not set up to take 1400 lbs in the back.

    2. Full time 4x4 has been available, yes. I just have not noticed lots of people buying it over the part time systems. I had a Cherokee where both were available. Why spend the extra money and drive two axles all the time when it is not needed for 99% of the miles driven?

    3. I miss understood you. Your point was Nissan should try to enter the full size market with a proper engine lineup. Sounds good but this would not help the frontier situation. They probably could learn from Toyota's mistakes. The T100 has not been what it was expected.

    4. What I meant was that this compact with 4 normal doors, as this "thing" is, and the normal size compact bed, it getting long. It would have to be at least 1.5 feet longer than the current xcab. It would be as long as the Dakota and 5" narrower, so it could be done. The concept they are using probably is to use the current undercarriage from the xcab and add room to the cab from the bed.

    Back to the current p/u, I have noticed many more on the roads lately. My guess is that good rebates are pushing up sales. I do believe nissan needs to make their nitch the affordable japanese maker. The V6 that is to be introduced does NOT have to be a market leader. The truck needs to be comparable to others as far as towing, payload, and for some, the acceleration needs to be with the competitors. But the lower cost and good quality are musts for them to get sales moving.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788

    The Altima issue is slightly different than the Frontier issue.

    The Altima (4 cylinder) competes more with the 4 cylinder Accord and Camary, whereas people who want a 6 cylinder engine would look at the Maxima, which competes nicely with the 6 cylinder Accord and Camary.

  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788

    You can have a leaf spring with an independent rear suspension. It doesn't have to be coils. The Corvette has had a transverse leaf spring w/IRS for years. Again, my point is a "properly designed IRS" - whatever form that may take - is feasible.

    The most popular SUVs sold (Explorer & Grand Cherokee) have full-time 4WD capability standard on their 4WD models. The new smaller SUVs have it standard too. The market is clearly moving in that direction. As I mentioned, the redesigned '99 GM pickups will be offering it too. The top-of-the-line models (Silverado LT 4WD) will have it standard. I would be very surprised if Ford doesen't offer ControlTrac on the 2000 F-150, to counter GM.

    Again, my point is that Nissan needs to become a leader, and not just a follower. Leaders get noticed. Followers don't. I'm sure that there many other ways (other than what I mentioned) to get noticed. However, my mentioning the above posted suggestions has promoted some lively discussion between you and me. Nissan needs more of that. There's nothing wrong with a little bit of contraversy.

    I understand your point regarding the length of the vehicle. My point is that a 5' bed is almost usless. I'm not convinced that compact crew cab with a 6' bed would be too long.

  • fredwoodfredwood Member Posts: 79
    Boy, you nissan guys sure are wordy.

    I had a nissan and it was crap.
  • hcombs0hcombs0 Member Posts: 22

    There's a difference between being wordy and being thorough. To try to get somebody to see your point of view, you need not only an opinion (i.e. "I had a Nissan and it was crap"), but also support, examples, and/or solutions. So tell us, why was your Nissan crap?


    I see what you're saying about the Altima not being too good an analogue to the Frontier. I hadn't really thought of it that way.

    I also agree that full-time 4WD is right around the corner. At the very least, there will be a system like the Explorer's which has a "4wd auto" system. Every domestic manufacturer has something like this on their SUV's, and they'll probably move it over soon.

    I have to disagree that IRS is practical, through, both on a price and durability standpoint. IRS is expensive to engineer and produce, that's why Nissan has gone to the Multi-Link Beam for it's passenger cars. The Frontier has always cost less than the competition, and an IRS would probably add $2-3K to the base price.

    Also, I'm no suspension engineer, but it seems to me that a transverse leaf setup wouldn't work, as Dave said, because of the wide load range required in a pickup. Also, a pickup IRS would be subject to pretty unpredictable camber changes, especially under asymetric load. Imagine you were hauling a rather heavy load like a couch or refrigerator; you could be looking at positive camber on one side and negative on the other, which is potentially unsafe.
    The solid rear axle is cheap, strong, and ensures even weight distribution with no camber changes, which is why it's here to stay.
  • fredwoodfredwood Member Posts: 79
    My synopsis of my nissan was a feeble attempt at humor. My nissan was crappy due to that it kept breaking down. Computer parts, bumper fell off, sheet metal dented too easy, engine blew at 90,000, clutch at 75,000, I'll stop now before I get mad again. Anyway, it boils down to expectations. I figured that you get what you pay for and spent more for Japanese products. Our mazda 626 kept going through head gaskets and got rid of it at 107,000 miles. Bought a new camry, Uhh! Three sets of brakes,water pump...never mind the list is too long for only 44,000 miles. I guess my point is that I expected my nissan truck to be more rugged for the extra money I spent for it. I dont abuse my cars and trucks either, I am religous about mainanace. Now my chevy 1500 is a champ, 118,000 miles, runs awesum and cost less than any of my other japanese vehicles.

    Oh great now I'm a loquatious hypocrite.
  • davepercdaveperc Member Posts: 76
    I am not sure if you are a loquatious hypocrite, but you sure seem to be unlucky. Buying all of those japanese "high quality" vehicles, and having all those problems. The Nissan Frontier I just bought is my first [non-permissible content removed]. Have had used Volvos and have a 77 BMW, but all else has been US built. Although I have had good luck, I do believe in the data that many of the auto research companies come up with, saying that the [non-permissible content removed] are higher quality. The Nissan's have been good quality and do run for a long time. So many old ones running around with 150k + miles, they must be put together pretty good. Some of the others in this forum that don't like the frontier have said that they have/had the previous model. Maybe they could tell us why they bought them and what they like/dislike about them.

    What is it about the full time 4x4 that you like, I am not sure why I would pay the extra for it? Is it more of a handling improvement?
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788

    I'm not a suspension engineer either, but I know IRS works better on cars than a solid axle does. OK, OK, I know we're talking trucks here and not cars, and their needs are different. I'm well aware of that. However - my point is a properly designed system, in my opinion, can work as well or better than a solid axle. Again, I refer to the ML-320, which I believe has a payload capacity of roughly 1500 lbs. Now don't quote me on that - but it's in that vicinity - which is also in the same ballpark of most 1/2 pickups (large and small). If it works on the ML, it can work on a pickup of similar weight capacity. Also, I've seen independent front suspensions (IFS) on those huge Euclid off-road-only dump trucks. It can be done.


    Why do you think a full-time 4WD system has to cost more than a part-time system? Ford seems to think the extra (?) costs are worth it. You can't buy an Explorer or Expedition 4WD without it.

    I have a '98 Explorer with ControlTrac, which is an auto 4WD system, and it works great.I also have an old '91 Explorer with part-time 4WD. I much prefer the new ControlTrac system. Remember, with ControlTrac I also have part-time high and low range capability. We also have a Subaru with AWD, and I used to have an '86 F-150 4x4 with manual hubs, so I've experienced just about everything that has been produced in recent years as far as 4x4 systems are concerned.

    I like full-time 4WD/AWD/Auto4WD because it can sense (and react to) the pavement better than I can. This especially true on transitional surfaces such as dry-to-ice/slushy roads, when the surface traction can change instantly. I also like it better in the rain.

    Please note that I've been referring to full-time 4WD "capability", which is NOT the same as full-time 4WD. By that I mean either the driver (or the system) varys the amount of 4WD needed, depending on conditions. The Subaru AWD automatic, which is what we have, normally sends about 90% of the power to the front wheels, and 10% of the power to the rear wheels. Depending on traction, acceleration, braking and cornering, that percentage will vary. My Explorer's ControlTrac is virtually in 2WD all the time until it senses slipage, then the 4WD engages. It's invisible to the driver. Same with Jeep's Quadra Trac. In Jeep's Select Trac the driver has the choice of either 2WD or full-time 4WD (as well as part-time 4WD).

    Lastly, the SUV and pickup markets have a lot of cross-over customers. If I (as a customer) have an SUV with full-time 4WD (and like that system), why would I not want it on my pickup too? As I mentioned in previous posts, GM seems to agree with me - as witnessed by their new Silverado being available with AutoTrac.

  • hcombs0hcombs0 Member Posts: 22
    I hope I'm not belaboring this point; I'm not saying that and IRS is inherently impossible on a truck. Indeed, we've got two perfect examples in the Hummer and ML320 that it can work.
    What's difficult is engineering a cost-effective IRS/coil-spring setup to take extreme load variation and return acceptable ride and handling, as I believe another poster has said before. It is entirely possible, I conceed. All I'm saying is that it probably won't happen.

    IFS is feasible even with immense size vehicles because the weight of the front end is relatively fixed (engine, accesories, cab, etc), unlike the bed. My chevy, for example has IFS and weighs something like 6000lbs empty--most of it over the front wheels. It also rides like a buckboard, but that's the price you pay.

    Anyways, good argument.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788

    I would be willing to bet, that within the next 10 years, we will begin to see IRS showing up on some pickup trucks. Who knows, if Honda, or Subaru, or even Mercedes ever decides to enter the pickup market - surprising things just might occur. If you think that idea is too far fetched, would you have predicted 10 years ago that Mercedes would be building a state-of-the-art SUV right here in the US? Anything can happen.

    And yes, it is a good discussion. But, back to the original point of this discussion: Nissan needs to do some eye-catching product/engineering launches, if it really is going to reverse its sales slide. Just having a good product is not enough to ensure success these days.

  • davepercdaveperc Member Posts: 76
    I am still wondering why those of you who have previous Nissan P/U models bought them? I have heard arguments in this forum that some like the older ones better. Now, I have not driven the older ones, much. My brother is on his second "hardbody", the first traded in with 150k + miles, but I don't get down south to see him very often, and did not analyze his truck last visit. But according to just about every auto review of the Frontier, they say that the Frontier is better and nicer than the previous P/U. So if this is the case, what is the problem that makes the Frontier less appealing to some of us here?

    My personal oppinion is that the previous hardbody design had a distinctive look. Not fancy, or even pretty, but had a rugged look. One reviewer had called the older look as a "box with a bumper" look. But this look stood out and was possibly even tough looking. The frontier nose was reshaped to be more erodynamic, but now looks closer to others on the market, Toyota and GM mostly. The look is not really distinctive, no one thing that is noticed by an observer. It could possibly help do some cosmetic thing. Some one earlier said that they were going to take one for a test drive, but didn't because they didn't like the look. Once inside, I am sure that that person would see the improvements and like them. But if you don't get in and drive it, how can you critisize it?

    Once the V6 shows up, there won't be any option differences from other compacts, except for the rear half doors. Are they going to make that an option? The compact p/u sector has very similar products from the different makers, and you can pretty much get what you want from any of them. I am not convinced that nissan needs to do something radically different, but just need to complete the intro of the frontier to offer all the things that buyers can get from other makers.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788

    I personally liked the "looks" of the old hardbody a lot. I like it much more so than the new Frontier. However - and even though I've been quite critical of the Frontier, I'm sure that the Frontier is a much "better" vehicle than Hardbody ever was.

  • etagetag Member Posts: 14

    I am still driving my 91'Nissan Pickup 4X2 stick.
    155,500 miles. Burns no oil, only had to replace
    brake pads, shoes, clutch, fan belts(once)
    bulbs( seems like every 2 years a headlite )
    It is not particularly comfortable but
    the last time I checked it got 27.5mpg
    on the highway.
    I also pull my 2100 boat and trailer with it.

  • hcombs0hcombs0 Member Posts: 22
    I test drove both the old Hardbody 4x2 and the new Frontier 4x2 in base model form and there was no comparison in my opinion: the Frontier's a better truck. Ride, interior, steering--all have been improved, and they should be.
    One negative is a loss of (for lack of a better word) personality. The old Hardbody didn't seem to want to impress anybody. It wasn't trying to replace your family car, nor was it claiming to be as capable as a big truck. It was just a small, economical, unpretentious truck for someone who wanted just that.
    The new truck seems to have taken pages from Toyota and Ford, and I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I just don't know if the broad appeal that Toyota and Ford go for is the right strategy for Nissan right now.
    Anybody agree?
  • davepercdaveperc Member Posts: 76
    Not sure exactly I agree with you. A chunk of steel does not want to be anything. The people who talk about it are the ones who want it to be something or think it has a personality. The old truck has been improved upon and is not more expensive, so why is it not still a small, economical, unpretentious truck? It is slightly bigger and more refined, but is still, in my opinion, in the same market position as it always has been.

    In the last ten years or so, the truck sector has changed immensely. Trucks went from being basic vehicles for work and transportation without a lot of flare, to attempts at being a stylish sedan with an open trunk. Remember 1988 rangers, F150s, S-10s, Rams,... None were more than boxes with little regard to looks. Just practical. Now trucks are trying to be flashy. This is probably because more customers are buying trucks because they want one, not because they could use one. The makers are trying to appeal to more people through styling.

    Actually if you look closely at the Frontier, it is styled similarly to the current full size Chevy. Flat sides except for one crease between the wheel wells, traditional square rear, and the nose is angled back to the corners. The frontier also is angled back vertically from the bumper, probably more aerodynamic. I think Nissan stuck with the older concept, a small, economical, unpretentious truck. I dought that they felt the frontier is stylish. This is quite different than what ford has been doing in their current models. They see lots of interest in the dodge styling (lowered front fender wells) and are trying to copy this without losing its ford heritage. So, no, I don't think they followed ford and toyota, I think they stuck with the "small, economical, unpretentious truck" philosophy while they updated aerodynamically.
  • hcombs0hcombs0 Member Posts: 22

    Gotta agree with you that steel has no personality in and of itself.. I guess I'm as guilty as anyone of personifying cars and trucks.
  • ruzruz Member Posts: 59
    Interesting discussion, everyone! Two things:

    First (putting my host's hat on), I had to scribble rsholland's post from a week ago that was the Nissan press release. It was copyrighted material from Bloomberg.

    (removing host's hat)

    Second, speaking as a somwhat-novice truck person as well as a Nissan truck owner, I definitely think that Nissan's have a place. As was said earlier, they fill the low-priced import truck niche very well. I've had a '92 Nissan shortbed for nearly two years and I have yet to have a single problem with it (knock on wood). I get decent mileage, it accelerates on the freeway when I need it to, it gets me to and from the grocery store and gets my dog to and from the beach with no problems. As much as I'd love to have a nice, big, American-made full-size truck, that's not in my budget at all right now. I think this Nissan is a perfect compromise for my situation.
  • ruzruz Member Posts: 59
    #0 of 4: Sahaquiel (Sahaquiel) Tue 04 Aug '98 (01:26 AM)

    I am considering buying a 1998 Nissan Frontier
    4x2. I would like to hear from owners of these
    trucks for their real-life assessment of the
    vehicle, both the good and bad points of this
    truck. I haven't decided on whether to get
    the regular or extended cab, so I'd like to
    hear your opinions on both. Thanks in

    #2 of 4: TomInNH (TomInNH) Fri 07 Aug '98 (09:44 AM)

    I just bought one too. I got a 2x4 XE ext cab with
    no other extras. It's got about 1000 mi on it now
    and has been great!

    The only mistake I made is having one located from
    another dealership because my dealer didn't have
    one the way I wanted it. Doing this I didn't see
    the truck before I bought it. I told the dealer 3
    colors that I'd like, Aztec Red, Cheyenne Red, Deep Crystal Blue. The one they located was Cheyenne Red. In the catalog the chip for this color looks like a deep maroon, but when it's on the truck it looks more magenta. I'm getting used to it now, but I tell everyone I have a pink truck.

    I think I'm going to get it pinstriped or get the
    4x4 decals for the sides put on.

    #3 of 4: Cute pink truck (daveperc) Fri 07 Aug '98 (12:18 PM)

    I thought the same thing of the Cheyenne red when
    I was looking. I got the Aztec Red. I like it.
    It always looks clean, though I have not washed it
    yet. I got the appearance package and then had
    them add cruise to the XE, 4x2, 5 speed, xcab. I
    have liked it so far. I got it during the 4th of
    July sale when they were giving $2500 at $100 over
    invoice. Lucky timing, since I was looking before
    then when the rebate was only $1500.
  • cncmancncman Member Posts: 487
    hey everyone, I have been gone for a few days
    and am glad to see the topic still going strong.
    I am kind of lost on the suspension debate, so far
    as IRS for trucks, that seems good, but I don't see it making enough of an improvement on the ride
    quality, the jeep cherokee is one of the better
    riding SUV's and still has a front live axle! I do know that the frontier has progressive rate leaf
    spring to help the ride and handling while loaded
    which is important in a truck. I guess if you could give it IRS and keep these, it would be OK
    There are a few other things that the frontier gives you that no other trucks have and maybe since you can't see them they don't get as much notice. One is the crumple zones on the front end of the frame rails, as most people know, if you get into a severe front end impact with a truck,
    you are likely to have frame damage because the rail ends are farther out. These are like accordian boxes and fold on impact, you can cut them out and replace them, saving the truck. The other is the tuned cab to frame mounts, there are
    I believe 7 of them most other trucks only use
    3 or 4. They are also tuned to absorb noise and vibration coming from different parts of the truck. Also the dividers already built into the bed for securing your load, I don't know of anyone else offereing this now. Things like this I think are important to people who actually use the trucks, but I never see these mentioned in reviews, maybe Nissan did'nt get thepoint accross
    as well as they could.Personally, for me I like the frontier styling, and I bought mine, not necesarily because I work for them but because it is honestly the best value on the market. I don't think that the Mazda/ford has the quality I would
    expect for a new truck. The only one that I think
    I would even have considered would be the Tacoma,
    which is a great truck, but I have driven both on several occasions. I would not want to pay more money for a smaller truck that did'nt ride and handle as well, also even though they offer the V-6 I would only consider the 4 because of price and economy, trucks are still one of the lowest priced new vehicles out there. I can now see a lot
    of validity to some of the earlier posts about styling and marketing, but I belkieve that nissan
    is coming out with some new great products in the next couple of years, I believe, that next year or
    two will bring the 3-4 swing out doors on the frontier, the new quest/villager is due out next month and I have heard great things written up about them, (well actually only the villager which
    seems odd to me) nissan is coming out with a smaller SUV also, but it will be bigger than the
    RAV4 and the CRV. Also there is talk that we will
    bring the skyline over from japan as our sports car. If anyone has seen it, it looks great! Maybe it is too little too late, but I think this is a short term situation that all manufacturers go through, it wasn't but three years ago when they
    introduced the new maxima and it got Motor Trend
    import car of the year that we had several months of outselling Honda, I think those times are around the corner again, the Altima will be changed dramatically by 2000, possibly a 6 cyl option, which will probably be the maxima's VQ,
    that will be a killer machine! the maxima will also get a boost to 220hp to cross that 200hp
    mental barrier, (as if it is'nt fast enough now!)
    So everyone look for the new nissans. Again, I am
    going to give feed back to nissan at the end of this month, I have already put some of the earlier
    suggestions in and am looking for more, post here
    or e-mail me and I will get them in. Bye for now.
  • lwflwf Member Posts: 223

    If you have the ear of someone in Nissan's policy-making arena regarding their pickups, I'd like to also mention a few things they should be told about. These are items which influenced my decision to not buy a Frontier and instead to buy another brand this year even though I had been very satisfied with the '87 Nissan SE pickup that I drove for 140,000 miles. This is a list of features that were in the '87 but not available in the '98 Frontier. If they had been available, I think I would be driving a Frontier now.

    (1) I know you've heard this dozens of times but the top of the list has to start with the fact that there was no V6 available. And the argument that it's coming but wasn't quite ready yet just doesn't hold water. Nissan has a V6 in the Pathfinder which could have been used and, in fact, had one in their pickups until just a couple of years ago. Why they stopped providing the V6 as an option is something I never could understand, but I believe it's a decision that has really hurt their profits. At long last they are going to rectify that situation. OK this is another of those "too late" situations as far as I'm concerned.

    (2) No analog gauge for oil pressure. I don't know how many pickup drivers consider an idiot light to be sufficient, but I've got an idea most would prefer a gauge.

    (3) No ampmeter. That's not as important as the oil gauge, but I'd much prefer it to the idiot light.

    (4) My '87 Nissan had two fuel gauges, not just one. The second one was exclusively for the last 4 gallons of gas. That was really handy at times. No other pickup that I'm aware of has that feature today, but if Nissan still had it, I think it would be a plus for Nissan and a pretty inexpensive one to provide.

    (5) Lumbar-support adjustment. The XE Frontier I drove didn't have it and when I asked the salesman, he said it wasn't on the Frontier SE either.

    (6)Pivoting quarter-panel windows. The jump seats in that vehicle aren't very large, but I had people sit in mine many times while enjoying the opened windows. The ones on the Frontier are fixed, and it's my opinion the pivoting ones aren't available even as an extra-cost item. If the back windows of all sedans open, why shouldn't the rear windows of a pickup with a back seat open?

    The last comment I have doesn't pertain to my '87, but it might be worth mentioning for the benefit of those of you who do want a 4-cylinder engine. A lot of us pickup owners prefer to change the engine oil ourselves. The oil filter on the 4-cylinder Frontier appears to be virtually inaccessible from top or bottom. I asked the Nissan salesman how one would remove and replace it. He couln't tell me so he went back and asked the service manager. I didn't get a really straight answer, but it sounded like one will have to remove a panel inside the right front wheel well which might first require removing the right front wheel to get at the panel. Well, whatever the procedure, it didn't seem like removing an oil filter on a 4-cylinder Frontier is a 10-minute job as it has been with every vehicle I've ever owned. Nissan may want to give a bit more thought about ease of routine maintenance when they design their future pickups.
  • cncmancncman Member Posts: 487
    hey lwf, I appreciate the input, as to why nissan
    stopped making the V-6, it was simple, they weren't selling! also there were emmisions problems from what I understood, and to make it
    meet the federal regs, it would have added to
    the price of an already slow selling vehicle,
    also as a side, I know we went over this before,
    but a friend of mine at a toyota dealership showed
    me some of toyotas numbers, 94% of Tacomas are sold with 4cyls! (toyotas own numbers) As to why nissan did not put a V-6 in the frontier now even though it will be the same engine as the pathfinder, the question partly answers itself.
    The pathfinder sold much better than Nissan expected especially with the infinity QX4, so there was a problem of engine shortages. And again there was a problem meeting the federal regs. I don't know why it would be different if you put it
    in a truck. Nissan had a choice to make, either
    delay the intro of the frontier for the V-6 which
    won't sell as well as the 4 anyway or just intro the 4 cyl for now, also this would mean even more expense because we were running out of new 97's,
    I haven't had a new 97 since january, and then they would either have had no trucks to sell for
    9 months or would have to delay the frontier even further because of retooling. And from the sounds of some of the complaints here, it seems that even if the 6 was available now, you guys wouldn't buy it either because it won't be powerful enough! I
    guess sometimes you can't win for trying.
    The fact is that nissan didn't delay the v-6
    to piss people off, they would have if they could,
    but they couldn't. As to the other things you mentioned, they seem minor to me, but obviously they do matter to you and that, I know, is important. It has been awhile since I've seen
    an 87 se nissan, but I don't remeber them having lumbar support. I know the later ones did not either. I do know that the reason they say we
    gave fixed quarter windows was because they were
    quieter, I don't know if this is BS or not. One
    thing that Nissan has always been very successful at is keeping their prices down, new redesigned models like the frontier come out at roughly the
    same sticker price as the old versions. Yes maybe,
    they do this by giving idiot lights instead of
    analog gauges, and fixed quarter windows instead of popout ones, but to give the buyers a bigger,
    more powerfull truck with other nice touches like,
    a fully finished cab, cloth door inserts, 15"
    alloys, better stereo system, cupholders,etc.
    (things I know your 87 does not have) it seems
    like a good trade off. I am sorry that these things were enough to cause you to give up the nissan quality, size, comfort and price advantages for something else, but I do wish you luck with your new truck, I will pass your suggestions on in my feedback at the end of the month. As for the oil filter problem, it amazes me that folks still change their own oil with other folks out there
    willing to do it for as little as $5 over the cost of doing it yourself! But I do realize that some people still like this and do not consider it a chore. Who ever told you that you may have to remove the wheel is full of it, the frontier does
    have either a heat shield or skid plate, I don't
    remember which off hand, but it is there for a reason, and there are only one or two screws or
    nuts to remove to move the plate aside, easily done
    from underneath. We have had the same plate there
    on the older sentras as I have seen them on the lift in our shop and my mechanics complain about
    a lot of things back there, but I haven't heard them complain about that yet. The one thing I can't understand is why everyone says the old hardbody trucks were the best around and the new frontier is an improvement over the old, but the new one sucks! this seems to be repeated in some reviews I've read. I just don't follow the logic.
    I do enjoy this discussion and I think everyone here are great folks, and I am sorry if I get long winded, but I think there is a lot to say. I'll leave on one last note, I remember someone complaining about the styling on the pathfinder,
    I found it amusing when after looking at a picture
    of a pathfinder in a publication, I started reading and realized it wasn't a pathfinder, but a
    rodeo, nissan must have been doing something right
    for them to copy it. Also I just saw some advance
    drawings of the new sentra, the 133 SUV and also
    something that kind of looks like a hummer, I
    don't have a scanner, but if enough people are interested, I can try to get these out there,
    there is also a sketch of what the new 250z
    may look like, real sexy. that's all for now.
  • lwflwf Member Posts: 223
    Well...........yes cncman, an an oil-pressure gauge is EXTREMELY important to me. So important, in fact that I don't think I'd buy a pickup unless it is there. As for the cupholders, I couldn't care less. I use the one in my new vehicle to store a Stanley POWERLOCK (tape measure in case you don't know anything about tools). Same for the CD player, if that's what you mean about a "better stereo". And I didn't get the impression the Frontier was any bigger, and so far it's NOT more powerful than my '87, which was my biggest complaint. (BTW, you never commented on my criticism that Nissan advertised the most powerful 4-cylinder engine when, in fact, Toyota deserves that distinction). Furthermore, my '87 King Cab was also fully finished inside. I know that some have said the ride in the Frontier is better, but I didn't see one iota of difference. Of course, I only drove the 87 for 140,000 miles. Maybe I hadn't been in it long enough or often enough to really get the feel of it. I know you don't want to believe me, but when I took a Frontier for a test drive, I really knew what to look for. It wasn't there so I didn't buy it. It's just as simple as that. Whether the Nissan Corporation is going to put it there remains to be seen. With your help, that might happen. Many of the news articles in recent months indicate that there are big changes taking place inside Nissan, and I admit that I correlate the likely causes for those changes with my own disappointment (I didn't, as you expressed it, get "pissed off") when I went out to buy one of their pickups.

    As an aside, I'm relieved to find out you've seen the articles I've been reading that criticize the Frontier. I was beginning to think I'd been hallucinating about what I had read.
  • davepercdaveperc Member Posts: 76
    Not to repeat myself, over and over and over, but... The V6 issue is getting old. A new model is subject to different emission requirements than old models. Note that no California emissions equipment is required. The Frontier meets this standard in all 50 states. The V6 was not ready. What would you do? By the time you are ready to buy, it may be here. This has been the main complaint by the reviewers. I have not found any other complaints that were common between the reviews, so the V6 must be the only major problem.

    You didn't feel a difference, I guess maybe all the reviewers are hallucinating, they all thought the Frontier is nicer. Did you drive the frontier for 140k miles? Point being that if you didn't like it when you walked up to it, as you have said before, you probably didn't give it a chance. Maybe you should try it again when the V6 comes out.

    The seats are very supportive. I have taken long trips in mine and did not have any complaints. My lady was with me. She had back surgery 4 months ago and she had no complaints. I did not drive every brand when I was shopping, but I don't remember seeing any adjustable lumbars.

    Flip out rear windows are nice, but I wouldn't consider them critical since the sliding rear window is right there. It is not like there is no alternative. The truck is very quite, if the fixed windows help keep noise down, good move nissan.

    Three gauges. Save $2000 or more. Guess this is a personal decision.

    LWF, please tell us what truck you are thinking of buying and with what equipment. This would be very helpful for us who like the Frontier to compare and understand what the majority of the buying public is really looking for. Also, please tell us why you bought the 87 for. I have been looking for info why the old ones are better than the new ones but have gotten no responses.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788

    You certainly have mastered the art of creating a long paragraph! Whew!

    My main reason for mentioning fully independent suspensions for Nissan's pickup was because nobody else offers such a system - and, that being the case, would thus - create a lot of interest. Which, if this discussion board is any indication, proves me right.

  • grindlegrindle Member Posts: 4
    To CNCman
    Why I didn't buy a Frontier SE 4x4 xtra cab and got a Mazda B4000:
    1. No V-6. Frontier drove o.k., but it was boring.
    2. Couldn't get an automatic locally because dealers said the 4 couldn't push it.
    3. Dashboard was boring. No flash.
    4. Seats were not overly comfortable for me. No lumbar adjustment for my back.
    5. Manual locking hubs - you've got to be kidding!
    6. Overall styling was boring, no doubt it was sturdy, well built, probably will hold up well. (Same description for my work boots.)

    Looking out into the employee parking lot of our maintenance area I see; 6 cyl Nissan, another 6 cyl nissan, a 6 cyl ranger, a 6 cyl ranger, a 6 cyl ranger, another 6 cyl ranger, a 6 cyl Dakota and my new 6 cylinder Maxda. Men who use trucks as trucks, need 6 cylinders. 86% 4 cylinders my a__. Not in our town. Nissan makes a nice cheap commuter truck, that's their niche. I wanted more than that.
    Enough sales talk.
  • cncmancncman Member Posts: 487
    well guys I will try to keep this one short! I guess it comes down to this, yes Nissan did loose
    some customers like lwf because they don't have a v-6, but they expected to and it wasn't more than
    the sales potentially lost by not having any trucks for nine months. The frontiers are gaining popularity, we sold 65 new vehicle last month,
    32 were frontiers, this month we already have 14 out. There will never be a truck that is perfect for everyone, but that is part of the game. I think (and so do the reviewers and other folks
    that bought them) that the frontier is a better
    truck than before. That's why i waited and bought mine. The frontier has the most powerful STANDARD
    4 cyl in it's class, this is spin, yes but if the president can do it so can Nissan, all the other
    manufacturers do! It is still the best value on the market in my opinion, and I put my money where
    my mouth is, I bought one. This has been a good
    forum so far, but maybe we are beating a dead horse. LWF, I know what a powerlock is, but what
    is a Stanley? (sorry, sarcasm does not come out well here!). Grindle, they told you the automatic couldn't push the four because they wanted to sell
    you something in stock to make more money. I will
    keep you guys posted as to when the new 6 and the four door arrives, and keep sending me feed back,
    and I will pass it on to Nissan. Well it was shorter than before anyway. Bye for now.
  • cncmancncman Member Posts: 487
    well I guess I am cheating on length because this is my second post in a row, but call me crazy. I
    needed to make one correction, grindel, I looked back over your post and realized you were talking about a 4x4 instead of 4x2. yes there is no auto in the 4cyl 4x4, and yes it would be rather doggy.
    lwf, I hereby award you by the powers invested in me by the state of paranoia, the all new cranky
    buzzard award, please e-mail your address so I can
    send it to you, just kidding of course, (maybe).
    I thought I made it clear before why the frontier does not have the pathfinder 3.3l 6 in it now, but
    here it goes again, engine shortages and logistics
    problems with emmisions and platform configurations. Whew! that was a lot even for me!
    But this is the engine that will be in it next month.
    Seriously though, whenever there are major changes to a popular vehicle like the nissan truck, there
    will always be those who get lost in the shuffle and don't like what was done to it as much as the
    old one, (Ford Taurus), but it is something that happens. And hopefully it balances out with new
    buyers who would not consider the old. I hate, as I
    am sure Nissan USA does, to see a Nissan man turn to something else, and the points that lwf brought up don't seem to matter to me or the others that
    bought theirs, but sales are made one at a time,
    and I will honestly send your suggestions in to nissan. Hopefully we can get you bak in the fold in ten years. Oh and about the IRS, I get your point, yes it would be different, I will pass that along too. Thank you to everyone for the input (even you lwf) it does make a difference. well I
    guess that's all of the bandwith I'll take up until later.
  • davepercdaveperc Member Posts: 76

    I think you are halucinating. You are making wild acusations if you are saying that I beleive old nissans are junk. Only one post out of 88, has someone not been favorable of the previous truck, but you shape the conversation to support your argument. You are trying to put words in other peoples mouths. I have never said anything one way or another about previous nissans because I have not owned one, or tested one. All I have said is that they last forever and that the reviewers, every single one of them, have said that the frontier is an improvement over the previous model. You should verify your facts before you make a fool of yourself.

    You are probably the only person who would claim that the reviewers are not comparing similar trucks. Why do read reviews if you don't think they are nonsense? You said it yourself that you put new tires and shocks on your truck, did you put stock equipment on? What are you comparing? I question your comparison before I question the reviewers. At least they use guidelines, you have used ? Well, what have you been using?

    So I guess your answer to why you bought the old nissan is that it was very good. No one here disputes that. I never have as you tried to imply. Why do you not like the frontier? It doesn't have the things you want. You have mentioned V6, oil gage, ampmeter, dual fuel gage, and adjustable lumbar suports. That is fine too, but this does not make the frontier a bad truck, like you are trying to imply. None of these are things that make it a bad truck.

    It was nice talking with you. Hope your new ford doesn't give you too many problems. I am assuming that you are getting an F150, being the best selling. You are right, nissan does not offer what you want. Not sure why you were looking at nissan for a full size.
  • davepercdaveperc Member Posts: 76
    I took a look to verify you were at the F-150 forum. I did notice a big difference between this forum and the F-150 forum. Here we talk about our perceptions, feelings and thoughts about the Frontier. The F-150 forum is 1/2 full of entries on problems, faults and recalls. I think that says alot.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788

    I don't mind long posts. Just break them into logical paragraphs with an extra return between them. It just makes reading the post much easier.

    I don't know about others out there, but when I see an extremely long paragraph, I quickly skim it without really reading it.


  • tkinpatkinpa Member Posts: 19
    Does anyone out there have anything CONSTRUCTIVE to add to this thread? LWF,Daveperc & cncman - enough already.

    When does the V6 hit the dealer floors? Any idea on how much of $ option it will be? Any thoughts as to whether there will be rebates and how quickly if Nissan truck sales continue to stink even with the V6?

    I had a 86.5 Hardbody. Decent truck, underpowered.
    Waiting to drive the v6 Frontier before writing it off.
  • lwflwf Member Posts: 223
    "LWF,Daveperc & cncman - enough already."

    Good suggestion. I agree.
  • davepercdaveperc Member Posts: 76

    Don't know when? But when I was shopping I found that Nissan was very tight lipped about the rebates that they were going to be running. They will always keep it private until the current one is over. Pricing, I have not heard. I would suspect the option to be similar to competitors price and previous models price adder. My guess, $600 - $900.

    Sorry to bore you with our banter. The points that have been discussed have been more about the marketing and sales and less about the truck. I feel that this is because there are not many complaints with it besides its lack of the V6. When looking through the topic list, many are discussing problems with trucks, dealers and/or the makers. I have not seen any Frontier owner complaints except for one guy who wanted more power. The other complaints I have seen here are from non-owners. Their opinions have been good, I just am not sure that one test drive is enough to discredit the truck to all readers in a forum. I had no intention of staying with this forum after I bought my truck but felt I should at least put in my owner experience.

    The frontier has been good to me so far. I have 3000 miles now. No problems. No complaints. I find the I4 to be a good I4, with a manual trans. That is what I wanted for good mileage (3000 mi in 40 days). Mileage has been very good, 28 mpg hw, 26 mpg mixed. I put a tonneou cover on when I bought, this may help some. Not to repeat myself, if you want an Auto trans or 4x4, wait for the V6. The frontier does have a good size bed, compared to other Xcab compacts. Have had good loads in it and except for squatting some, has taken it fine. I had a rider in the back seat twice for a 20 minute ride on two occasions. I did not receive any complaints, which I was surprised about since they were reluctant at first. I continue to be impressed with the handling, standard tires are 65 series, most makers are 70 or more and charge for lower profile tires. I liked that.

    Ok, I am out.
  • hcombs0hcombs0 Member Posts: 22
    Here's a report on the Frontier V-6:

    "The Frontier pickup ruck, which bowed in 1998 with only a 4-cylinder engine, adds a 3.3-liter V-6 only in 4X4 versions this fall. In June
    1999, Frontier will add a version with four swingout doors as a 2000

    Looks like the Frontier's getting the Pathfinder V-6, as it should.
  • hcombs0hcombs0 Member Posts: 22
    "ruck" . . .hmm. . .you think maybe I meant "truck".
  • DilworthDilworth Member Posts: 1
    I don't claim to be a profesional critic of trucks but I know what I like. I've been to Mexico several times and they've had 4 door trucks down there for years. Very practical, economical to drive and by the looks of them they were quite popular. I want to buy 2 of them if they're not too expensive. Anybody got any idea what the price of the 99 4 door will be?
  • tkinpatkinpa Member Posts: 19
    Nissan's website has a lot of hype on the 4 door crew cab. Sure wish the bed was the 6'not the shorty. I occasionally drive a Ford F350 4 door crew cab with 8' box - 4x4 nonetheless! Real man's truck ;) Stiff as hell and a nightmare to park. But a 6'bed on the Nissan (with a V6) might be a good setup - I'd be eager to test it.
  • davepercdaveperc Member Posts: 76
    According to Car & Driver, several manufacturers, including Nissan, sell these "south of the border". I have never seen one before and have never heard of any other manufacturers trying these in our market. C&D did not give specifics, but did say that it could carry the primary cargo that our trucks carry - air. I am not sure about this one. I would not opt for such a small bed, but some folks may just need it for smaller things or just like having something different. Not everyone needs to have the ability to take 4'x8' sheets of building materials.
  • hcombs0hcombs0 Member Posts: 22
    Well, I guess Nissan will have the "different" thing some of us have talked about-the crew-cab/short bed. Why not bring such a truck here?
    I mean, you can haul people and perishable items inside the cab, while still having a bed to haul things like dirt, boxes, etc. Doesn't the Hummer come in a configuration like this?
    I just hope it looks halfway decent.
  • BrutusBrutus Member Posts: 1,113
    If Nissan will be introducing a crew cab compact pickup, they will be the first in the US (to the best of my knowledge). It sounds like this is exactly the kind of bold move that people in this topic area have been saying that Nissan has been lacking lately. I've heard that some manufacturers have been selling this type of truck in other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, but they didn't feel there was a market in the US. My guess is that the US market is truck hungry, so anything might sell. I've heard that Ford is working on a mini-truck that will be on one of their car chassis. Wonders never cease.

    I believe the hummer pickup is a large version of the four door truck with a mini-bed. They might also have the equivalent of a regular cab pickup that has a normal size bed and only front seats, but I'm not sure. The Hummer also comes in a wagon that has no bed at all. They have several different versions of the Hummer. With few exceptions, the usefulness of the Hummer generally relegates it to a status symbol in the US, outside of the military. It's a rough ride on the highway. It's tough to park. It's too wide to take on alot of 4wd trails back to your fishing hole. It would probably be great if you lived in the desert and had enough areas to legally drive it off-road.
  • davepercdaveperc Member Posts: 76
    That ford mini truck you mention is also in the same C&D article. It is called the Currier. More stylish version of one sold in South America based on a fiesta platform. Light duty they said, but don't look for it here soon. My guess is that being based on the fiesta platform (circa what mid '70s?) this may be a very dated platform and would thus have worse driving characteristics than what is available now.

    Nissan probably is smart to bring this to the US. If they already build it for Mexico and meets the US regulations (probably is close since it is a new design with siblings here) it would at least have a nitch that noone else would be in for a while. Why not?
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Virtually all the major truck brands make small crew cabs. Their sold just about everywhere except North America. It's been that way for years. Hopefully that will shortly change.

  • cncmancncman Member Posts: 487
    hey everyone, just wanted you to know I have 2100
    miles on my frontier XE x-cab 5spd. No trouble,
    loving it, I don't know if it is important now, but it was brought up before that some people preferred an oil gauge to an idiot light, I wondered why this would be and asked my service advisor. He said that the older trucks had the oil pump on the outside of the engine and it could fail and the engine could be running with no oil,
    that's why folks wanted to monitor the pressure themselves. Now the pump is driven by the crankshaft and as long as the engine is running, so is the pump. The pump does not have to work as hard as before and is less likely to fail, so idiot lights are OK. The V-6 should be here in a few weeks, but it will only be x-cab automatic
    4x4's I will try to find a price estimate for those interested.
This discussion has been closed.