Nissan Frontier Real World MPG Numbers

jewillmjewillm Member Posts: 9
I am thinking of selling my 04 Dodge Ram in favor of a 2008 Frontier CrewCab 4X4. But looking at the mileage figures, I am wondering if it is economically wise as the Ram is averaging 18.3 MPG, driving back and forth to work. I really like the Frontier, and the 08 Dodge Dakota, probably in that order.
So, in the real world, what are these trucks in this confuguration getting mileage wise?


  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Bottome line, don't buy a 2008 Frontier for better mpg than 18.3 mpg of your Dodge.

    My mpg is averaging 16. 2006 Nismo CC which is only available with automatic.
    That mpg is mixed city/higway and is over (>20 miles each way) 50 miles per day so the engine has plenty of time to reach operating temperature and there is 15 miles of highway on my route and 10 miles of mixed suburban and some stop and go.

    If you get the manual with the V6 you can expect higher mpg by 1 or 2 mpg. SE is the only CC 4WD offered with manual.

    My highest mpg is 22 with a heavy lawn tractor in the bed, during the summer, and driving 55 mph. (I have not been able to duplicate 22 mpg again!)
    50 miles or 500 mile trip, tonneau or no tonneau, 60 mph highway typically returns 19 to 20 mpg and I obtain between 16 and 17 mpg in mixed city driving in the summer.
    My Frontier hates cold weather in regards to mpg.

    MPG determined by miles traveled and gallons of gas pumped into the tank. I have record of every fill up, mileage on the odo at fill up and the trip computer reading at fill up, so no bull in my results.
  • jewillmjewillm Member Posts: 9
    Why that handle?
    Thanks for your honest reply. My driving appears to be similar to yours, only mine is up and down a mountain, from about 5000 ft. to 7500 ft.
    What you report here causes me to think I'll stick with the Ram, or maybe the Dakota. Looking at Mitsubishi Raider too.
    Thanks again.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    I chose moparbad as it reflects both my passion for late 60's Mopar performance cars as they are the "baddest" in the and it also reflects my intense dislike for what Mopar became in the '80's and 90's. K car anyone;)
    Shelby GLH is no substitute for a Superbee.

    The Frontier is enjoyable to drive both on and off road, reliable, has a sunroof and rockford fosgate stereo for enjoying sun and sound, has a great cargo management system and sprayed in bed liner from the factory, comfortably fits 4 adults when needed, has a world class 4.0L V6 VQ series engine, and it fit's in my garage.

    I did not buy it for it's mpg (though I expected better results), and there are many people who drive 1/2 ton full size trucks that report as good or higher mpg than I obtain. And I almost always obtain higher mpg than EPA ratings on the vehicles I've owned.

    I'm not fond of the interior of the Dakota at all. Reliability is less of a factor than it's ever been and I say "buy what you like" when it comes to choosing a truck.
    Frontier works very well for me.

    I'd like to see the diesel that is offered in the Navarra which is what Nissan labels the Frontier in the rest of the world and I'd like to see a long bed option on the NISMO, those are about the only two things I'd like improved.

    If you are seeking better mpg, the 1/2 ton Ram with Cummins diesel that will be offered next year in the late 09 or 10 models would be ideal.

    6 speed manual is the factor that will yield the best mileage on a CC 4WD Frontier.
  • jewillmjewillm Member Posts: 9
    Thank you for the info. I agree with what you say about mopar in the 80's and 90's. I was the Service Director at a Dodge dealership in the early 80's. Not fun! It got me out of the car business. Before that I was a District Service Manager with Nissan USA for 10 years. I'm partial to both. No I'm in the IT business.
    Mopar muscle! I had a 56 Dodge with a 315 hemi in it. My brother then got a 57 w/ a 325 (D-500) in it. Both very fast, but the 56 was no match for the 57. Wish I still had that car.
    Anyway, I haven't really made up my mind about the truck yet. Toyota has the best resale, but also the most expensive to repair. I have a 94 4Runner that is a POC. 14MPG at best, and grossly underpowered.
    Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.
  • bruntebrunte Member Posts: 4
    My -07 Frontier has only 7000 miles. It's a Crew cab, LE, 4x4 with a snug lid over the bed. I drive at legal speeds (well, a few miles above, expecting the spedometer to be a bit "happy") but I don't floor the pedal to get up in speed.
    Here's my findings so far; Cross country, 20 mpg in headwinds, 21 in no wind 22-23 in tail wind. When towing (in variable wind) a 5000 lbs trailer i got 17 mpg (but driving only 60 mph due to risk of swaying) - Around town; - 19 mpg (no lead foot) - I believe my MPG will improve slightly at 20-30000 miles
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    What method are you using to measure your mpg?
    In what type of temperatures?
  • magbarnmagbarn Member Posts: 35
    I've got a 07 Nismo Crew 4x4 ad I only get about 16mpg going about 80mph on the interstate. I get maybe about 18mpg if I go only 60-65mph. My new tires, BFG AT, took away another 2mpg as I added 40+lbs rolling resistance to my truck. (Don't believe the hype on these tires, there's better alternatives) Anyways, keep your full-size as the mpg difference really isn't there. If I could do it all over I'd get a 5.3 Silverado and get the same mpg, but much bigger truck. BTW Nismo's have lower gearing so that's another factor. SE & LE's have a taller rear diff ratio so better mpg.
  • jewillmjewillm Member Posts: 9
    Thank you magbarn. Good info. I bought a new Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4X4 with the 5.7 litre Hemi. I have had it a few weeks now. First road trip, 273 miles on 13.2 gallons of gas. I think that comes to 20.7 MPG. Around here in the mountains east of Albuquerque, back and forth to work it's getting over 17. I am very happy with that.
  • stringbenderstringbender Member Posts: 29
    I have the LWB 07 SE crew, auto 2 WD. I am still very happy with the truck except a little rattle every once in a while, I know where it is so I just hit the plastic on the dash and it shuts up for a while. My combination city and hwy mpg most of the time run 19mpg and the hwy 21 to 22 so I am happy. It seems like the 4WD trucks get less mpg probably because of the added weight plus the added height creates more wind drag. The truck still rides smooth and the ac and heat and the radio are working great. I get lots of compliments on the truck and most of them center around the track anchoring system in the back, I use it all the time and can hold any kind of cargo in it's place. Sometimes I still get new truck fever again and admire the bigger trucks, but then I go to the forums and find that almost everyone of them seems to have more problems, so my new truck fever goes away and I am content again. :)
  • blue3fishblue3fish Member Posts: 4
    I just purchased an 08 SE V6 and the owners manual says to put 91 octane or higher for fuel. It also says that if 91 is not available that you can put in 87 or higher. If I use 89 instead of 91 will I see a noticeable difference?
  • asaasa Member Posts: 359
    Octane questions often bring responses from all corners. The owner's manual used to read that 87 Octane is fine and that 91 Octane could be used for higher performance, but it seems they edited the wording for some reason. I burn only 87 in my '06 SE CC and it works fine. Others may differ, but paying 10% more for 91 Octane is unlikely to yield a 10% spike in fuel economy. I guess you can try a few tanks and see what happens.
  • sapper4x4sapper4x4 Member Posts: 5
    I own a 2008 Nissan Frontier and get an average mileage of 19 mpg based on what the computer is telling me. I also checked manually and it is pretty accurate. I also did some comparisons on gas prices against BJ's wholesale gas. The cost for gas where I am is 3.16 (reg), 3.37 (mid), and 3.47 (prem) as of 4/3/08. BJ's premium is 3.39. Since the owner's manual suggests using 91 octane, I compared the 3.47 prem vs. 3.39 BJ's prem. I figure it costs me about .42 cents more per 100 miles to use BJ's premium. If I compare the cost of regular gas against the BJ's premium, it comes out to about 1.21 more per 100 miles or 12.10 per 1,000 miles. I think it is worth the extra cost especially since the truck's mileage drops to 17 mpg if I use regular (89) gas. This is not scientific by any means. I am just trying to share my experience.
  • rocketman67rocketman67 Member Posts: 82
    Good info ya posted sapper 4x4.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    2wd or 4wd? Crew Cab or King Cab? Manual or Automatic? NISMO, LE, SE?
  • dcrhaektedcrhaekte Member Posts: 1
    I bought my 2005 Frontier in March 2005. Mine is a XE 2wd King Cab with the 4 cylinder 5 speed. I repeatedly get on average 24 miles per gallon and this includes driving to work on the interstate for 14 miles, one way, and into downtown to the office. If I fill up the tank and take a trip, all interstate driving, I repeatedly get 30 to 33 miles per gallon. My truck currently has 37,200 miles and a ARE camper shell that fits the lines of the truck. I usually drive 75 to 80 miles per hour while on the interstate. I have no need for flash and dash so my truck is perfect and I am extremely pleased with my mileage. I occasionally haul a 4-wheeler or zero turn mower on a trailer and it has adequate power for that. I suggest that if anyone wants a truck but is worried about gas mileage to get the XE with the 4 cylinder and 5 speed transmission. They now have a SE with the 4 cylinder and I do not know the specs on it.
  • kilo411kilo411 Member Posts: 2
  • asaasa Member Posts: 359
    I routinely get in excess of 24 MPG on low rolling hills at 65 mph with my 2006 4x2 SE Crew Cab 6-Speed with the 4.0L. If I drive at 72, MPG drops to about 23. I love the balance my model offers in that I can drive it economically if I wish or I can put the hammer down and enjoy sportier driving with only a small loss in economy.

    Amongest the 4.0L models, you'll find that the Nismo 4x4 auto is on the bottom end of the economy scale because its rear end ratio is engineered for lower-traction off-roading. The 4x2 6-Speed SE and 4x2 LE Auto offer the best mileage and are close in economy.
  • slanteyeslanteye Member Posts: 3
    I am a new owner for less than a week of a new 08 frontier crew SE 2WD LWB vehicle.
    Can you give me some advice or more information on the subject of 87 vs 91 octane as recommended by the owner manual. Based on your experience, what would you recommend? I live in St. Petersburg, FL. Any info and advice will be deeply appreciated. Thank you.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    87 octane is fine.
  • asaasa Member Posts: 359
    I second moparbad's apprasial -- 87 Octane is fine. I've never used anything but 87 in my 2006.
  • smpathy01sesmpathy01se Member Posts: 9
    I run 87octane. :blush:
    First fill up after purchase on 9/1/08 came to a little over 19mpg mixed city/hwy...50/50. A lot of stop-and-go in the morning traffic. Never go higher than 65mph. Drive like I have hot coffee in my lap most of the time. :shades:
  • bruntebrunte Member Posts: 4
    Now at 17000 miles my MPG around town is only 16-17. On a recent trip of 110 miles over rolling hills (The Ozarks) I got 25.1 MPG, but that required focused driving. The GPS (after market) recorded a max speed of 65 and an average speed of 56 mph on that trip.
    I'm using 89 Octane and the bed is covered with a Snug top.

    my mpg reading is from the on-board computer, but exact calculation (driven distance/used gas) gives very close numbers.

    Overall - very pleased with the truck.
  • slanteyeslanteye Member Posts: 3
    My new truck is almost 700 miles now. I been topping my tank as soon as it is half full. It started at about 15mpg going to and from work(6 miles each way with about 3.5 miles at highway driving); 20 mpg at high way driving with a/c and kept to speed limit. The most recent half tank fillup yielded 16.43mpg, a slight improvement. I like my truck, it rides smooth and quiet and lots of power when needed. By the way, it seems that using gas with ethanol yield lower mpg.
  • rick8365rick8365 Member Posts: 3
    I have an '06 Nismo KC 4WD 6spd with about 33K on it. I stopped checking my mileage manually after double checking Nissan's on board computer for a while in the beginning. I found it to be very close everytime. I have a 10 mile mixed commute and usually stay in the general area the rest of the time - drive with the MPG readout up in front of me all the time as a reminder. I routinely see 18.8 - 19.0 tank after tank. On pure highway with moderate grades, the cruise set at 65 and ideal conditions, I can get 23.5 out of it. Two things of note that have improved my mileage - a semi rigid tonneau cover and Mobil 1 in the crankcase.
  • rick8365rick8365 Member Posts: 3
    I also run the truck on premium and think it's worth it - truck seems to run better and gets slightly better mileage than it does on a lower grade fuel. In the end (for me at least @ 10-12K a year) it's not that much more for the fuel. Go out for a "quick bite" and see what the bill comes to - compare etc.
  • truckwannabetruckwannabe Member Posts: 6
    I'm looking at a 2005 4x4 4 door and hope to get 20mpg or more. Also how would you compare the Honda Ridgeline as a truck? It sounds like the mpg will be about the same but the Honda may have more toys.
  • truckwannabetruckwannabe Member Posts: 6
    I'm looking at a 2005 4x4 4 door and hope to get 20mpg or more. Also how would you compare the Honda Ridgeline as a truck? It sounds like the mpg will be about the same but the Honda may have more toys.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    2WD will obtain 20 mpg on a Frontier V6.
    Ridgeline will obtain similar mpg to Frontier. Features (toys) really depends on trim levels being compared.
  • xtierraxtierra Member Posts: 55
    i found out why i was getting 10.-- mpg..........mechanic plugged in computer and found my engine at 86% , he re-set everything and told me to go from his shop to highway but to keep rmp's from 1,000 to 1,500 while the computer went through its re-learning process according to the driving habits... then on highway to get to 60 mph and keep it there for 15 to 20 minutes............ on sunday i went on a 253 mile trip and my mpg was at 20.++ drove through mountain areas at 70 to 80 mph... everything back to normal.. so if you have disconected your battery for any reason .. chances are like myself i simply began to drive as usual and it caused my air/fuel mixture to be set abmormal causing my horrible MPG..... some nissan owners have said that after service their MPG went might be from the battery being disconected............
  • nibblr64nibblr64 Member Posts: 6
    I have a 2008 nismo 4x4 with 11000 miles on it. When I first bought the truck it got 22 mpg on the highway and 20 around town. I've always burned 87 octane in it but now the mileage has dropped to around 18 even on the highway. Has anybody ever towed with one of these? Holy crap! I towed 2 four wheelers with the back bed full of gear and 4 adults in the cab and the mileage was cut in half! 10.5 mpg was all I could get and the truck only had 5000 miles on it at the time. I traded an 04 silverado 4x4 for this truck and it would get 15 mpg no matter what I was towing with the 5.3 liter. I miss that.
  • slanteyeslanteye Member Posts: 3
    have not done any towing yet; now my 08 v6 crew has about 2600 miles on it, I average 16-17 in mix but mostly city driving with 87 oct. gas with ethanol.
    I love the ride of this truck, it's very quiet and smooth.
  • nibblr64nibblr64 Member Posts: 6
    It's pretty nice when it comes time to pass somebody too!
  • bruntebrunte Member Posts: 4
    I have seen a few questions about towing. Here's my experience;
    (-07, LE 4x4 crew, long bed with snug lid) The truck has plenty of power for the loads I have pulled - 1000 lbs, empty trailer, 4000 lbs car on trailed and 5000 lbs "U-haul" type of moving trailer. MPG between 14.5 to 18. Legal speed mostly, except when towing the car - due to center of gravity I had to go a bit slower than posted speeds. Otherwise my MPG seems to be fairly consistent at 20.5 +/- 1 in small town - (we have 8-9 traffic lights I think) and highway driving. :)
  • jewillmjewillm Member Posts: 9
    Well, I originated this thread, and have been following it for awhile now.
    After reading all the reports, I am glad I didn't trade my Dodge Hemi Ram Q/C 4X4 for the Nissan Frontier. I just completed a 4,700 mile trip with the Ram, and averaged 18.4 MPG, in some of the worst winter driving conditions imaginable. Strong head and cross winds 30-40 MPH most of the way, blizzard conditions in Wisconsin, the UP, lower Michigan, Ohio. Not to mention single digit temps. All in quiet comfort.
    I don't mean to belittle the Frontier in any way. I think it is a fine vehicle. Thanks to all who replied to this thread.
  • notabikernotabiker Member Posts: 1
    Now I have 42xxx miles on the fronty and with a PLX Kiwi I get 24 mpg average highway with no bed cover and not towing anything. Winter time I get about 22 on the highway. 20 when it's been parked outside plugged in with some warm up time only when it's really cold like -30 or more (hey I live in Alaska now and last winter I seen -52F) Also I towed an 8x10 snowmobile trailer with a salt shield on the front and a 4x4 atv, dirt bike, crotch rocket and washer and dryer as well as misc other stuff to Alaska. The bed had three peoples luggage and some tools as well as 3 adults including me in the cab. Only got 10 to 14 mpg at the most in the mountainous area in Canada. Maybe 16 to 17 on the flat middle part of Canada but I didn't have the Kiwi then and was resetting the average MPG meter and seeing what it said after a few minutes. Hope this helps. I like the lil truck and I can't wait till they get small diesels here in the USA.
  • onoffroadonoffroad Member Posts: 17
    09 Frontier crew cab 4x4 ! 22.5 mpg 70%-30 going 65mpg and hiting passing gear ! 21mpg going 70mph & 20mpg going 78 mph on Int. ! Pulling 27' travel trailer avg. 12 ! Look at the H.P. and torque ! Look at spec on full size chey,ford,dodge trucks !Around 11300 lbs. total,truck and trailer towing, My truck , 11100 lbs. but my truck weights about 1000 less pounds ! This frontier came with tran. and oil cooler ! This truck will tow and get up and go !!! Older frontier didn't get mpg i do ! Old man that reads,reviews and forums,thats got the best truck !!!
  • hondonhondon Member Posts: 1
    I know some of you are curious if not anxious, about the coming diesel for the Frontier. I live in Honduras and have owned a 04, 4 cyl turbo diesel, Frontier for about 3.5 years. I drive from La Ceiba on the north coast to Tegucigalpa often. It's a six hour drive, over two mountain ranges, curvey roads with lots of trucks and busses. I do drive it pretty hard. Normally about 75 mph where possible. Four door, 4x4, with a heavy fiberglass shell. I consistantly get 23mpg. It's pretty sluggish as expected out of the hole, but when get the rpms up it does very well. With my experience and the new economy of the gas engines, if I were coming back to the statee, I'll buy the gas model. Fuel here is $4.57 per gal. About .50 less than gas. I hope this has been helpful.

  • ddssjskddssjsk Member Posts: 26
    2011 Crew 2WD 19.5 to 20 mpg interstate at 70-80 mph. Around town 22 mpg.
    Secondary roads below 60 mph. consistant 24-26 mpg.
  • floridasnakefloridasnake Member Posts: 1
    I've had my 2004 Frontier for 5 months now... has 97000 miles on it... runs beautifully. And I consistently get 28-29 mpg with it. I love my truck!! Will never own another V6 or V8 anything.
  • schweizerschweizer Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2012
    I did quite a bit of research before buying my Frontier and my only worry was poor mpg. So far all I can attest to is city driving. My first tank 17mpg, my second 18, my third ran just over 18. My belief is once it's broken in I should be pulling close to 20. With a bed cover I'm sure I can easily pull over 20 and maybe more. Time will tell though.
  • bruntebrunte Member Posts: 4
    This is how I "calculate" MGP: I read the figures from the display. (Occasionally I verify by actual calculation; 1. Fill up and reset trip meter. 2. Drive until tank is close to empty. 3. Fill up again, read the trip meter - divide that reading with the amount of gallons you had to fill your tank with to get it back to full) The actual calculation quite often shows 1 or 2 MPG less than the on-board computer tells you,,,,, go figure.
    By the way - sold the -07 Frontier @ 40,000 miles, missed so I got a -12 back half a year ago. Only 2200 miles on the odometer. Drove some 100 miles yesterday in the hills of the Ozarks, at legal speeds or slightly below - computer reading 23.1 MPG
  • philby3philby3 Member Posts: 1
    I loved my 96 Tacoma 4x4 but the wife and kids said it was not safe anymore and to get rid of it..i tried to buy a new Tacoma but the prices are outrageous....i bought a 2012 frontier for a few thousand less than the Tacoma...i did not research the gas mileage...i love the power of the 260 hp engine...feel real confident it can get me out of trouble on the highway..just routine driving i may touch 16 mpg which is just the suggested average between city and highway..i only have 2800 miles on the truck and i hope i get a little better gas milage in the future !
  • ballinfurballinfur Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2013
    Real world gas mileage not even close to what Nissan advertised. I get 13.4 mpg city & 17 mpg highway @60 mph. This lil truck guzzles more gas than a V8. (WTF NISSAN) My truck has 44K on it. Premium or Regular gas don't make no difference other than the price. Do not buy this truck based on mpg, cause it sux! Get a V8 any full size V8 gets better or the same; besides you'll get more truck for the amount of money you'll spend on GAS! I'm gonna try n sell my or trade it in for a Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra.
  • jewillmjewillm Member Posts: 9
    I started this post a while back because I was thinking of trading my Hemi Ram quad cab 4X4 on the Frontier. I still have the Ram which now has 150,000 miles on it and still going strong. The truck is averaging right at 17.0 MPG, driving back and forth to work. It gets over 20 on the highway at 70 MPH. No problems with it at all and it still has the original battery in it.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    I drive 105 miles a day, round trip. 101 of it is interstate highway (65-75mph). With A/C on, I average about 27.5mpg by calculating it by hand (miles driven / gallons pumped). Not bad!

    The truck has 115,000 miles on it. I wish it had a tachometer; I'd love to know what the RPMs run at 70mph.
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