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Nissan Frontier Real World MPG Numbers

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 Posts: 3,868
    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.
  • moparbad,??
    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 Posts: 3,868
    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.
  • 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 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 Posts: 3,868
    What method are you using to measure your mpg?
    In what type of temperatures?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. :)
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Good info ya posted sapper 4x4.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    2wd or 4wd? Crew Cab or King Cab? Manual or Automatic? NISMO, LE, SE?
  • dcrhaektedcrhaekte 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 Posts: 2
  • asaasa 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.
  • Hi,
    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 Posts: 3,868
    87 octane is fine.
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    I second moparbad's apprasial -- 87 Octane is fine. I've never used anything but 87 in my 2006.
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Posts: 3,868
    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.
  • 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............
  • 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.
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