Rarely do I consider a vehicle worth buying. Sure, I may like it – or
even love it but I rarely find enough emotional attachment to truly
consider the prospect. A truck to even be considered to replace my
beloved old Land Rover has to be every bit the mountain goat my
Discovery is… which the Nissan Frontier 4X4 PRO4X is.
Here’s a truck that would make a ton of sense in the Rockies. I had so much fun with it that I smoked cigars, drank beer and lied to my friends about the big fish I caught. This Nissan is that type of truck. It’s a guy’s machine, a manly chest-pounder and as reliable as a hound-dog (just check J.D. Powers – it’s highly rated).
The 4X4 system is fully adjustable with a locking rear differential and
hill decent control as part of the package. Beefy Bilstein off-road
shock absorbers, perfect (for rock and mud) P265/75R16 BFGoodrich
Rugged Trail tires and real skid plates complete the package. Now, this
is all added to what it considered by yours truly one of the best small
pickup trucks out there.
It looks mean with a diamond-like shape to the front end and
appropriately blistered fenders add to the coolness. My tester had the
tubular roof-rack which proved useful for a nifty light-bar (as I’ve
seen Nissan Frontier owners do in the past) or hauling the occasional
carcass. All told, the overall image of the Nissan Frontier 4X4 PRO4X
is of a rugged party animal.
A smaller King Cab is available with the same options and a (much) smaller back seat.
Out on the street, the driver never feels the approximately 4500 lbs of
truck. That’s due in part to the wonderful 261 horsepower, 281 lbs feet
of torque 4.0 liter V6. On the asphalt, 0 to 60 mph times erode in a
few ticks over 8 seconds. The shifts from the 5-speed automatic are
smooth and well spaced. I never felt like the Nissan Frontier 4X4 PRO4X
was lacking power or suffering with the larger tires.
I never needed to engage the locking rear diff… but that didn’t stop me
from messing with it all the same. It’s right there, north of the gear
lever – a quick click of the button and you’re getting out of most
nasty situations 4X4 folk come across. I kept playing with it just to
feel the rear lock up – it really threw the neighborhood kids when it
squealed around corners at 10 mph.
This truck made me want to be naughty.
Out in the rough, I deliberately dropped it into a deep, wide side
gully with at least 3-feet of snow and mud inside. The truck shifted
left and right, fighting for traction and I popped it into low gear as
I considered truly using the rear diff lock. A moment later, with lots
of accelerator, the Nissan Frontier 4X4 PRO4X charged through the mess
and leaped a foot or two in the air on the other side. This thing’s got
a hell of a lot of pep! I was so pleased with myself (and the Nissan
Frontier 4X4 PRO4X), I did it again!
Then the owner of a nearby farm chased me off, yelling some unprintable words at me.
To be continued…HERE.
Automotive media, racing, vehicle evaluation, wrecking yards, and car
sales are just a part of Nathan Adlen’s vehicular past. He writes out
of high octane passion! To read more reviews by Nathan Adlen or just to
enjoy more of excellent writing please visit him on at his examiner.com