By Auto reviewman
For 2018, Nissan has come out with a new enhanced Midnight Edition of its venerable Frontier pickup. The Frontier has been a solid performer for Nissan for the last few years and now comes with some new cosmetics and interior features. The Midnight Edition adds: a gloss-black grille, -inch gloss black aluminum alloy wheels, semi-gloss black step rails, body-colour front and rear bumpers, black outside mirrors and door handles, and black ”Midnight” badges. Interior changes offers a new for 2018 five-inch display screen, the addition of standard rear-view monitor as standard equipment along with air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth hands-free phone system and Siri Eyes Free. The 2018 Midnight Edition starts at $35,398. Note a base 2018 Frontier starts an impressive $23,998, plus freight and fees.
The basics of the Frontier remain, a tough fully boxed ladder frame, double-wishbone front suspension and rear solid axle rear suspension. Engines include a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine in the base 4×2 King Cab model, or a venerable 4.0L DOHC V6 offering a respectable 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. The V6 is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, The Frontier offers a 6,210-pound towing capacity, and can haul up to 652 kg (1,440 lbs), in the V6 powered version.
The rear pickup bed arrives with a factory-applied spray-on bedliner as well as Nissan’s Utili-track cargo system with special rails mounted in the bed floor and removable utility cleats for securing cargo. The Frontier interior is neat, functional and ergonomically fine. It is not as plush as the Nissan Titan or newer pickup trucks on the market, but it is well built, with nicely placed gauges, instrumentation, comfortable seats and plenty of storage. There are a number of cup holders and power points. A rotary dial selects 2WD, 4H and 4LO.
On the road, the Frontier offers decent enough handling with its rack and pinion steering and some off road ability with it2 Wheel and four wheel drive modes. There is also a four-wheel limited-slip, which helps transfer power to the drive wheels with more grip on slipperier surfaces. Traction control and vehicle dynamic control are also included. The supple suspension and long wheel base mean it’s not a jumpy uncomfortable truck to drive. Fuel economy is rated at L/100km – 15.8 city, 11.5 highway and 12.9 combined. To sum up, the Midnight Edition adds a little something to this tough, versatile truck until its replacement come along. Highly recommended. 2018 Nissan Frontier Midnight Edition priced from: $35,398. Plus $1,795 Freight and PDE. (Website – Nissan.ca)