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Which Years Of Used Nissan Frontiers Are Most Reliable?

in Reliability
NIssan steering wheel

Source: Pixabay

As full-sized pickups get bigger, interest increases in midsized trucks like the Nissan Frontier. And for many pickup shoppers, buying used is the smartest way to spend their money. It’s an approach that requires knowing the most reliable years of the Nissan Frontier if you’re passing on other trucks in the category: Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Colorado, and GMC Canyon. 

Although the Nissan Frontier has been around since 1998, we’ll cover newer models that reflect the D40 update. This began with the 2005 model year. It’s a look that essentially remained unchanged until the launch of the second-generation Nissan Frontier for 2022.


It has even been J.D. Power’s most reliable midsize pickup three years in a row. If you take our advice on which Nissan Frontier years to avoid, you should easily be able to find a strong, dependable midsize pickup. 

Most Reliable Years of the Nissan Frontier

Despite a refreshed Nissan Frontier debuting for the 2005 model year, it took several years for the truck to gain a reputation for reliability. These earlier years (2005-2008) were problematic, to say the least, and are described later. 

In our view, the Nissan Frontier’s reliability starts with the 2009 edition. These findings are based primarily on looking at engine and transmission problems for each model year, which are usually the most expensive components to repair in a vehicle. In other words, fewer problems in these areas make for a more reliable truck. 

Here’s a summary of the most reliable years of the Nissan Frontier. 

  • 2009
  • 2010 
  • 2011 
  • 2013 
  • 2014 
  • 2015 

You’ll want to continue reading these year-by-year breakdowns and learn why the Frontier’s reliability stopped after the 2015 model year. This is vital, especially since the second-generation Nissan Frontier debuted for the 2022 model year. 


The CoPilot car shopping app is the smartest way to buy a car. Get a curated list of the best cars for sale in your area, as well as notifications if a similar vehicle is listed nearby at a lower price. CoPilot is the smartest way to shop for used cars. 

Most Reliable Years of the Nissan Frontier: The Breakdown

The specifics define the most reliable years of the Nissan Frontier. This information comes from, Consumer Reports, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), and

2009 Nissan Frontier

Although the D40-version of the Frontier launched in the U.S. for the 2005 model year, it took quite some time for the problems to settle down. In particular, hundreds of owner complaints were filed about the Frontier’s transmission for 2005-2008. Consumer Reports ranks the 2007 Frontier as a 1 (out of 5) for reliability, the organization’s lowest rating.

Things didn’t turn a corner until 2009, which is why we’re starting our recommendations here. Buyers can take comfort in knowing there’s a combined total of four complaints about the gearbox between and NHTSA. That’s remarkably low. What’s equally reassuring is that there is no pattern of problems with other systems. 

For those looking for an affordable pre-owned Nissan Frontier, the 2009 model year is where to begin.

2010 Nissan Frontier

Regarding reliability, the 2010 Frontier essentially repeats the previous model year. Reports of problems with major systems are modest, and there’s no evidence of components or systems with repeated issues. A total of ten complaints about the engine were filed with NHTSA. However, this number is insignificant considering a 40% increase in Frontier sales for 2010

Meanwhile, Consumer Reports gives the 2010 Frontier a 4 (out of 5) for reliability, an impressive score. At the same time, RepairPal reports the most commonly reported problem is a faulty fuel level sensor, a nuisance at worst. 

2011 Nissan Frontier

The Frontier continues its dependability streak for 2011 thanks to another reliability score of 4 from Consumer Reports. cites a few Frontier owners reporting premature clutch wear, but this is only an issue for these trucks with manual transmissions. Otherwise, the troubles look like a repeat of 2010, which is notable considering Nissan sold 20% more Frontiers for 2011.  

2013 Nissan Frontier

After Nissan Frontier dependability took a year-long vacation (engine problems for the 2012 model year), reliability returned for 2013. Except for a dozen reports of airbag issues, complaints about almost all systems are at single-digit levels. And this comes as sales continued to rise. Consumer Reports gives this Frontier another 4 ranking in the reliability department.

About the only thing to worry about is a troublesome wiring harness, which was addressed through a recall. Visit the NHTSA recall checker to see if a car you’re considering is subject to a recall. 


Because the car buying experience is so stressful, it’s helpful to go into the dealership with information ahead of time. Therefore, we’ve curated a list of the 10 most reliable American cars so you can approach the process from a place of empowerment.

2014 Nissan Frontier

Here’s what caught our eye about this Nissan for the 2014 model year. It’s the only Frontier to receive a perfect (5 out of 5) reliability score from Consumer Reports. That’s a significant achievement. Digging into, the top three problems have nothing to do with the drivetrain. There are only a few reports (four or fewer each) for air conditioning, suspension, and interior accessories. 

Simply put, the 2014 Nissan Frontier is the best model year to select if reliability is important.

2015 Nissan Frontier

The last best year for the Nissan Frontier was 2015, which is basically a replay of 2014. Owner reports are minimal and mainly deal with body and paint problems or a pesky HVAC system. But you’ll need no more than ten fingers to count these individual issues. Consumer Reports gives the 2015 Frontier a 4 rating for reliability. 

What About the 2016-2021 Nissan Frontier?

Consumer Reports ranks the 2016-2019 Frontiers with a mediocre 3 rating for reliability, which is concerning. At the same time, there’s a modest increase in engine or fuel system issues from about the 2016-2017 edition. Further, data about the 2018-2021 Frontiers is scarce.

So, passing judgment on these later years of the first-generation Nissan Frontier is challenging. As a result, we’ll skip recommendations for the 2016-2019 Nissan Frontier and advise you to approach these trucks cautiously. And with any vehicle under consideration, get a thorough pre-purchase inspection from a professional mechanic. 

Are the 2022-2023 Nissan Frontiers Reliable?

A new generation for most vehicles usually means a year or two of gremlins, which is likely why Consumer Reports bestowed the second-generation Frontier (2022-2023) with a subpar 2 out of 5 for predicted reliability. 

We’ll piggyback on this advice by adding that it’s too early to tell if the latest Nissan Frontiers are reliable. Only time will tell.

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