If you want to go off-road, the 2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X is a vehicle that will get you away from civilization. It’s for serious recreation enthusiasts who need a factory-ready rock climber. You won’t need to add any other upgrades to this midsize pickup to get it ready for recreational fun.
This week we tested the 2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X Crew Cab 4WD V6 model.
What’s New For 2016?
There are very few changes for the 2016 model year. The current generation Frontier was last updated in 2009. There are new colors and a sunroof has been added to the SV model’s standard equipment list. The PRO-4X remains unchanged for 2016. A redesign should be coming next year.
Features & Options
2016 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X Crew Cab 4WD V6 ($32,690) is the off-road version and comes standard with off-road tires, specially tuned shocks, a locking rear differential, and skid plates. It also features automatic headlights, a 5.8-inch NissanConnect touchscreen with navigation, satellite radio, and voice controls. Other comforts include the eight-way driver seat, heated front seats, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. PRO-4X crew cabs also get a 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system.
The PRO-4X Luxury package ($2,100)(automatic-equipped crew cabs) adds a sunroof, roof rack with crossbars, heated mirrors, leather upholstery with PRO-4X logo, and power-adjustable front seats (eight-way driver, four-way passenger).
Total MSRP: $35,810, including destination.
Inside, the cabin is comfortable and practical. The leather heated seats are ideal for cold weather climates and we needed them on one cold Colorado morning this week. The Crew Cab has a fair amount of room for a midsize pickup but the back seat can be tight for adults, especially if you’re traveling more than a couple hours. Our taller passengers did comment that there was a lack of legroom in the back. But for two people carrying cargo and heading to the back country, this is where the PRO-4X Crew Cab shines.
For those who need to transport lots of cargo inside, the Frontier gets high marks. For items you don’t want in the bed, the rear seats in the Crew Cab fold to create a secure storage area. The truck provides a large cargo area that can be conveniently accessed through the rear doors. Frontier comes with a 6 foot bed option on Crew Cab models for extra cargo, equipment storage, and additional room for work or play.
The available movable tie-downs offer added flexibility when it comes time to secure any load. The Frontier also comes with a factory sprayed-on bed liner that keeps the bed from getting dinged and scratched.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The PRO-4X is powered by a capable 4.0-liter V6 engine, making 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission.
The PRO-4X 4X4 gets an EPA estimated 15/21 city/highway and 17 combined mpg.
The full-on, offroad PRO-4X’s V6 is so powerful, we thought it was a V8 on our first drive up I-70 heading into the mountains. The mid-size pickup, when unloaded, felt downright fast. We never had it fully loaded with cargo, but it should be a capable hauler when pulling a trailer with something like a snowmobile.
Even though Frontier is a midsize pickup, the Crew Cab is long and we appreciated the backup camera and rear sonar system that let us know we were too close to a pole. Our passengers liked the sliding rear window to let air in as we traveled to lunch this week too.
On the road, the midsize truck maneuvers better than a full size, and the Frontier’s suspension keeps the body under control at high speeds. Like any 4X4, the suspension is a bit rough over the dirt or pavement. Overall, the Frontier rides smooth and the cabin is quiet, even with the bigger All-Terrain tires.
The 2016 Nissan Frontier is definitely due for a remodel both inside and out. The competition is moving with new designs and Nissan has fallen behind Toyota and General Motors. The Frontier is still capable with its V6 that offers plenty of power. It will haul all the cargo you can pack in, plus it will get you away from civilization. Overall, the 2016 Nissan Frontier is a good choice for recreation enthusiasts.
*Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy
Video courtesy of Kingston Nissan, 140 NY-28, Kingston, NY 12401