An Outdated Cabin

Full-size truck interior quality has made huge strides in recent years, but compact and midsize trucks — which mostly sell in smaller volumes than do full-size ones — haven't received the same level of attention. That's the case with the Frontier, which has fairly basic cabin plastics and finishes that don't compare well to the newer interiors of the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500, to name two. And those two don't cost much more than a V-6 Frontier.

On the plus side, the Frontier's cabin is functional and relatively comfortable. The stereo controls are mounted high in the middle of the dash, and I've always liked how Nissan's basic stereo lets you store stations from more than one band on a given set of presets, letting you keep your AM and FM favorites within easy reach. The climate controls are below the stereo, and though they look a bit rudimentary, with only a few knobs and buttons the simple layout equals intuitive operation.

The Frontier comes with standard cloth bucket seats in front that have comfortable cushioning. Two features absent in the SE trim I tested that I would have liked to have seen were a height-adjustable driver's seat and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. (For the record, higher trims do get a height-adjustable driver's seat.)

The backseat in the Frontier King Cab (extended cab) is entirely inadequate for adult passengers, though it could likely accommodate children. As opposed to the conventional bench seat in the back of extended-cab full-size trucks, the Frontier King Cab has two tiny individual seats that flip down from the wall of the cab, like a stadium seat. They wouldn't be very comfortable on a long drive, so if you plan on regularly ferrying passengers in the back of the Frontier, you should consider the four-door crew-cab model. The rear of the King Cab is better suited for securely stowing cargo.

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