V-6 Gas Mileage, Performance

One of the disappointing elements of the V-6 Frontier — and one that many people in the market for a smaller truck will likely be concerned about — is its gas mileage. With an automatic transmission and four-wheel drive, it gets an EPA-estimated 14/19 mpg city/highway, which is similar to what the full-size Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks achieve with V-8 power. If you're looking for better gas mileage, rear-wheel-drive Frontiers come with a standard four-cylinder engine that gets up to 19/23 mpg with a five-speed manual.

Aside from its gas mileage, I like the V-6 drivetrain. The 4.0-liter V-6 makes 261 horsepower (the most of any midsize six-cylinder pickup) and offers strong acceleration when merging on the highway or pulling away from a stoplight.

The V-6 Frontier I tested had the optional five-speed automatic (a six-speed manual is standard), and the transmission is a smooth-shifting unit. However, it likes to run in a high gear, even when cruising at midrange speeds, to keep engine rpm low and save fuel. This didn't prove detrimental to performance because the V-6 is so powerful.

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