Looking back on the holiday season, I’d like to mention how helpful it is to have a truck. Last year, the Nissan Frontier reached a benchmark of over one million produced since the first Nissan Frontier (seventh generation) built at the Smyrna plant in Tennessee rolled off the line in 1997 as a 1998 model. Just in time for Christmas tree shopping, I received the 2012 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X for a Decisive Latino test drive.
As the name implies, the Frontier Pro-4X is intended to combine power with off-road tenacity. In Texas, that’s tough to test in daily commutes but in my case, I did manage to switch the truck into four-wheel-drive high, on the fly, to help improve traction on a slick rainy Highway 21 on my way to Bryan, Texas. The effort was seamless not to mention a comfort to this lonely traveler.
A 4.0-liter DOHC V6 with 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque powers the Frontier. It’s specifically tuned for hard work while offering decent fuel efficiency. The EPA estimated fuel economy is 14 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. The average fuel consumption calculator revealed 15.2 mpg during the weeklong test drive.
The Frontier is offered with a choice of transmissions. I drove the five-speed automatic but you can get a six-speed manual or five-speed manual as well.
As a top-of-the-line model, the Pro-4X King Cab comes equipped with several features that normally rank as options. If you want a factory-applied spray-on bedliner, it’s on there. Or perhaps you’d like the Utili-track channel system and four adjustable tie-down cleats? You got ‘em.
Standard performance features include, skid plates on the oil pan and transfer case, an electronic rear differential locker four-wheel limited-slip (ABLS), and unique machine-finished 16-inch aluminum-alloy BFGoodrich off-road wheels.
Added comfort and convenience features include cruise control, remote keyless entry, power windows and door locks, and dual power outside mirrors. The few available options include leather seats and the automatic transmission.
All this stuff made for quite a comfy ride, in the rain and at night, for 150 miles to Bryan. Good looking and hard working, the 2012 Frontier 4x4 Pro-4X goes where few trucks dare to tread and it comes in handy too.
Pricing starts at $30,060. The as-tested price came to $31,275.