Nissan Frontier Years to Avoid [2005 to 2008]

Over the course of all model years, Nissan Frontier has received about 986 complaints. Among them, four model years have been rated as the worst based on their crisis numbers.

And the four worst Nissan Frontier Years to avoid are- 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. The radiator, transmission, coolant, and timing chain were their primary areas of complication.

Additionally, the 2012 and 2016 model years have received relatively high complaints but aren’t considered the worst.

However, we’ve discussed a lot about Nissan Frontier model years, expected and worst issues, tips for keeping your frontier good, and more. Keep reading to know.

Key Takeaways:

  • You must strictly avoid Nissan Frontier’s 2005-2008 model years.
  • The majority of drivers of these model years encountered problems with transmission and engine.
  • Other common Frontier issues are – incorrect fuel gauge data, defective timing chains, whining noise from the engine, bad sunroof, body paint chipping off, and so on.
  • Fixing the 2005-2008 model year’s issues is very costly.
  • The Nissan Frontier is a reliable vehicle to purchase. But go for any model you like (do some study on them before you buy) except the below-mentioned four models.

The Model Years to Strictly Avoid and Why?

The model years that you should strictly avoid are:

  • 2005 Nissan Frontier
  • 2006 Nissan Frontier
  • 2007 Nissan Frontier
  • 2008 Nissan Frontier

Issues with 2005 Nissan Frontier

According to, in 2005 Nissan Frontier received 284 complaints in total. The complaints were mainly for transmission, engine, fuel system, body/paint, drivetrain, exhaust system, interior accessories, brakes, electrical, AC/Heater, cooling system, and windows problems.

Maximum people faced problems with the transmission as the radiator caused it to fail, and sometimes it didn’t work properly for a few of them.

Furthermore, the engine problem was also a major factor here. After running a few miles, the fuel system started messing up, and the paint used to come off.

Complaint counts for different categories:

  • Transmission problems: 204
  • Engine problems: 31
  • Fuel system problems: 17
  • Body/ Paint problems: 10
  • Drivetrain problems: 8

The rest numbers were for the other minor issues mentioned above.

Issues with 2006 Nissan Frontier

2006 Nissan Frontier has received the 2nd highest number of complaints. And that is 217.

Though the owners of this model year faced similar issues as 2005, transmission, engine, exhaust system, and cooling system problems were noticeable.

Complaint counts for different categories:

  • Transmission problems: 142
  • Engine problems: 24
  • Exhaust system problems: 10
  • Cooling system problems: 9
  • Fuel system problems: 7
  • Interior accessories problems: 6
  • AC/Heater problems: 5
  • Drivetrain Problems: 4
  • Body/paint problems: 3
  • Steering problems: 2
  • Windows problems: 2
  • Exterior accessories, Brakes, and Wheels/Hubs received one complaint each.

Issues with 2007 Nissan Frontier

2007 Nissan Frontier had 17 fewer complaints than the 2006 model. Just two new ones got added, and these are seat belts/, bags issues, and suspension issues.

Complaint counts for different categories:

  • Transmission: 134
  • Engine: 28
  • Fuel system: 14
  • Cooling system: 5
  • Drivetrain: 4
  • Wheels/hubs: 4
  • Interior accessories: 3
  • Clutch: 2
  • Seat belts/ Airbags: 2
  • Suspension: 2
  • Body/paint: 1
  • Brakes: 1

Issues with 2008 Nissan Frontier

Well, this model had only 58 complaints against it, which is not a big deal. But still, we kept it on the avoid list to save you from regretting buying it.

In this case, people complained about transmission and cooling system problems the most.

Complaint counts for different categories:

  • Transmission issues: 23
  • Cooling system issues: 10
  • Engine issues: 5
  • Interior Accessories issues: 4
  • Electrical issues: 4
  • Airbags/ seat belts issues: 4
  • Brakes issues: 3
  • Exhaust system issues: 2
  • Fuel system issues: 2
  • Drivetrain issues: 1

Summary of the Issues of Worst Model Years:

To sum up, all four model years faced the most issues with the transmission. Either the radiator failed the transmission, or it didn’t just work. And it takes over a thousand dollars to fix transmission issues. So, what can be worse than this?

However, engine problems were seen frequently too.

The majority of people came up with some costly complaints. Thus it is best to avoid these Nissan Frontier Model years.

Also Check: Can a Nissan Frontier be Flat Towed?

Most Common/Worst Issues Found in Nissan Frontier Models

Several issues are visible in Nissan’s frontier models, especially those mentioned above.

The most common problems are:

  1. Transmission failure
  2. Engine problems
  3. Timing chain defects
  4. Fuel system issue
  5. Sunroof explodes
  6. Others

Transmission Failure/Damage

There were 527 complaints regarding transmission issues. The radiator and the cooling system cracked or leaked fluid into the transmission, causing it to fail.

And all these issues happened after riding the vehicle for over 100,000 miles. And the average cost to fix these problems is above $3,000 USD, which is deadly expensive.

Engine Problems and Timing Chain Defects

The total number of complaints about engine problems was 128. After running a few thousand miles, some people’s engines didn’t start or made an unsettling whining noise, or the defective timing chain destroyed the engine.

The average cost for fixing these issues, people had to pay almost 2 thousand USD.

Fuel System Issue

The whole fuel system was found guilty, from its tank to its gauge. And they received a total of 53 complaints.

The gasoline tank of the 2004 model has a poor design. And it corroded quickly.

Records also indicate that the fuel/gas system had leaks. However, most drivers said that the gauge had previously displayed inaccurate data. For instance- even after filling up the fuel tank, the gauge never showed full.

The Sunroof Explodes

The sunroof is such a nice addition to automobiles. And Nissan Frontier started using this a long ago. But its sunroofs are seen to make cracking sounds, and even some explode.

Other Issues

There are further problems in addition to the ones listed above!

Both the frontier’s internal and external structures faced problems. For example, the body screws have been reported to produce sounds, and the paint occasionally appears to peel.

Frontier Model Years List and Their Complaint Count

The complaint numbers shown below are the recorded ones on However, since not all complaints are undoubtedly documented, there could be more.

  • 1998 Nissan Frontier: 3
  • 1999 Nissan Frontier: 2
  • 2000 Nissan Frontier: 4
  • 2001 Nissan Frontier: 17
  • 2002 Nissan Frontier: 8
  • 2003 Nissan Frontier: 8
  • 2004 Nissan Frontier: 17
  • 2005 Nissan Frontier: 284
  • 2006 Nissan Frontier: 217
  • 2007 Nissan Frontier: 200
  • 2008 Nissan Frontier: 58
  • 2009 Nissan Frontier: 12
  • 2010 Nissan Frontier: 17
  • 2011 Nissan Frontier: 30
  • 2012 Nissan Frontier: 47
  • 2013 Nissan Frontier: 18
  • 2014 Nissan Frontier: 17
  • 2015 Nissan Frontier: 17
  • 2016 Nissan Frontier: 32
  • 2017 Nissan Frontier: 7
  • 2018 Nissan Frontier: 8
  • 2019 Nissan Frontier: 3
  • 2021 Nissan Frontier: 3

The complaint numbers of model years 2020, 2022 & 2023 aren’t mentioned on the website.

However, according to CarProblemZoo, the data of problems for these four years are as follows:

  • 2020 Nissan Frontier: 16
  • 2021 Nissan Frontier: 16
  • 2022 Nissan Frontier: 105
  • 2023 Nissan Frontier: 23

Frontier Model Years You Can Go/Buy

It’s my opinion that the reliability of the Nissan Frontier begins with the 2009 model. Engine and transmission problems are usually the most expensive components to repair in a vehicle, so these findings are primarily based on these components.

  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020


What was the most common issue on the 2012 Nissan Frontier model?

The biggest issue on the 2012 model was with the body and paint. The paint either chipped off, or the other body parts had rusted excessively.

Additionally, its engine was also defective.

What was the biggest issue with the 2016 Nissan Frontier model?

The 2016 model had an issue with its engine (6 complaints).

What are the best Nissan Frontier years to buy?

Except for the 2005-2008 model years, others are safe to buy and can be considered the best ones.

What can I do to keep my Nissan Frontier Good for a long time?

Every automobile needs care to stay healthy and fit. And if you want to keep your monster good, then maintain it! The best practice is to give your frontier a daily bath and take it to the repair shop for a weekly or monthly checkup.


So, now you know which Nissan Frontier years to avoid. 2005-2008 model years were the worst of all. And they made the drivers spend or waste a lot of money.

We’re delighted to inform you about these bad years and assist you in making financial decisions. Choose the Nissan Frontier with the fewest complaints if you want to purchase one. Alternatively, choose the newest models. But remember to maintain whichever model you are buying.

References & Resources:


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