in 2012 Compact Pickup Trucks

Avg. Price Paid: $15,240 - $24,195
Original MSRP: $19,260 - $32,990
MPG: 14 City / 19 Hwy
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2012 Nissan Frontier Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The Nissan Frontier has an uncomfortable back seat and every trim level is short on features. Those complaints are common to the class, though.

  • "As with virtually all pickups, the 2012 Nissan Frontier's interior is a compromise between utility and comfort.” -- Edmunds
  • "Hard plastic abounds on the dashboard, console, and door panels; all cabin materials are predictably workman-like. The controls do not operate with smooth precision.” -- Consumer Guide


Frontiers with King Cabs can seat four people with two jump seats in the back. However, those two rear seats get terrible reviews. The front seats, however get very positive reviews, so if you opt for the Frontier, at least two of the truck's occupants will be comfortable.

Few reviewers tested the five-seat Crew Cab, and the few who did describe the rear bench seat as adequately comfortable. Then again, the rear seats in most compact pickups get poor reviews. If you need more passenger space, consider opting for a full-size truck or a sport utility truck, like the Honda Ridgeline. It costs a good deal more than the Frontier, but offers much more useable passenger space, which is something you won't find in the compact pickup class.  

  • "All models have supportive, comfortable front bucket seats." -- PickupTrucks.com
  • "King Cab's rear seats are best used for small cargo; only preteens will fit. Crew Cabs have more space, but legroom is still kid-size with the front seats even partially back. Headroom is tight for 6-footers--especially beneath the sunroof housing.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "Open the Crew Cab's front-hinged rear doors and you'll find a backseat that's wide enough for three adults, though it's not all that comfortable due to its upright backrests and low seat bottoms.” -- Edmunds

Interior Features

Most reviewers characterize the Frontier's interior as functional, but several complain about cheap materials and controls that aren't as precise as they could be. That’s a very common complaint for a compact pickup truck, though. If a nice interior is a priority for you, consider the Toyota Tacoma, which offers nicer materials and more standard features.

Standard features on the base Frontier are sparse, and include two 12-volt outlets and four speakers, though you’ll have to pay extra to get a stereo to play through the speakers. Air conditioning isn’t standard, nor are power locks or windows. Upgrading to the SV trim adds common standard features including remote keyless entry, front map lights, power windows and door locks and an AM/FM/CD player. The PRO-4X trim adds steering wheel-mounted audio controls, satellite radio, Bluetooth and a trip computer. The Crew Cab-only top SL trim adds leather seats with front seats that are heated and power-adjustable and a rear fold-down center armrest.

  • "Simple, handy layout. All controls are within easy reach.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "If you've spent any time in a Nissan truck lately, you'll recognize the Frontier's no-nonsense cockpit with large sweep-needle gauges and easy-to-reach switchgear.  ...  You can't get a Nav system yet, but hey, you never get lost anyway, right?" -- Four Wheeler


Most automakers don’t publish the interior dimensions for their trucks’ cabs, and Nissan is no different. The Frontier is not available as a regular cab, which means that at the very least, you’ll have the back seat to store some cargo, though that area’s not huge. The rear seat bottoms fold up flat against the back of the cabin, which helps to further expand the back-seat cargo space. The front passenger seat also folds up flat, adding to the cab’s versatility. Test drivers appreciate the multiple compartments and cubbies provided for small items storage.

  • “Folding the rear seats in both body styles creates a good amount of space for items you'd rather not leave unsecured in the truck bed. Speaking of which, we'd strongly recommend crew cab buyers spring for the optional 6-foot cargo bed if they plan on transporting anything bigger than assorted beach or tailgating paraphernalia. The movable Utili-Trak tie-downs also make securing items of all sizes a good bit easier.” -- Edmunds
  • "Both cab types provide useful space behind the front seats. Some thoughtful small-items storage up front, though the console's shallow tray needs a rubber mat to keep objects from sliding around.” -- Consumer Guide

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