Used Cars Used Nissan Frontier

Published on June 26th, 2022 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Used Nissan Frontier Might Sound Cheap But Its Expensive

We look at why the early Nissan Frontier is so very cheap right now.

In the last couple of years, we have seen a rise in most used vehicle values as Covid-19 hit parts production of new cars which led to a shortage of new cars coming into the market and an increase in demand for used vehicles. Well, most used cars have risen in value, including pickup trucks.

Malaysians also looked at used pickup trucks as many went into small home based businesses and also took on delivery services where a pickup truck became a good workhorse with low running cost diesel engines and plenty of space in the rear.

However, not all pickup trucks saw a rise in value and we did not really notice one model that was being ignored by many and having a stagnate asking price.

Interestingly, it is a pickup truck that has a manual gearbox (which means lower maintenance costs) and has a rather frugal diesel engine. This is the Nissan Frontier. Riding below our ‘radar’ for used pickup trucks over the past two years when we were asked to recommend a model to readers and friends, we only just realized its issues from a friendly owner who just bought a unit.

Sometime in 2002, Tan Chong Motor introduced the Nissan Frontier (also known as the D22 Frontier) to Malaysia to rival the then popular Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max and Mitsubishi Triton.  Yes, there was also the Mazda BT-50, Tata Xenon and a couple of rebadged China made pickups in the market, but their market share was very small.

The Frontier came with a lot of promise as it had a common-rail 2.5L diesel engine and you could also buy a manual version. Sales were good and they were in a strong market position.

As the years progressed the Frontier name was dropped for the replacement model and the Nissan Navara was born in late 2004 until today. So, why is the early D22 Frontier not doing so well in the used car market? Well, there are some niggling issues with this model like the body mounts that do not last, soft suspension, cabin panel rattles and so on which is down to factory parts.

However, the biggest issue with the D22 is its Bosch supplied diesel pump which does not last and is very expensive to replace and repair. Some workshops quote a price of between RM12,000 to RM13,000 to replace with workmanship. Then the authorized Nissan dealer quotes RM15k with a warranty provided.

Some junkyards can assist with a used diesel pump for between RM3k to RM4k but with no warranty. This Bosch diesel pump was quickly improved for the next generation Nissan pickup truck which is the Navara.

So, buying a used Frontier might be a little ‘sticky’ now that you know what might go wrong a day after ownership, or 3 years later. That diesel pump is expensive, almost the used purchase price of the truck.

If you scan the car classifieds you will see quite a number for sale and prices range from RM12k to RM29k (before haggling) which sounds great when compared to what its rivals are asking. There are reasons you should know about as we mentioned above and even a trained mechanic can’t predict the diesel pump failure date. So, if you love this truck, then check if the seller has changed the pump recently, which means you have better ownership experience. 

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