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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at configuration for a new Frontier I'm planning to buy in a few years (time flies)... I'm looking for the least I need to spend for my new vehicle.

Annually: I will be using it on the road for a `1500 mile loop from NC where I live to New England and back 2 or 3 times a year. The rest of the time I'll be driving it around town maybe 200 miles a month. And then there's maybe 5 fishing trips on rough back dirt roads 20 miles each; maybe a muddy parking spot or 2 near the water.

Q's:
1-How well does the 2X handle in above said rough roads and mud, and/or
2-Do I really need 4X for above said driving plan? (i.e. is it worth the extra $thousands as an option in your opinion)

Thanks for your expert opinion in Advance!:
 

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i dont think you NEED 4wd for what you are wanting to do.

but once you buy a 2wd, its not going to be easy to expand if you want.
 

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Are you towing/launching a boat? To me, some boat ramps look awfully slick & mossy for just 4x2.

Some of the better semi-obvious reasons for 4x4 are resale value. Besides the cost upfront and maintaining the transfer case, front diff/etc, you really only take a small hit on fuel economy. These trucks are tried and true.


4x2 here and wanted it that way when factory ordering my '15. Zilch off-roading...and I hit the store BEFORE it snows. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not a boat; I may be towing a small travel trailer, if anything, at some point. Good point about resale. I'll have to hit NADA or Edmunds and see how resale values compare for some of the recent models. Thx
 

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2015 Nissan Frontier SV Crew Cab LWB 4x4
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Do you plan to take that travel trailer off-pavement? 'cause if a hard rainstorm hits while you're on dirt, the more drive-axles, the better.

We were on a trip in the national forest when a freak April snowstorm rolled through. There was a guy who had set up his fifth-wheel in a bit of a low spot (ie road was uphill both directions) and he could not get the thing up either direction with his one-ton RWD dually truck. He simply couldn't get enough traction. He wasn't really in any danger with the weather, but if he wanted to leave he would have to abandon the trailer for the moment.
 

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i was in the same boat, i dont need 4x4 at all, i probably wont even use it legitimately once a year, but i figured if we get another crazy snow fall, it'd be nice to have. and who knows I might try to go 4x4ing some day. i'd say easily over 50% of people who have 4x4s never use 4x4.
as far as your other question, i found that the fronty does A MILLION TIMES BETTER in 2wd than my 2003 2wd ranger did! that thing had like 90% of the weight under the hood (4.0l) so it had really BAD traction. I'd spin the tire all the time not on purpose, super annoyed me. The fronty seems to have much better weight distribution (or just more weight in the back), that along with the electronic limited slip and it just hooks up, it will spin a tiny bit like on gravel before but the the fake LSD kicks in and it just goes. i am actually impressed how well it goes. Honestly if I had known it worked so well I proabably wouldn't have gotten a 4x4 lol ... there was no gravel or anything on the test drive. i have to climb up a small dirt driveway frequently and it climbs it like a goat in 2wd where i know my ranger would have just been doing one wheel wonder spinning the whole way, ticking me off. i really doubt you'd need 4x4 but if the price difference is small and you think there is a chance that you'd use it, just go for it. like others said, if you DON'T, you can't get it later. better to have more than you need than not enough if you can afford it...
 

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Let me put it to you this way: If you're questioning whether or not you need a 4x4, you probably want to get the 4x4.

I had a built F150 prerunner (strapped at 15" of travel front, 17" rear) rolling on 35" BFG A/Ts and a Detroit locker with 4.56 gears. It is 2WD. I got stuck at least once per trip and had to be pulled out (after a lot of digging) by a stock 4x4. I now have a stock 4x4.

The biggest thing for me is that 2WDs don't have low range. My F150 could go anywhere, but it involved a lot of dust, tire spinning, sliding, and counter-steering, whereas a stock 4x4 in low range would just crawl on up with no drama.
 

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My thinking is usually, better to have it and not need it. Of course then the topic of price added comes in, which is a fair point. Although I believe you get most of that back in trade in and resale value. 4x4 isn't like some outdated GPS system in a car/truck, its a mechanical feature that helps retain a vehicles value.

When I was shopping I knew I wanted 4x4 for my use, what I didn't really "need" was the trim model I got. But for the price, and hopeful value retaining properties, it was worth it.
 

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I went through the thought process of going with 4x4 this time around and since I loath front wheel drive vehicles and torque steer and didn't want to be tempted to go places I should only be going with a 10 year old truck, I decided to stick with 2 wheel.

You might also want to check and see what insurance will cost.
 

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was in the same boat but finally decided to GET the 4x4, but for my everyday trip i don't need it. But when I purposely go offroading, there is nothing like, I love it, if that's not your thing, get 2wd

That said, I can tell you, 2wd will not work well in beach sand, I tried it and got stuck every 5feet.
 

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When I bought my Frontier, there were no 2 wheel drive models to be found at any nearby dealer. I would have had to order one. And would not have gotten the same level of discounts that I did on the 4 wheel drive model. So the price differential may not be as great as it seems.
 

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When I bought my Frontier, there were no 2 wheel drive models to be found at any nearby dealer. I would have had to order one. And would not have gotten the same level of discounts that I did on the 4 wheel drive model. So the price differential may not be as great as it seems.
Admittedly I bought mine used, but I bought the particular truck that I did, requiring me to make a ~100 mile drive to get it, because this used 4x4 had about the same miles for about the same price as the 4x2s in my city. Now, it does lack the value truck package, but I didn't want dual-zone climate control anyway as that's one more thing to break, and I'm not that big a fan of in-dash navigation since I keep vehicles a long time and I don't doubt that it would get out of date.

I do wish I had the backup camera though. Still have plans to deal with that at some point.
 

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Looking at configuration for a new Frontier I'm planning to buy in a few years (time flies)... I'm looking for the least I need to spend for my new vehicle.

Annually: I will be using it on the road for a `1500 mile loop from NC where I live to New England and back 2 or 3 times a year. The rest of the time I'll be driving it around town maybe 200 miles a month. And then there's maybe 5 fishing trips on rough back dirt roads 20 miles each; maybe a muddy parking spot or 2 near the water.

Q's:
1-How well does the 2X handle in above said rough roads and mud, and/or
2-Do I really need 4X for above said driving plan? (i.e. is it worth the extra $thousands as an option in your opinion)

Thanks for your expert opinion in Advance!:
Your opening sentence has me thinking. You said you might buy a new Frontier in a few years. The Frontier by then should be a brand new model. The comments you are getting are based off of the current model. With that being said, I have a 2.5 S 2WD, and my truck does great in the winter. I live in Southern Wisconsin where we get plenty of snow, but roads are plowed well. I keep weight in the back, and I don't try to be a hero. I've never once wished I had 4 wheel drive...yet
 

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Admittedly I bought mine used, but I bought the particular truck that I did, requiring me to make a ~100 mile drive to get it, because this used 4x4 had about the same miles for about the same price as the 4x2s in my city. Now, it does lack the value truck package, but I didn't want dual-zone climate control anyway as that's one more thing to break, and I'm not that big a fan of in-dash navigation since I keep vehicles a long time and I don't doubt that it would get out of date.

I do wish I had the backup camera though. Still have plans to deal with that at some point.
Seems worthwhile to OP to point out that SV trim + VTP does not include nav. One must step up to Pro4X or SL.
 

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re-sale will be quite different depending on area of country - in snow country a 2wd is nearly unsaleable and thus resale is low

I live in MT - we have snow and ice for few months a year and lots of muddy/gravel roads during any rain. With mtn. passes can also have snow and ice on 4th of July. I own 4 different 4x4s and wouldn't consider anything else.
 

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I'd recommend the 4WD for you for two reasons:

If your trips to New England will be in the winter, you will eventually encounter snow, slush, etc. 4WD is always better in those conditions. I advise people drive like you DON'T have 4WD and you'll generally be good to go.

The gravel back roads and muddy boat ramps can surprise you.

One time, I pulled over to the side of a mostly dry gravel road where I could see there was "a little mud"...well that mud was about 2 feet deep and I sank down and immediately got stuck.

Better to have it than not.

Even though I now live in Florida, I bought 4WD just for a bit of "insurance" at the boat ramps. There's one in my area that is sand and I've been lucky to get out of there a few times (prior to 4WD). Similarly, was at a ramp that had slick seaweed all over the ramp. 4WD would have been a big help there.
 

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It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. As mentioned above, resale value is quite a bit higher too.
 

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If money is not an object, get 4WD.

Money WAS an object when I bought, so 2WD for me. The stock tires on 2WD are wholly inadequate for any slop. Once you upgrade to AT or mudgrips on the rear axle, the 2WD does alright in the slop even with an empty bed. Put some mass in the bed and the 2WD+traction control+AT/MT tires will get you through a lot more than you'd think. Have not yet hunted any place where 2WD was inadequate.

Still, you'll have to use some judgement and be more cautious than folk in 4WD pickups.

As for as economy, the Frontier uses as much fuel as a new full sized half ton pickup. That is where all the latest technology has been aimed and it shows in hte fuel economy numbers.
 

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Those TFLnow youtube guys that review trucks have a bunch of videos on a long term review of a base model Frontier S 4-cylinder 2wd
Here is a link to them off-roading the truck:

A link to almost all the TFLnow 2wd Frontier videos:
 
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