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I am not a Frontier owner yet, and would welcome some advice from those more experienced. I am frankly not into off-roading as a sport - I come to it this way: My wife and I are serious climbers (rock, ice, mountaineering) and are tired of seeing things in the climbing guidebooks we would love to do, but the route descriptions say "high clearance 4 wheel drive required for access" The Frontier looks like the best midsize truck, and I started out looking for an unsold '09 six speed manual Pro-4x, which does not seem to exist. One dealer told me an SE upgraded with skid plates and Bilstein shocks would get me any where I was likely to want to go (most access is via logging roads, but I've heard the logging roads in Idaho, for example, are really rugged) Is he just trying to make a sale, or is he giving me good advice? I thought the locking differential of the Pro-4x (which the SE does not have) was what made an off-road truck. Any opinions out there? And if I did get the SE with skid plates and shocks, would I also need the burley tires of the Pro-4x, or could I get by with the ones on the SE, which would have less on-road noise and prob'ly better on-road handling and gas mileage. Thanks...CGA
 

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If you are looking for a manual, just get the SE and don't upgrade to add the skids and bills, just do that yourself. Stock skids suck for offroading and you can get some aftermarket ones that are better for probably the same price the dealer is going to charge you. The bills are nice but once again, rock the stockers until they suck and replace then.

The only real difference between the SE and Pro4x is that you will be getting a rear locker. The catch is that with the manual, you will be getting the same m226 axle but with no locker but you could add an ARB locker to it. All other models have the c200 which currently has nothing available to lock/lsd the rear wheels.
 

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If you buy an SE, make sure it comes with ABLS. The Pro-4x hold their value better because they are a rare. If you have to have a 6 speed, start searching online dealers within a 300 mile radius. The 5 speed automatic is more efficient based on the widow sticker. The locker only works in low range, and you will probably never use it. Find the truck you want that's on a dealers lot and work a deal. With the current economic situation, you should be able to get a Pro-4x for at least $6,000 off sticker. Don't make the 6 speed a deal breaker.
 

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Get the PRO-4X.

With what you want to use the truck for it would be perfect. With the SE you are going to want to upgrade some parts.
 

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I had an '09 Xterra SE for about a month and a half... traded it back in on an '09 Frontier Pro-4x and have not looked back... the Pro-4x is a better platform to start upgrading from I think... plus it looks better than an SE Frontier and will have better resale.:fantastic:
 

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For the price its definitly much better to just get the pro4x right off the start, getting the dana 44 with the locker is something i regret not doing, if i had done it again i would have gotten a used nismo instead of the LE... but i still love mine :D

Plus the 4x's seats look wicked too, and the bigger tires skid plates are pretty nice to have too
 

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I bought a six speed SE and have upgraded it beyond a Nismo/Pro4X for cheaper than the cost difference of a Nismo. Even a stock SE will most likely do what you want. Before I upgraded mine I still made it through some tough spots. All you really need to do is upgrade the tires on the SE to some good all terrains or mud terrains and should be fine, the stock tires on the Pro4X are crap anyways. If you really want a locker than get a six speed SE and add an ARB.
 

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Get the PRO-4X.

With what you want to use the truck for it would be perfect. With the SE you are going to want to upgrade some parts.
Some have an appetite for doing the upgrades themselves and some don't. Since I'm too old to enjoy the diy approach anymore, I got it the way I wanted in the first place. My '08 NISMO is an outstanding off road vehicle (I work out of it). What I have found is that it has the greatest true ground clearance to step-in height ratio out there. No need for side rails or steps. I will often drive 50 miles to the job site and then spend 6 hours working off road, going down cattle trails, around the edges of cultivation and across small streams where a non full size truck has better access. In my 30 years of doing this, it's the best I've had and I've driven plenty.
 

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welcome to cf

i would get the nismo (oh yeah, i have one, haha). too bad only the kc nismo is manual. but i have 3 kids so the cc was my only option.
 
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