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Discussion Starter #1
I just signed up on this forum and haven't bought a Frontier yet.
But I'm 99% sure I will be getting one soon by the end of this coming weekend.
Right now I have found 2 Frontiers and I'm somewhat torn between the two:

My main usages will be:
> Weekend HomeDepot runs.
> Driving on dirt road for about 2 miles to get to my weekend getaway property (small ranch) in the CA national forest at about 5600 ft elevation. I go there once or twice a month. It snows in winter and can become muddy. I think I got stuck in snow/mud about 4-5 times in last 10 years with AWD vehicles - Element and Escalade. And I had to pull them out using a tractor.
> Pulling a small jetski trailer 1000-2000 lbs max, depending whether I have one or 2 skis. Maybe 5-6 times a year.
> I will rarely use for daily commuting to work since I have a couple bikes and other smaller/more fuel efficient cars.

My Must Have:
> 4.0 V6
> Manual
> Kingcab

My 2 choices currently (have appointments to test drive this weekend):
> 2007 4.0 V6 XE 6-MT 2WD with 125,000 miles for $8000 with worn out tires and original clutch.
> 2011 4.0 V6 SV 6-MT 4X4 with 65,000 miles for $14500 with new tires and original clutch. No rear diff e-locker!:frown:

Exterior wise, they are both in similarly good condition with clean title and no history of accident. Both are 2nd owners and have owned for last 4+ years. Also, neither has a tow receiver in the back so that's also good & bad for me.

My budget is $15K.
I think I will own it for next 4-5 years until I upgrade to something else.

If you were me, which one would you get?

Thanks in advance for your input!
 

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I think the 2011 is a much better value.

Good luck on your purchase!
 

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The '11 looks to be a better value (assuming no un-stated issues). Being that you've stuck AWD cars then you can safely bet you'd stuck a 2WD Frontier. If you really need a locker (I don't think you really do from what you described) you can get a Spartan autolocker. Read JenoirNV's build thread for some insight... (just make sure the rear diff is filled with the right gear oil, like Jen found out). Check if the '11 has VDC (traction control) If it does there should be a button on the center stack below the HVAC to disable it (just ask the seller). If it has VDC that's an even bigger reason to get the '11 (ABLS is good for the casual user, just not good enough for hard-core offroad use... BUT it will get you through alot. I'm amazed how much it has got me through... As long as my tires can grip, it gets me through)

The rear tow is easy enough to bolt on, there are plenty of options, AND the factory bumper is a Class 2 rated. Just stick a ball on the bumper step and call it a day for such small trailers. Just pick up a Nissan trailer wiring kit from a dealer (better than the aftermarket kits)
 

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I've spun the rear tires at the boat ramp at low tide with an empty trailer. That's one of the reasons 4WD was a must for me.
 

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11' SV 4x4 6speed MT.
My 12' SV 4x4 6mt came with the tow package. It has 85k and still runs like new.
 

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For someone who encounters muddy and snowy trails along with wet boat ramps, why would you eve consider 2wd?

Look for something 2011 or newer unless they can prove they put a new radiator in - read up on cross contamination. Sounds like a 4wd king cab will get it done for you. Yes these trucks hold their value but not that much for a 2wd from 10 years ago. If you have 4wd, a locker is not a deal breaker. I have been in plenty of mud and snow and never needed a locker. Its all about how you drive and line choices.

Another point for the 2011, you say it has new tires but they may be streets. You can sell those and pick up some AT's which will also help you get to the cabin.
 

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4WD is Mandatory but howzabout Option C? Be patient and wait for the unicorn to show up. I see used manuals for sale fairly regularly around the PNW. If the 4x4 is a pile I would wait. Truth is I would just buy another new one. I know this truck well enough that I would be more than happy to buy new again..
Radiator cross-contam a non issue with M/Ts
 

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2011, definitely... Although the manual trans eliminates the radiator cooler issues, the 2007's did suffer from the other potential problems, such as timing chain cutting into the upper tensioners and fuel sender issues. Plus, the fact that you drive sorta off-road and in mud and snow would make it very beneficial to have 4WD.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Update:

Mainly based your forum members' suggestion, I did go look at the 2011 SV 4x4 over the weekend.
My impressions:
> Interior - No worn or torn parts, just a bit dirty and scratched hard plastics here and there. A bit disappointed. The interior condition was about the same as my 1998 Integra and worse than my mint condition 2001 SLK 320. I gave 7.5/10.
> Exterior - Some scuffing and scratches on fender flares. A dent on the tail gate outside. A bit disappointed again comparing to my 2 other cars. 8/10
> Cargo Bed - The black plastic coating had come off in the middle with some gouge. It appeared some heavy stuffs have been carried. I asked what he's been carrying. He said "engines". I told myself "yikes!". 6/10
> Under the hood - Dusty but no missing part, mod or leak found. 100% original. But you could tell seller rarely ever opened the hood. 8/10.
> Engine - Ran smoothly with no weird noise or anything. I expected more oomph from the 261 hp V6 but this was my first driving Frontier. 9/10
> 6MT - Clutch engagement was smooth with no sign of slipping. Gear shifting was also very smooth yet tight and positive, just like I expected from Japanese vehicle. 9/10.
> Seller - Early 30 something blue-collar working guy. He says he doesn't do own maintenance and takes to a quick oil change place and uses only synthetic. He says he just bought an used Tahoe and that's why he's selling. He seems honest but also he gives only minimal attention/maintenance/care to his truck. Maybe I had too much expectation since this is a 2011 model.

I told the seller that I'd need to think about a little longer and he seemed really cool with it.
 

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Offer him $12,800 cash and see if he takes it; if not, keep looking = just my $0.02
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Definitely I would get it if seller would take $12-13k range.
I already asked and he said he already had a few offers up to $13.7K, and he would let go at $14k when I was there.

I found a mint condition CPO one (what it appears to be) in PA (yes, about 25000 miles from L.A.!) Nissan dealer - 2013 SV 4x4 with 22000 miles on it. I was thinking about having the truck shipped here. Originally dealer was asking $25,000 in their website. CARFAX shows 1-owner vehicle and 100% clean record. I called the dealer and told them "You've had this since last October. What's the best dealer you can give?". They said $23,000. I don't know how much shipping would cost across the country. $5-600? One major concern is a salt/rust damage on the truck being on the upper side of the sun belt states all its life (3 yrs). Any comment from members who are in one of those states?
 

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I'm in upstate NY and it really depends on the individual owner.

My 2006 Santa Fe bought for my wife ~22 months ago with 48K on the clocks was a winter only driver garage kept by an old couple who was moving out to AZ.

Their 3 season vehicle was a 2006 Sonata that had ~130K on the clocks and both were immaculate inside, on top and underneath.

That was the cleanest Santa Fe I saw and instantly snapped it up (it was only on the dealer lot for ~30 minutes before we purchased it)...my wife hoses it down after every snow since it doesn't have a garage to live in any more.

My Frontier also gets pressure washed between snows and we're driving to ND next week (and will be house hunting for a 2 car heated garage).

Good luck with your search!
 

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Definitely I would get it if seller would take $12-13k range.
I already asked and he said he already had a few offers up to $13.7K, and he would let go at $14k when I was there.

I found a mint condition CPO one (what it appears to be) in PA (yes, about 25000 miles from L.A.!) Nissan dealer - 2013 SV 4x4 with 22000 miles on it. I was thinking about having the truck shipped here. Originally dealer was asking $25,000 in their website. CARFAX shows 1-owner vehicle and 100% clean record. I called the dealer and told them "You've had this since last October. What's the best dealer you can give?". They said $23,000. I don't know how much shipping would cost across the country. $5-600? One major concern is a salt/rust damage on the truck being on the upper side of the sun belt states all its life (3 yrs). Any comment from members who are in one of those states?


If the price is right and the shipping makes sense, do it. 22k in a state that salts is not that bad. Keep in mind that the location also matters. If its northwest in the lake effect area it will see much more snow than central or southern PA. Have the dealer take pictures of the undercarriage so you can see. It may have been undercoated.
I had mine undercoated and the bottom looks new despite going through its 6th winter in Syracuse. We salt from oct-april every year. If we get a stretch of decent weather i will hose everything down or hit a car wash.
 

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If the price is right and the shipping makes sense, do it. 22k in a state that salts is not that bad. Keep in mind that the location also matters. If its northwest in the lake effect area it will see much more snow than central or southern PA. Have the dealer take pictures of the undercarriage so you can see. It may have been undercoated.
I had mine undercoated and the bottom looks new despite going through its 6th winter in Syracuse. We salt from oct-april every year. If we get a stretch of decent weather i will hose everything down or hit a car wash.
...shipping is going to cost anywhere from $700 - $1,900 based on the estimates we've been getting from upstate NY out to ND...its not cheap and everyone wants to be paid in cash or cashiers check.

Its also very hard to tell the reputable companies from the "not"...and the companies don't really have their own trucks, they subcontract out to drivers willing to take the job/route so our older POV is getting shipped and we're driving the Frontier.
 

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CPO is just another extended warranty. You pay an extra dollar amount and the dealer sends a check to a 3rd party insurance company. There's a M/T up in Seattle if you can road trip a lil ways? Could be a POS too, no clue????
https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/cto/5952330329.html
 
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