Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2009 Nissan Frontier VS 2009 Chevrolet Colorado Near Phoenix, AZ

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2009 Nissan Frontier

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2009 Chevrolet Colorado

Safety Comparison

The Frontier has standard Active Head Restraint, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraint system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Colorado doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Frontier LE/PRO-4X 4x4’s optional Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Colorado doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the Frontier and the Colorado have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, available front seat side-impact airbags, head airbags and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Frontier King Cab is safer than the Colorado Extended Cab Pickup:





4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest forces

46 g’s

47 g’s



5 Stars

4 Stars

Head Injury Index



Chest forces

40 g’s

48 g’s

Leg injuries (L/R)

719 / 481

617 / 700

More stars indicate a better overall result. Lower numbers indicate better individual test results.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 38.5 MPH side impact tests on new cars. In this test, results indicate that the Frontier is safer than the Colorado:



Front Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars

Head Injury Criteria



Thoracic Trauma



Pelvis Deceleration

43 G’s

115 G’s

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Head Injury Criteria



Thoracic Trauma



Pelvis Deceleration

38 G’s

69 G’s

More stars indicate a better chance of avoiding serious injuries. Lower numbers indicate better actual numeric test results.

Warranty Comparison

The Frontier’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Colorado’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Frontier have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.3 V8 in the Colorado.

The Frontier’s reliability is better than the Colorado’s. In Consumer Reports, the Frontier’s reliability is 48% better.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Frontier has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Colorado (21.1 vs. 19.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Nissan Frontier has standard antilock four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Colorado. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes, which work much harder than conventional brakes.

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Frontier has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Colorado doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Frontier has larger standard tires than the Colorado (235/75R15 vs. 215/70R16).

The Frontier LE’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio), which provides a stiffer sidewall than the Colorado’s 65 series tires.

The Frontier has a standard full size spare so your work or a trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare costs extra on the Colorado Without the option you must depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The front suspension of the Frontier uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Colorado 4x4, which uses torsion bars in front. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

The Frontier has engine speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Colorado doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Frontier King Cab’s wheelbase is 14.6 inches longer than on the Colorado Regular Cab (125.9 inches vs. 111.3 inches). The Frontier Long Bed Crew Cab Pickup’s wheelbase is 13.9 inches longer than on the Colorado Extended Cab Pickup (139.9 feet vs. 126 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Frontier is 3.3 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Colorado.

The Frontier Short Bed LE Crew Cab Pickup 4x4 handles at .74 G’s, while the Colorado LT Crew Cab Pickup 4x4 pulls only .70 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Frontier’s turning circle is tighter than the Colorado’s:



Extended Cab Standard Bed

43.42 feet

44.3 feet

Extended Cab Standard Bed 4x4

43.33 feet

44.3 feet

Passenger Space Comparison

The Frontier King Cab has .1 inches more front headroom, 2.5 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom and 2.3 inches more rear legroom than the Colorado Extended Cab Pickup.

The Frontier Crew Cab Pickup has .7 inches more front headroom, 2.3 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 5.1 inches more rear hip room and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Colorado Crew Cab Pickup.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over bed design makes loading and unloading the Frontier easier. The Frontier’s bed lift-over height is 31.5 inches, while the Colorado Extended Cab Pickup’s liftover is 31.9 inches. The Colorado Regular Cab’s liftover is 33 inches.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Frontier. The Colorado doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To prevent tailgate loss and help secure heavier cargo from theft, the Frontier has a standard tailgate lock cylinder. The Colorado doesn’t offer a tailgate lock.

The Nissan Frontier’s tailgate uses caliper type latches (like those used for car doors) for smooth, tight closing. The slam bolts on the Chevrolet’s tailgate aren’t as tight as caliper latches, and they require closing the tailgate with more force, which can eventually damage it.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Frontier’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Colorado does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Frontier has a lever hand brake in the console, easy to use while keeping both feet free and not impeding entry and exit. The Colorado’s foot pedal parking brake is not handy to use as a hill holding device with a manual transmission.

The Frontier’s available front power windows lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Colorado LT’s optional power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Frontier (except XE) has standard extendable sun visors. The Colorado doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Frontier PRO-4X/LE Crew Cab’s optional outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Colorado doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The Frontier LE Crew Cab offers an optional center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Colorado doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

An optional built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Frontier’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Colorado doesn’t offer a filtration system.

The Frontier’s optional steering wheel mounted cruise control is close at hand. The Colorado’s standard cruise control is on an over-crowded turn signal stalk.

To help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the Frontier LE/PRO-4X offers optional steering wheel controls for the radio. The Colorado doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.

Wireless connectivity is optional on the Frontier LE/PRO-4X, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Chevrolet doesn’t offer wireless connectivity on the Colorado.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Frontier will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that the Frontier will retain 44.65% to 54.18% of its original price after five years, while the Colorado only retains 31.52% to 45.06%.

The Frontier is less expensive to operate than the Colorado because of its higher resale value. It also costs $110 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Frontier than the Colorado, including $237 less for an alternator, $118 less for front brake pads, $260 less for a starter, $143 less for fuel injection, $186 less for a fuel pump, $116 less for front struts and $407 less for a timing belt/chain.

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