Whether you want a pickup truck for work or play, Nissan’s 2013 Frontier lineup most likely has one that can fill your needs. Most models are available in King Cab and Crew Cab versions, and

Nissan says the 2013 trucks squeeze one or two more miles from a gallon of gas.

A Desert Runner model has been added for 2013 in King Cab and Crew Cab versions, and all 2013 Frontiers get a new tailgate spoiler.

Starting prices for Frontier King Cab models range from a $17,990 for a base 4X2 with an I-4 engine and manual transmission, all the way up to $30,530 for the dressed up PRO-4X 4X4 with 4-liter V6 and automatic transmission.

Frontier Crew Cab models start at $22,030 for the 4X2 with the V6 engine and a manual transmission, and go up to the SL 4X4 long-wheel base with the V6 and an automatic transmission, which starts at $33,970.

Since it would impossible to discuss the range of Frontier models for 2013 in detail in 700 words or less, we’ll concentrate on our test truck for the week – the sporty PRO-4x 4X4 Crew Cab with the V6 engine and automatic transmission. The test truck had a manufacturer’s suggested price of $31,270, and the PRO-4X luxury package option brought the bottom line to $35,645, which includes $845 in freight.

That’s a chunk of change, but our test truck was a workhorse disguised as a sporty and luxurious show truck. To wit: the 4.0-liter V6 engine kicked out 261 horsepower and 281 lb.-ft. of torque, enabling the truck to carry more than 1,300 pounds and tow up to 6,500 pounds. The EPA says the truck will get 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. The transmission is a 5-speed automatic, very well-suited for the Frontier’s capabilities.

The Frontier is 205.5 inches long (219.4 inches LWB), and the truck’s standard bed is 59.5 inches long (73.3 inches long bed). The bed is 58.8 inches wide at the tailgate and 44.4 inches betweem the wheel wells.

We didn’t get a chance to take the test truck past the end of the pavement, but the PRO-4X has a 2-speed transfer case with 4H and 4L, and an electronic locking rear differential. Bilstein shocks enhance the off-road performance, as do hill-start assist and hill descent control. Skid plates protect the fuel tank, oil pan and transfer case.

Inside, our test truck was roomy and sporty, with contrast stitching on the seats and a white-yellow-and-gray PRO-4X logo stitched into the front seatbacks. The dash layout is fairly simple with the navigation screen centered between A/C vents, and the gear shifter on the center console. The driver’s armrest angles up with power window buttons, but the top of the door panel makes a flat elbow rest for taller drivers.

Outside, our test truck was Nissan’s Metallic Blue, which was looked awesome with the PRO-4X logo on the bed wall. Three new colors are available for 2013: Glacier White, Graphite Blue and Cayenne Red. The test Frontier also had a $560 bed extender/trailer hitch package that added a Class IV receiver hitch and a sliding, removable bed gate/extender. The gate extender flips out to hold longer items in place with the tailgate down, and flips in for a great way to keep groceries in place.

The test truck’s PRO-4X luxury package added a navigation system with a 5.8-inch display, streaming audio via Bluetooth, leather seats, an 8-way power heated driver’s seat (4-way for the passenger) heated mirrors, a moon roof and a really cool-looking roof rail system with cross bars.

2013 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X

  • Engine: 4.0-liter V6
  • Horsepower: 261
  • Transmission: 5-speed automatic
  • Test model base price: $31,270 ($35,645 as tested)
  • EPA mileage rating: 15 mpg city / 21 mpg highway