It seems these days that everything is making the move to get bigger, whether it be your value meal at Mickey D's or the truck you're thinking about buying. With the introduction of the '05 truck lines, you'll definitely see this trend continue, as automakers have moved the mini-pickup class to "midsize." Nissan has been wise to this for some time now and is introducing a brand-new '05 Frontier, which is bigger, badder, and more powerful than any of its predecessors. Don't be fooled by all the '05 Frontier's similarities to its bigger brother, the Titan. The new Frontier is still fair game for us here at Mini Truckin' headquarters.

Nissan took the huge success of the Titan and focused all that innovation and technology into the new Frontier. These features include the most powerful V-6 available, a rugged suspension design, a factory spray-in bedliner, a Utili-track bed channel tie-down system, and a fully boxed all-steel frame. The '05 Frontier will be offered in both King Cab and Crew Cab body styles and in 2WD and 4WD driveline configurations. The new Frontier, as with previous generations, will be assembled at Nissan's manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tennessee.

The '05 Frontier's wheelbase is 9.8 inches longer than the previous model, with an overall length increase of 2.6 inches for the King Cab and 5.6 inches for the Crew Cab. Width and height measurements have also increased with the new design. The new 4.0L DOHC V-6 produces a powerful 265 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque, which are the highest outputs of any V-6 pickup engine available. The new engine design is based on the VQ-series used in the 350Z, Maxima, Altima, Murano, and Quest, but is specifically tuned for the unique demands of truck use. Although it's powerful and potent, the new V-6 still offers excellent fuel efficiency and smooth operation. A 2.5L DOHC inline-four-cylinder engine is also available on the base Frontier King Cab 4x2 model.

Three transmissions will be available for the all-new Frontier. An advanced five-speed automatic, a six-speed manual, or five-speed manual (King Cab I4 model) will suit the specific needs of the discriminating truck buyer. One thing about the new Frontier that will pique any mini-trucker's interest is the fact that Nissan's engineers tucked all the key underbody hardware up to the framerails for maximum ground clearance. As we all know, this will ultimately lead to some badass laid-out '05 Frontiers.

The Frontier's interior also features the same outstanding functionality, combined with comfort and intelligent design. Both the King Cab and Crew Cab models feature large rear doors (rear-hinged on the King Cab) for easy access to the rear seating and cargo area. The interior is both purpose-built and no-nonsense, yet at the same time offers innovative and intuitive functionality that's been missing in this segment. The Frontier also includes a long list of safety equipment, including Zone Body Construction, with front and rear crumple zones. It also uses Nissan's Advanced Airbag System (which includes dual-stage front supplemental airbags, with seatbelt sensors and a front-passenger-classification sensor) and three-point front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters.