2012 Nissan Frontier

small pickup / Crew cab pickup

2012 Nissan Frontier Crew cab pickup
2010 Nissan Frontier shown


Rating overview
Moderate overlap front
Side: original test
Roof strength
Head restraints & seats


  • G
  • A
  • M
  • P
  • Superior
  • Advanced
  • Basic

Some ratings use a scale of Poor to Good. Others range from Basic to Superior.

Moderate overlap front

Rating applies to 2005-12 models

Tested vehicle: 2008 Nissan Frontier SE Crew Cab

The Nissan Frontier Crew Cab and King Cab were redesigned for the 2005 model year and are significantly larger and heavier than previous models. The Suzuki Equator Crew Cab and Extended Cab were introduced in the 2009 model year. Two tests of the Frontier were conducted, one by the Institute of a 2wd King Cab and the other by Nissan of a 2wd Crew Cab as part of frontal crash test verification. The overall rating of Good is based on review of both tests, which independently result in overall ratings of Good. The ratings and vehicle specifications based on Nissan's test are shown below because the 2wd Crew Cab is similar to the configuration of other pickups tested more recently.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Leg/foot, left
Leg/foot, right
Driver restraints and dummy kinematics

Action shot taken during the Institute's frontal offset crash test.

The dummy's position in relation to the steering wheel and instrument panel after the crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was maintained well (Institute test vehicle shown).

Dummy movement was well controlled in both tests. During rebound, the dummy's head hit only the head restraint.

In both tests, forces on the left knee and the right lower leg were high enough to indicate the possibility of injuries (Institute test shown).

Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID CEF0504 VTF0812
Footwell intrusion
Footrest (cm) 11 12
Left (cm) 12 13
Center (cm) 14 15
Right (cm) 12 13
Brake pedal (cm) 7 6
Instrument panel rearward movement
Left (cm) 1 0
Right (cm) 1 -1
Steering column movement
Upward (cm) 4 3
Rearward (cm) 0 1
A-pillar rearward movement (cm) 2 3

Driver injury measures

Test ID CEF0504 VTF0812
HIC-15 255 252
Peak gs at hard contact no contact no contact
Tension (kN) 1.5 1.4
Extension bending moment (Nm) 21 19
Maximum Nij 0.25 0.24
Chest maximum compression (mm) 34 35
Femur force - left (kN) 1.4 2.0
Femur force - right (kN) 0.0 1.0
Knee displacement - left (mm) 13 14
Knee displacement - right (mm) 0 2
Maximum tibia index - left 0.95 1.05
Maximum tibia index - right 0.35 0.58
Tibia axial force - left (kN) 2.4 3.2
Tibia axial force - right (kN) 4.3 4.4
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 111 140
Right 117 162

How the moderate overlap front test is conducted

Side: original test

Rating applies to 2012-14 models

Tested vehicle: 2012 Nissan Frontier SV Crew Cab with standard front and rear head curtain airbags and standard front seat-mounted torso airbags

The Nissan Frontier was redesigned for the 2005 model year. The Suzuki Equator was introduced in the 2009 model year and discontinued after the 2012 model year. Beginning with 2012 models, design changes were made to the side curtain airbags in both the Frontier and Equator to improve occupant protection in side impact crashes. Side ratings are assigned by the Institute based on a test conducted by Nissan as part of side crash test verification. However, because there were no significant side structural changes, the structure rating of the most recent model is based on both Nissan's test and two earlier Institute tests of 2008 and 2010 Frontier models.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Driver head protection
Rear passenger injury measures
Rear passenger head protection
Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID CES0819 CES0931 VTS1108
B-pillar to longitudinal centerline of driver's seat (cm) -15.0 -15.5 -16.0
Negative numbers indicate the amount by which the crush stopped short of the seat centerline.

Driver injury measures

Test ID VTS1108
Head HIC-15 113
Tension (kN) 1.0
Compression (kN) 0.3
Lateral deflection (mm) 48
Lateral force (kN) 1.8
Maximum deflection (mm) 43
Average deflection (mm) 39
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 3.43
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.64
Iliac force (kN) 1.5
Acetabulum force (kN) 2.6
Combined force (kN) 4.0
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 0.9
L-M moment (Nm) 139
A-P moment (Nm) 25

Passenger injury measures

Test ID VTS1108
Head HIC-15 197
Tension (kN) 0.3
Compression (kN) 0.9
Lateral deflection (mm) 32
Lateral force (kN) 1.5
Maximum deflection (mm) 37
Average deflection (mm) 32
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 2.58
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.49
Iliac force (kN) 0.3
Acetabulum force (kN) 1.5
Combined force (kN) 1.4
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 0.8
L-M moment (Nm) 44
A-P moment (Nm) 50

How the side crash test is conducted

Roof strength

Rating applies to 2005-15 models

Tested vehicle: 2010 Nissan Frontier SE Crew Cab

Rating applies to both the Nissan Frontier Crew Cab (tested) and the structurally similar 2009-12 models of the Suzuki Equator Crew Cab.

Overall evaluation
Curb weight 4,265 lbs
Peak force 17,535 lbs
Strength-to-weight ratio 4.11

How the roof strength test is conducted

Head restraints & seats

Seat type: Manual cloth seats AHR

Overall evaluation
Dynamic rating
Seat/head restraint geometry
Technical measurements for this test
Seat type Manual cloth seats AHR
Backset (mm) 44
Distance below top of head (mm) 48
Seat design parameters
Pass/fail Pass
Max T1 acceleration (g) 12.4
Head contact time (ms) 53
Force rating 2
Neck forces
Max neck shear force (N) 152
Max neck tension (N) 645

How the head restraint & seat test is conducted
Currently, IIHS tests apply only to front seats.