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Initially, the Frontier was considered a compact, but beginning with the totally redesigned model year 2005 Frontier (introduced at the 2004 North American International Auto Show), it became more mid-sized (as did rival Toyota Tacoma for this model year). It uses the new Nissan F-Alpha platform and exterior body styling resembles that of the company's full-size Nissan Titan truck. In 2012 production was shifted from Smyrna, Tennessee to Canton, Mississippi.
The new truck has a fully boxed ladder frame. The wheelbase is 125.9 in (3.20 m) with a 205.5 in (5.22 m) overall length. Towing capacity is 6500 lb (2,950 kg). A 4.0 Litre VQ-family V6, the VQ40DE, is the standard engine in North America, and it produces 261 hp (195 kW) and 281 lb⋅ft (381 N⋅m) of torque. Also available is the QR25DE four-cylinder engine, which is also found in the Nissan Altima. It produces 152 hp (113 kW) and 171 lb⋅ft (232 N⋅m) of torque. A six-speed manual is standard with a five-speed automatic optional. Both rear and four-wheel drive are available. Traction control and hill-descent control are also available.
The Frontier is called Navara when sold in Europe. The engine is a 2.5-liter YD25DDTi diesel, with 142 hp (106 kW) or 172 hp (128 kW). The stronger version has 403 N⋅m (297 lb⋅ft) of torque.
Suzuki sold a Frontier-based mid-sized pickup produced by Nissan North America at the Smyrna plant. The truck debuted at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show as the Suzuki Equator. For 2009 the Frontier received a face lift with more options, colours, and new wheels. The Nismo model was replaced by the PRO-4X model. Suzuki discontinued the Equator in 2013, as part of the shutdown of their American passenger car division.