Pro-4X living at high elevation?

Redheddedwonder

Active member
Been looking for my next rig as it is time to replace my wife’s old rig I have been driving. We recently moved to Colorado and our house is at about 8800 feet. I have been pretty set on a ZR2 diesel, it checks all my boxes and wouldn’t have an issue with elevation. But they are expensive. Even used and certified are only a few thousand cheaper than new. I have been looking at certified frontier pro4x’s online and they can be had for nearly $20k less than a ZR2 diesel. I’ve always liked these trucks, even looked at one at a dealer about 5 years ago. My biggest concern is elevation. We will be frequenting all the high elevation passes that are in Colorado, we live right down the road from one that tops out at at around 11,600 ft, and the main highway at around 10,000ft. Our old van really struggled when visiting and I’ve had in my mind ever since that I will be getting some sort of turbo vehicle. But the pricing of these is what gets me thinking. We don’t plan to tow anything huge. My plans change a lot but for now we just plan a small cargo trailer camper build.

My main questions would be how the frontier handles elevation? With the price being so much less I could see myself lifting and going 33s fairly quickly. My commute is down the hill to the airport only one direction about every 4-5 days. Another place where the ZR2 would shine is the exhaust brake and fuel mileage. But those are things I would be willing to part with given the price tag.
 

workerdrone

Fulltimer
Probably a lot better than my Tundra 3.4 V6 non-supercharged. Sometimes I get down to 2nd gear on passes. But whatever, it doesn't overheat and doesn't ask for any expensive maintenance or car payments, it just asks for a little more time to get there.
 

bigskypylot

Explorer
It'll do just fine. You will also have a lot more cash in your pocket for traveling and any mods you see fit for your lifestyle. I'm at 7000ft and my off-road does just fine. I did however put a v8 and a blower on it to name a few things so it does great at altitude. It can be hard to keep your foot out of it though! A few years back, I was going over to Cody on 14 and loaded down pretty good and hit a steep grade and that is when I realized the VQ needed to get swapped out. Overall, I was very happy with the VQ as it does have good power for its size. Me, I just can't leave things alone lol

How many miles and what years are you looking at? 2012+ will keep you away from the SMOD if you are looking at an AT gearbox Good luck in your search, I hear Xterras are going for stupid prices right now
 

Redheddedwonder

Active member
It'll do just fine. You will also have a lot more cash in your pocket for traveling and any mods you see fit for your lifestyle. I'm at 7000ft and my off-road does just fine. I did however put a v8 and a blower on it to name a few things so it does great at altitude. It can be hard to keep your foot out of it though! A few years back, I was going over to Cody on 14 and loaded down pretty good and hit a steep grade and that is when I realized the VQ needed to get swapped out. Overall, I was very happy with the VQ as it does have good power for its size. Me, I just can't leave things alone lol

How many miles and what years are you looking at? 2012+ will keep you away from the SMOD if you are looking at an AT gearbox Good luck in your search, I hear Xterras are going for stupid prices right now
Looking at getting a CPO so will only be a few years old at most. Won’t be doing any engine mods as long as it’s a daily other than maybe filter/exhaust. Also looking at new 2020s since they have the new engine and transmission. Once the new frontier releases I’m curious what the price drops will be. I’m already seeing markdowns of $5000ish in Denver. If I could snag a new pro4x at around $30k or less than that is a steal in my opinion. Would save around $14k over the diesel zr2s I have been looking at. If I go CPO than I’ll save around $20k.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
My main questions would be how the frontier handles elevation?
First mod before lifts or tires should be a supercharger to get sea level performance at 10K'. Then do the lift and tires. Superchargers are often bolt on mods.


SC 2_zpsmtdsfgmh.jpg
 

bigskypylot

Explorer
First mod before lifts or tires should be a supercharger to get sea level performance at 10K'. Then do the lift and tires. Superchargers are often bolt on mods.


View attachment 639062
Those are somewhat rare finds now. They'll pop up for sale every now and then.

I'm pretty partial to mine :) 6psi for now. Looking at 8psi and a 90mm throttle body sometime soon :)

inbound8418705564965234993.jpg
 

bigskypylot

Explorer
First mod before lifts or tires should be a supercharger to get sea level performance at 10K'. Then do the lift and tires. Superchargers are often bolt on mods.


View attachment 639062
The Stiillen needs a good set of injectors and a proper tune from UpRev if you want it to work right.
 

NMBruce

Adventurer
I am running a stock 2020 Tacoma at 7500ft with no problems, just not as quick as it is at 4000 ft or lower.

You will get use to what power you have and adjust your driving accordingly, with the turbo on the diesel, you will lose less power than a normally aspirated engine.
 

Redheddedwonder

Active member
I am running a stock 2020 Tacoma at 7500ft with no problems, just not as quick as it is at 4000 ft or lower.

You will get use to what power you have and adjust your driving accordingly, with the turbo on the diesel, you will lose less power than a normally aspirated engine.
Yes that’s why I was wanting the diesel zr2, just not sure it’s worth the extra $20k to get it.
 

Redheddedwonder

Active member
First mod before lifts or tires should be a supercharger to get sea level performance at 10K'. Then do the lift and tires. Superchargers are often bolt on mods.


View attachment 639062
If I buy either new or CPO I won’t be doing a super charger that will void the warranty on a $25k plus truck. I know lift kits can void some but drivetrain is more important to me as far as warranties go. My main questions were about how the frontier does in relatively stock form.
 

rruff

Explorer
Yes that’s why I was wanting the diesel zr2, just not sure it’s worth the extra $20k to get it.
The diesel has more torque, but less power to start with.

I guess it's nice to obsess over power, but it really is a non-issue in modern trucks. Anything you buy will have more than you need. They also compensate for the altitude perfectly, and get a bit better mpg than at low altitude.

For many years I drove a Toyota with a 1500lb+ load with a 22re.... ~120hp. It actually was an issue on steep hills at high altitude. But the Frontier has 2.5x the power!
 

workerdrone

Fulltimer
There's nothing quite like the feeling of a turbodiesel (especially a well tuned one) at full song uphill, but to be honest I don't think the potential maintenance costs are worth it anymore.

It's not just the purchase costs, check out emissions systems and injector costs down the road
 

Maddmatt

Explorer
Commuting to the airport? 285 or I70, a stock 2nd Gen Xterra has more than reasonable power. I have no issue, and in fact it doesn't even seem to be trying that hard, to hold better than the recommended speeds (that's what those rectangular white signs are, right :cool: ) up to and through the tunnel or over Kenosha hauling 4 people, all their stuff and 4 pairs of skis on the roof. The soft rear leaf springs are much more on my mind than power.

I pull my 3,000+lb boat all summer, but not up that high - definitely notice the weight, and if I was going to pull up to Dillon or Green Mountain regularly, I would probably just get a different vehicle.

In a 4low trail situation - same deal, way more than enough power in every situation. But it's all relative. The Xterra has way more power and passing ability at high altitudes than my 3rd Gen 4Runner did, it's an absolute race car compared to my FJ62, but it's an absolute slug compared to my wife's QX30, or even to my Titan with the Dynaflow exhaust system. That thing was a monster. Sounded like a race car and would life the front end like a boat when you buried the pedal at 55.... I miss it but enjoy arriving at my destination with my hearing intact, and the massive 16mpg the Xterra brings, vs 11 or or so in the Titan
 

Redheddedwonder

Active member
Commuting to the airport? 285 or I70, a stock 2nd Gen Xterra has more than reasonable power. I have no issue, and in fact it doesn't even seem to be trying that hard, to hold better than the recommended speeds (that's what those rectangular white signs are, right :cool: ) up to and through the tunnel or over Kenosha hauling 4 people, all their stuff and 4 pairs of skis on the roof. The soft rear leaf springs are much more on my mind than power.

I pull my 3,000+lb boat all summer, but not up that high - definitely notice the weight, and if I was going to pull up to Dillon or Green Mountain regularly, I would probably just get a different vehicle.

In a 4low trail situation - same deal, way more than enough power in every situation. But it's all relative. The Xterra has way more power and passing ability at high altitudes than my 3rd Gen 4Runner did, it's an absolute race car compared to my FJ62, but it's an absolute slug compared to my wife's QX30, or even to my Titan with the Dynaflow exhaust system. That thing was a monster. Sounded like a race car and would life the front end like a boat when you buried the pedal at 55.... I miss it but enjoy arriving at my destination with my hearing intact, and the massive 16mpg the Xterra brings, vs 11 or or so in the Titan
Thanks that good local info! We are out 285 in Bailey. I will commute to the airport but only one way every 4-6 days. The 04 trailblazer I am driving now does okay and I see lots of frontiers out here. My wife’s escape with 2.0 ecoboost does awesome thanks to he turbo. I just like to do my research and hear first hand experience.
Now hopefully the new frontier releases soon and I can snag an amazing deal on a leftover 2020 or a CPO frontier.
 
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