After what, almost 7 years of driving around in my Frontier (and my recent Cleghorn trail run), I finally decided to get some all-weather floor mats. Like most people, the first brand I looked at was Weathertech. However I was soon crossing them off the list, because of one major, major flaw in their design: I discovered from other owners that the Weathertech mats only covered less than 30% of the driver’s side dead pedal/foot rest… considering these are supposed to be all-weather mats, what is the point?!?! I use the foot rest every time I drive, and if it’s a trail day and my shoes have sand, dirt, or mud on the bottom, the last thing I want is a floor mat that will let whatever is under the front part of my shoes to seep down behind the floor mat and ultimately into the carpet underneath the floor mat itself!

So with Weathertech not an option, I started looking at other brands and when I read from other owners that the MaxLiner/SmartLiner all-weather floor mats for the Frontier covered the whole foot rest, I decided I’d try them. Although I only wanted to get the front pair, I ended up buying the full front/rear set since it only cost an extra $20 for all three pieces. Thanks to “Amy” (you know, Amazon) a large brown box arrived 2 days later:

Out of the box, the floor mats are pretty thick but flexible, and the textured surface is much grippier than it looks:

Installation was simple – remove OEM carpet floor mats, and fit the new MaxLiner ones. The floor mats had provisions for the OEM floor mat retaining tabs, but the cutouts were on the small side, making it difficult to get the tabs to “grab” correctly. The solution for this was simple: I used an Xacto knife to enlarge the floor hook openings to get the retaining tabs to fit; to be honest, I don’t think this is a big deal at all, and only took a few seconds on each side (driver’s and passengers). With this done, the front mats were secured in place as intended:

Let’s get the question asked earlier out of the way: do the MaxLiner/SmartLiner floor mats completely cover the foot rest? Turns out that they also don’t completely cover 100%… but they do cover about 80% which is still way more than the more expensive Weathertechs. The top edge of the mat in this area does sit fairly high above the surface of the OEM foot rest/dead pedal, and some quick testing (walk on some dirt in the backyard, then sit in my truck LOL) showed that the coverage seemed to be more than enough to help keep any shoe crud away from the carpet:

So dead pedal details aside, I will say this: the MaxLiner/SmartLiner floor mats fit really, really good! The driver’s side mat followed the shaping of the left side trim and transmission tunnel carpet perfectly. The rear portion of the mat was shaped to match the raised contours of the floor carpet, and the rear edge wrapped around the seat leg plastic trim perfectly as well:

The same goes for the front passenger side mat fitment:

Another detail I liked – the portion of the floor mats that overlapped the door sill was also molded to match the contours of the OEM panel, so there’s no weird air gaps underneath. Very snug, very precise shaping, as good as what I’ve seen from Weathertechs (in other vehicles). I did not test the rear one-piece mat because I didn’t intend to use it daily like the fronts, so I have no feedback on the rear. I do know that due to the rear floor of the Frontier tapering downward at the side edges, the floor mat edges aren’t as perfectly formed as the fronts, but again – I don’t really plan on using them.

So far I am very happy with my choice. For the price of just front Weathertechs, I purchased a complete 3-piece set (two front, one rear) of MaxLiner/SmartLiner mats. The materials feel sturdy, and fitment as shown above is exceptional. They also have good surface grip (they look slippery but I’m surprised at how grippy they really are) and all in all, a good value. If you’re in the market for some all-weather mats, give the MaxLiner/SmartLiner brand a try!