HomeAutoHunterAutoHunter Spotlight: 1997 Nissan Atlas

AutoHunter Spotlight: 1997 Nissan Atlas

The perfect truck for your light-duty chores


Featured on AutoHunter, the online auction platform driven by, is this 1997 Nissan Atlas 5-Speed pickup.

Economical, unique, and versatile are all words that could be used to describe the Atlas. Pickup trucks nowadays have grown in size (not to mention, they’ve also grown in price tag), yet this little hauler from the 1990s packs a ton of capability into a small footprint. It even has collapsible bed sides that fold down for loading larger or heavier items. The truck is being offered by a seller in Freeport, Texas, and the auction ends this Friday.

If this compact truck looks a little foreign to you, that’s because it is. It was manufactured for the Japanese Domestic Market, which explains why the steering wheel is on the right side of the cab. The Atlas has been around since 1982, and over the years, it has been engineered as a collaborative effort between various Japanese brands including Isuzu, Mazda, and Mitsubishi. As a matter of fact, the “H42” platform Atlas, as seen in today’s example, was essentially a rebadged fifth-generation Isuzu Elf.

Since most of us have never seen an Atlas in person, it might help to visualize its dimensions by using a more recognizable frame of reference. A compact Ford Maverick pickup is about 16.6 feet long, and the Atlas is 15.3 feet long. One surprising statistic is that the Atlas’ loading capacity is 2,205 pounds. Despite its mini-truck proportions, it is surprisingly robust when it comes to carrying heavier loads.

Some Atlases came equipped with diesel engines, but power for today’s featured truck comes from a naturally-aspirated NA20 2.0-liter inline-four mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Don’t forget, the shifter will need to be manipulated by your left arm, since this is a right-hand-drive pickup. Cabin amenities are relatively sparse, but the truck has air conditioning and a radio, so it’s not entirely stripped down. Sometimes, less is more – especially when it comes to utility vehicles.

Perhaps you or someone you know could use a handy little pickup for moving, landscaping, toting around a motorcycle, or performing courier duties. This truck is bound to stand out anywhere it goes, and it would look equally at home in a parade as it would in a Home Depot parking lot.

The auction for this 1997 Nissan Atlas 5-Speed ends Friday, June 7, 2024 at 11:15 a.m. (PDT)

Visit the AutoHunter listing for more information and photo gallery

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie is a Phoenix-based automotive enthusiast who has been writing for The Journal since 2016. His favorite automotive niche is 1980s and 1990s Japanese cars, and he is a self-diagnosed “Acura addict” since he owns a collection of Honda and Acura cars from that era. Tyson can usually be found on weekends tinkering on restoration projects, attending car shows, or enjoying the open road. He publishes videos each week to his YouTube channel and is also a contributing author to Arizona Driver Magazine,, NSX Driver Magazine, and other automotive publications. His pride and joy is a 1994 Acura Legend LS coupe with nearly 600,000 miles on the odometer, but he loves anything on four wheels and would someday like to own a 1950 Buick Special like his late grandfather’s.


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