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Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier



  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    Thats how bad US Auto makers let their product slip. Now it's Taco/Fronty.

    Dakota better then Ranger or Colorado top domestic midsize I believe.
  • paulzzzpaulzzz Posts: 1
    OK...Time to weigh in.
    I have read these forums through and have seen some very good and very bad arguments for both vehicles. Here is my take!!
    Bought My first Japanese vehicle in 1974. Toyota Celica and one of the best vehicles I ever owned. Actually, drove it so much that I decided to disconnect the speedometer cable because I was putting too many miles on it. Sold it to a private owner and felt a little guilty. By accident, ran into him a few years later and tried to avoid the conversation, thinking that I had screwed him. Told me it was the best car he ever bought. Whew!! He felt the same way I did!!
    (and no..keep reading...this is not an endorsement for Toyota)
    Since 1974 I have been sold on Japanese vehicles and since then, with the exception of one year..(bought a GM 1978 Monte Carlo...forgive me....GM roots from my father run deep) ... I have owned all Japanese vehicle since then. The argument here is not Toyota vs. Nissan but is Japanese vs. GM, Ford, & hmmmmm...Chrysler + others.

    Due to loyalty, incentives, family history, and fleet purchases American products (whether right or wrong) still control the truck market, I am thinking #1 GM should be worrying about #2 Toyota big time, and # 2 Toyota should be worrying about #3 Nissan, big time, and all should be worrying about Hunydai and Kia.... let alone a few new upstarts. (Gotta Love Competition in America)

    Took both trucks for a test drive (wanted a Toyota Tacoma since they were introduced..and now was finally able to purchase one.) Money not necessarily the issue... income now $200k/yr, but wife, house & career came first.) Nissan had the leather seats, sunroof, disk brakes, smooth transmission and a very powerful engine!!

    Knowing that most of the younger crowd here want to hear of the off-road capabilities and I also love four-wheeling, I will followup later.

    I also work on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. Trucks everywhere and ready to challenge them!!

    Suffice it to say, I am the owner of a LE Frontier. Built in the USA.
    Thank You Nissan!!!
  • Does the Frontier have an optional mechanical LSD as does the Tacoma or is it just the electronic version of LSD that uses brake intervention on the slipping wheel? To me it is important to have a true mechanical limited slip diff.
  • Frontier has an electronic limited slip on the front axle and both an electronic limited-slip and mechanical full locking differential on the rear. I don't remember which models have the rear locker as standard or optional. My 4x4 NISMO CC has it.
  • I know the locking differential would be for offroading at low speeds. Tacoma also offers this combination of the locking differential and electronic LSD on the offroad version. The mechanical LSD is for normal driving.
  • Well Senator paul zzz,

    Your' re yankin' down some nice loot!! Congrats!! It also appears you did your homework before you bought your Frontier.. Now do something about these gas prices!!

    If possible kind Sir....May I bring my humble [non-permissible content removed] and my Off-Road (OG #2) V6..6M down there to D.C. to blow your doors in???



    Ps..Hey it's all good !! Oh, Thank You Toyota!!
  • Ok, I've been through quite a few threads in this post. 9/7, I sold my trusty 1999 SR5/TRD Taco. It had 131,000 miles and ran/drove great! Love that truck. Naturally, I'm thinking of going w/another Taco but it's looking like the Frontier is in the lead for these reasons:

    - The Frontier runs optimal on 87 Octane. The Taco suggests/requires Premium. (I had 80,000 miles on my '99 Taco and filled up w/its first tank of 92 Octane. 3/4 of a tank through, the Check Engine light came on. It blew the Bank 1 Oxy sensor. So, with gas prices, etc., Frontier is FAR ahead of the Taco.

    - Road noise. I understand the 05 Taco cabin is a little louder on the highway. I test drove a Frontier and it was pretty quiet (and rode more like a car!)

    - Flexible/Universal interior. More storage, standard din (radio chassis), back-seat folding.

    - More ground clearance. I understand the Taco dropped an inch or two. Nissan is actually now the leader in this category.

    Oh yeah, is it true the Nissan Automatic tranny is sealed? No dipstick? One more question: My old Taco was still as tight as it was 100k miles ago - no play in the steering, u-joints, etc. The bushings, etc., really hold up good. Do Nissan trucks fare age and mileage as gracefully?

    The bullets above are just things that stick out. Please add/validate/modify any of them. I want to make a decision that will provide a good truck for the next 5-6 years.
  • rage151,

    It seems, my son, that you have forsaken us already and gone to the dark side. Where have we wronged you my son? Your bushings and u-joints are all still as tight as a 16 year-old cheerleader. It seems that you have made your choice already and there is nothing more that can be said that hasn't been said already in 8 months of childish bickering. I see that your Nissan Frontier will age gracefully, I have no basis for my prediction, but because I say it is so, it is so.


    - Just screwing around. Good luck with whatever truck you buy, you seem to have done your research. I'm sure you'd be happy with either choice. Everyone seems to be happy with whatever they have for their own reasons. Sorry to see you go. :(
  • "Oh yeah, is it true the Nissan Automatic tranny is sealed? No dipstick? One more question: My old Taco was still as tight as it was 100k miles ago - no play in the steering, u-joints, etc. The bushings, etc., really hold up good. Do Nissan trucks fare age and mileage as gracefully? "

    1. The Frontier tranny is NOT sealed. There is a small nut securing the dipstick. Loosen the nut and check the dipstick like any other tranny. Leave the nut off if you want to check the level on a frequent basis.

    2. 20,000 miles in 7 months. I haven't used any fluids, including transmission or oil, between services. Very tight truck. Hood latch squeaks unless lubed on a monthly basis. Rear leafs get noisy after off-roading, solved with WD-40. Very impressive truck.

    3. Get 18-19 mpg from CC V6 NISMO, which is good for a truck. I'm buying an 06 Civic to get better mpg and save some miles on the NISMO, which will be reserved for the off-road and hauling jaunts.
  • It looks like the Tacoma has lost nine horsepower using the new rating system. The Tacoma now will have 236hp on premium fuel I'm even more sure about my purchase of a Frontier.
  • I was just wondering if any other trucks have lost H.P. due to the new system of measure?
  • Someone mentioned that Toyotas are losing reliability. I met up with a guy earlier this year who had 329K on his Tundra having spent money on nothing other then preventative maintenance (oil changes, brakes, ect..). That defines reliability to me. I just traded my 02 Tundra (which I traded my 96 Tacoma for) with 60K on it. I traded for the Tundra to get 4 openings (can't really count the rear doors on the access cab as true doors) and six seats. Traded for the 05 Tacoma for 4 true doors and a much bigger back seat. Did lose the 6th seat though. That is the only complaint. But my son has his own truck now so the few times I haul all 6, one likes to ride in the bed (with a canopy). I cannot say that I have had a single problem with any of my Toyotas. I simply traded for something I liked better. I drive alot (60K in less than 3 years on the Tundra) and nothiong bugs me more than breaking down 1000 miles from home and not knowing who I can trust (or afford) to have repairs done on my vehicle. Having a new vehicle under warranty, a call to Toyota leaves no questions.
    I had trouble locking the truck into 4X4 until I pushed the clutch all the way to the floor. No more problems. I used super unleaded for a couple weeks, but with gas prices where they are, I cheaped out. Have not had a single ping, hesitation or anything else, plus I get a half MPG better. Until I am shown a disadvantage I will stay with cheaper gas. Someone complained about how hard the rear seat is to fold down and how little space is left. I had to read the directions (where to put the head rests), but after that the average 2nd grader can do it in 10 seconds or less. Maybe they were not talking about the crew cab. I honestly am not familier with the other cab configs. I did not even consider the Nissan (or any other truck) because the Tundra was so far superior to any other vehicle I have owned (well over 30) that I was looking for another Toyota. The last Nissan I really spent any time with was my buddy's 86 Hardbody when it was new. Certainly saw nothing to discourage ownership with that. If Toyota is a homerun, that was definately a triple.
  • I wish I had saved the list what I remember is that they listed several Toyota and Acura products and they indicated that American manufactures would be affected less as they have tended to be more conservative in rating their engines.
  • I am planning to purchase an 05 Frontier. At first I was undecided between the two. After reading the comparison between the two trucks, I decided to go with the Frontier v6. My problem is don’t know whether to choose the LE pck or the Nismo (most of my driving will be on road). Most people I have talked to recommend LE since the ride will be more tolerating. I currently own a Tacoma TRD. To me, the Taccoma w/ TRD has a much better ride. I figure the NISMO pkg. would do the same thing, on or off road. Is it right? In addition, how is GAS mileage on Frontier v6? Please advise.
    thank you all. Hey, hking! Thanks for such an informative & thorough review.
  • richbf2,

    I was looking at the LE and the Nismo when I bought my truck. I was leaning toward the Nismo and ordered one. My main reason was because I wanted the avalanche
    white with the blue interior. After placing the order the dealer said that there no white
    with blue interiors avaliable.

    He did find a white with tan interior LE and that is why I am driving the LE now. I had
    some reservations about the Nismo as I do no off roading and I did not want the skid
    plates, thought they would just add weight and I would never use them.

    I also did not like the Nismo decals which I would have removed if I had gotten one.
    I also did not want the stiffer ride nor the more aggressive tires.

    In retrospect, I am glad that I got the LE, I only wish it had been available with the blue interior.

  • "One more question: My old Taco was still as tight as it was 100k miles ago - no play in the steering, u-joints, etc. The bushings, etc., really hold up good. Do Nissan trucks fare age and mileage as gracefully?"

    My '90 needed an internal engine leak fixed at 178K. It was the first truly significant repair needed. I wish I hadn't spent the money to fix it, cuz the cost was the same as the truck's KBB value...I probably should have just traded it in for a new truck, but wasn't ready for the price tag. Otherwise, it essentially drives the same as it did when new, it starts without priming with the gas pedal on a cold winter morning, and gets 25 MPG (it was getting 27 until I hit about 90K or so). I'm on my third set of tires (Cooper Cobras on Outlaw II rims), second set of brakes (about 10K away from needing new), fifth pair of headlamps (I always drive with lights on, and replace both when one blows), second windshield (got a huge crack last winter, dammit...), third battery (needing replacement soon, I suppose). Heck, my sound system is about the same value on the used market as my truck, but I did my best to keep it maintained, and as long as you do that, these Nissans won't quit on you. The only time this truck ever came to a complete stop on me was when I ran out of gas...and that was 14 years ago when I was still young and stupid.

    Thanks for this tread, btw...I've been looking for a new truck, and these two models are my bigger considerations. I bought Nissan over Toyota 15 years ago cuz of power, driver leg-room, and superior price tag...looks like things haven't changed, except that now I have to spend nearly three times as much money. But this time I'm going with AC and four doors (won't make that mistake with AC a second time, and the extra doors are for potential kids the wife wants)
  • mir0mir0 Posts: 15
    Anyone have any experience towing with either of these two? I have a lighter travel trailer that I would like to pull with either of these two, but I am not to sure how good they would be as occassional towing vehicles. Would hate to have to get a half ton chevy/ford/dodge.
    I would be pulling about 3000lbs dry.
  • mir0mir0 Posts: 15
    I can see that the Toyota has a factory towing option that comes with the factory hitch, and some added cooling, but I cannot find anything like that for the Frontier. Anyone know if this is an option on the Nissan?
  • "I would be pulling about 3000lbs dry."

    I have a V6 '05 Tacoma with the factory tow package, rated to tow 6500. 3000 pounds feels like there's nothing there!

  • Nissan does offer a hitch and wiring. It'll tow as much as 6500 lbs. depending on which trim level you buy.
    Using a bumper-mounted ball, I think it'll tow 3000 or 3500 lbs., if I recall correctly.
    Either truck will tow well.
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