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Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier



  • I've always advocated getting skid plates on all critical areas if you ever think you plan to go off road. (Based this on my 25 years of experience driving off-road with primarily 4Runners that come standard with skid plates.) Last year, we got an 04 Armada that came with 2 skid plates (don't recall which two). I had the dealer order the other two and install them. I don't do any serious off-roading with it but sometimes take it down a Forest Service road where it could hit something unexpected. Why take chances as it's just a few hundred dollars that can save you big time. Fortunately, my 05 Nismo came with them. That's one of the reasons I got the Nismo vs. the straight Frontier. - 81 Trekker
  • If I were going to get the tacoma or the Frontier for my first car which one would y'all recommend?
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    A very general question. The very best thing to do is drive both more than once and pick the vehicle that you feel suits you best-they are both good choices.
  • I agree with driver56. Both are good choices.
    For many people, money is an issue when buying a first vehicle. If that is the case for you, and if the Frontier suits you, you may be able to get more features for the $ with one of those.
  • I am also deciding between the Tacoma, Frontier/Xtera or the Ford Explorer (but I keep hearing bad things about the Explorer). I have test drove all 4 a couple of times and the Tacoma has my vote so far. Does anyone know if the Tacoma has a Timing Chain as opposed to a Timing Belt? I also checked the owners manual and the Tacoma calls for 87 Octane but states it will perform better on 91 octane. I thought I read some where that Toyota recommended only 91 octane? I have also been looking under the hood, Looks like you have to pull out half the engine to change a spark plug on the Frontier/Xtera (same engine) and forget about the Explorer. The Tacoma doesn't look so bad. Take a look under the hood also. Still not crazy about the Aluminum Block engine on the Nissan. Only time will tell.
  • This was taken from the "Tough Truck Test"

    "This made choosing a winner difficult, but the Nissans take the win. If we were buying a truck that would spend its entire life in the dirt, one of the Tacomas might get the nod, but before you play in the mud on the weekend, you have to get through the week first. While equally as tough and capable off-road as the Tacomas, the Nissan Frontiers are simply more refined and more comfortable. Bottom line, had we been forced to endure another few days in the desert we would have wanted to be driving one of the Nissan Frontiers"

    "More refined and more comfortable" I like both trucks a lot, but I drive a Frontier because when you are behind the wheel and driving down the road, the Frontier is more comfortable.

    Both are great trucks IMO, it just depends on what features/characteristics are more important to you.
  • The 1GR-FE V6 engine model for the Tacoma has a timing chain.

    I don't know for sure what the 2TR-FE I4 uses but believe it is also a chain, not a belt.
  • Anyone knows, in what southern state is Tacoma manufactured? Thanks
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    The Tacoma is produced at the NUMMI plant in Fremont, California. I believe there is also a new plant in Baja, Mexico.
  • Mine is from Baja.

  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    How is everything with your Tacoma? What octane do you use?
    How about m.p.g.?
  • All new tacomas chained... Here is complete link list (2006 models are not there yet but all engines the same as 2005) Toyota timing Belt/Chain list
  • Personally I don’t see any difference using 87 and 93, power and mpg remains the same on my preranner 05.
  • I have used regular, midgrade and premium. I have not noticed any performance issues with the lower grades, and no pinging like I used to get with my B3000 when I put regular in it.

    I have been getting right around 22 MPG.

    Mine is a 2005, Double Cab, long bed, with the automatic transmission. I put a shell on it about a month ago.

    I have about 5700 miles on it.

  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Thanks for the info people.
  • Putting shocks aside, I assume no performance difference on securing Skid Plates after-the-fact and adding versus buying a NISMO or TRD Off-Road which already has them.

  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    And, ofcourse, proper tires.
  • Interesting read. I compared both and decided on the Tacoma. So much of this stuff is subjective, i.e., Motor Trend picked the Tacoma as their 2005 Truck of the Year. The two trucks are both so good that for me it came down to the back seat of the Frontier making me feel like I was sitting at 'attention', and I couldn't see making someone ride back there for very long. The Tacoma back seat had a (seemingly) more reclined seat-back and therefore, more comfortable.

    If you are planning on the 4-door crew cab style because you actually plan on people riding in the back, this is an important consideration.
  • "The Tacoma back seat had a (seemingly) more reclined seat-back and therefore, more comfortable.

    If you are planning on the 4-door crew cab style because you actually plan on people riding in the back, this is an important consideration."

    I'm 6-1. With the driver's seat set where I am comfortable, I don't fit in the rear seat of the Tacoma, but I do in the Frontier, though still not as comfortable as in a larger truck. The limiting factor was real-world leg room. Fortunately, most of the time I use the rear seat for storage. In that respect, the rear seat of the Frontier is easier to stow and has more folding options than the Tacoma, which requires a multi-step process and removing the headrests to stow.
  • I want to thank Goofball and Dennwiall for taking the time to reply. I have sent an E-mail to Toyota concerning the 2006. Need to know. Has anyone looked at the engines? The Nissan dealer told me that I don't need to worry about maintenance because they will take care of it and besides, do I Really plan on keeping my truck for over a 100,000 miles! I can change a spark plug but not on the frontier. What about the Aluminum engine block on the Nissans? doesn't that concern anyone? Concerning the Tacoma, the oil filter is up top and real easy to change but doesn't crap roll down hill. I have never seen this before.
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