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Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier

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  • OK, I just did'nt wanta be too blunt. What I meant was, I'd rather pay more for a superior truck than pay less for an inferior truck that uses extra gadgets as an incentive to buy. Nissan has always used cheap little incentives to get customers to buy. I know, cause our family has owned Datsuns and Nissans all our lives. My first Datsun was a 1600 Roadster. We've owned B210s, 310s, 510s, Maximas, Altimas, Sentra, you name it. Again, I think the Frontier is a pretty good little truck, but just not as refined as the Tacoma. Maybe when they add the long bed to there lineup next year, they'll update the interior a little more. As for this discussion, it just comes down to a pissing contest between age old rivals, Nissan and Toyota.
  • Each to their own.
    I have a 2k6 Frontier NISMO 4X4 6sp and I'll take a full box frame with v6 that is build around a world class v6 any day.
    I looked at the Tacom before I bought my Frontier and I can not understand why Toyota would cheapen a truck by not going with full box frame.
    The composite bed is nice but the rear end of a pickup is light enough without making it lighter by using a composite bed.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Risking the chance of a so called pissing contest, I'd say the Nissan is actually a "superior" truck. And I certainly don't believe that the Taco is one of Toyota's better vehicles, by any stretch of the imagination. I also think the Tacoma is a pretty good little truck, but could delete the "camry" interior, add a real front bumper, beef up the frame, improve driving dynamics, and drop a little of that baby fat,and I'd seriously consider it next time. I think at this point, Toyota could build a cardboard box with 4 wheels and people would be lining up to purchase. I just never fell for it. I'll take my well equipped Frontier with all its little useful gadgets and enjoy them every single minute of every single day I'm in it.

    Cheers!
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    When it all comes to the bottom line, I guess you have to ask yourself if paying more for a Tacoma makes more sense than paying less for a Frontier and getting more bells and whistles. I know one thing, you know that sunroof you got on your Frontier that is'nt offered on the Tacoma? It will eventually haunt you with all that extra wind noise and leaks after a couple of years. Don't say I did'nt warn ya

    Well, I have not had a leak or wind noise problem with a sunroof since my 1979 Mercury Capri RS (and reliablity has improved since then, thankfully!) and I've owned plenty of vehicles with sunroofs. Then again, I have not kept one of them past 10 year and 250,000 miles, so maybe they only break if you keep them longer.
    Maybe Toyota does not offer a sunroof on the Tacoma since they do not offer sunroofs on trucks? Nope, Toyota used to offer a sunroof on the Tacoma and they still offer one on the Tundra. So I do not know why they do not offer a sunroof.

    Well, I enjoy the sunroof on my Frontier and I have no problems and no worries about it.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    OK, I just did'nt wanta be too blunt. What I meant was, I'd rather pay more for a superior truck than pay less for an inferior truck that uses extra gadgets as an incentive to buy. :confuse:

    I'm not sure I follow your "extra gadgets" theory.

    Nissan offers more choices in options than Toyota does, however, there really is not much that I would call a gadget in either truck.
    Be specific instead of vague. If you are implying that Nissan offer gadgets such as sunroof or stereo as gadgets as an incentive to buy then let me explain that the options are not exactly cheap and they are certainly not standard.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    OK, I just did'nt wanta be too blunt. What I meant was, I'd rather pay more for a superior truck than pay less for an inferior truck that uses extra gadgets as an incentive to buy.

    Ken, I've owned a 1998 Frontier and it was no match for the Toyota in the power department and I would have to say that the Frontier was overall not as good as a Toyota.
    Up until the 2005 Frontier and Tacoma I'll concede that I would give Toyota the nod for best compact truck.
    With the 2005's I feel that Nissan made the better truck.
    I owned a 2003 Tacoma V6 4WD SR5 XCab that I really enjoyed except for the lousy seats. It was a great truck and even had a factory sunroof. I planned to keep if forever until some idiot collided with it.
    I had a great deal of skepticism when I checked out the Frontier and I was amazed at how Nissan improved the Frontier in all areas. The VQ series engine is amazing. The seats (at least the ones in the NISMO) are best in class. I really appreciate the durable cloth material of the seats. The mouse fur material of the seats in my 03 Taco and the lack of comfort of the 03 Taco were the major complaint I had with it. The Frontier interior is a truck interior and I prefer it to the Camry-like interior in the Tacoma. Maybe I'm just used the plastics and don't mind them in the Frontier since my 03 Taco used similar amount of plastics.

    I'm happy with my Frontier. Tacoma obtains a bit more mileage and the switchgear has a bit higher quality feel IMO, other than that, the Frontier is great.
  • 2005lekc2005lekc Posts: 145
    It never ceases to amaze me how this bashing goes on and on between two fine trucks. The Toyota costs more, but the resale is higher so that is really a wash.

    Some people don't like the Tacoma light bed and tailgate, I would love to have that light weight tailgate. I am going on 70 years old and weigh a little over 120 pounds. Light sounds good to me and yes I haul a lot of things in my truck.

    To me it really comes down to which truck appeals to you more and which one best fits your needs.

    I think if everyone on here would be honest with themselves they could be happy driving either truck.

    I ended up buying an '05 Frontier because of the price up front, may not live to see the resale recoup of the cost.

    I drove both trucks and I could be happy with either one. There are some things I like better about the Frontier and some things I like better about the Tacoma.

    There is not one person on this thread that is going to have their mind changed by someone bashing the truck they purchased and love. So why don't we acceept the fact that people's tastes differ and that does not make them wrong and you right.

    My wife drives a Toyota Solara and it is one of the nicest cars I have ever owned. When we replace it in a few years I will definitely consider another one. I shall also consider Nissan, Acura, and Avalon. What I shall end up with will be the one that best fits my needs at that time.

    I have owned 3 Toyotas and 8 Datsun/Nissans in the past. Both are good products and do not deserve all of this bashing that is going on here.

    OkieScot

    Live and let live
  • I agree. One of the reasons for having so many different models is to satisfy everyone. Some people like a stick others can't deal with shifting. Does that make one of them wrong? No way. Just a different style. Just like driving a truck, car, convertible or a sports car. If each one serves the persons need what's the big deal. Do you go around bashing another man's wife just 'cause she's not your type??
  • 2005lekc2005lekc Posts: 145
    choochoojohn,

    Now don't give them any ideas about wife bashing, that could really cause problems.

    OkieScot
  • Yeah, I guess you're right. In my innocence I didn't think some people may have too open a mind. :) :D :)
  • hi when you installed the fold a cover how did you intall the drainage tubes?
  • Ooooh? Did I hit a nerve??? Why so defensive??? I'm happy for you and your Frontier. Now is that better? :)
  • 2005lekc2005lekc Posts: 145
    cf51nyy,

    The Fold-A-Cover does not come with drainage tubing. I have had it installed for over a year now and only have gotten a little water in it. That was in Arkansas on a trip during a gully washer.

    The seals on the cover have deflected the majority of the water so far. I usually put a sheet of plastic over anything I don't want to get wet and so far it has worked for me.

    If the seal on the cover ever wears out then I can foresee a problem, but so far so good.

    OkieScot
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Just a little counter punching, no worries.
  • badnessbadness Posts: 242
    has anyone on the east coast noticed that your buring alot more gas then the Norm. ?

    I'm buring it to fast and I don't speed at all I keep it at 2000Rpms to keep MPGS good.
  • No I haven't noticed any difference.
    But aren't the blends different between summer and winter?
    Not sure which one is the better one to be burning. :confuse:
  • I spent a lot of time laboring over which to get, a Tacoma or a Frontier. I'll apologize in advance for what will be a very long message, but I'm a slightly different type of buyer and thought I'd share all of my thoughts for those with similar needs as they generally are not otherwise addressed.

    I needed to replace my 1999 regular cab base Chevy S10. I've cared for it well and it has treated me equally well for 130,000 miles. I think it has a lot more left, but I am passing it to my son who is beginning college. Understand that I also own a BMW Z4; a spectacularly fun car to drive . . . but not in the snow. Also know that I commute about 80 miles round trip each day. A truck for my purpose is essentially a commuter vehicle that offers the utility of a bed (a lot of projects around the house and garden, plus hauling to support some hobbies). The goal is cheap and reliable transportation. The S10 was a 4cyl 5spd. Bought it new for $10k, only option is A/C; crank windows, no tape/CD, etc. Got ~29 mpg mixed driving and, other than replacing a fuel pump, it has been flawless. It was cheap to buy and cheap to keep. The goal is to get something just like it, but the domestics didn't look like they'd fit the bill. It was down to Toyota or Nissan.

    I just bought my wife a new Camry a few months ago. Not exactly a driver's car, but it's pretty handsome, comfortable, and if you buy the base model with few options, it's pretty inexpensive (I think we paid $18k + tax/tags). This, along with their top-drawer reputation for quality had me leaning towards the Tacoma. The target was a Tacoma regular cab Prerunner with the SR5 package.

    Here's the problem. As you may have noted, other than the Z4 which was a once-in-a-lifetime indulgence, I like my cars simple and cheap. The base Tacoma has 215 sized tires inside of wheel wells shaped for something much larger. The standard wheels look silly. Okay, the Prerunner gets me appropriately sized tires and doesn't add that much to the cost. Now I find that I can't order a/c, it's part of a $1k package. And even after that thousand, I still don't get intermittent wipers (wipers dragging across the windshield more frequently than they have to is a personal bug of mine) so I speced the SR5 package which comes along with that and other goodies. The dealer wouldn't move from MSRP on the price so with assorted rebates, the Tacoma finished out at around $16,800 + tax/tags.

    The Frontier XE's stock tires look appropriately sized to the vehicle and adding only the "preferred" package to get A/C and other essentials brings the Nissan to $16,500.

    Here's how the two trucks compared for me:

    EXTERIOR STYLE: Equal. I like the look of the Frontier, but the Tacoma regular cab as a Prerunner looks pretty good, too.

    INTERIOR STYLE: The Tacoma by a mile. The Fronty's interior looks dated; like it came straight from 1980. Oddly, I think the Frontier interior from the previous generation (2002 - 2004) looked better than the current version. The Tacoma's interior is very handsome; car-like.

    BED: I know Toyota's composite bed is criticized. I've heard tales of it being punctured or the tailgate breaking off. I'm not hauling concrete and don't expect to damage it. That said, I would rather have plastic over steel instead of just plastic. However, to my surprise, the XE included only a steel bed, not the coated trak bed available on all other Nissans. I think Toyota has to get the nod here.

    ENGINE: I'm giving this to the Toyota, too. The specs indicate only a modest difference in horsepower, but between only being a regular cab and having the plastic bed, the Tacoma is quite a bit lighter and definitely feels like it has more pull and acceleration. The Frontier's is fine, but by comparison, it seems like seems a little underpowered. I also feel the more positive feedback from the Tacoma's shifter. Lastly, though the official numbers are similar, I suspect the Toyota will get better mileage.

    HANDLING: Pretty close. I think they're both pretty agile for midsized trucks. The Nissan might be a little more nimble, but it also jumps around more over bumps.

    BREAKING: Hands down, the Frontier. I know there's a lot of criticism about the Tacoma's rear drums. I think the Toyota stopped fine, but the Nissan was definitely better.

    RELIABILITY: Ya' never know. Toyota has the better reputation, but I've been hearing that reliability has suffered as the company has grown in size. Nissan definitely doesn't have Toyota/Honda grade reliability, but they are known for solid 4cyl engines. I'd give a small advantage to Toyota here.

    So you'd think I'd have picked the Toyota, right? I do think it is the better truck, but here are the problems:

    I live in NJ and Toyota does not ship Prerunners to the Northeast. I had to call on four dealers to find one willing to order it (8-12 weeks). Toyota's $500 rebate would no longer be in effect and I'd have to gamble on whatever deal might be in effect (or not) months from now. My wife earned her degree last May which is good for another $400 rebate, but that would also longer be good by the time the truck came in because she would have graduated more than a year ago by then. Without those, the Toyota is $17,700, more than a grand higher than the Nissan. And remember, this is for a REGULAR CAB! The same Tacoma as a regular cab would have been north of $19k. To seal the deal, Nissan offered to put in a Rhino spray-on liner and bed rails at no cost to me.

    Yeah, the Tacoma is generally a better driving truck and the interior is MUCH nicer, but for about a thousand less, I'm getting an extended cab for free and a composite-over-steel bed. And the truck exactly as I want it right down to color was immediately available.

    If this was a working vehicle for me, or my only vehicle, I might have coughed up the money for the Tacoma; maybe even the extended cab version. But for me, I think the Frontier will serve the need very nicely. I struggled a lot over this decision. I hope my sharing these thoughts helps others who are likewise laboring over a similar choice.
  • No appology needed at least in my reading your thoughts on the two trucks. You bring up some good valed points.
    I also replaced an S-10/Sonoma for a Frontier.
    I went for the Frontier because of the Engine/transmission roots. The VQ6 4.0 has a better linage of where it came from and that is the VQ3.5 which is a World Class Engine.
    True the interior of Frontier is dated but it's a truck not a car.
    I did not like the composite bed of the Tacoma because my logic is the a$$ end of a truck is light enough without making it 'lighter'.
    The Frontier frame comes from the Titan which is a FULL SIZE TRUCK unlike the Tacoma is a combo of 'C' Channel and box frame to save weight......that all.....weight.
    If the VQ6 was in the Tacoma it would be a 'ROCKET' because of the weight difference.
    Conversley if the Tacoma engine was put in the Frontier it would be a SLUG.
    I rest my case and hope ya enjoy your Frontier as much as I enjoy mine.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    I couldn't agree more Rocketman. I test drove both trucks back to back more than once and found that the Nissan not only suited me more, but that I preferred practically everything about it. I had already researched both trucks to death, dating back to the Fall of 2004, and after multiple test drives chose the Frontier. I prefer the ride, size, handling, look (interior and exterior) of the Nissan. The VQ is second to none. The build quality, fit and finish, ergonomics, materials, are all top notch. It's actually fun to drive, which I found from the get-go, and is very well equipped (bang for the buck). On and off-road it's very capable, very confident and I haven't a single beef with it thus far. I use it for my work and play, is our only vehicle, and also fits nicely in the garage.
    Enjoy all!
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Having owned both Tacoma and Frontier in the past I preferred Tacoma until the 05's arrived. I was very biased toward Toyota until I was able to spend time driving both the 05 Tacoma and Frontier and I decided that the Frontier was the better truck so I purchased an 06.
    Not one problem and it is a very satisfying truck.
    Changes I would request is for the truck to be lighter and to offer a higher mileage engine option such as a diesel.
    If either the Tacoma or Frontier offers a diesel I will buy one, otherwise I will own my 06 for a long time.
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