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Midsize Pickup Comparo



  • Regarding Dakota: I seriosly considered Dakota, and especially liked its rear seat room. What made me choose Frontier over Dakota was Dakota's limited ground clearance (only 7"), and Frontier's better power plus better gas mileage. Yes Dakota tows more than Frontier (7,000 vs 6,500 IIRC), but drive the two back-to-back and you'll swear Frontier feels stronger.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The Frontier should feel "stronger:"

    Frontier w/4.0 V6:
    265 HP
    173 lb. ft. torque @ 4400rpm
    vehicle weight 3675 lbs.

    Dakota w/4.7 V8:
    235 HP
    240 lb. ft. torque @ 4000rpm
    vehicle weight 4261 lbs.

    The standard 4.7 V8 in the Dakota makes more torque and slightly more horsepower at lower rpms. While a dealer test drive will undoubtedly produce a greater sensation of acceleration and speed in the Frontier, at load or towing the torque limitations of the otherwise excellent little Nissan motor will be much more clearly evident.

    This was the point in my earlier post. Dodge has concentrated on satisfying the mid-size market segment with a truck that will be used more frequently for work. I'm aware (and I'm sure Dodge is, too) that this often works against them when the Dakota is compared to smaller trucks or crossover vehicles like the Ridgeline. Dodge is answering a market demand for actual commercial work trucks.

    With the exception of the Ridgeline and SportTrack, in my opinion this attempt at comparison of each of the aforementioned vehicles is an apples and oranges conversation. None of the other vehicles under discussion can do what the Dakota can do, and likewise the Dakota cannot give you what some of the others can provide. By size alone the Dakota outclasses the Frontier and the Tacoma. The Ridgeline and SportTrack cannot do what the Frontier, Tacoma, or the Dakota can do.

    By the way, for 2006 Dodge does have a high output 4.7 rated at 260 horsepower. Unfortunately, it requires higher octane fuel.

  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    You got yer' specs. wrong Dusty.
    A Frontier with a V-6 is rated at 265 H.P. and 284 lbs.ft of torque at 4000 r.p.m.
    The V-6 King Cab averages out to approx. 4300 lbs. curb weight.
    And I agree, comparisons are fine and dandy, but, they can only go so far. All these trucks have their attributes, their pluses and minuses, and they are all decent trucks in their own way. The rest is subjective.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    ....especially since your preferred choice utilizes an engine family that's been the least reliable of the candidates under discussion.

    Which engine group are you refering to, and what are your sources of information.

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,824
    Folks, let's avoid making personally-directed comments. With so many models under comparison here, it's unlikely that everyone's going to agree on which one is best, and not every preference is based on pure fact.


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  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    You're right and I stand corrected. I had referenced the Road & Track 2006 Truck Buyers Guide. It now looks like they were quoting the weight and engine specifications of the I-4 engine.

    Of course, that only makes the Frontier even more powerful.

    My apologies.

    Best regards,
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    The source is me.

    I was employed in the management of my company's fleet vehicles for a number of years. Begining in '99 we began purchasing F150s for our light pick ups, replacing our then current GM truck fleet. We phased in just under 100 by 2004 nationally. Currently we are down to 54 F150 nation wide.

    Problems we have seen on the 4.6 Triton modular motor are:

    *coil pack failures
    *exhaust gasket failures leading to cylinder head or exhaust manifold replacement
    *intake manifold cracks
    *freeze plug failures
    *head gasket leaks (coolant)
    *spark plug spitting
    *rear crankshaft oil seal failures

    There are a collection of other problems, such as O2 and other sensor failures. These problems affected a certain population of vehicles, none of these problems affected all vehicles. But compared to our Chevys and Dodges the Triton motors have required a higher level of maintenance and or repair. In most other respects the pre-2005 F150s were pretty good vehicles. Our small purchase of six 2006s have revealed a drastic increase in total vehicle repair rates, unfortunately.

    Our experience seems to match other fleet operators that I've talked to.

  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    No biggy!

  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    That type of info is valuable. You got to view the "BIG" picture of a goodly number of vehicles, over a large area, over a long time period, driven by people that didn't pamper them.

    How did the transmissions of the various vehicles hold up as the miles got high?

    Did y'all have any Japanese vehicles in the fleet? If so, how did they do?

  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Hi Kip,

    We've had and do have some Asian nameplate cars and minivans (no trucks) in our fleet, but the number is very small. These vehicles are used by our service force when they are singularly assigned territories at automobile manufacturing sites. For instance, our service reps that visit Honda in Marysville, Ohio, are assigned Honda vehicles. Since the numbers are very small our results would be statistically invalid.

    We've had Asian truck samples given to us for evaluation from time-to-time. Last year, for instance, Nissan gave us a couple of Titans to use for six months.

    Our experience with transmissions on various vehicles has varied over time. If you are inquiring specifically about trucks, it depends on the model and year. The 4LE60 used in smaller engined GM trucks have been the most unreliable. The 4LE80 used in the larger engined or heavier models is the most overrated transmission I can think of. Not as bad as the 4LE60, but nowhere near the reliability that many people claim it is, at least by our experience.

    The 45REs in our Dodges would be next, however we have selected Dodge as our only 4x4 supplier and we typically use them for plowing and other heavier work. So this may not be a fair comparison. The 46RE found in later RAMs was better. Our '03 and up RAMs all have the 545RFE. We have not had one single issue with any of these transmissions.

    The 4R70s behind the 4.6 motor used in the F150 have been very good. The 4R100s in F250s have not.

    The one thing you didn't ask me about was long term body condition. I remember how Fords rusted prematurely and very badly years ago. Our F-series trucks since '99 have been exceptional in this regard. Our Dodges have been just as good. Our GMs, however, have not. We have had perforation on GMs as early as five years. Rocker panels, rear wheel well lips, lower cab corners, and floor pans are typical weak spots. This really affects resale value when we turn them over. (Factor in piston slap and you can take a bath on a GM LD pickup!) And we're having the same issues on our Venture fleet.

    Hopefully our newer GMs are better.

  • ramzey28ramzey28 Posts: 130
    How do they truly measure ground clearance of a truck. Do they take the lowest part (point) and measure to the ground, or by the axle?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    For the number most commonly published for consumers, it's the distance from the floor to the bottom of the differentials. Typically, that is the lowest point for any essential hardware.

    If you're serious about using a vehicle for off-road use, there are a number of other measurements you'd want to consider.
  • badnessbadness Posts: 242
    I must say Ford Ranger needs a huge Facelift!!!
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Yep! Seems they have been looking the same for a long time now. There may have been some very subtle changes, but hard to recognize.

    They have been "STUCK" in that mold while others have been changing in size as well as engineering.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Tell us; have you been on a trip lately in your truck? What kind of mileage did you get? Any problems lately? Anybody rented a Colorado/Canyon lately? Anyone driven to a Colorado Canyon? :)
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    Anyone seen a Colorado /Canyon?

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Nope, nor have I been to one.

    Ok, I actually did see a wrecked one the other day. Actually fared well (cosmetically) against the Impala it had creamed.
  • sugarman1sugarman1 Posts: 92
    4.0 Liter v6 236horsepower,266ft./pds. torque,Bullet proof reliability,the complete package. This info is brought to you buy a real truck owner not a test driver.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The only info you provided is listed on their website (power ratings). The rest is opinion, something which everyone is entitled.


    "Mark one vote on the tally for the Tacoma, fellas!"
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    4.0 Liter v6 236horsepower,266ft./pds. torque pds?ROTFLMAO! :P

    4.0L 265 HP 284 lb/ft torque (VQ Wards 10 BEST for 12 Years!) Far superior to the wimpy Tacoma engine.
    Frontier better engine.
    Frontier better value.
    Frontier better audio.
    Frontier better seats.
    Frontier better off road.
    Frontier better on road.
    ....Tacoma is an also ran. Just as well buy a Rideline and stay on pavement.
    Ridgeline is best handling.
    Frontier is best off road.
    Is Tacoma best at anything?
This discussion has been closed.