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Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan 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.
  • mir0mir0 Posts: 15
    Is that a dealer option or something, because I keep getting different info from the dealers that I have visited.
    I really am leaning toward the nissan, but the towing issue is a big one for me. I know the toyota will do the job and has everythink I need, but for whatever reason, I would like to go with the nissan (maybe it's the premium gas issue, or that the toyota tow package cannot be gotten without going with all of the other options..).
  • I am partial to the Tacoma, but I have to agree about the part where you have to get other equipment to get the tow package. It seemed like they were pushing stuff off on me to get more money. I don't know what I had to get that I did not need in order to get the tow package, but I do know that I had to get the TRS Off Road package to get the tires I wanted. But, when I look at it, some of the stuff that I may not have needed, sure are nice. Sure could have used that front tow hook on my Tundra (It never needed a tow, but alot of other trucks did). The skid plate is a must for 4X4ing. I wanted the rear locker anyway. I have a portable 110 volt converter, so that is a definate bonus having one mounted in the bed (how about one inside too). The 7 prong trailer adapter is something I added to my Tundra. When it comes down to it, they knew what I wanted before I did. I may not have gotten all of the options if I had a choice, but I would not have been so giddy about my truck and would not have saved much, if any. And to top it off, I did not have to rely on 18 yr old kids to add accessories to my truck at the dealership. It rolled off the truck into my hands, prepared by the factory (well almost). And finally, I didn't have to wait weeks for a special order vehicle. When I went looking, it was ready to take home. Want to lose my business? Don't have what I want in stock.....
  • I think dealers offer them. If I recall correctly, it is an optional accessory, like the hood protector or wheel locks, for example. I have seen them online, too.
  • I have a SE 4x4 V6 with the 6-Spd. My mileage started around 17 MPG and has increased. The last ~5 tanks have been over 20, averaging about 20.5 MPG. I think it'll go up a bit more, based on what other 6cyl. Nissan owners have indicated.
    I think the transmission is good. I have had many Honda/Acura vehicles, which have very good manual shifting, so I am used to short-ish throws and very little notchy feel. The truck is not nearly as good as an Integra, for example, but it is reasonably good, in my opinion, for a truck.
    I have heard the automatic is very good.
    I like the truck. It feels pretty solid, and the engine is certainly more than sufficient. It is comfprtable, but you still know you are driving a truck.
    I hope that helps. enjoy.
  • Well, since some folks like to make this a forum to justify their purchase...
    The tacoma has an inferior chassis with more flex. The tacoma has a plastic bed. Many prefer a metal one. The frontier handles better. The tacoma prefers premium fuel.
    Any one of us could carry on about the pluses of our chosen vehicle. All vehicles have negatives. I think the frontier has plenty of room in the wheel well, and has greater ground clearance as compared to the tacoma, if I am not mistaken. Suspensions are supposed to move. Either truck will excel off-road, for a stock vehicle.
    I had an 04 tacoma; Nice truck. I have an 05 frontier; Nice truck.
    Others have a new tacoma; Nice truck.
    Drive what you like and like what you drive.
  • Holy old thread resurrection Batman!

    Plastic doesn't rust or dent. Of course the bed isn't plastic, it's a fiberglass-reinforced polymer composite. Strong as a steel bed (same payload cap. as the Frontier) and lighter too (see article). Guess that's why the mpg and the 0-60 time is better with the Tacoma (don't argue they aren't, these are researched numbers, not opinions). Despite not having that ever so important 20 HP extra.

    I'm not going to even touch the "inferior chassis" comment. Not sure where you pulled that from.

    "Many prefer a metal one (bed)." According to who? It wouldn't surprise me if Nissan puts in an SMC bed for the '07 Frontier models. In some way, shape or form, this is the future, like it or not.

    Car and Driver did rate that they thought the Frontier had better handling. Absolutely correct. I don't do the slalom too often but I think I'd enjoy tighter steering wheel response.

    Runs fine on whatever gas you put in. I personally use 89, don't ask why because I don't know. No one that actually owns a Tacoma has reported any problems or a significant drop in mpg or performance by using regular fuel.

    Yup, every truck has it's positives and it's negatives. However, if you own a Frontier, talk about it's positives since your negative Tacoma claims have no basis in reality or experience and are pure speculation and opinion (yours or someone getting paid to tell you theirs). This board, although I am not exactly sure why it was created, is supposed to help future buyers decide based on current owners experiences.

    It's sad really. This entire board turned out like a presidential debate. No one says anything good about themselves (or their trucks). It's all negative stuff about the other guy and then rebuttals defending the inane attacks and slander. What have you done for me lately?

    Centralcal, I miss you sweetheart. Let the rants begin!
  • Unfortunately, the reading class must have worked or you must have had someone proof read your post. I actually agree with you (for the most part). The rear bed issue is more of time will tell. I think it makes a lot of sense, lighter/cheaper. It should hold up, but who knows. I have seen a couple of posts on cracked beds. Don't know if this is isolated or will become a trend. No long term experience on it. I wish I could argue, nothing too inflammatory in your post though, maybe next time. :)
  • Boone88rr,

    Well said, I did look at the Tacoma when I bought my Frontier. I honestly did not see very much difference between the two for the type of driving and hauling that I do.

    My wife drives a 2000 Toyota Solara and it is the best car I have ever owned. For
    that reason I was leaning toward the Tacoma , but I had a heck of a time trying to figure out the option packages they offered. The salemen were not much help with that

    The real clincher was the price difference. I was trading in a very clean low miles Frontier XE KC. Nissan offered me a $6000 better deal than Toyota.

    I do like the looks of the Frontier better, but that is personal taste and there are just as many that prefer the Tacoma.

    My only exception to your post is that I do like the metal bed better than the composite
    bed. Probably just my age telling on me. I feel that you are probably correct with the statement that Nissan will go that route in time.

    I do not worry about rust in the bed as I had a 1977 Datsun KC for 24 years and it
    hauled a lot of stuff. There was some rust on the sides of the truck, but never any in the bed area. That was a heck of a good truck now that I think about it.

    Let us all enjoy our trucks and smile when we meet on the road.

  • Actually, I was sort of mocking (if unclearly so) all those who just put negative comments on the board.
    Unfortunately, your response perpetuates excatly what you say is wrong with this board.
    The stuff about the metal bed, fuel octane, etc... is what I consider to be over-debated.
    Basically, my point is that both are good vehicles, as noted in the subject and the end of my post. There are good points and less-good points to each, but Tacoma or Frontier; a buyer should be pleased with either.

    Things I like about the frontier:
    Plenty of power, smooth, but still truck-ish ride, decent payload capacity, decent mileage (~20-21).
    Dislikes: I think the tires on mine are a little cheap.

    Best to all.
  • toykicktoykick Posts: 104 vs.
    government crash tests (30+mph)
    highway offset crash tests(40+mph)
    acceleration times
    towing times and outcome vs. other midsized trucks

    more options. better acceleration times towing or not, More safety... previous gen on JD powers top 10 list of vehicles which dont deplead in resale value as much.... Nissan is below jd powers industry average for initial quality... just a few reasons...

    Facts vs. Opinions :P
  • toykicktoykick Posts: 104
    A CC 4x4 Frontier takes 22+ seconds to tow 4500 pounds 0-60 a DC 4x4 Tacoma takes 18+ seconds to tow 4500... the 4x4 tacoma has a little bit less ground clearance then the 4x4 Frontier, but the tacoma has a greater approach and departure angle then the frontier. you be the judge
  • Most of that is fact. Some of it is opinion.
    I have read most of it before - very interesting. There is not much difference in the two, based on only those links, IMHO.
    For me, though, a steel bed was preferred, and I wanted a more basic truck. I have a 6-spd, 4x4, x-cab (King cab) with ABLS and bed liner, so the extensive options were not really a factor. Also, to get the few features I wanted, it would have cost me about $3,000 more for the Toyota, as they are packaged.
    The infomation you post will undoubtedly be valuable to people reading this to decide between these two trucks. Some magazines/web-sites do feel the frontier is the better choice. Some see the Tacoma as better.
    I'd sacrifice a few seconds off of my 0-60 time towing 4500 lbs for $3000 bucks. Both vehicles are more than capable of towing that weight with little difficulty.Rarely would one be racing with that load behind them. Really, though comparing 0-60 on a pickup; maybe if the difference were 2 or 3 seconds (not towing), it'd be more of a factor, but both are >8 seconds. I think that is pretty good. Lots of cars can't do that. How quick does a pickup need to be?
    The quality of mine seems to be pretty good, though I have only had it for 6500 miles.
    I respectfully maintain that either is a good choice. They are the top two options in this class of truck.
  • The crash tests are great. First of all, I would much rather have a leg injury than to suffer a head injury. The pictures are very good if you look at them in detail. It is very intesting how in the Taco, the tire went flat, and the wheel either turns or bends (by luck or design?) and goes back into the wheel well (where there is more space) and not going into the cabin at all, sparing the leg. When you look at the Frontier, the tire stays inflated and goes directly back (not much space) forcing the the contents on the lateral side of the cockpit to be forced into the legs.

    As far a JD power:

    Also, when looking at kellybluebook's website, they have 90 day quality results from JD power showing a huge dropoff vs the 04 Taco. They don't have anything on the Frontier. But they also have a cost of ownership site favoring the Taco. Just more wood for the fire.
  • toykicktoykick Posts: 104
    you should check out the government tests... the Head Injury Criterion is a lot lower for the tacoma then it is for the frontier... 406 for the tacoma and 636 for the frontier... but then again these tests are done on a flat concrete wall... while the High way crash tests are done offset and at above 40 mph...
  • goosegoose Posts: 77
    I have owned a 2001 Tacoma and currently drive a 2003 Frontier. I was amazed to see that the Frontier was better as a daily use truck. Its been trouble free and was thousands less. I'm not the only one that feels the Frontier is a better daily use truck. Car and Driver or Motor Trend magazines had a comparison on the last model Tacoma and Frontier. The Frontier came out as a better truck for city/highway commuters.
    Anyway, I won't get into a drawn out discussion on my Tacoma problems. I will say this, to many people are using Toyota's past glory to justify its higher price and vehicle preference. My Tacoma was a partial lemon and the higher price did not solve that issue. Is the Toyota a bad truck? No. Would I consider a new Tacoma? No. I have two main reasons: 1. My past experience with the Tacoma. 2. A Tacoma out fitted to my requirements doesn't fit in my garage. The 2005 Frontier is better when I factor in past experience, the price and it fits in my garage. Plenty of folks out their use their garage as storage but I actually like my vehicles in the garage.
  • Interesting problem goose. I've never heard that before. One vehicle at 208" does not fit but the 205" truck does? Or is it that extra 1 inch in height, or 2 inches in width? That's one magical garage.

    - Maverick
  • Toyota has been overstating hp and torque figures and is now using the correct SAE tests for peak hp and torque figures.

    Don't believe me? Go to Toyota's website and check out the new specs on the Tacoma: 236 power and 266 torque.

    Tacoma Specs

    The bottom line is this: the Toyota die-hards (used to be one myself) are most likely going to buy the Tacoma because its a Toyota. For those who are open minded, the Frontier is obviously more powerful and agile. The Tacoma engineers drained all the fun out of driving with loose steering and marshmallow handling. The body lean is scary, and if you've test driven it, you know what I mean.

    Are there areas where the Tacoma outshines the Frontier. Sure, there are some. I really like that power outlet and the interior is a more refined, but overall, the Frontier is hands-down the more capable truck. More power+better handling=a better driving experience.

    And the cherry on top is: The Frontier costs between $1500 and $3000 less depending on the options you choose.

    With 265 HP and 284 LB-FT, the Frontier holds the crown for most powerful mid-sized truck. Nissan did their homework folks. There is a new sheriff in town.
  • Yes, we've all seen the new specs. So when is Nissan going to start conducting the new SAE tests?

    The '06 Tacoma still has the same engine that has a better 0-60 time than any other midsize truck on the market. Until every car manufacturer complies with this new procedure, HP claims and comparisons are bogus. I'm glad that they finally made a uniform test for everyone. Hopefully this will curb cheating the system. In my opinion, the SAE made a mistake by making this testing procedure voluntary.

    Kudos to Toyota for having some balls and complying. Even though they knew they would probably risk some sales due to showing a "decrease" in HP. The Frontier had 20 more HP then and I still bought the Taco. The question is, what does Nissan have to hide? They sure do love their HP claims, featured in every commercial for any Nissan car or truck.

    Last time I checked the score was 110,482 to 48,883. Your move Bobby Fischer.

    When Nissan finally reviews all it's specs, the '07 Frontier HP will drop as well.

    Inflammatory enough for you?
  • Nissan's been using the correct SAE test all along. The 265/284 are the correct numbers, just as they've been since day one. Kudos to Nissan for getting it right the first time.

    If you want to keep "score," the F-150 would be the best truck on the road, and I think we all know that's not true.

    Engine's don't have 0-60 times, vehicles do. The Frontier's engine is more powerful and thats a fact. The Frontier has a stronger and heavier F-Alpha frame, that's a fact. The Frontier has a stronger and heavier bed, thats a fact. All this extra weight let's the less powerful Toyota engine carry the lighter Tacoma to 60mph .1 seconds faster than the Frontier (and don't forget thats 92 vs 87 octane). I can live with that .1 seconds considering all the advantages that extra weight gives the Frontier. It doesn't matter anyway, at 80, 90, 100 mph the Frontier is a half truck length ahead easily. Throw a couple curves in the road, coupled with the Frontier's tighter, more responsive handling, well you get the idea...
  • It's almost unbelievable how little you know about this topic and yet you insist that you're right. Indulge me and look at the bottom of this article page and tell me what it says (from NissanNews published by Nissan Motors):

    Yup, you read it right: * All horsepower ratings are per SAE J1349 JUN1995. The OLD testing procedure. ;)

    You Frontier owners are pretty funny. Again with the defensive talk. "But the F-150 sold more". Hey, what's the title of this forum? Losers make excuses.

    I'll take a lighter truck and it's 22 mpg any day. Why? Because what your talking about is payload and towing capacity. Those ratings haven't changed. Still towing and hauling just as much, but using less of that $3 a gallon gas. Yes, vehicles have 0-60 times and my vehicle is still faster than your POS, whether the SAE says it has 245 HP or 236. I own a Tacoma and I do forget that it's NOT 92 octane. Please read the previous posts.

    Go back and eat your Cocoa Puffs. You've been served.

    Edit: The actual HP is actually a lot closer than the claims: (the blue line, soon to be the red line for me)
This discussion has been closed.