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Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier



  • I think you are completely correct. If you can wait, I definitely would. The Taco is really having some problems, who knows with the Frontier yet. The Ridgeline will also steal some business (very interesting "truck", ugliest thing I have ever seen). Hopefully all the competition will cause some rebates (and force Toyota to put more features on the Taco, one of the biggest reasons I am not buying one).
  • As a current 1999 Honda accord owner, I also think the Ridgline is hideous, at least in the pics I've seen. Sometimes I think Honda needs to start offering a better vision plan for its designers. The new accord, the element (yeah, I know, it's "funky-cool"), and now the ridgeline, all make me want to cry.
  • Resale value matters but it takes a back seat to utility. What good does it do to buy something that costs $2000 more, is worth $2000 more years later (which would make it a wash), but doesn't do the job as well as the "lower resale value" truck? (which makes it not such a good value after all!)


    Sorry, Toyota, but that composite bed has gotta go--or at least be tested more and improved before using customers as guinea pigs. (Didn't Chevy try that on their full size trucks a few years ago and dump it?) Someone posted a msg on the Tacoma section noting that at least two makers of slide-in campers will not be making models for the new Tacoma, because of questions concerning the composite bed.


    Also, anybody who wants to go 4-wheeling had better take a hard look at the Tacoma's transfer case problems. If you can't go between 4Lo and 4Hi, you will be sorry at the worst time. And if the locking differential only works in 4Lo (as in the Frontier) there's another problem with not being able to go into 4Lo.


    Preferences on ride quality are subjective, but whether equipment WORKS reliably is not not.


    I have the glossy manufacturer brochures from both Toyota and Nissan. (The local Toyota dealers were only providing Internet website printouts showing what was available "in our region," which p*ssed me off, so I sent for the real thing which has lots more info in it.) It's obvious that Toyota has chosen to focus its marketing on 20-something guys looking for cool toys to carry maybe a dirt bike in. While that's a perfectly good use for the truck, it seems that they have gradually become less suitable for other uses, while still costing considerably more than the competition.


    Then they try to get you to buy the full size truck if you want a "real" truck. Oh, please. Not everybody wants to drive a giant truck with its lesser gas mileage, reduced maneuverability, and "big truck feel." It's not just a matter of city driving/parking/garage length; on jeep trails, smaller is better also.


    It looks to me like "Number 2" has tried harder while Number 1 has been resting on its laurels. While buying any new model is a gamble, I'll take my chances on better utility over predicted superior resale value any day.



    Dodge had better improve the Dakota, because it's no longer the only contender in the mid-size category.
  • 2k1trd2k1trd Posts: 301
    Oh my god have you seen the new Frontier comercial? The thing is bottoming out like crazy in the off road portion of the scene.The Tacoma has way better suspension and always will be a way better built truck in my opinion.Even though the new Taco is having some minor issues,i still would buy it over the Nissan.The Frontier still looks like the old hard body front end and has no tire clearance and just looks low and dumb.Oh and the "nismo" stupid
  • 3Tacoma,

    Where did you see a $1000 rebate on the new Tacoma? I can't find it anywhere in Southern California, nor on the Toyota corporate site.
  • "No tire clearance" could be deceiving. TRD tires are P265/70R16 and NISMO tires are P265/75R16 (taken straight from the Toyota and Nissan catalogs). Too bad neither maker is supplying TRUCK tires instead of P's. Of course, you can't tell this from TV ads.


    Both TRD and NISMO decals look like little-boy-toy stickers.


    If you want to avoid bottoming out, get a 2WD designed for heavy payloads. Neither the Tacoma nor Frontier 4WD models have impressive payload ratings.


    Do you know specifically what suspension items are on the Tacoma? Neither the Tacoma nor Frontier catalogs provides anywhere near the detail that my old Wrangler catalog did (i.e., "Dana 44 rear axle", gearing info, torque vs. hp curves...).
  • On the Edmunds invoice pricing page for new vehicles. After you build your vehicle and see the TMV price, the incentive is located under the TMV price. Click on it and it shows a $1,000 rebate for max term of 48 months. I live in Louisiana so maybe it is only offered in Southeast area.
  • dreasdaddreasdad Posts: 276
    The rebate is only for those who finanace with a lease or balloon payment through TMCC. If you pay cash or do conv finance there is no rebate. Thats why the term is 48 months. TMCC doesn't like to do residaul based longer than that
  • badnessbadness Posts: 242
    dude you onwn a car you need too drive a truck or owned truck before you start talking about anything on nissans page
  • badnessbadness Posts: 242
    so what do you drive ,Mr. know it all, I ownend a 89 and a 93 took it too the test in the mountains and nothing was too hard for them ,get the facts stright before you run you mouth!!!!!!!!!!

    THe Nissans are great Trucks!!
  • Dude, I've owned a jeep cj-5, a jeep wrangler, a '76 chevy stepside 4x4 lifted 6" with 36" tires, and a '95 explorer. In any event, I wasn't aware there were entry requirements to posting on Edmunds. But, I'll tell you what, I'll buy a new truck, if you buy a dictionary. Deal?
  • 3tacoma, thanks for the info. I checked other areas of the U.S. and couldn't find it offered elsewhere. Wish it was available here in California; I'm buying next week.
  • Sounds like most of the Tacoma lovers base their descision on emotion more than rational thinking. Besides the liabilities I have read on the Tacoma in this forum there is one HUGE one that would keep me from desciding on the Tacoma at this time. The Tacoma makes 245 hp on premium gas while the Frontier makes 265 on regular! How would I feel with a Tacoma fueling up with premium when a Frontier pulls up? Not good.
  • leob1leob1 Posts: 153
    I am a former Chevy, Ford and Frontier truck owner. According to the reviews I've read, the Tacoma is the clear winner vs the Frontier and all others. The only thing I like better about the Frontier is the steel front bumper. Did not like the Frontiers gauges so...


    I bought an 05 PreRunner TRD V6 6sp. So much I like. The power, refinement, reliability, upper console with a compass and temp guage, sun visor extenders, gauge lights come on automatically in tunnels, tons of cup holders, storage compartments everywhere, elecric plug in bed, composite bed, low insurance, etc. People, you have got to check out the Oil Filter location when equipped with supplental oil coolers. For an easy comparison, read the Consumer Guide reviews online of these trucks.


    Notice that the Tacoma is leaner and lighter than the Frontier to make up for the horsepower difference. I've read the reviews, the Tacoma has at least a .5 sec quicker 0-60. The truck is deceptively fast. I am pretty sure my 6sp could clock a 0-60 around 7 sec or less.


    FYI; A Toyota mechanic said it will take 5000 miles to break in(with mpg in mind) and absolutely raved about the truck to me. The 4.0L engine is from the 4Runner and Premium is not required, just recommended. The same engine has regular recommended on 4Runner. I don't understand why the difference exists.
  • novanova Posts: 135
    As you were praising your toyota you forgot to mention all the problems people are having with there toyotas.I hope you are having better luck than the rest of the tacoma buyers.i bought a frontier and I love it. I have herd of only one problem with the frontier and so far and I do not have that one problem. Good luck with your truck. Different strokes for different folks
  • Then why are you lurking around the Tacoma discussions?


    PS: The majority of Tacoma buyers are not having problems.


    As you were praising your Toyota you forgot to mention all the problems people are having with their Toyotas. I hope you are having better luck than the rest of the Tacoma buyers. I bought a Frontier and I love it. I have heard of only one problem with the Frontier, and so far, and I do not have that one problem. Good luck with your truck. Different strokes for different folks
  • leob1leob1 Posts: 153
    I will post any problems if they arise on the 2005 Tacoma. By the way, my 03 Frontier had problems. Such as paint defects in two places and all the drive belts needing replacement at 16000 miles; covered under warranty. I learned first hand about the difference in refinement between Nissans and Toyota's. The only negative about Toyota's I know is the dealers where I live do not sell them cheap.


    Can't we all say though, that the Frontie and Taco are the only two good choices for a midsize truck now? The Colorado and Dakota are lagging behind and are priced about the same or more than Nissan/Toyo.
  • I also enjoy "lurking" around the Taco discussion. I think everyone who has purchased a Fronty did some serious comparison to the Taco. I find it reassuring that i didn't buy a Taco. Also, the Fronty board is boring, only one problem so far. I think it will be very interesting to see how many people are actually having trouble with their Tacos. My bet is that like the redesigned 4Runner in its first year (with the V6), that it will be a model to avoid. I am sure by next year it will be a better truck, but there are both minor (water leaks, rattles) and what I think are major (paint chipping, composit bed strength) that they will have to address.

    Have you had any problems Coinneach?
  • No problems noted with my Tacoma. Most of what I've heard here and at other sites are exaggerated minor issues.


    My 1986 Bronco II experienced paint chipping along the rocker panels, and I was always trying to keep up with touch up paint. I thought I would avoid the obvious road problem with the new Tacoma by buying it with the running boards. That cured the normal wear and tear road hazard phenomenon.


    Composite bed? Don't load the sidewalls with an 800 pound monster, the bed with unsecured heavy items, and then ride it rough-shod over boulders and the like. Imagined-problem cured.
  • xsactaxsacta Posts: 26
    Same here. No problems, just a few minor annoyances that I can live with. The running boards are on the way even though I have zero paint chips at this point.


    BTW. What happened to all your posts over at TS.?
  • I wouldn't discount the paint chipping. Ford had a major recall to repaint their trucks in Mid/late 80's (remember all the discolored hoods, surprised your Bronco wasn't in there. I had a full sized Bronco that got repainted). The pics posted on the Taco board would have me concerned. The composite bed was definitely put through a test, but shouldn't be able to tolerate this? If this was a steel bed, it would take years to cause this, not a single event. The fact that some manufactorers are not making campers available has other people worried (can you say lawsuit). I really hope people are getting a good truck, we are all spending a lot of cash. I am not sure how anyone really knows how much trouble people are having unless they work at a dealership and are seeing a lot of Taco's being sold, but none being in the repair shop or visa versa. What percent of Taco owners actually read this board, let alone post their problems or lack of problems
  • leob1leob1 Posts: 153
    A lot of talk about paint chipping on 2005 Tacomas. I like both Nissans and Toyotas so I am going to tell you from experience. My previous Frontier had paint chips all over the place and two clear coat paint on the passenger door and another inside the driver door. Paint chipping behind the tires and doors all the way to the primer. It was the worst paint of any vehicle I have had to date.


    The splash guards on the Tacoma are slightly bigger than the Frontiers and they provide protection against chips, etc. They seem to keep the dirt off my truck very well.


    The composite bed...if that thing is so bad then we can expect a recall in the future. Composites are the material of the future so I think Toyota is ahead of the game. Lets just hope for the best.
  • I have owned 2 Toyota trucks and 0 Nissans of any model. Based on experience with Toyota (mostly good) and the MotorTrend award, I was biased toward Tacoma. Then I drove it. I was disappointed. I noted that Frontier had also been totally revamped so I then drove that and was impressed.


    I am not asking this question as a challenge, but because I genuinely want to know: Did you actually test drive the '05 Frontier or did you base your decision based only on experience with your old model plus reviews? My impression of the Frontier is that it is quicker from a dead stop. I think we can agree that both V6s are more than adequate for highway driving. So then the reviewers' biases become something to watch carefully--most of them seem to prefer highway speed rather than ability to pull a trailer up a steep hill.
  • Lurking in the Tacoma discussions?


    In case you haven't looked at the Frontier boards, the Tacoma vs. Frontier section is in BOTH Toyota and Nissan areas, which makes sense. Besides, most of us considering one of these vehicles are actually considering both. Better than sticking our heads in the sand.


    As for paint chipping, that '86 Bronco was one of many Fords with lousy paint jobs. I know someone whose '87 F250 had to be repainted TWICE. That's not saying anything about the numerous other problems he had with the truck. But after all the problems were finally dealt with, he was happy with the truck. I had a similar experience with my '00 Wrangler--lots of things had to be fixed in the first couple of years despite low mileage and no abuse. That doesn't mean the same vehicles are hopeless, but it's important that the dealerships be willing to help out (my friend's Ford dealers were total [email protected] and had to be forced into dealing with the problems; I was luckier with the Jeep dealers).


    Autos have their ups and downs. Frankly, it sounds like this is one of Tacoma's not-so-hot years. Hopefully they will improve them, because it's better for every buyer if the automakers have to COMPETE.



    My current Toyota, a '92, has been troublefree...except for that head-gasket defect shared by countless other Toyota V6s. Like I said, watch out for those model-year ups and downs.
  • leob1leob1 Posts: 153
    The reviews can bias a person towards the Tacoma for sure. I generally listen to people who are the 'experts' and magazine testers are experts in their field. Most of them ranked the Tacoma very highly. I reviewed the truck, got the same impression and thus bought it.


    I avoided Toyota's until now, because they were so freaking expensive and had the smallest rebates. There are reasons for that though.


    Obviously, 2005 is a great year...Tacoma is truck of the Year in at least one major mag and Consumer Guide ranks it as the Best Buy.
  • leob1leob1 Posts: 153
    In regards to pulling power, torque is crucial. The Tacoma and Frontier are about equal. However, the Tacoma reaches it's peak torque at 3800 rpm while the Nissan has to reach 4000 rpm. The Frontier claims 20 more hp and 2 lbs more torque...however, check out the Frontier's slower acceleration times. I think that gear ratios and extra weight are factors and thus we can reach quick conclusions about towing ability. Something might 'feel faster' but the clocks don't lie.


    I learned about torque when my 03 Frontier could not pull a U-Haul trailer up a steep hill at slow speeds. I got stuck half way up and had to back myself down into a busy street. On the 2nd try I had to wind up 1st gear and even then barely made it. Pretty was right next to a Chevy dealer too!

  • novanova Posts: 135
    I DON'T LURK. I go on all the truck sights every day. Ask me about any truck and I most likley know about them. When my friends buy a car or truck they call ME. I am well informed NOT A LURKER. I have owned only AMERICAN made chevy's since I was 16 years old. GM is sleeping these days so I did my research and I found the frontier in my opinon is the best mid size truck for the money. Please don't tell me about an older nissan you had. It's 2005 and is all new
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    Paint Chips

    Interior water leak

    Rattling noises from the suspension and skidplates

    Frozen fuel lines

    Exhaust manifold leaks


    Am I missing anything?
  • So you did not test drive both Frontier and Tacoma, only Tacoma. I guess I just don't trust other people's impressions (expert or not--some of the experts might rather be driving a car than a truck) to the point I'd base my purchase on test driving only one side of the equation. Anyway, enjoy your new truck.


    I do know that Frontier's PEAK torque comes at 4000 rpm and Tacoma's PEAK at 3800 rpm. Problem is, there are no published torque vs. hp charts out for either truck. (If someone here can get them, please post the link.) I am fortunate to have owned two vehicles with fairly flat torque curves--making the point at which maximum torque occurs much less important than one with a sharply peaked curve. If Frontier makes a large percentage of its maximum torque from low to mid-range rpms, it might very well be stronger off a dead stop than the Tacoma is. I'm much more interested in what torque is at 1000 to 2500 rpms than at 4000. As for the respective max. torque numbers of both trucks, who cares about a 2 ft-lb difference, out of 280-something. Bet ya can't even detect that!


    BTW, I never look at torque/hp curves till AFTER I test drive. Blind test, no bias.


    Watch those reviews again, because some of them involve automatic transmissions. I test drove both Frontier and Tacoma as 6-speed manuals, to try to get the best comparisons (and because I don't like automatics).


    The other thing to watch out for is trying to conclude performance based on numbers taken out of context of the whole drivetrain. One of the 4WD mags (can't remember which, but I can find out after I return to the library to photocopy the article) published an article explaining in detail why looking at, say, only axle ratio, without considering other parts of the system can be misleading.


    Sounds like your '03 Frontier might have not had a low enough 1st gear, or maybe it was a 4-banger. Or maybe you were towing more than it's rated for. Again, a lot of info is missing. And it has nothing to do with comparisons of '05 Tacoma vs. '05 Frontier anyway; they are both very different from their old selves.
  • cracked composite bed

    cell phone interference with radio

    scratched cup holders

    glove box issue

    noisy roof rack
  • 2k1trd2k1trd Posts: 301
    2001 Tacoma TRD S/C 5spd


           sincerely,Mr.know it all
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    Oh sorry, I guess I missed a few.
  • "cell phone interference with radio" is a funny one to list. All of the newer, GSM phones are going to interfere with powered speakers (home, PC, auto) from time to time regardless of where they are installed.


    Sorry to get sidetracked, but thought that was a funny "problem" to have listed.
  • Is that true? I haven't had any problems with mine. What is a GSM phone? Just my ignorance.
  • leob1leob1 Posts: 153
    Anyways, I am happy Nissan is putting out some good trucks in 05. As they say, a "shift" has been made and hopefully it's a big one from their old trucks. It wasn't enough to gather most of the awards from the media and that is too bad if the truck is so nice. Thats what I was looking for before I bought and didn't see.


    Some dyno charts would be nice to look at sometime on our trucks. If someone finds some let me know please.


    The rear discs on the Frontier are nice. Don't know why Toyota put drums on the 05 Tacoma. It stops quickly on the charts, but how about fade once they heat up? Nissan was smart putting the steel bumper back on the Frontier. Lastly, I was disappointed in the Frontier's low rear bumper.
  • leob1leob1 Posts: 153
    The steel beds crack as well, had it happen in the past on both a Ford F-250 and a Dodge with the Cummins. We all know how steel dents and can rust. I am about to research the whole issue, because it sounds like a bunch of gossip going on. Is there some valid research on this subject?
  • don't know about research, just pics a guy put on the Taco board, it has been a while back. A lot of talk about it since then. Haven't heard anyone else with problems (somebody said lots of deep scratches?). Steel definitely cracks and breaks, just bend a piece back and forth for a while. Just haven't heard of this happening the first weekend after someone bought a truck. Makes you think of the F150 ad showing the truck held up by the bed, I don't think I would be too excited about getting under a Taco like this.
  • Yep. GSM is the newer type of phones (like that are used for Cingular's nationwide plan for example). You'll hear a "chattering" type noise occasionally even while you're not talking as the phone transmits a little bit here and there if the phone is powered on. As long as you have a powered speaker nearby, you'll occasionally hear that "da-dit da-dit da-dit" noise. Hey, that's as best I can describe it ;-)


    People drive me nuts at work complaining that thier computer speakers are going bad the first day they get these new phones.
  • Any advantage to getting the factory satellite radio? I didn't opt for it, as there is now a $350 XM unit available that works with either home or car stereos. Since my home reception is horrible (like 1 or 2 clear stations, sometimes none) due to canyon/mtn setting and I often take roadtrips in places far away from cities, satellite radio sounds interesting.
  • I sure hope the Toyota/Nissan comparisons don't turn into something like the Ford/Chevy/Dodge wars. You know...those decals and hats with the boy pissing on the logo of the "other" maker.


    I have been on this site way too much today ;-)
  • I have the satellite radio, didn't order it but the truck had it. It is great. The factory antennae is kind of weak, the satellite is crystal clear. Also, it is very nice having it put in by the factory. No extra wires, all in the radio. Also, if you subscribe, you can get a second unit at a discount price (about half price) for the house, I think I will be doing this. I didn't think it would be so good, but it is really nice.
  • leob1leob1 Posts: 153
    I did a quick search about the composite beds under Google in reference to some previous comments about the 05 Tacoma bed. I did not find any negative things so far about it not holding up, other than some comments in this forum. An article stated it takes less labor to make composite truck beds vs steel, that there is greater versatality and composites save weight. Apparently it is easier to repair than steel.
  • I wanted to know how you are liking your Tacoma. I live in the Atlanta area also and travel the dreaded 285 top end to and from work each day. What has your MPG been like? Have you regretted your choice (should got Frontier?)

    There are a lot of serious issues IMO on the forum about leaks and exhaust problems....have you seen this? I am thinking of waiting on the 06 to come out. Would you recommend waiting?

  • I sympathize with you on the subject of our traffic here in Atlanta. I have been getting around 19 to almost 20 mpg in city driving with 93 octane (not sure yet if that matters). Oddly enough I took a trip to Savannah and still only got around 20 mpg on the highway (ran at about 75-80mph).

    As far as regretting the tacoma-no I don't-overall I really like it and it suits my uses just fine....I do have the suspension noise that they just can't seem to figure out. I am going back this weekend to get several components replaced. I have no leaks, no chipped paint, no exhaust noises, nothing else, just a weird rattle coming from the front suspension when it is cold and dry. I looked at both the Frontier and Tacoma and overall I really liked both of them far and above the other competition-I just liked the Tacoma a bit better despite many people's valid arguments for choosing the Frontier.(one of the big things that I liked about the Tacoma was the turning radius was much better than the Frontier and you know how hard it is to park around this city-trivial thing I know, but was important to me). I think anytime you get a new vehicle model, you will have problems with it and they are beginning to have a few problems with the Frontier as well. If I could have waited for the '06 I probably would have waited (that goes for both models) until they get the bugs worked out, but I couldn't wait so I went with consumer reports, and previous experience (I've owned a Toyota Corolla and currently have an '01 Maxima SE). They do seem to be making some progress on getting issues resolved with the models that are now coming out-at least this is my impression and this will likely hold true for Nissan as well. Maybe hang in for a few more months and see what experience people are having. Hope this helps and happy shopping!
  • The Frontier LE 4 x 4 feels and rides solid. No rattles, shimmy, shakes. The extra weight from the fully boxed frame to me makes the truck have a more balanced ride than the Tacoma. There's more than enough power to tow.

    The interior was designed more for someone who might actually use the truck as a work vehicle, not for toolin about the back 40 (acres). Big spots for cups, bottles, etc. Like the heated leather, power driver and passenger seat option.

    Wider distance between wheel well and less wasted space around the wheel is important to me although I like the power outlet in the Toyota.

    The composite bed looks nice but it also looks slippery when wet.

    The exterior of the Tacoma is more complex than the Frontier and I like the Toyota colors better for the most part. With a couple of exceptions. Today I saw the Frontier LE CC 4 x4 in electric blue which is really cool. The Toyota dealers I've been dealing with have both lied to me about the timing belt 50K and tune-up mileage 60K recommendations for the Tacoma. Frontier uses a timing chain and 105K tune-up. They were less willing to deal but they do have the low apr or 1250. discount. Meanwhile the Nissan dealer quoted me $300. over invoice with a loaded LE.

    Now I'm just shopping for interest rates.

    Frontier for me.
  • The 2005 Tacoma v6 has a timing chain. The 2005 Tacoma 4 cyl has a timing chain. The 2004 Tacoma v6 has a timing belt.
  • who cares about the problems... with toyotas. they will be solved.. tacomas are uncomparable interior wise... and most people i know hate nissans over the top styling.. and i test drove both taco and frontier. and very comparable sept toyotas seats are nicer and trucks rides a little nicer and is quicker...( and look at truck trend if u dont believe me) but ya both are decent.. and if ur poor buy a frontier. and if ur not buy a taco....u pay for quality..
  • leob1leob1 Posts: 153
    I agree with you and thats why I bought a TACO. Nissan's past is troubling, considering their last Frontier's were of low quality. It's hard to convince the public that a change has been made, considering the new Frontier is not highly rated. They are better, but the past is still repeating itself. If they are considerably cheaper to buy then they will sell as we can clearly see. Some people would rather save a couple thousand and get lower quality, not me, not this time.
  • I hope you are just trying to stir up the fire. Poor mans truck? I could have afforded any truck, but really didn't like the Taco. If you want a noisy truck, no leather, no sunroof, one that you have to take the rear headrests off to see out of the back, you can't adjust your seat, the seat sits so low to the ground you feel like you are riding on the floor boards, let alone quality? (way too many issues to list, see multiple post on multiple websites), then I guess this is the truck for you. If your IQ approached room temp, you could take the thousands you save, invest it ($3000, modest return of 15% and in 6 yrs you have $7000). I guess if the Frontier is for the poor, the Taco must be for the intellectually challenged.
  • badnessbadness Posts: 242
    Your a real Jerk !!! gets some class and get off our site, YOU LOSER!!
    Frointer are nice trucks! everywhere you look you see a TOY. were in a class by our own,toys are like BMW's,everyone in and mother and father and brother have one,like I said get some class or don't even come on our site!!
This discussion has been closed.