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Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier



  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    Fuel data straight from Edmonds.

    Fuel Data
    Fuel Tank Capacity 21 gal. 21.1 gal.
    Fuel Type regular unleaded regular unleaded
  • sugarman1sugarman1 Posts: 92
    Good luck with your truck,but in the looks department Tacoma is the best looking of all foreign and domestic trucks,went to dealership yesterday for drain plug gasket for my 04 Taco and started checking out the 06-07 Tacos and they are smokin hot,Quad and Extra cab TRDs ,Prerunners,the colors and packages available are beautiful, Indigo Blue and Impulse Red TRDs are my favorites Desert Sand Mica isnt bad either thats what great about Toyotas is they are great looking and true on/off road performers with bullet proof reliability records and you pay a little extra but get a lot. I am seriously jealous of 05-07 Taco owners you got a badass truck. Just when I thought I was in truck heaven some dude rolls into the dealers with a Pea Green Honda Ridgeline and starts talking with salesman like he wants to deal on a new truck and I can see why that thing is ugly I dont care if Honda makes it,it was like someone slapped my mother how dare you park that thing amidst all these awesome trucks get it out of here now!
  • billingsleybillingsley Posts: 69
    I'm interested in either a Frontier or a Tacoma- What I'm basically getting down to is I want to get one to tow a travel trailer. Has anyone had experience with either of them on towing? I've looked at the "big" pickups, Chevy, Ford, and they're just too big and eat fuel like a semi.

    Thanks up front for any knowledge or experience.

  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    Either truck is an excellent choice. Mileage is probably going to be worse with these than a fullsize due to the v6 having to work harder, but when not towing you will make up for it. I have the Tacoma double cab 4X4 with a 6 sp manual and V6. I towed a car on a dolly yesterday with it. It handled the hills very well with the variety of gears. I have not heard an HONEST disparaging word about either. Most of the complaints have holes big enough to drive the trucks through. Drive both and pick the options and ride that fits you best. Another great thing to do is talk to someone on the street that is using their vehicle like you wish to do. I used to have a Tundra which was tore apart on this site for it's poor towing capability. When I was in Colorado Springs, CO (elevation 6500) I saw a guy towing a good size fifth wheel with a Tundra like mine. So I asked him what he thought of it. He couldn't find something bad to say to save his life. Praised the hill climbing, praised the mileage, praised the truck overall. That was what I need to hear to confirm that true owners are where to get advice.
  • midnightsunmidnightsun Posts: 92
    Gas mileage figures are useless without stating the exact configuration of the truck, not just what engine it has.

    For the '05 Frontier NISMO with Kingcab, 6-spd manual transmission, 4.0L V6, and 4WD, using regular gas:

    EPA estimates are
    17 city
    21 highway
    which match my own mileage with this truck, including a fiberglass topper and Class III hitch. This is not "the best" that Frontiers get, either. Owners of other 4.0L V6 4x4 Frontiers (but with taller rear axle ratios) have posted 22 mpg, and 4x2 owners have posted 24 mpg, at other websites. All in U.S. gallons. I record my mileage at each fill-up and calculate the old-fashioned way, plus I record what the computer estimate says. The computer on the Frontier is very good, within 0.5 mpg of the actual.

    Contrary to popular notion, I have never found that adding a topper increases gas mileage, in any of the four trucks I've owned. But it hasn't hurt, either.

    If the Frontier is a gas pig, so is every other midsized truck out there.
  • iqbaldhillon2iqbaldhillon2 Posts: 116
    I think Tacoma is a much better truck. It's because the differences in the ride.The Frontier has a very rugged ride while the Tacoma has a smooth quiet ride. The Tacomas interior is also better to me. The Frontiers is nice to but it looks to "out of date". The Tacoma also come standard with a composite inner bed with the "deck rail system" while the Frontier it is optional to get a "utility lock system". Oh and the Tacoma is also fater in the 0-60mph test! :P
  • 2005lekc2005lekc Posts: 145

    I would have to disagree with you on your comparison. I drove both before I bought and I
    really did not see much difference in the ride of the two. I have an LE KC 4X2 which does ride nicer than the Nismo I drove.

    As far as looks it is purely a matter of personal taste and carries no weight beyond your own personal taste. I prefer the Frontier
    and I would hardly call it a dated look. My
    preference for the Frontier looks does not make it a better looking truck than the Tacoma.

    I paid several thousand less for my Frontier than the Tacoma comparably equipped and my truck has the Utili-Trac system in it.

    I did like the lighter tailgate on the Tacoma
    and since I do not carry a load on the tailgate there should not have been any issues with the lighter tailgate for my use.

    I think that both trucks are nice and where one is better than the other it is by a very small margin, certainly not enough to keep me from buying either truck. Two very well engineered trucks that should give their owners
    a lot of fun reliable miles.

  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    The Tacomas interior is also better to me.

    To me, Frontier is more comfortable. I have to agree with Edmunds Tough Truck Shootout observations on the Tacoma

    Awkward Behind the Wheel
    The Tacoma's most noticeable problem is the seating position. You sit high on a flat seat with the steering wheel practically in your lap. You can make adjustments all you want but it never feels natural.

    With less front hip-, leg- and shoulder room, the Tacoma is also more cramped inside than the Frontier. There's more rear-seat room in the Frontier, too,

    The Frontier has much nicer seats in the NISMO. :)
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    The Frontier has a very rugged ride while the Tacoma has a smooth quiet ride. :confuse:

    The Frontier rides smoother than the Tacoma. Tacoma is bouncy and jarring compared to the Frontier and the steering is twitchy.

    And as far as handling, the Frontier handles better than the Tacoma.
    Neither Tacoma could keep up with the Frontier LE as it posted the fastest slalom run of all the trucks at 59.9 mph.

    Tacoma is faster in a straight line (91 Octane Unleaded recommended fuel for Tacoma) , throw in some curves and it can't keep up with the Frontier.

    Deck rail is inferior to Utili-Track. Utili-Track has two tracks in the floor, one on the front bulkhead and two on the bedsides.

    Frontier NISMO has more ground clearance than TRD Tacoma.

    Did I mention that Frontier is quieter inside and more comfortable than Tacoma? It is.

    Edmunds reviewers think so too - "It's (Frontier) quieter inside than the Tacoma, has more comfortable seats and better-placed cupholders.".

    Who cares about cupholders? :sick:
  • billingsleybillingsley Posts: 69
    Thanx for your reply. I'll take your ideas into consideration.
    I wouldn't be towing the trailer that often. Probably just on vacation trips.
  • wooddorkerwooddorker Posts: 300
    "Awkward Behind the Wheel
    The Tacoma's most noticeable problem is the seating position. You sit high on a flat seat with the steering wheel practically in your lap."


    Consumer Reports called the Tacoma seat "too low". :D
  • woodshop28woodshop28 Posts: 74
    I'll post again, I can get over 20 MPG in my 2005 Frontier 4x4 V6, 6-spd. That is a real-world number calculated the old fashioned way.
    This thread is pointless. It continues to be people trying to justify an opinion or a purchase.
  • sugarman1sugarman1 Posts: 92
    If you would use 91 octane in your Fronty you might go as fast as the Taco in a straight line did you ever think of that? Oh I forgot they didnt write that in the Edmunds reviewers article so I cant quote it word for word.PING PING PING PING PING PING Volvo PING PING Porsche PING PING what a crock of BS a Tacoma pings on Regular and looses power get real,and how in the heck would you know anyways did read an article somewhere?
  • sugarman1sugarman1 Posts: 92
    Yeah but the the Tacoma is tougher,prettier,more rugged and reliable,and gets better gas mileage,that seating position thingie is an objective opinion some test drivers might think they are luxorious seats.And also is faster and runs on regular gas. :P
  • leob1leob1 Posts: 153
    That is interesting that the Frontier is supposed to handle better (with more weight). That means one thing, it must have a stiffer chassis to provide the better handling or simply better tires. Was one a 'Sport' and the other 'off-road?'

    I had the Tacoma and was very disappointed that noone told me at the time that Toyota recommended 'premium.' There should have been a warning on the sticker stating 'WARNING, premium recommended' to inform the buyer!...since noone else will say anything to inform the buyer. The difference between buying reg vs premium isn't much on one fillup, but 20 cents more per gallon for a few years is significant.

    Oh, if you compare these two trucks with the 4 cyl engines, I think the Tacoma is the winner (but not in looks). Why isn't that kind of comparison ever done?! All we see are V6 comparisons when buying a 4 cyl makes more sense than ever.
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    Actually the 4 is little to no different in mileage because it has to work harder.
    As for the premium, I knew before I bought that it was suggested, although I don't know where I got the info. Probably from research before buying. But as 99.99% owners know, it is not required or even suggested by them. I used it once to see if there was a difference. No diff.
  • billingsleybillingsley Posts: 69
    For the record- I have a friend who bought a 6 cyl Tacoma, and he has used regular fuel since buying it, and has had no problem. Maybe it only affects the power when towing or hauling. You might want to check with the mechanics at the dealership to see what they say.

  • wooddorkerwooddorker Posts: 300
    "For the record- I have a friend who bought a 6 cyl Tacoma, and he has used regular fuel since buying it, and has had no problem."

    Same here. 9500 miles and 14 months.

    I can't see a difference.
  • billingsleybillingsley Posts: 69
    I wonder why Toyota recommends premium fuel on the V6. That could turn off some people looking to save a few bucks/month. In the old days before computers on cars, premium fuel was needed for knocking, but that doesn't seem to be a problem anymore.

  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    wonder why Toyota recommends premium fuel on the V6

    Perhaps due to the high compression ratio 10:0:1

    From reading other Toyota and Tacoma specific formus it appears that as many or more owners of the 4.0 use Regular as use Premium. Quite a few people using 89 Octane i/o recommended 91 Octane. Only a few complaints of reduced performance and knocking. I did notice that reported mpg was typically 18 and 19 mpg range with a few 16, 17 and 20+ mpg reports.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Personally, I would rather see Toyota lower their horsepower ratings 5-10 H.P. and recommend regular fuel.
    Its all really just a numbers game anyhow. The V6 Tacoma has more than enough power and practically no one would notice (most drivers say they don't) the slight drop from using high octane to using low. If you're pulling a heavy load, choose premium.
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    I just took my 05 crew cab 4x4 from Seattle to Eastern Montana. Anyone that knows the area is familiar with the many passes as well as long flat stretches. I found that driving 65 and under, I could get about 23MPG, no matter what the terrain or fuel (MT has 85.5 which works just fine). At 75, I was at about 18.8MPG.
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    wonder why Toyota recommends premium fuel on the V6

    May have something to do with squeezing a little more power out of their vehicles with the new HP test which most of the others manufactures have not chosen to adopt yet. Gotta compete with the competition on an uneven playing field. Maybe when the others step up to the plate, Toyota can go back to regular fuel. They probably know what kind of numbers they would get with the new test, having not switched yet.
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    I had the Tacoma and was very disappointed that no one told me at the time that Toyota recommended 'premium.' There should have been a warning on the sticker stating 'WARNING, premium recommended' to inform the buyer!...since noone else will say anything to inform the buyer. The difference between buying reg vs premium isn't much on one fillup, but 20 cents more per gallon for a few years is significant.

    A warning that the company recommends premium for maximum power? Maybe a note on the window sticker, but warnings are for stuff that can result in injury or death if not followed. Not too many deaths attributed to using regular instead of premium. And as I said in another post, I am getting 23 MPG using 85.5 octane in the mountains with no problem. Maybe if I was pulling a large trailer, the 91 would come in handy, but 5 minutes worth of research prior to purchase told me that. I wasn't going to spend close to 30K on something without doing SOME research.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    The available 245-horsepower 4.0-liter V-6 is smooth and strong, with a 6500 pound towing capacity, yet still pretty economical with average fuel economy of 18.8 miles per gallon.

    quote from Motorweek long term test. 18.8 mpg is darn good, though it is not 23 mpg that some have claimed.
  • midnightsunmidnightsun Posts: 92
    Ah, but your real ownership data can't compete with someone's claim of "18 mpg at best", someone who doesn't even own a Frontier. Let the pot call the teakettle black...

    I have 14 months of mileage data calculated the old-fashioned way that also show more than 20 mpg highway for the Frontier 4WD 6-spd. That's not just a one-time high reading but consistent performance over 14 months. And I *live* in the mountains. Actually in what people here (Colorado) call "foothills", 7350 ft elevation. The "real" mountains reach 14K and yes, some of them can be driven up.

    BTW, a towing guide I picked up notes that normally-aspirated engines lose something like 3% power per 1,000 ft of elevation rise. It does not matter for the light trailer I routinely tow but it's something to consider for anybody wanting to tow a heavy trailer in the high mountains.
  • rangermangrangermang Posts: 27
    I have an 05 frontier with the crew cab 4.0 liter V6 6 Speed manual, and on a trip from the bay area in California to central CA, I got around 24-26 mpg, with the cruise control on averaging about 75 mph. So yes, it is possible to get over 20 mpg on the highway, i think the cruise control and 6 speeds really help!
  • Is that a 2WD? There's no way I get 25 mpg in my 4WD except on a downhill-only stretch. I've actually gotten such temporary-and-limited stretches of more than 35 mpg! But when averaged out over the rest of driving between fill-ups (with ups, downs, and flat), it drops.

    But there ARE 2WD Frontier owners who've reported similar mileage to yours on highway runs.
  • rangermangrangermang Posts: 27
    Yes, it is a two wheel drive. Which actually brings me to a question while we are at it: I was driving in some heavy rain not too long ago and my rear wheels started slipping around a corner, and the orange slip came on, somewhat blinking. How can you tell if it is indicating the traction control or abls?
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    My last tank of mostly highway driving at 60 to 65 mph with my '06 Frontier SE CC 2WD 6-Speed Manual served up 22-1/2 MPG driving in mostly flat country with the A/C on perhaps half the time. The truck is very new, so perhaps it might improve a small bit more. I'm pretty satisfied with that, given that the EPA estimate is 21.
  • rangermangrangermang Posts: 27
    So i have just been reading through this board and if I am not mistaken it is indeed a Nissan Frontier discussion, so I have one question: Why are you even saying anything on this board sugarman? Its ok to talk on it even if you dont own a nissan, but not just to try to shut the truck down: Yeah but the the Tacoma is tougher,prettier,more rugged and reliable,and gets better gas mileage,that seating position thingie is an objective opinion some test drivers might think they are luxorious seats.And also is faster and runs on regular gas. Thats all opinion about the ruggedness, the prettiness, and the toughness of the taco. People are on this board to talk about facts, and what makes both trucks so comparable, and to help people figure out what they want to purchase, not about saying my trucks better than yours. Look at the ratings, the frontier is already .1 points higher than the taco. Oh yeah, and how do you even know about reliabiity yet? I havent seen any problems with my 05, running perfect at 13000 miles. All im saying is if you want to post useful facts and stats about your taco experience, then fine, but if you want to say how much cooler the taco is, start a new post and get out of here. And if you want my opinion sugar, the frontier looks better, rides better, is more comfortable for multiple passengers, and is simply more fun to drive than the tacoma. Oh yeah, and not one person has said squat about bad visibility in it...isnt that one of the most important things when driving? :shades:
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    Small correction to the MPG on my '06 Frontier SE CC 2WD 6-Speed Manual. I got 22-1/3 MPG, not 22-1/2 MPG. Sorry for the change; just wanted to get the facts straight. :blush:
  • 2005lekc2005lekc Posts: 145

    I hate to be the first, but doing a headcheck
    to the left when I am trying to change lanes is a definite blind spot for me on my '05 LE KC. Maybe it is not so bad in the CC's. This is one of the few things that I don't like about my Frontier, but for me the good definitely out weighs the bad.

    I love my Frontier.

  • Rangermang,

    On my truck the traction control IS ABLS, which keys off the ABS. It is not a limited-slip differential.

    I wouldn't worry about "what" it is as long as it's working. You could ask a Nissan tech, though, just out of curiosity.

    Mine's only come on a few times; this truck has better traction in 2WD than others I've driven.
  • OOPS, there is another traction control device besides ABLS on my truck (locking differential) but that one is manually turned on and off so there would be no question about its status.
  • Just a thought: What about putting a spot mirror on that driver's side mirror? I have one on my vehicle and it's saved me a few times.

  • 2005lekc2005lekc Posts: 145

    That is a good idea, I'll look into that.

  • 2005lekc2005lekc Posts: 145
    Where did everybody go? This forum had been dead for a while.

  • badnessbadness Posts: 242
    Vacation time dude,I've noticed this to
  • 2005lekc2005lekc Posts: 145
    Oh, vacation. Who's taking me?

  • rangermangrangermang Posts: 27
    yeah cuesta just got out so ive been workin like crazy. Anyone know maybe why i am not getting increased fuel mileage with my new tonneau cover on my 05 Nissan Frontier CC 2wd? thanks
  • 2005lekc2005lekc Posts: 145
    I installed a Fold-A-Cover tonneau on my truck almost a year ago. If there is any gain in mpg it is so small I am not able to tell the difference.

    It is difficult to do a controlled test on city streets so there could be a small gain, but there are so many factors/situations that come up in a street drive that it would be hard to tell if the change was due to an add on or just because the traffic situation changed.

    I primarily got my tonneau so that I can lock
    the bed of my truck. A very nice feature for my situation.

  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    I don't understand it either. Got a canopy which I thought would make the airflow more smooth. Mileage has not been as good since. At 60 I get 23, but at around 70, I used to get 18.8, but now I am lucky to get 17 1/2. Guess the weight hindered the mileage. Anyone want to buy a 05 Tacoma canopy in black? Atleast my tools are secure.
  • jmbakerakjmbakerak Posts: 3
    Finally got to take a high mileage trip with my '05' Nissan KC manual transmission 4x4. Went from Anchorage to Haines to participate in the Kluane to Chilkat International Bike Relay. The low mileage tank was 22.1 mpg, high mileage 25.4 mpg and average for 1800 miles round trip was 23.5 mpg. Truck was loaded with two guys with bicycles and camping gear.

    The roads up here vary from multi lane divided near Anchorage to narrow winding two lane. They are also never complete, you always run into road construction where they are making improvements. Mountain passes have up to 8% grades that I had to shift down to fifth to maintain speed. I've heard people mention bottoming their suspension, have you ever felt your suspension top out? You'll do that getting airborne over an unexpected frost heave.

    I'm very pleased with that result since the truck has only 11,000 miles so far. All the vehicles I've owned have not reached their peak economy until 60,000 to 70,000 miles.
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    Riding our Frontiers! Still doing MPG stats! :)
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    10-4 when my wears out I'm getting the folder. It's pretty nifty,how do :) you like yours. Would go folder again?
  • pb2themaxpb2themax Posts: 471
    I test drove a Fronty today. What a piece of plastic crap. The interior feels totally foreign. The ride was bumpy too.

    I thought everything about the Tacoma was better, especially the interior.
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    Most of what you said is subjective,but no way Tacoma has more power then Fronty, just doesn't. Drive a Dakota they diffently ride better. apples & oranges! ;)
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    Update on Toy/Nissan p/u's anyway I owned a 94 Nissan 4x4 XE 5 peed 4 banger (a :blush: good little P/U) before I bought 06 Fronty. If you go to MSN for Reliability Reports for 94 toy & nissan it's practically a dead heat toy rated 8.5 nissan p/u 8.4. That's when shop for deal I went with bang for the buck,like I've said it's your choice. If I thought the product was that much better I would have forked over more for the Toy ;)
  • When will Nissan use the new SAE ratings? Toyota used about a year back. Will Nissan make a new engine and then use the SAE ratings? Or will they just use them soon?
This discussion has been closed.