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Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier



  • pb2themaxpb2themax Posts: 471
    The power to weight ratio is higher on the Taco. Check the 0-60 and 1/4 mile times.
  • kev7kev7 Posts: 3
    I am researching which truck to buy with safety and gas mileage important criteria. The Frontier Crew Cab has good safety ratings. How is the gas mileage? I am looking for a truck that can serve as my only vehicle (road trips, daily use, ski trips, climbing trips, hauling, work truck-side jobs). I don't like the short bed on the crew cab...any feedback on owners of a shortbed truck? From the previous posts, it looks like the 6 cylinder would be a good choice over the 4. How is th Frontier for towing? Would appreciate any feedback to my rambling questions. THANKS!
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    Fronty has good torque,should do good towing. 4 banger would struggle towing anything heavy! Go V6 for towing, Frontier or Tacoma either is good, whatever works for you! :)
  • wooddorkerwooddorker Posts: 300
    "work truck-side jobs). I don't like the short bed on the crew cab"

    No matter what brand you buy, a 5 foot bed sucks for anything involving building materials that come in lengths or sheets. To me 6' _is_ a short bed truck, 5' is ridiculous.

    I have a Thule XSporter rack on my Tacoma, and with my 6 foot bed, the rack rails end up 5 1/2' apart, which is the minimum to easily carry 10-12' boards, molding, conduit, pipe, etc... without additional crossbars on the roof. Even standard 8' lumber and sheet goods are pretty much the max for a 6' bed. I really wish Toyota sold a V6 Access Cab with 7 1/2' bed, which would probably fit on the long bed Double Cab chassis.

    Bed extenders are a pain in the [non-permissible content removed], because they take up space in the bed when not deployed, display the contents of the bed when they are, and are sometimes not with you when you need it!

    My main woodworking travel rig is a 12' box trailer with side doors and a roof rack, which pairs nicely with my Tacoma, as it probably would with the Frontier. For a real work truck, I'd skip right over pickups and grab a Sprinter or 14' box truck.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    I have a 4WD Crew Cab Frontier.
    Last week I hauled a load (6) trees in the Frontier. Due to the type of cargo and the 55 mph speed limit on rural two lane I kept the speed down to 50 mph. Obtained 23 mpg. according to trip computer and 22.8 when I filled up and calculated the mileage.
    Last month I hauled a Cub Cadet LT1042 in the bed. Could not close the tailgate, however, rear wheels of the tractor were on the bed and not tailgate.
    Hauling 1200 lbs of bagged rock, and soil the power and handling was very good.
    For me the bed is allright in size. I would actually prefer that the truck was smaller, and lighter.
    Tacoma, Frontier, Dakota are all upsized to the point that there is room for an actual "compact" truck IMO.
    Towing? Up to 4500 lbs I'm comfortable with Frontier and Tacoma, above that and I'd want a full size truck. Sure, they are both rated to tow more, I prefer to be conservative when towing.
    Tacoma will have better resale value and is rated slightly higher for mpg, though Toyota recommends premium unleaded and the Nissan recommends regular unleaded.
    Frontier is a better purchase value and has better handling and much better front seats IMO.
    I truly enjoy the sunroof and fosgate stereo in the Frontier. Tacoma does not even offer sunroof and JBL does not match the sound quality of the Fosgate, though the JBL is quite good.

    Bottom line, I feel the Frontier has the better engine and trim level and options choices.
  • kev7kev7 Posts: 3
    Thanks for your quick replies!
    Are there any years of used Frontiers to look for or avoid? I heard something about a steering problem in newer models. I could definetely live with 23 mpg. How much improvement would the 4 cylinder be? How much improvement the 2WD? Since the 4 has to work harder, would it last as long as the 6? Does the 4WD handle the same or worse then the 2WD? (I know the rollover rating is worse.) Are there any modifications to make it more stable? Are there any add-on chips that would improve gas mileage?
    Thanks again!
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    Alot of good points brought up. Gotta disagree with a few, but, I have the Taco so it is only natural. Either the Taco or Nissan are superior to any competition.
    I have to agree with the previous post that being conservative with the towing is best. Knowing I can tow 6500 (Taco) tells me I can pull 5K all day with no problem. If I am pulling more, I will have a 3/4 ton. People haul cab over campers on 1/2 ton trucks all the time, but a 1 ton dually. is the only way I will do it. I have driven both and the difference is worth the extra cost.
    Ya, Toyota recommends premium fuel. No one uses it, and they have no problems, but in order to compete with the HP numbers of the competition who do not conform to the new testing, they have to recc premium.
    The handling is subjective (I have no doubt that Nissan handles sweet), but the seats in the Taco allowed me to drive from ND TO WA in one day for the first time in 10 tries (not recommended).
    I hate that there is no sunroof in the Taco. Life goes on.
    I use the stereo to listen to talk radio. Hey, it works for me.
    I think the options available are adequate. Where I grew up (BF ND) you had to special order and wait a month to get something exactly what you wanted if they offered it. I didn't get exactly what I went looking for, but I drove it home that day and I cannot say that I have not used anything that I had to take to get what I wanted (used the rear locker this weekend to get a 05 chevy out of the sand because the 4X4 didn't work). As I was hooking onto his tow hook, I told him that chevys come ready to be towed.....
    Don't get the 4 banger unless you drive with no weight down hill all the time. They work so much more that I have not heard one good comment about them in a truck lately.
    Handling and rolling are not worth consideration. If you think you will use 4X4, get it. It is like an extended warranty. You may never need it, but when you do, it is there. And if you have it, you can enjoy it.

    I actually looked close at a Nissan NISMO for the first time (never had any doubt they were outstanding) and my first observation was that the tires are very close to the fenders. Otherwise it is sweet too.
    I think the most important thing to remember when buying is that 99.9% of the vehicle complaints are from non-owners and owners that did not research before they bought.
  • 2005lekc2005lekc Posts: 145
    Consumer Reports shows the '05 to have much worse than average body integrity. My '05, at 15 months has been okay in this respect.

    The '04 has been worse then average in the power equipment category.

    The '01 has been worse than average in the air
    conditioning and the paint and trim categories.

    The '00 has been much worse than average in the air conditioning and paint and trim categories.

    I had my '00 XE KC for 5 years and did not have any problems with it. It was a 4 cylinder whereas these tests were done on the V-6 models.

    The '99 was much worse than average in the exhaust and paint trim categories.

    The '99 '00 were rated much better than average overall. The '01, '02, '03 were all rated above average overall. The '04 and '05 were both rated average overall.

    I am not sure why the '04 and in particular the '05 was rated just average. The '05 had 9 much better than average categories, 4 better than average categories, 1 average catergory and 1 much worse than average category.

    The '99 had 2 less much better than average and 1 more much worse than average category and it had a much better than average rating.
    Must have been from the age I guess that it got a better rating than the '05.

  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Any years of Frontier or Tacoma to avoid?
    Until the new design 2005 Frontier arrived, the Tacoma was a superior truck except for the seats (seats are better in the 05 Tacoma)
    Unless you find a significantly better price on a Nissan, I would look for a Tacoma on 04 or older.
  • 2005lekc2005lekc Posts: 145
    The only bad marks the Tacomas got was '01 a much worse than average in the paint/trim category and the '02 had a worse than average in the same category.

    '05 Tacoma had an overall average rating just as the '05 Frontier. It makes no sense to me when the '05 Tacoma is on the plus side in all
    but 2 categories where it was average.

    I would say that it was because it has not been on the market very long, but not sure.

    Average is the worst rating for either brand and in most years they are both rated as better than average or much better than average.

    I would not be afraid to own either. The Tacoma is rated a little better than the Frontier, but not by enough to make me overlook the Frontier.

  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    Some great unbiased opinions here. I love midsize p/u's Dakota,Frontier & Tacoma they are just right for me. The old size small ones to confined inside & I owned an 85 Mazda decent 87 Ranger 4x4 94 Nissan XE 2x4 & 94 Nissan XE 4x4 5 speed 4 banger all were very good to me Except Ranger after 50k it was one thing after another. Nissan 4/bangers run a long time brotherinlaw has my 94 2x4 with 180k and still getting it. I like the Dakota alot BUT! it has to many issues with reliability for me to buy. A Dakota with a Hemi would be awesome though.. Anyway it came down to Frontier vs Tacoma battle for me. Bottom line I got better deal from Nissan & bang for my buck. Had Toy dealer done a little better I may have bought the Tacoma,they just wouldn't deal as much. I very much liked the Tacoma,But I'm very satified with my 06 Frontier KC SE 4x4 auto trans.
    I 'm getting oil change Monday,last fillup it said 18 mpg,I'll take for suburban driving. Going from MD to NC got 21-23 Hiway I'll take that too! The room in the Midsizes compared to the smaller older versions is a dream and ride is great even for 4x4. Either Frontier or Tacoma are very good p/u's it's what you like. But definitely test drive both, one make work better for you then the other. Goodluck dealing. :)

    Critter in the Surf Fish'in ;)
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    Real big 46 ft. I don't know about Tacoma. Thats really my only issue with Frontier to this point,3750 miles. :mad:
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    40.7 ft turning radius Tacoma 4x4 Double Cab Short Bed
    43.4 ft turning radius Frontier 4x4 Double Cab Short Bed
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Big deal Critter! If that is all you can conjure up, you should be a happy camper. Good to hear you're enjoying your Frontier.
    Good fishing!
  • kev7kev7 Posts: 3
    Thanks guys for the awesome feedback! I need to correct a statement i made about 4wds being more rollover prone then 2wds. NHTSA rates the frontiers they test equally stable 2wds/4wds up until 2006. The 2006 frontier test results show that the 4wds are more stable then the 2wds! This page shows the results:

    Has anyone heard anything about a steering problem with Frontiers?
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Not one thing.
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    The Tacos (meet or beat Fronty on all categories) are even from 2 to 4WD. Never would have guessed that they would ever be even. 4bys are just higher by design. Thought they may have used the higher Prerunner as the 2by model, but they are both awesome at 4 out of 5 stars. Safety has certainly come a long way. When you can get a 4by knowing it will be as stable or better than 2by (Fronty or Taco), you lose one more excuse to go 2by. I personally have 3 vehicles, all of which are 4by or AWD. Doesn't keep me from needing a tow strap, just ensures I am on the right end....
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Frontier's (meet or beat Taco on all categories) and are better styling and lower cost with higher quality.
  • badnessbadness Posts: 242
    I agree also,thought I would pick up some MPGs my self.

    east coast ,NJ
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    Actually I had it right.
    The Taco had 5 stars for passenger and driver in frontal crash. Fronty had 4 stars. Both had 5s for side impact. Taco had 4s for 2 and 4WD rollover. Fronty had 3 and 4. Taco tied in 3 areas and outperformed in the other 3.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Probably the "safest" Frontier is the Crew Cab which achieved 4 stars for full frontal, while the King achieved 3. The offset for both was "Good", which of course is the highest rating. And the side crash ratings stand at 5 stars. Remember though, that tested vehicles should only be compared to each other within a plus or minus of 250 pounds. The tested Frontier was substantially heavier than the tested Tacoma. More weight, more force. The #1 determining factor for the protection of occupants in a vehicle is still weight.
    Like Critter might say, apples and oranges.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    You got it wrong ustazzaf!

    Tacoma did NOT outperform the Frontier in frontal crash testing.
    Actually, driver56 is correct, the Frontier and Tacoma are NOT in the same weight class, and it is not correct to compare ratings for dissimilar weight vehicles for frontal crash testing.
    Since the rating reflects a crash between two similar vehicles, make sure you compare vehicles from the same weight class, plus or minus 250 lbs., when looking at frontal crash star ratings.

    Side crash rating results can be compared across all classes because all vehicles are hit with the same force by the same moving barrier.

    Rollover ratings can also be compared across all classes.

    Both obtained 5 stars in side impact and 4 stars in rollover.
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    Nissan service manager said unless you tow a whole lot Synthetic oil isn't worth the cost. Just change oil at 3000 or close to it. I my self always change before 4k. never get to close. I would guess for Toy owners this maybe true also. ;)

    Critter in the Surf Fish'in :D
  • pschreckpschreck Posts: 524
    I was told By a Subaru dealer that once you change to synthetic oil you can never go back to dino oil again.
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    So why even bother rating them if my 3200 pound truck gets 5 stars and your 3500 pound truck gets 4 stars, but your 4 stars beat my 5? You are not going to find any 2 vehicles within 250 pounds to compare. Well, there may be a fluke out there, but I would guess that even the one ton trucks by the big 3 are all more than 250 pounds from each other, but I would take a comparison of them to be credible. All of the tests I have seen show the vehicles hitting the same barrier at the same speed. If I bruise my ribs and get a 5 star rating, and you break 2 ribs, resulting in a 4 rating, I don't see the 4 winning. If your vehicle is not designed to hold up to it's own mass, how is it a good excuse to score lower and still be considered better? But, hey, if I missed something somewhere, then I will accept it.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    They can be rated but not necessarily compared. The playing field is simply not level. On paper, to some, the Frontier will not look to be as safe as the Tacoma. Look at the respective vehicle weights of the tested trucks. The Nissan far outweighs the Toyota. The Taco is a relative lightweight in comparison and as a result should perform better in the fixed barrier test. Less mass, less force. In a dual vehicle collision, at those speeds, guess which truck you'd be best protected in.
    The NHTSA ratings are worthwhile, but only tell us part of the story.It really depends on the circumstance.
    Sometimes a 4 will beat a five!
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Think the bed is too small on the Frontier Crew Cab?
    You now have a choice, long bed is an option on the 07 Frontier. :)

    2007 Nissan Frontier King Cab and Frontier Crew Cab

    The 2007 Frontier includes a number of features shared with the Nissan Titan, including its rugged suspension design, innovative factory-applied spray-on bedliner, Utili-track bed channel tie-down system and fully boxed, all-steel frame based on the Titan’s F-Alpha platform.

    Highlighting the 2007 Frontier is the availability of the Long Bed Crew Cab SE and LE models, with a bed measuring more than 13 inches longer than the standard Frontier Crew Cab.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    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?

    Revised HP and Torque rating on the 07 Frontier.
    The SE, LE, and NISMO models are powered by a 4.0-liter V6, producing 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft torque. The advanced powerplant includes a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), Nissan variable Induction Control System (NICS), silent timing chain, microfinished camshaft and crankshaft surfaces, Teflon®-coated pistons, resin intake manifold, forged crankshaft, digital knock control system, high capacity muffler, lightweight aluminum block and cylinder heads and 105,000-mile spark plugs.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Moparbad: I'm curious, where are you getting the info on the 07 Frontier?

  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    Far outweighs? The Toy is 4135 compared to 4455 for the Nissan. That is according to the respective web pages. Throw my 6 year old in and they are in the same class per the 250 pound rule. They are within 7%. I am not going to speculate what would happen in a dual vehicle accident, but it seems obvious that the lighter vehicle will bounce off rather than staying and crumpling. That should be a benefit. 300 pounds isn't going to make a hill of beans difference though. If they are going to do crash tests and comparisons, instead of slamming the trucks into barriers, they need to slam a Toy into a Fronty and then rate them. If the Toy gets a 3 and the Fronty a 5, I will buy the Fronty. If the only info I have is a 5 compared to a 4 barrier test, and I am leaning Toy anyway, I will go Toy. Quite frankly, I don't think there is a noticeable difference between the two. If the trucks had been moved over 2 feet or been going 10MPH faster the numbers could easily been reversed. I just don't understand how 2 trucks so closely in weight can be not considered side by side.
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    "I was told By a Subaru dealer that once you change to synthetic oil you can never go back to dino oil again."

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    I would gues that you are RIP! They get twice as much for a synthetic oil change!
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    YOU ARE MISSING SOMETHING! We are talking about the tested vehicle weights here, not the weights of the average Tacoma or Frontier. Look up the vehicle weights of the tested trucks, it is listed. And look up the offset crash tests as well.
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    Yep, I was missing something. So was the testers. How could the Toy lose 5 hundred pounds between the factory and the test facility? 800 pounds is a major difference. But the fact remains that the only seniero that the test gives any credibility to is an equal weight head-on collision or hitting a stationary object. There is no possible conclusion to be drawn from other crashes. Therefore, you can compare a Mac truck to a Hyundai with the test they conducted.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    My original point, I suppose, was that these tests, like everything else, can be read into. The only comparison in some of these tests ( offset or full frontal ) is to it self. The tests do give one a good idea how well the vehicle has been designed regarding the structure and restraints though.
    The bottom line for me on a safety standpoint is that I would feel as safe and secure in either one of these trucks.
  • richbf2richbf2 Posts: 73
    Hello Critter1!

    So far, i have put 15k on my 05 frontier CC. I have been using 5w30. Is this ok? People say, down in Tx, it is too hot to use 5w30. 10w30 is better. It is a brand new vehicle. I dont want to use 10w30. Please advise. :confuse: :confuse: Thanks
  • richbf2richbf2 Posts: 73
    :confuse: Hello Critter1!

    So far, i have put 15k on my 05 frontier CC. I have been using 5w30. Is this ok? People say, down in Tx, it is too hot to use 5w30. 10w30 is better. It is a brand new vehicle. I dont want to use 10w30. Please advise. Thanks
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    The bottom line for me on a safety standpoint is that I would feel as safe and secure in either one of these trucks.

    I have to agree with that. And even more important than the crash rating is the safety equipment they have to AVOID the crash like anti-lock brakes, better suspension for handling, lower roll tendency, third brake light to avoid being rear ended, stuff like that.
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    rich! bottom line if dealer saiz 5w30 go with that! I would! ;)
  • woodshop28woodshop28 Posts: 74
    5w30 protects as well as 10w30 in the heat. It is just a bit thinner at "cold" temperatures.
    10w40 would handle heat better, in theory.
    I would not switch to 10w30 or 10w40. 5w40 or something like that would be okay, but maybe unnecessary.
  • ryanceyryancey Posts: 42
    Toyota Recall
    Toyota just had a major recall amid many recalls
  • ryanceyryancey Posts: 42
    I was told By a Subaru dealer that once you change to synthetic oil you can never go back to dino oil again.

    I ran my Nissan Sentra on synthetic for over 100,000 miles and then switched back to dino 5-30 oil. I that was 30,000 miles ago and no problems at all and doesnt use a drop between changes.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    I still say that Toyota may have become too big for their britches. Their reputation is becoming tarnished and so what if they become #1.
  • pschreckpschreck Posts: 524
    I never know what to believe when it comes from a dealer. They said not to change to synthetic until at least 10k miles and that you could never go back to dino because of the seals. I'm not saying they are right or wrong, I have no idea. :confuse:
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    Stories like that are why there is no credibility to recall announcements. The National Examiner has better credibility. There is mention of a engine mount problem, but the rest is simply generalities.
    That aside, my buddy just returned from a trip back east. He mentioned casually that he had rolled his mom's Frontier (03). I thought it must have been years ago considering he was not showing any injury. Turns out he did it less than a week ago, and rolled several times at 60MPH. The only injury he received was a cut when he was exiting the truck. I am Toy Loyal, but I have all the respect for Fronty safety.
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    You'll get strong votes from both sides kev7. As for mileage, I own an '06 Frontier 2WD SE Crew with the 4.0L V-6 and the 6-Speed manual and get 22+ on the highway. If you don't like the short bed in the Crew Cab, the Tacoma offers a long bed Crew and this fall, the '07 Frontiers will offer the option too.
  • ryker1234ryker1234 Posts: 4
    I just went through the ringer dealing on a new truck. I narrowed it down to a 2006 Taco or Fronty. It came down to the dealership. I like both trucks. The Tacos reputation of quality vs the Nissans price advantage. I drove both trucks and liked them both. But, I found the Toyota dealer to be difficult to deal with. They act like they are doing me a favor fleecing my wallet for a new truck. Their trade in offer was insulting. $3,000 less than Nissan. On top of that Nissan knocked 1,000 off the sticker and gave me another $1500 rebate. They would not talk price, just kept dogging the Nissan. Anyway, I bought a 2006 Frontier XE and am very happy with it. The ride is good, the 5-speed automatic matched to the 4 banger is amazing. Smooth power, feels like a v6. I traded in a 2001 Ford Lariet Supercab. It was loaded with every option Ford offers. I simply could not accept 15 mpg anymore. To my suprise the Fronty is much more fun to drive.
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    Yep, dealers will make or break a sale. I had to go to three Nissan dealers to find one with some intellect, but the third dealer was the charm -- an excellent sales manager and great staff all the way 'round cinched the deal. Like you, I'm very pleased with my new Frontier.
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    10-4 Ryker,that was my bigest issue with Toy The dealers mostly suck! When you have #1 product in demand they play hardball on dealing. For the $$$ Frontier delivers, if $$$$ not an issue go for 1 you like best. Personelly I don't think the Tacoma is 2-3k better then Frontier. Opinions are like you know what! everybody has one. My wife describes me as being annal when doing a large purchase,well so be it. I kept my last truck (Nissan) 12 years,before this truck,so yea I do my homework before buying. Goodluck with the new one! ;)
  • ustazzafustazzaf Posts: 311
    The dealers mostly suck! When you have #1 product in demand they play hardball on dealing.
    It seems like the dealers are jerks, but if they can sell more vehicles at the list price than the factory can deliver, why bargain? Think about it. If you know you will only get 500 vehicles a month and you know you can sell them all at or above list, what is the incentive to drop the price? When I went looking, the lots looked like a deserted island. One dealer had a half dozen models that were designed for one or two buyers and may still be sitting there. Otherwise, the trucks were sold long before the delivery truck arrived. The number 1 volumne dealer in Wa state told me I would be lucky to see a truck for atleast 3 weeks. That was a week before I bought, and it took them a good month before they called to say they finally had one available.
This discussion has been closed.