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Nissan Frontier Crew Cab VS Ford Explorer Sport Trac



  • goobagooba Posts: 391
    vince8,I would not consider the supercharger a band-aid.At least it is something offered by the factory so that you would not have the extra investment later on. This is no different to the performance additions you did to your Ranger. If the truck was performing to your expectations you would not have a need to change it. The Sport trac is a vehicle that will give the Nissan a run,but I have my doubts about it outhauling a crewcab. I agree with the testers when they say that the composite bed will not handle the same things a metal bed will.
  • I just got back from the Dallas Auto Show, the Nissan section had a few crew cabs and king cabs, including a new 2001 model of each. They had a yellow king cab XE on the floor so you could get in it. I didn't see any changes in the interior, but I haven't been around too many other Frontiers, so I'm not positive. It looked nice, but the new fender flares definitely need to be colored like on the SE and SC.
    There was also a new crew cab on a stand. It was a light blue SC (super charged), with all the options. I'm a Ford fan myself, but I admit this new truck looked really nice in person. You can see it at
  • mikes16mikes16 Posts: 5
    I never doubted the towing capacity of the ford. That was not the point of my long winded post above. MY POINT was that in almost every case a [non-permissible content removed]/euro engines of the same displacent will make more hp and torque than its "Big 3" competition.

    Calling the supercharger a band aid is a bit of a strech. WHY? because Nissan knows they have a bulletproof 3.3L engine. This is the same engine(.3L larger) that was in older maximas(mine) and old pathfinders. THEY ARE TOUGH! The 200ft-lbs of torque is peaked at 2800rpm. 90%(180) is available at 1500. That means nail the gas and she jumps off the line. That being said it DOES fall short on top end...NO DOUBT! So in comes the supercharger. The result is 40 more hp and 40 more ft-lbs of torque. Are thousand of 3.3L pathfinder owners struggling to maintain 75 on the highway? NO..of course not. Now you have 3 choices. 4cyl....slow but economy. 6cly...better...only moderate power. 6cly sc....pretty quick.

    Oh...and who was the clown(for lack of a better term) who said a "a v6 camaro was faster than a s2000 because of torque"? True..the v6 camaro does have more torque...but its not even close to being as fast as a s2000(this isn't a my car is better than yours type of thing) Look in the back of the newer Motortrends....the s2000 is rated 0-60 in around 5.2 seconds. The V8...NOT V6 does it in around 5.3. So if the 8 does it in 5.3 than the v6 falling some 120hp less surley is much slower. yes....the s2000 has very little torque(and that matters around town...for just crusing) but its 9000rpm redline and tiny gears send it flying. In fact...the s2000 barely squeaks its tires off the line...but it still gets to 60 in way under 6 when driven properly.

    Oh well...another fun post,
    I like when you guys pick my brain :)

  • mikes16mikes16 Posts: 5
    hehe..I should proof read. :)

    The "3 choices" are most likely for next years frontier/xterra. They may phase out the 4cyl alltogether..but I doubt it.

    The pathfinder on the other hand has a wonderfull 3.5L VQ(think of a big maxima engine). 240hp/268ft-lbs. 250hp when teamed up to the 5sp(different tuning)

    Again Ford 4L v6 musters only 210hp The 5L get 5 more hp. Yea...the 5L makes 288ft-lbs but thats only 20 more than the nissan 3.5L. Amazing stats....

    Bottom line: Comparing nissan to ford engines is like apples to rotten oranges. I got an apple on my dashboard. :)
  • ccnc4x4ccnc4x4 Posts: 5
    The mechanic who worked on my CC said that
    the Nissan CC was actually designed by some ford people. He said that it liked the Ford Sport Trace better. The engine was better.
    However, I parked my CC next to the explorer Trac.
    I think that some people would like either one.
    I like the roof rack on my CC. But some people may not. THe explorer has more interior options
    as well. Something I would not really care about much after having some techno problems with options.
    But I saw phiscally defects on the explorer. The lines were not as sharpe as with the Nissan.
    I think that Ford service over all is better than nissan. The mechanic siad that the saw the frontier very little. But ford dealers have been better at customer satisfaction in my experience. There are always bad ones.
    If I had money and a big enough garage, I think that F150/F350 Crew cabs are the best buy.
    But for the yuppy life style, the Nissan Crew Cab is the best for me, I would buy Toyota 2nd, Ford Trac and then Dodge.
  • I have talked with Nissan Motosports and they sell camshafts for the 4cyl engine that increase the hp by 20 (not sure about torque). Also if installed by certified Nissan tech your warranty is not voided. I wouldn't mind a 2.4l 4cyl engine running at 163hp.
    Does Ford sell similar engine upgrades which allow the vehicle to retain its warranty?
  • cncmancncman Posts: 487
    better check with Nissan service before you do that, I have never seen an internal modification that did not alter the factory warranty, even if done by a Nissan tech, if your source is a nissan
    dealer, get that in writing before you do it! Let us know if you do, I have the same engine and was thinking about putting a K&N filter in it, but anything more, I dunno, and I am pretty happy with the performance now.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Mikes16, you are downplaying 20ft/lbs of Torque, do you know what you are saying? I don't think so.
    The 4.0 SOHC V6 is a fantastic engine and is proven over the years in the ever popular Explorer. It took Nissan how many years to actually catch up with Ford in terms of HP/Torque? Do you know how much .5 liters is in terms of size? You are comparing Nissan top of the line engine to Fords mid-range engine also that is available in the Explorer. Ever heard of a V8?
  • DTKWOKDTKWOK Posts: 131
    So, the 10 hp difference is no big deal? how high is your engine running at 70-75 mph (you do have highways in Oregon right? American companies aren't known for building high revving engines that last. (My 83 Civic - 1.5 L - runs at 3500 rpms at 65 mph, with 155K + miles and no engine nor drivetrain problems so far.)
    Like some people have mentioned before, the 200 lb-ft torque is more than adequate for them. Heck if you wanted torque, why not go for the S-10 4.3? People have different needs/priorities, not everyone needs to haul cinder blocks or tow boats 90% of the time you know. ;) Also, can anyone provide torque figures for both the Nissan 3.3 and Ford 4.0?
    When you say 0.5 liters, that's not a lot, but nonetheless a bigger engine should produce better numbers, right? As for V8's, how 'bout the Tundra's 4.7L or Chrysler's V8? BTW, Nissan's planning to dump a V8 (Q45 I think) their truck lineup very soon.
  • mahimahimahimahi Posts: 497

    I appologize my point wasn't clear(I ramble too much. Like I said it's not all about Hp and Torque although it certainly helps but it's not the only factor. Understand I didn't mean to bash Ford, in fact I originally was shopping a Ford F-250 Crew Cab. My reason for not getting it was that it would be at least five years old before I got the boat I plan on getting. Since, I live in a very congested area a thought it would be smart to get a smaller truck. But, I wanted to be able tow my demo. I didn't buy this truck to tow all the time maybe once or twice a month. I have towed the same trailer (boat) loaded the same, with Ford Sport Trac, Nissan C.C., Toyota Tacoma and S-10.
    They all towed the same rig fine, especially the s-10 ( I previously owned one with two transmissions in 36k mi.), but I wanted a crew cab ( I tested all of them to be fair). True the sport trac has a longer wheelbase and only a 100lbs. more towing capacity, but I can tell you this the Ford did sag (not alot like an explorer)but it did, when the trailer was hoked up as did the S-10. My point is that the Sport Trac has the same suspension as the regular exporer, which might explain Ford's reason to produce a composite bed. BTW, the towing cap numbers are a wash if you compare the max. payload! Ford's Ranger would even make a better tow vehicle over a sport trac merely, by design. It's too bad they didn't use the Ranger platform for the sport trac, it sure would make it alot easier to turn the Nissan in for the F-250.
  • mahimahimahimahi Posts: 497

    Try this, go to a ford dealer act like your serious about buying a sport trac, then take it out for the weekend. Hook up to a 4000lb boat and trailer back it down a boat ramp at low tide. After a the boat hits the water, put the suv (I'm sorry the truck)in gear fist,low or even low 4-wd whatever you want then rev that pretty little 4.0L upwards around say...the 4000 mark so you can you beloved torque...then after you do that, do the same with the nissan (I did and seriously the Nissan crawls just like my '94 chevy 4.3L). This should give an indication of what everybody has been saying to you and also shuld show you what kind of abuse you would have to put that sport trac through every time you wanted to use your boat. If I'm not mistaken you own a ranger now and tow with it? If it's over 2500lbs you'll be disappointed, not becuase it's a ford but because it's a SUV not a true pickup! The towing ability between the trucks is noticable and those of you that tow, whether it be campers, utility, or boats, know what I'm talking helps to get that torque at a low rpm's.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    I am trying to find the torque curve for the 4.0 SOHC V6 vs the Nissan 3.3 V6. At 4000 rpms you are at about 240ft/lbs of torque, when does the Nissan reach 240ft/lbs of torque? Oh, thats right it is only capable of 200ft/lbs of torque. You are going to have a hard time convincing me that a Nissan CC can out pull/tow a Sport Trac. When I find the curve I will post the link. Does Nissan offer a 5spd automatic too?
  • mahimahimahimahi Posts: 497

    I can tell that you haven't driven or towed with either vehicle, right? Go out and tow(feel) the differnce. Compare the two trucks to your Ranger if you want, my bet is since you are a Ford fan you'll wait for a 4 door Ranger. First, you'll notice a differnce at the stop light, stop sign and at the boat ramp. Second, you won't feel the C.C. swaying at highway speeds as you will with the Sport-Trac (this is common with SUVs). I tested all the trucks the same four same people(650lbs) full tanks of fuel and about 250lbs of gear. With this load and the 3500lb. boat hooked up you can see the immediate difference in the suspension of the sport-trac, it sagged bad! This is why it swayed at highway speeds, the suspension just isn't designed like a pickup's. Get off the straight torque numbers already, your point is mute if you compare your ranger w/3.0L(192 lbs. of torque and 5600lbs of towing cap.)vs. the sport-trac. My point here is the drivetrain plays a huge role in making up for torque if geared right. As for your 5sp Auto question, I really don't know what your point is, but I could ask you "What's Ford's std. warranty on that 5sp tranny or the whole drivetrain for that matter?". Maybe your point is that it took Ford 5 gears to do what the other manufactures did in 4 gears!(more gears + more parts= more problems)
    Just in case you were wondering all the trucks I drove did great in the braking dept.(probably due to ABS and the trailer having brakes) The tongue weight on the trailer is 375lbs. and the trailer is a tandem axle.
  • zack1000zack1000 Posts: 84
    I'd like to know what Ford dealer is letting Mahimahi take brand new Sport Tracs off their lot so that he can conduct all of his tests of towing boats out of the water.

    The dealers where I live sell their sport tracs so quickly that they wouldn't mess around with letting someone test drive it for a weekend.
  • mahimahimahimahi Posts: 497

    First I should comment that any dealership that thinks that either, they are too busy or that their hybrid vehicle doesn't warant the concerns of a potential customer because they are selling fast, would never see a dollar from me! For that I would just shop online.
    To answer your question, it was a Ford dealership here on the west coast of Fla, that really wanted to sell me the vehicle. So they let me have it for the afternoon, 'cause they knew what my concerns were. But you are right, they do move fast, this dealership sold all seven that he got that week within 9 days! My salesman knew what I wanted so he helped me the best he could. By the way my salesman was curious too, but not surprised when I told him my results.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    You are really reaching with the idea that a Nissan CC will out tow/pull/haul a Sport Trac. With its overwhelming HP/Torque adantage and its limited silp rearend, front independent short/long arm type, w/torsion bars and anti-rollbar/solid axle with tow-stage variable-rate leaf springs an and anti-roll bar, 5455E 5spd automatic transmission, I highly doubt it. Its interior is leaps and bounds ahead of Nissan as far as quality/fit/finish and style. Frankly there is really no comparison between the two. The only difference is price, about 2-3K. The redline on the wonderful SOHC 205hp/240ft/lbs of is 6250 rpms, this engine is built to rev! My book, Ford wins hands down.
  • mahimahimahimahi Posts: 497
    That's because the only book you have is a Ford brochure! It look's like you copied it well.
    Just to let you know I've read the brochure too! But, I don't go by what marketers say especially when they are focussed on the needs of buyers shopping for SUV's not trucks. But that was never my point, it was which (of these two) makes a better tow vehicle. It's funny that all you do is mention that Hp & Torque over and over in every one of your responses, but never your experience with either vehicle. This is ok, because I just wanted to let those that are deciding between the two what my EXPERIENCE was and to state that a truck always tows/pulls or hauls better than a SUV in its class. If I'm not mistaken, that same 'wonderful 4.0L' is in your Ranger right?What's it's HP rating? 160? If so that's an engine needing more that a band-aid more like a plastic surgeon. Anyway, the same truck (ranger) with a 3.0L (less hp & Q than S-T or CC) has a higher tow rating...see it's not all about hp & torque. BTW, I'm not reaching as far as that 'wonderful 4.0L'was when it was trying to find some torque to get up that boat ramp!
  • keaneckeanec Posts: 349
    I must disagree strongly with your opinion that the Sport-Trac's interior is "leaps & Bounds". Give me a break! Nissan quality is much superior to Ford's!! Maybe to your eye (if you have seen a Sport Trac outside a brochure)the interior looks better but no way is the quality/fit/finish better than Nissan. The ones I have seen in Canada are cheaper looking, IMHO, than the Nissan. Yhe ergonimics of the Nissan is excellent!

    As to your arguement with mahimahi, I have to agree with him, I would rather have a truck (CC) than a SUV (Sport Trac) pull any time. You might think it sounds good for a while to have a high reving engine when you want torque, but in the long run it is much better to have an engine that gives you it's torque at low RPMs like to CC does.

    If you want a SUV buy a Pathfinder, it is leaps and bounds above the Sport Trac, and in 8 years you will see what true quality is. If you want a 4 door small truck, buy a Nissan CC, it is a true 4 door truck!!

    Having owned both Nissans and Fords, there is no comparison in a Ford (ask any older Windstar owner) and change trannys and other parts for the rest of its short lifespan!!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Hey guys, let me add my two cents' worth here. I'm the owner of a 1994 Ford Ranger. When I bought it, I made the stupid mistake of promising my wife that I'd keep it until it was paid off. I've had it for five years and I can't WAIT to get rid of it in a few months. It started having engine problems at 6,000 miles and has spent many, many nights at the dealership and other repair shops. It has been the most unreliable, piece-of-crap vehicle I have ever owned -- and I've owned Saabs and Hyundais!!!

    My Ranger doesn't hold a candle to the 1992 Nissan pickup a good friend of mine has. His idea of "routine maintenance" is changing the oil and topping off the windshield washer fluid. My Ranger burns a quart and a half of oil between changes, leaks transmission fluid from a faulty set of rubber transmission plugs that Ford won't recall (check out and see all the complaints on this), and mysteriously loses antifreeze from somewhere at the rate of about a quart a year. The entire upper half of the engine has been replaced by the dealer, along with most of the emissions sensors and other equipment, in a vain effort to find out why the damned engine pings like hell ALL THE TIME. (The Ford tech rep I've met with three times finally said that was the way the engine is "designed" to run ... believe that?!!!)

    If you truly want to compare Ford and Nissan trucks, go to and check out the number of recalls and TSBs (Technical Service Bulletins) each has had. That'll tell you something about quality. It seems to me, as an owner, that Ford releases unproven designs to their customers, who then have to deal with Ford's recalls and TSBs as Ford *attempts* to do the homework it should have done before the vehicle was released to the public.

    In summary, I've owned my one Ford product, and I've learned my lesson. No more Fords for me, thank you. I've had it with "Ford Quality." Guess I'm in the dog house. And you know what they say about dogs loving trucks. Nissan, here I come.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Back to HP and Torque. The Nissan reaches it peak torque of 200ft/lbs at about 3300 rpms! thats not high revving!?? Torque curve, I am still trying to find the Torque curve for the 3.3 vs the SOHC 4.0. By the way, what happens after the Nissan reaches 3000rmps? All your torque is gone! while the Ford still has another 40ft/lbs to go! Torque does matter, does make a difference, its apparent you know nothing about HP/Torque curves of engines, suspensions, or rearends. Go ahead, keep thinking what you wish, but the Sport Trac will outsell the Nissan 3 to 1. I would love to hook a tow chain to a Nissan CC and one to a Sport Trac and see who pulls whom. My money will be on the Ford.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    By the way, I pulled my data from Truck Trend who raved about the Sport Tracs ability/agility and utility. Along with interior finish and quality and comfort.
  • keaneckeanec Posts: 349
    I don't know who Truck Trend is and I thought you were giving us your opinion on finish, quality and comfort. Do you have your own opinion or just Truck Trend.

    I did sit in the Sport-Trac (at least the Canadian version)and I was not impressed by the new age look of the interior. I did not find the comfort level bad, but I wouldn't rave about it. The fit and finish was above Ford "normal", but definately not as good as the Nissan.

    If you want to talk quality, see the post above yours about Rangers, also go to Edmunds topic about Explorers and learn first hand about poor quality from owners; not wannabees. I have owned Nissan and Ford's and there is no question whose quality is better!

    As to your power, I would be interested in seeing the graphs of torque only because I am interested in how much torque the S-T has at 1500-2000rpm where most pulling is done with Automatics.

    As for your hooking them up together - Who cares??? The CC can easily pull a 3000lb trailer at normal highway speeds and that is what is important, not "mine does 0-60 in 2sec. and can go 150mph while pulling my cigarette boat"!!!
  • Oh and mdaffron,

    This is post 391 from the
    New Nissan Frontier Crew Cab - Price??

    Seems the Nissans have rear main seal problems.

    Also see #385 I purchased a 2000 Nissan CC XE 2x4
    on Dec 21 1999. Almost immediately I noticed oil
    drips in my driveway. Took me until 19 March to
    even consider that it was my new truck. Crawled

    Dealership has had my truck for a week. They claim that the parts are on back order from Nissan. Why are they on back order? Others with the same problem? Too much demand for rear main seals? Another week and I'm going into the dealership to really complain. Dealership has
    been cooperative. Gave me a loaner to drive...some small 4 door nissan car. I don't want a car, I want my truck back. Already suck money into a new sound system and spray in bed liner w/stamped aluminum tailgate cap. Any others with oil leaks?
  • keaneckeanec Posts: 349
    Very good points. I agree every manufacturer makes lemons! What are the percentage of lemons is what counts ie. hwat are your chances of getting a bummer? And if you do, does your particular dealer take good care of you?

    As for the sandbags, you might not want them if you have to get the revs up to get the torque. If the truck is an auto and you don't want to do a break stand, spinning tires might be what you need? Just a thought. I am really not a techy and I don't completely understand HP/Torque but judging by other comments in this forum it seems there are a lot more factors than just those two plain numbers.
  • It would be nice if there was some way to count lemons.

    As for the tug of war I was half joking about the sand bags. I guess what I was hinting to is if one vehicle is spinning its tires the other vehicle could win the tug of war with simple traction. The bed of the ST is so light that it may not get as much traction as the Nissan. But who knows? like you, I'm not that automotive technical myself.

    And as for Dealers and Service, I haven't had the new truck serviced yet. But, with my old 4Runner I HATED the local Toyota dealer Sales but LOVED the same dealers Service Department. I can't say enough good things about my old Toyota's Service department. They were VERY honest. (Kind of hard to believe, but true!)

    I hope when I start using the local Ford service they are just as good/honest.
  • mahimahi,

    I'm a bit confused about your post #174 you say

    ((but I can tell you this the Ford did sag (not alot like an explorer) but it did, when the trailer was hoked up as did the S-10. My point is that the Sport Trac has the same suspension as the regular exporer, which might explain Ford's reason to produce a composite bed.))

    To me you are confusing suspension with towing capacity. How much the truck sags is related to the trailer tong weight and how stiff the suspension is. IMHO it is not directly related to the towing capacity. The ST which I would consider a hybrid has a softer ride and therefore the suspension is softer and it would sag more.

    You can order the Payload Package. Did the ST you used have the "Payload Package #2" option? Have you checked your trailers tong weight? Every trailer has a range for the tong weight. I found in my area, most of the time no one checks the tong weight to verify the boat is loaded properly.

    The trailer is supposed to carry the weight and the truck is supposed to pull it. Although I've see the opposite.
  • mahimahi,

    My apologies, I didn't catch the last line of your post 174. Looks like you have checked the tong weight of your trailer. So my question is did the ST you tested had the "Payload Package #2" option.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Whine?!! prove more like it!! Ford did not go belly up like Nissan did!@ Nor is owned like Nissan is. If a car company is building such great quality why did they go belly up@@??? and are now owned by Renault?? I also read this relationship is not fairing too well either. I wonder when Renault will change all the Nissan signs to Renault signs :-))
    Take a look at and see that Ford cars/trucks fair pretty doggone well. Also, if we are going by personal experience, both my Rangers we/are excellent. I can also name 7 Explorer owners that have had excellent reliability/quality wiht their Explorers. Which is still the number one seller, after 9 years and with all the competition.
  • goobagooba Posts: 391
    vince8 when are you buying the Sport Trac?
  • mahimahimahimahi Posts: 497
    That's a good question, to be honest with you, I don't know if it had that package. My guess is it didn't. My point was that when the back of a truck sags it has the tendency to 'fish-tail' easier while traveling. I know that everybody out there that's had a truck at one point or another, myself included, has loaded your pickup from Home Depot or where-ever with too much payload and felt this 'fish-tailing'. I believe it wouldn't hurt to put a helper spring on any of these trucks or as you mentioned get that package, it would probably be better for the truck in the long run. I hope this answers your question and that you enjoy your new truck!
This discussion has been closed.