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Nissan Frontier Crew Cab VS Ford Explorer Sport Trac



  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Absolutley, this crap about Fords not lasting is a joke. I had 96K and was ready for a new truck. At trade it ran good, looked good, interior was in great shape.
    I now own a 1998 4x4 Ranger XLT 4.0 5spd 3.37 limited slip rearend, offroad pkg, tow pkg, CD, air, tilt, 60watt stero, alarm, ABS, K/N aircharger kit, chipped, nerf bars, rock guard, linex bedliner in a light blue. This truck hands down is nicer looking than ANY Frontier on the road, and will outpower any Frontier also.
    Nissan has the weakest V6 in its class, like it or not.
  • DTKWOKDTKWOK Posts: 131
    Why do I get the feeling that just because "my" truck doesn't put out as much power/torque as "yours", that "my" truck is somehow inferior. If specs are all I wanted in a pickup, then I would have purchased a Chevy S-10 (4.3L) and blow away both the Ranger and the Frontier. But of course, not all consumers have the same priorities. My father currently has a '86 Toy pickup with the 22R engine (known for outstanding reliable) with 170K+ miles on it and still going strong (original tranny, engine, not rebuilt). Is it a high output engine? heck no! Does it get the job done, yes! BTW he uses it as a work truck for his little construction company, unlike many who just purchase these things as commuter vehicles.
    I agree with Brutus that we should compare actual usage when determining maintenance cost. Mileage in itself can be very deceiving.
    When talking about problems with any make of cars, one should separate those which are annoying (e.g. falling apatrt trim, paint chipping) and those which leave you stranded (blowing headgasket, tranny self-destructing). Which by the way has never ever happened to my family cars (knock on wood), ranging from a '83 Civic to '86 Toy pickup to a '91 Finder. Anyway my $0.02.
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    You're right about specs not being the only decision making factor since different people have different needs. One spec about the S-10 though that I will concern most people is the crash test results compared to the other trucks in its class. They are posted on this site.

    The only reason I sold my previous truck (92 F-250HD 4x4) was because I needed a bigger truck since I also bought a 4,000 pound Bigfoot slide-in truck camper. My current truck is a 99 F-350 Superduty dually 4x4 V-10 with 4.30 axle ratio. I owned the 92 for 86,000 miles. I suspect I'll drive this one for 150,000+ (I've just passed through 26,000 miles). The reason for getting my next truck will be "want" not "need". New technology in engines, suspension and design is always enticing.
  • DTKWOKDTKWOK Posts: 131
    I don't think that we're trying to say that all American products are inferior, but you have to admit that some sales are made mostly/purely for patriotic reasons/obligations. (Please don't tell me that the reason for the 3:1 sale of Rangers to other trucks are entriely due to quality...) I personally know of several co-workers who would rather "push their American vehicles than drive a foreign car"! I guess one of the best places to judge the quality of a car/truck would be Africa, they have no patriotic reason to favor one nation's product over another's, right?
    Okay here are some questions for you. Few people could argue against the statement that at one time imports were better than domestic made products. (1) Have domestics become better than imports? (2) If so, when did that begin - year(s)? By which company? Which models? (3) How could you tell?
    I've been asking the same questions myself. Considering the last car we bought is 8.5 years old, we don't quite know the answer to the first question, only from what we gathered from other people's recent experiences.
    Yes performance is a factor, however not everyone has the same needs. Like I said before, I have a 91' Pathfinder. On a business trip to Las Vegas, a family in a previous generation Jeep GC V8 just zoomed by us going up a 6% grade (about 85 mph, while we were going 75 mph). But you know what? A couple of miles past the Nevada/California border, we saw them stuck on the side of the road with steam pouring out of the engine compartment. Sure they had more power and blew my truck away on the highway, but at least I made it to my destination without a tow truck!
    Now, am I inferring that the same will happen to you? No, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but if you're towing a trailer I hope you do so responsibly, it's not a darn drag race. (Watching a family loaded-station wagon getting whipped by a tow behind u-haul from another car, was not a pleasant experience!).
    Well, see you at the job site.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    I am not one that pushes "American made vehicles". First I know there is no such thing anylonger. I have owned Nissan/Honda's in the past. In 1990 crossed over to the darkside and bought a Dodge van, used. It ran great, held up great too. Lasted me to 113K with only a water pump going. Since that experience and 5 other domestics later, some used, some new I see no reason to switch back.
    Quality of Ford/Dodge/GM have come leaps and bounds in the last 10 years. Get on the internet and poke around. You will be surprised at what you find out about Honda/Toyota and Nissans. is just one site, along with to name another.
    The imports at one time were hands down a better vehicle, better value, better quality, better all around no doubt. Ford/Dodge/GM havn't been sitting on their behinds just letting this go. I actually aplaud having Toyota/Honda/Nissan kick them in the butt!
    There is a perceived quality/reliability advantage that is going to take another 10 years to go away that the imports have. Its just a matter of time. The value factor that Toyota/Honda once held is gone, their cars/trucks are more expensive option for option. Nissan/Renault have been able to keep prices at bay at least.
  • lmeyer1lmeyer1 Posts: 215
    The reliability gap is still real, although it has narrowed. See Consumer Reports ratings.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    See consumer digest
  • lmeyer1lmeyer1 Posts: 215
    Don't forget, Consumer Reports is more independent than Consumer Digest.

    Consumer Reports is run by Consumers Union and is not-for-profit. They don't take advertising in their magazine, and they don't allow car makers to use their reviews in car ads.

    Consumer Digest accepts ads and lets car makers use their reviews. I also assume they are for profit.

    Also Consumer Reports bases reliablity ratings on thousands of surveys. Don't know how Consumer Digest does theirs, but don't believe it is survey driven.

    In short, I think Consumer Reports is a better source of unbiased information.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Yeah, us dumm Americans just can't build anything? huh?
    Hate to tell you. I work for a Japanese company in the High Tech sector. Now, don't get me wrong, I like the company, like my work. But this inferiority complex just perplexes me. Everyday I have to redesign something, fix something on a tool that was made in Japan. The tool either doesn't meet U.S. electrical codes or safety codes, or was just on ergonimically designed right. go figure??
    And your blind faith in the "if its built by a Japanese company it must be high quality right" stigma makes me chuckle. Search the net you may be surprised.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Its ergonomically also, sorry for my spelling.
  • jtangjtang Posts: 1
    In many other fiels, especially in high-tech, Japanese products might not be good, because they
    haven't got hang of it yet. But as soon as
    they got the know-how, they will beat anybody in
    quality. For them, building high quality products is almost the only way to survive considering Japan is a tiny island, their industry is export oriented. They don't have much choice like the domestic bully has.
  • skipdskipd Posts: 97
    I don't own a truck.......yet. So my comments are impartial and I'm bringing up these points in preparation to buy.

    1) Does the Ford Ranger 4.0 at 225 lbs/ft. torque really have that much of an advantage over the 200 lbs./ft torque rating of the Nissan 3.3. I raise this question becuase 90% of the Nissan 3.3 tourque comes in at a very low 1500 rpms. This low end tourque should be more than adequate for towing, offroading, and merging in to traffic. I have heard that the Nissan tends to run out of steam at higher speeds...then again, I'm not buying a truck to race it. Can anyone tell me what the tourque curve is on the Ranger 4.0. Vince.....I'm sure you can answer this one.

    2) Both the Ranger 4.0 and Nissan 3.3 are rated to tow 5,000 lbs when mated to the auto this is a mute point when comparing the two

    3)American Loyalty? Well when I looked on the sticker of the Nissan it stated the truck was bult in America....therefore employing american workers.....and 55% of it's parts were American. There are some american vehichles that can't state that. I'm not sure about Ford. Again....Vince?

    By the way.....the only trucks I have test driven have been a brand new '00 Dodge 4x4 with the 4.7 Liter V8 w/ automatic and a used '98 Ranger 4x4 4.0 w/ automatic. I was very impressed with the Dodge in every aspect, however reliabilty ratings and reports of tranny problems and engine problems (same engine in Grand Cherokee last year which has very poor reliability ratings by CR) have scared me away a bit. The used Ford didn't impress me shifted hard, especially between 1 and 2 gear, the engine was noisy, and the power window on the passenger side chattered on the way down. In all fairness it was used and looked liked it had been used hard. then again, that's what trucks are for.

    Looking forward to the comments.

  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    My current Ford was built in Kentucky. My 1992 Ford was built in Canada. All manufacturers have parts made outside the US.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Skip, let me ask you this. After the Nissan reaches its 200ft/lbs of torque, then what? The Ranger has another 25 to go.
    My truck was built in Kansas City.
    The 3.3 as high tech as it may be is a weak V6 when comparing to other V6's in its class. The 4.0 gets hammered for its pushrod technology. But hey, it works. And the Ranger will soon have the single overhead cam 206hp 240ft/lbs of torque, what will Nissan do then? Nissan knows the 3.3 is underpowered, this is why they are offerering a supercharger sometime this year.
    Also, I would never tow 5K with a compact truck, thats crazy. All I can say is test drive its free!
  • skipdskipd Posts: 97
    Can anyone tell me what the tourque curve is on the Ranger 4.0?

  • skipdskipd Posts: 97
    Ofcourse you wouldn't tow 5,000 lbs. with a compact pickup. My point is that both engines (Nissan 3.3 and the Ford 4.0) are rated to tow the same amount.

  • Hi guys,
    I've finally seen the Sport Trac, and guys, god it's ugly. I was worried after buying my Nissan Crew Cab, that maybe I should have waited to see the Sport Trac. Now I'm glad I went ahead. Got a great deal on the truck, and it fits my lifestyle perfectly. I absolutely love it. Well, that's just my opinion.
  • skipdskipd Posts: 97 have to know

  • ll7ll7 Posts: 16
    You definitely would not be praising Chrysler mini-vans if you had the automatic transmission. There have been horrendous auto trans problems with Chrysler mini-vans. Take a look at Consumer Reports or any other unbiased rating service. Anyone can cite a specific vehicle and their good luck with it. However, you have to look at the experience of the vehicle and make in its entirety. As a whole, Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans are way ahead of the Americans. Anyone who thinks otherwise is blinded by patriotic fever.
  • 2drive2drive Posts: 90
    What? "Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans way ahead of the Americans??" O.K., present your facts, and none of this blindness by "foreign fever"!! Let's hear about your 400,000 mile case histories!

    By the way, 400,000 miles on one vehicle is more than enough "quality" for me anyday.
  • DTKWOKDTKWOK Posts: 131
    2 Drive,

    Your assessment of American quality is as "blind" as those of ll7's on imports. That is, you both base your conclusions on the particular vehicle you drive/have. Now is that wrong? No, not necessarily. But seriously, how many other Caravans can you honestly say, have as many miles as you have? When was the last time you've bought an "American vehicle"? Just for comparisons sake, my neighbor drives a 99 Grand Caravan, she already has problems with her transmission (i.e. rough shifts between 1st and 2nd). Does that sound like the Caravan you have? Certainly not. If you don't believe me then just stroll over to the Caravan posting board or go over to a local mechanic. Now, granted that every automaker has their share of lemons (e.g. Honda Odyssey with grade logic problems on transmissions), my understanding is that Chrysler knew about the faulty auto trans on their vans, for a long period of time.
    As for the comment made by ll7 on "Hondas, Toyotas, and Nissans way ahead of the Americans" I have to agree with it 50%. There was a time when Imports were much better than domestics, just ask those who've owned imports (1980's). Ask Vince8 on this board, he thinks so too. If that wasn't the case, then why would they buy it? What possible reason could they have in supporting another country? On the other hand with American cars, you have to consider patriotic reasons/obligations on SOME purchases.
    As for the 1990's (92 and up), I can't say (through experience) that imports are better than domestics because the last car our family purchased was a '91 Pathfinder (106K HARD driven miles and still going strong). Nonetheless I hope that American cars now, are equal or better than imports, for America's sake!
    Also, the Japanese really don't have much choice in whether or not to make quality products considering they're a small island with very few resources. Am I saying that all Japanese products are better, no! But the incentives are certainly there to do so. Ex: What kind of TV, VCR do you have, I'm willing to wager, Japanese brands.... Just my $0.02.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    So, because my co-workers Sienna has had electrical problems, does this count? and does this make all Toyotas junk now?
    I read it all over, the blind notion of if it says Toyota/Honda its just better, no questions asked.
    Also, you obviously don't realize why all electronics had shifted to Asia in the 60's and 70's. Cheap labor! Cheaper prices for the goods. This is what drives jobs out of the U.S.
    The blind faith that anything made by Honda/Toyota/Nissan is just going to be better is a stigma from the 70's and 80's. I would even say I would not have bought a chevy in those years either. In 1990 I crossed over to the darkside of GM/Ford/Dodge products. After owning several, some used some new. None gave me any reason to pay the extra cash for a perceived quality/reliabiliy advantage. Currently own 2 Fords that have been fantastic. I can rattle off numerous other family members who own Ford/Dodge/GM products who are statified also!
  • ll7ll7 Posts: 16
    Of course you can't condemn an entire make of vehicles because of one person's bad experience with one particular vehicle. The converse is also true. That was exactly the point of my post that has seemed to create such an uproar. As I said, you have to look at the experience of the vehicle and make in its entirety.
    I absolutely stand by my statement that as a whole, Japaneese vehicles (especially Toyotas, Nissans and Hondas) are way ahead of the Americans. Also, keep in mind that we are talking about reliability.
    My statement is not based on any "blind" belief of Japaneese superiority. It is based on many years of research and my own and shared experiences with both import and domestic vehicle owners.
    You asked for my facts. Let me quote from Consumer Reports Buying Guide 2000, pg 279, Auto Reliability. "On average, cars with a Japaneese nameplate are more reliable than European makes which are more reliable than American makes. These differences, true for many years, are now narrowing, particularly with newer models. Generally the cars most likely to be trouble-free are from the major Japaneese manufacturers - Honda/Acura, Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infiniti, and Subaru." These are not my words, they are quoted directly from Consumer Reports. I guarantee you that they have the facts (over 40 years of rating vehicles) to back their statements.
    Also, have you ever seen a J.D. Powers survey on quality. The last time that I saw one, I believe the majority of their top 10 were Japaneese vehicles. Perhaps someone has access to their latest report and can cite the results.
    Please understand that I am not trying to bash America or American products. In most cases, I believe that Americans produce superior products compared to the rest of the world. It's just that when it comes to vehicle reliability, the Japaneese have us beat.
  • DTKWOKDTKWOK Posts: 131
    Yes, if your friend's Sienna has electrical problems I would count it against that particular vehicle (unless it's a 1st year model). BTW, was that problem a widespread one? What year is it, if you don't mind? In the Grand Caravan's case, I would count transmission problems as a HUGE negative in a car, wouldn't you? To top it of, Chrysler has known about this problem for several years and have yet to resolve it, unlike the blowing headgaskets on the 3.8L engine for the Windstar. (Just for the record, was that issue really resolved? Any owners out there?)
    As for the electronics industry in Asia, it still doesn't affect or hide the fact that the Japanese looked upon an industry once dominated by America and said "Hey we could you make it better." As someone previously stated, once the Japanese get a hold of new technology (i.e. ours), they have a knack for copying it and making it better.
    Regarding the blind faith of imports, I can only comment that this also exists for domestics. I do not beleive that either case is acceptable. But in defense of both types of faith, its hard for a person to go to "back to the other side" once he/she has been burned by that side, either by the company, the vehicle, or both. So, you are correct in saying that it'll take about 10 years for the 70's and 80's import-advantage-quality stigma to go away (that was a mouthful =) ). What does everyone else think?

  • DTKWOKDTKWOK Posts: 131
    Sorry if my comment about your belief was rather harsh. What I meant to say was that companies/people can change. (Whether or not they actually do is debateable.) Yes, you could take many years of experience and make an educated guess in the future, but does that decision always work out, for the better/true who knows?
    One thing people have to factor about the Japanese people/companies is that they seem to be open to constructive criticism. They aren't hung up on "If it worked for 50 years why can't I use it now?" Vince8, you mentioned that you worked for a Japanese company as well, could you shed some light on this? On the other hand many American people/companies (notice I said MANY and not ALL or MOST) have a great sense of pride in their way of doing things, up to the point where suggested improvements are hard to implement. I use to work for an American aerospace company as an intern and believe me, they sort of look down at you if you just came in. (A simple problem was presented, I provided possible solutions, senior engineers wouldn't even entertain a look at the suggestions because I was an intern. Finally took it to dept. manager who decided to present it to the engineers, as his solutions, with my consent. Guess what? Problem solved.) Not trying to bash America; I'm proud to be an American, but does that make me perfect? No, but others definitely think they are. Just look at the arrogance of "Why do I have to learn to speak a second language? English is all I need to know."
    Sorry for venturing off the topic in the last paragraph, I'll get off my soapbox...

  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Yes, I do work for a Japanese company. I enjoy my work and like the company. They treat me well and pay me fair with bonuses and benifits. I have no complaints.
    I do however wonder about this inferiority complex I see around the internet when it comes to Japanese vs American know how and engineering. I spend my time fixing and improving tools for the semi-conductor industry. If you can only see some of the tools that come in and the way they are wired and configured, it would blow your mind. My whole point is the Japanese people are just that, people. They make mistakes, have problems just like any other culture or company. I have visited Japan and their standard of living is not that great. Products are expensive, their product choices are limited also. Most folks live in apartment style housing, single familiy housing is for the rich only.
  • DTKWOKDTKWOK Posts: 131
    Thanks for your input! Yes, the Japanese are people too and are prone to make mistakes. The important thing to focus on is how these mistakes/problems are handled. Back then (and even now for some), feedback was generally accepted only from the "seniors", the lower experienced people and the common floor mechanic had little or no say in the final product/solution. The Japanese however, valued everyone's suggestions (my understanding, anyhow). Not to pick on you Vince, but don't you feel that the company listened to your suggestions from day one? (I assume you began your career there.)
    Also, when it comes to engineering, America is always the trend setter. The Japanese actually look up at America's technology! Why do you think rich Japanese businessman spend so much money buying up classic automobiles, Harley Davidsons, and cowboy stuff? Because when they were little the wonders and glamours of America were presented to them.
    Okay, I'll go out on a limb here... Coming from an Asian background myself, I can honestly say that America leads in innovation while the Japanese are more tuned to the finer details of a technology (once they get the hang of it). Whatever the case, competition (e.g. learning from each other's work methodology) only help in producing better products.
    Yeah, standard of living in Japan is not great compared to here. That's why many of them make a whole bunch of money, retire, and come here! =)
  • skipdskipd Posts: 97
    I am not totally loyal to any one automobile manufacturer. I am currently looking to buy a new vehicle and I'm doing a lot of research. I will buy the vehicle that suits my needs best whether it's American, Japanese, or European. I have looked at many a window sticker and observed where many cars are built as well as their parts content. I encourage you all to take a look at some window stickers yourself. You may be surprised at the parts content of many different vehicles as well as where many vehicles are built. I'm sure you all know that many American and Japanese manufacturers also have joint ventures now. In addition, many American manufacturers own certain percentages of many foreign manufacturers. My point is that you can scream "buy American" or "Japanese quality" all you want. The fact of the matter is "totally" American or "totally" Japanese cars are becoming more and more rare. Take a good look around and buy what fits your need.....period.
  • DTKWOKDTKWOK Posts: 131

    There is no such thing as a total American, Japanese, or German automaker now. It's a global economy whether you like it or not. However some people still use the company's origins as a frame of reference. What's more, there are still people out there who just won't admit that imports were better than domestics at ONE time. Yes, buy whatever suits your needs. BTW, did you know that the older Nissan Patrols were a joint venture project between Ford and Nissan? I think Ford provided the engine and Nissan took care of the rest. (My understanding is that the Quest/Villager is also a partnership project.) Just food for thought.
  • ricprricpr Posts: 24
    I have been looking for a new truck to replace my 1994 Nissan Truck with 111000 miles on it. I see that you guys are at the age old debate of American against Japanese trucks. Well here's my 2 cents. I purchased my truck for 11500 and my co-worker purchased a Toyota Tacoma for 23000+. For the additional 11500 he got a V6, 4x4 he rarely uses, larger tires, and the Toyota 'quality'. Admittedly his truck is better, duh, but is it that much better. In his search for the ultimate quality, he missed the 2 for 1 sale at the Nissan dealership! My point is this, the vehicles that make the good reputation of any brand are usually the more expensive vehicle of their respective class and are purchased by consumers who maintain their vehicles better than most consumers. When it comes to trucks, this also applies with the exception of volume. Everyone seems to rate the import trucks above domestics. The sales gap between the two are greatly in favor of full size trucks. The reason is simple: value. I went to look at the Nissan CC and the sticker price was 23800 while at the Dodge dealership, the 5.9L V8 SLT Quad Cab truck almost loaded stickers for 25300. The Nissan price is too close to the price of a full size well equiped truck. I feel that many consumers are buying into 'quality' and miss out on the real value of the automotive market.
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