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Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier



  • danielacostadanielacosta Posts: 132
    Taking into account Toyota's recommendations and all the auto magazine reviews, it sounds like to get the full 245 hp from the Tacoma V6 you need premium, but you can run regular and settle for less power. For awhile Honda and Acura had a similar thing going where you got 10-15 more hp by running premium; I think most of the newer Hondas and Acuras are tuned for maximum performance with regular.

    The 05 Frontier is tuned for maximum performance on regular. IIRC, there is a guy (reverendbiker) on the Nissan forums who has done dyno tests of the 05 Frontier V6 and measured no performance gains on premium, so it lived up to Nissan's claim of max performance on regular. Anyone seen any performance tests on how much of the 245 hp you lose running the Tacoma on regular?
  • na_alii90na_alii90 Posts: 1
    I just recently purchased an 05 Frontier King Cab 2WD. Since this is my first truck purchase I wanted to research the differences between Toyota and Nissan. After about a month of reading reviews, spec's, and talking with a friend (a member of TTORA, AZ chapter), I decided to go out and test drive some trucks.

    Since I don't go off roading I was looking for a truck that looked good, had good pick up with gas mileage, and to haul stuff when I need to for home projects. So the models I test drove was the 2.5 Frontier King 5SPD, 2WD, and 2.7 5SPD Tacoma Access Cab. First, I want to mention that between these two models the Tacoma offered more options ( swing out rear qrtr windows, limited slip diff, power windows, telescopic steering adjustment, etc.). The Tacoma had a smoother ride with no noticeable bounce. Although the Tacoma has 10 more HP/[email protected] lower, the Frontier defintely had better acceleration from a stop. Both trucks felt equally comfortable but the Frontier sits higher. Which made it feel more like a truck than a car. For the exterior the Tacoma has more color options, but the Frontier has a more of a truck look. Probably because of the higher ground clearance and bigger tires. The Tacoma's interior and gauges looked nicer over the Frontier.

    At first this was a hard decision until I went to three Toyota dealerships and received poor customer service. First they wanted to give me less on my trade than the listed KBB trade in value. Then, they tried to pressure me by sending out another sales person, following two sales managers, and a finance manager. Finally, they wanted me to look at the certified used trucks.

    I only visited two Nissan delearships and both were great. The last delearship especially. The whole process from the time I got out of my car to delivery took 2 hours, and I only meet with sales and finance. They gave me full trade in value and $300 about invoice.

    As for reliability, I feel both are about equal for my purpose. I owned a Toyota and a Nissan in the past with no problems. Also, my father in law had an 81 Nissan truck until recently. That truck never gave him any problems. He retired it not because it wouldn't run, but because Hawaii have annual vehicle safety inspections, and it would cost more than the truck is worth to pass inspection. If it was here AZ it would still running.
  • gilliesgillies Posts: 2
    Thanks for your reply. I think I will go for the Frontier mainly because of the price difference. Also the new Hilux is now for the first time being assembled in Argentina whereas the Frontier is 100% Japanese. At least this is true for the models being sold here in Panama.
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    Toyota is great truck,But Nissan will deal more and you get about as good a truck
    at better price. Toyota dealers have a take it or leave attitude. Nismo is awesome
    offroad truck at a good price.

    Git'r DONE!
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    Toyota is real good no doubt,But 2005 Nissan Frontier Nismo is much different then
    past Nissans not that there bad. I have 1994 Nissan XE 4X4 with 5 speed / 163,000
    miles. I've looked and drove the Toy TRD and Frontier Nismo both king cab auto 4X4 and they are very close believe it. Nissan has little more power,but still close.
    I'm leaning toward the Nismo to replace my 1994. The Nismo is just a better buy,Toyota dealers won't deal as much and their truck isn't any better now if at all.
    2005 Nismo is awesome truck, will probably get one before months up. But it's all
    taste if you like the Toy buy it, I just think Nissan is as good and better price.

  • I drove a Frontier 2WD and a Tacoma PreRunner today and the Tacoma seemed to be way rougher on the bumpy roads; I was getting carsick in the driver's seat. Can anyone tell me how the suspension compares on the Frontier Nismo 4X4 and the Tacoma TRD OffRoad pkg 4X4? I don't like being carsick.

    I am leaning towards the Frontier because of the price and being able to see over the hood. I was happy to see that I am not the only one to notice that! The Tacoma dash does not appeal to me, but that is not a decision-maker.

    Also, are there camper shells available for the King Cab Frontier? It seems that Leer and Snugtop only make them for the Crew Cab??

  • jpr_71jpr_71 Posts: 10
    I thought the NISMO suspension felt stiffer than the TRD. Probably better for off-road, but for highway driving the Tacoma rode better. As I test-drove around the city and hit potholes or crossed a set of railroad tracks, the Nissan seemed to have more of a jolt. You're right about seeing over the hood on the Tacoma, it's high. Tacoma dash is Ok, but Frontier is LOADED with plain black plastic (in NISMO version.)
  • rutzmanrutzman Posts: 9
    I just bought a '05 4x4 Frontier 6spd. I'll have to say I did go in the market leaning towards the Toyota, but the styling(exterior) and interior, not to mention the Ford-like engine compartment (way to big and wasted space) were turn offs. I just traded my '92 Nissan 4x4 2.4 liter 4cyl with 225,000 miles (rot issues, you'd only understand if you live in New England), it was hard to part with, but i wanted to go with a [non-permissible content removed] Truck no doubt. The Nissan seemed to hold onto its old stylish values. I'll have to say since the time I acquired my old nissan I did admire the toyota trucks through the 90's thats why when I considered a new 4x4 I leaned to Toy, but again what an ugly truck the '05 is.

    what happened to the old 9inch clearance and narrow look. between the Toy and Niss I choose Niss, no problems with my old '92 4x4 , except the regular maintance of brakes, exhaust, etc, never changed the tranny lube or clutch and the original battery lasted 11 yrs. I drove it when it had 140,000 miles to Mexico, then to the pacific Northwest, putting 16,000 miles on it in 2 months. During that trip I drove straight for 23 hours only stopping to gas up (only time to pee) acquiring 1,200 miles. I pushed the 4WD to its limit and it still wouldn't die.

    I'd still own my old Nissan if oxidation wasn't a killer of [non-permissible content removed] Trucks, the frame was rotted and cracked, the brake and fuel lines were ready to dissipate. It got to the point , in order to pass MA inspection I would have to put more money into it.

    Long live Nissan, sorry Toyota people, I tried to kill mine, thats with use , not abuse, and it wouldn't die. I hope with the same luck with my '05
  • streaksstreaks Posts: 64
    rutzman said "I did admire the toyota trucks through the 90's thats why when I considered a new 4x4 I leaned to Toy, but again what an ugly truck the '05 is"

    Guess all the ppl who said my '05 Taco Off-road is sweet must be blind 'eh?? :mad: .
  • hungkhungk Posts: 14
    am on my third Frontier now Just ordered an 05 CC V6 two days ago.
    Im an ex Ford and Chevy mechanic, Now a Machinist . wrenchin just isnt fun any more, drove Chevy most of my life. had a Toy for some time, an SR5 short box. Must say that like the comercials . I had more fun in that thing,,,
    but It wouldnt do what My 68 ford Bronco would . depends on your needs, gettin too work on time Four Diggin or Creature comforts.after many years of workin on them and payin for them, I finally gave up on Chevy. wouldnt even consider a Dodge or a Ford , Same difference,
    I used to size people when they asked me what to buy , and most of the time Id tell them TOY, without a doubt!!!! just for the reliability, but for about 10 years or more Ive felt that Toyota Is running on borrowed time , And have worn out their reputation. so in 2000 I traded my Bronco for a Frontier 4x4 crew cab long box
    then in 2003 bought my wife an Exterra ,and me a new 2003 Crew Cab short box,
    I wanted the Super charger till i heard about the Premium Fuel thing , with Sensors that Know. Im a big guy 6 ft 2 inches and over 250, ive had a lot of minor cimplaints with my 2003 leg room , the bruises on long trips, not enough brakes with a trailer, good mileage, but not much extra pedal when u need it,
    it goes on and on, the hub caps the slots in the console the shifter thats a Switch on the dash now... .DUHHH HHH .. I went and drove a nismo , and was just blown away finally someone made a serious mid sized truck, I opted for a SE 4x4 Crew cab with the power package, and a few amennities but not the ones they want u to buy but the ones I need, nothing more , I was so impressed with things like the dual glove boxes 4 wheel discs which makes all the traction and anti wreck things work. the down hill assist. the hill holder system
    ever since we bought the Exterra , the Ride and cornering ,ground cleareance ive been wanting that in my truck. I think its just ludicruis that Toy is still getting premium $ for what U get , and I feel that they have been riding on the name the built back in the 80s........ with the 3/4 ton truck and the ever enduring cars like the Celica, but im done . Nissan and Yammaha. not Harley. or baseball hotdogs and Chevrolet, I just have to be practicle, now days its about time.......
    reliability, necessity, and money, any thing else Is pay as U go,
    Its about time people figgured out that they cant drive a Chevy on a Volkswagen budget and still make car payments and neglect the important stuff like regular Maintainence, . those people end up riding a Schwin on a volkswagon budget with payments and a great big planter for a Vehicle in their front yard, that they cant afford to get back on the road , cause they jus gotta look kewl in a black z71 chev with a non running Harley in the back................... Dan S
  • rutzmanrutzman Posts: 9
    what are you an english teacher or gear head 4-wheel enthusiasts. are you going to talk shop about your Tonka Toy and walk the walk like us Nissan diehards or criticize some ones spelling. don't waste our time like Toyota has been doing for the last three years
  • rutzmanrutzman Posts: 9
    sorry buddy 'boone", didn't mean to piss you off I wandered in here the other day to gain knowledge about the '05, honestly have i no idea what that guy was communicating. goodluck with your Taco, my other rig is a '48 CJ2A-keep on wheeling-

    I think Taco and Niss owners should be proud they don't own some American junk.

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    ...far more polite ways of expressing confusion. Name-calling is NOT allowed here.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • streaksstreaks Posts: 64
    Yeah,lets all play nice!! Toyota,Nissan,Ford,.etc. As I've said before"Whatever blows ur dress up!!" This site is great for help & info...if used properly!! I was a Nissan man for 25 yrs...But, I went to the "dark side". I bought an ' 04 Taco, then traded for the ' 05. I loved my Nissan's( last truck had 244,000 mi) but they gave me some trouble. It was time for a change!! I don't regret for a second..My Black Sand Pearl, Off-Road OG#2, Acc.Cab, V6, 6m is AWESOME!! Turns heads(very few here in Cent. Pa.) & feels like it could climb a tree!! But, you know, if I had bought the Nissan..I probably feel pretty damn good too!! Good Luck to all of you w/ your choice!! Be :shades:
  • centralcalcentralcal Posts: 215
    No reports yet on 05 Frontier, but the 05 Taco took a hit on JD Power ranking. Lots of mechanical problems. Went from overall 5 star in '04 to 3 star in '05.
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    Frontier has Titan frame and under pinnings, Autotranns same as Titan,engine stronger. Nismo gives more standard equipt. more bang for buck. TOY has to many
    options that add up to more then NISMO package. TOYOTA is too too complacent with the take it or leave it attitude. I think 05 Frontier will eat in to their sales with this new truck. 05 Frontier maybe best in class in my book,world a difference from old Hardbody and 04 Frontiers. Don't get me wrong Tacoma is great truck but price
    difference is a deal breaker with me.. NISAN NISMO is great midsize truck & powerfull.
  • rutzmanrutzman Posts: 9
    I owned a '92 Nissan Pickup 4x4 5spd, when I would have my foot in it during shifting and engaged the clutch pedal the rpms of the engine would drop quickly (naturally).

    I drove the 05' Nis and Toy 6spd, when accel. to 3000rpms or more for example, after engaging the clutch pedal the rpms wouldn't drop as quickly as my old rig, making shifting a bit more shotty at high rpms levels.

    Is there an adjustment for this this the throttle cable etc. to allow the rpms to drop more quickly between gears, any input would be appreciated
  • tjyodertjyoder Posts: 22
    Here is some information that I have come across while researching what to buy:

    As for buying - I recommend only going to a dealer to test drive your vehicle to know what you prefer. The rest do over the internet. They will give you their "internet price" which was the best price I could find.
  • qwert13qwert13 Posts: 24
    Concerning the splash guards... If you find yourself having to back-up with your Frontier on gravel/dirt, you'll see that the back tires will throw the stuff onto the lower front of the unprotected overfender chipping the paint. The fact that it is a large flare fender does not prevent this from happening. This is as bad as the Tacoma not having splash guards. Guess the answer is to not back-up while 4-wheeling. I've got the Frontier...
  • qwert13qwert13 Posts: 24
    Adding to the previous...
    the Frontier overfenders are bold and awesome...but...
    The lower front of the rear overfender is exposed to rocks hit by the front wheel despite the front wheel splash guard. These bounce back and hit the rear overfender that protrudes unlike other cars/trucks. Take a look at just about any other vehicle out there including the Titan. The Frontier is really flared. I have 4K miles on mine and that section of the rear overfender has approx. 2 dozen hits on each side in a 4 inch diameter area and fewer as you go up on the overfender. So...I should go 5 mph on a gravel road or never go off road to chance a spinning wheel throwing a rock to the rear? I'm getting the step rails ($320) to deflect these rocks and reduce the hits. Again... glance at other vehicles out there and see the step rails/rubber overfenders/rubber side panels to prevent this situation. I want a truck that can go there (like the Frontier), but can also come out without a scratch like a lot of the others. I spend hours meticulously touching up these chips with touch-up paint or let it go until the area is practically bare and have it repainted? Of those 4K miles, about 10% have been off of pavement and of those 400 miles, less than 100 suggest the use of 4-wheel drive. How about an adhesive type patch that covers this area (black or matching the color). Has anyone else noticed this...and is it just the front wheel doing this or is the back wheel also contributing..?
  • qwert13qwert13 Posts: 24
    Lear says they will release a cab-high topper for the King Cab 7/25/05. ARE says there release for a cab high King Cab will be sometime 8/2005. (I'm waiting for the Lear...I have a 205 NISMO King Cab).
  • danielacostadanielacosta Posts: 132
    I have the off-road rash on my rear fender flares, the cost of being an off-roader. When it gets bad enough I'll repaint, then put larger pieces of clear plastic over them. Nissan puts small pieces of clear there to protect, but they need to be larger.

    A bigger concern I have is all four of my hard mud-flaps have broken off-roading. Flexible rubber flaps like Tacoma would be better.

    If I may digress for a moment: spent a half-day yesterday test-driving a Ridgeline, including some soft-roading sections. Ridgeline lived up to the magazine reviews: great ride, soft on power, doesn't have the mechanicals to off-road beyond dirt trails and mild hills. The kicker was a little "test hill" near my house with about a 35-40 degree grade. Tried climbing it in the Ridgeline. First pass in normal-AWD, made it about half-way up, then slid back down with the front-end rotating around; ended up sliding downhill at a 45-degree angle. For a moment thought I was going to be paying for a rollover in a new vehicle, but survived. Second pass with VTM-4 lock engaged: made it up the hill using nearly full throttle, a little slippage along the way but generally in control. Tried the same hill later in the evening with my 05 Frontier NISMO CC. In 4x4 high made the hill with no slippage and about one-third to one-half throttle. In 4x4 low, even less throttle (of-course), and also tried stopping and restarting part way up the hill: still no slippage whatsoever. For fun I then went down the hill with HDC engaged: amazing how I could let off the brake and watch the truck crawl down this hill in total control. Bottom line for me is I'll take the Frontier's slightly more truckish ride, better power, and incredible off-road ability over the Ridgeline's car-like ride, "adequate" power, and soft-road ability.
  • qwert13qwert13 Posts: 24
    So that's what that small 8" long and 3"-4" thing is on the rear flares. So they knew there was an issue and put an inch long bandade on a 6 inch sore. If they have a plastic pieces that size, I'm sure they can cut one to fit a much larger area. Also noticed that the '05s now on the lot have a solid flat step rail that extends to the end of the cab but not to the flare and is rather wide. Much more coverage than the tube style. My idea is to use the tube style to deflect stones from the rear flare, but looks like they know the new design is better for that. I've ordered the tube, but think I want the flat one and will use touch up paint and rubbing compound to make it look beter from a distance. These are rather small chips and so many can't see using a nick sander, etc. Unfortunately, I not only enjoy leaving the road, but like to take very good care of the exterior and interior for resale down the road.
    Right now, I have a transmission that have popped out of second gear 3 times on washboard...roads that my 1989 Honda Civic (208K miles) has been on. Dealership is telling me they will replace the tranny under warranty.
    Other than the fender flares, I can't believe how responsive that engine is and it goes far....including one place I won't go back to.

    Thanks for the response...was wondering if anyone else was getting the rash.
  • matt30matt30 Posts: 27
    The JD power rankings are not based on how many reported problems there are with the drivetrain (as evidence of the Ford F-150 always taking top spot) there based on how "fun" the reviews thought it was. I'm sure the Frontier will score very close to the tacoma just as the Titan did.
  • woodshop28woodshop28 Posts: 74
    I pulled off the small clear piece that came on the truck's rear flares and covered the whole area, up about 18" with the 3M clearmask stuff. I also did the rocker panels and headlights.
    It is not the easiest stuff to apply, and my job isn't "professional," but it looks fine, and it protects well against chips. I was getting quite a few small chips on the rocker panels and rear flares before this.
    I also applied herculiner to the bed under my drop-in liner. I already had some worn off paint under there from hauling rock and landscaping stones, among other things. I had this herculiner on my old Tacoma under the drop in. I see it as cheap insurance.

    Thanks for the info on the Ridgeline test drive.
  • qwert13qwert13 Posts: 24
    Thanks to you and danielacosta, who have experienced to same issues with the Frontier, for your responses. Amazing that a company like Nissan has engineered/designed a vehicle that has an obvious, and in my opinion, a serious problem with the exterior, knowing that road rash would occur. Why else would they have put a pathetic eight inch patch over the fender...and it is useless. Even when I talk to the dealership, they say that the foot rails will "help prevent" the chips...not prevent. I had a 1978 Subaru Brat, 1984 Subaru 4x4 wagon, 1986 Montero, and a 1994 Ranger. Never added more that a bug shield to the Montero and Ranger. Those vehicles NEVER showed the chips/road rash in the years I owned them that this Frontier has shown in the 2 months, 3800 miles that I have owned it...and they were put through 100 times more than this Frontier...especially the Montero and Ranger doing Colorado mountain passes and everything else this state has to offer. Should we really be expected to be scrambling to protect our investments the way we are? Why didn't the dealerships tell us "you'd better by the foot rails". Had I known what I know now, I would not have purchased the Frontier. Now it's how much I spend to protect/correct it, how long I keep it, how much money I'm willing to eat to get rid of it....
    Sorry, but that's the way I first and last Nissan.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    I'm going to preface this by saying that I work for a Toyota dealer, so I obviously don't have a reason to defend Nissan. The reason I say this is that I don't know that anything you would purchase now would have the same durability for the paint as your '86 and '94 trucks. The reason is that ALL manufacturer's have had to convert to using water-based paints rather than the petroleum or lead based paints they used in the past. These water-based paints are not as hard or as durable as the older paints. They are MUCH more friendly to the environment both in the manufacturing process and when it comes time to repaint vehicles, but at the expense of durability.

    If you read posts for just about any truck/vehicle in the forums you will find similar complaints unfortunately.

    Just wanted you to have some more info.

  • qwert13qwert13 Posts: 24
    So is this why manufacturers in the recent years were adding more and more rubber/plastic overfenders/lower side panels/rocker panels to absorb the wear and tear? Yet, it the last year or so, I have seen the manufacturers reverting back to metal. Is this because all those plastic/rubber additions are actually adding entry points for salt in Northern states? In Colorado...give me rubber and plastic. Maybe I should have spent over 2K for a new tranny/clutch...AGAIN for the 3rd time on the Ranger even though the truck was worth less than 2K. Yes...I know how to drive a standard transmission. My '89 Honda Civic is on it's second clutch...I got 170,000 on the first one....and I drive it hard. Maybe a new offered color for autos should be primer gray.
    Hey, I'm upset, but think that you are enlightening me and others to new standards(?) that is eating our money. I appreciate your input.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    You're welcome although, as I said, I can't say that I like the newer materials they're using. I know that many manufacturers are using clear "tape" in areas prone to chipping such as in the corners of door frames and back of wheel wells. It's not really pretty, so I can see why they use it sparingly.

  • wooddorkerwooddorker Posts: 300
    "The reason is that ALL manufacturer's have had to convert to using water-based paints rather than the petroleum or lead based paints they used in the past."

    Are they truly water based, or simply low VOC? Low VOC products can be substandard, as well.

    I have some factory touchup paint for some new cars, and it is definitely NOT water based.

    That said, water based products in woodworking, as in the pro versions, not the crap at home centers, has come an awful long way. Some of them outperform the old lacquer and petroleum based products by a large margin. The good ones are E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E!!!
This discussion has been closed.