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Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier



  • After reading this forum topic, I'd swear this was a bunch of Nissan salespeople trying to boost business...not a bad tactic. I think both trucks are pretty good choices, I like the quiet operation of the Frontier, but applying quietcoat to the Tacoma will solve any noise issues. To me the Frontier is a car with a bed...great for going to the dump once or twice a year, and light dirt driving. I've had a Nissan but it never really felt like a truck to me. I agree with the person who said the Frontier is a better choice for a daily driver. The Tacoma is more truck like and feels much more capable, clearly the better off road choice IMO. The bugs people have experienced are common to any new model and usually get ironed out by the end of the year. As for power, it's pretty ridiculous to prefer one over the other...they're both powerful...who cares if one is a tenth of a second faster? My preference for the Toyota really came down to one kids were much more comfortable in the back seat of the dbl cab Tacoma. Hearing the familiar phrase "Are we there yet?" a few less times is huge in my book.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    Now I'm going from what I've been told by reps from Toyota that come to the dealership as well as from the person that was running the tour of the plant in Cambridge, Ontario that I went to a few months back. It is a truly water-based paint they use. It's beneficial in that it doesn't have the fumes and toxic byproducts from the application, with the added benefit that cleaning the painting equipment in the plant is also easier and more environmentally friendly as they don't need solvents and such to do so. They estimated that on a vehicle the size of a Corolla, Matrix or RX330 which are all built there, it takes on average about 1 gallon of paint which is applied to a thickness of just under a human hair. On top of this is the clear-coat which has about the same depth.

    From my understanding, while the application process itself may differ between manufacturers, the material itself and use of it is pretty similar.

    Hope this helps.

  • centralcalcentralcal Posts: 215
    You must have not had the opportunity to fill out their survey, it is the customer reporting his/her satisfaction, not a reviewer. That is what the magazines are for. People are reporting a lot more mechanical problems when compared to the '04 (not surprising being completely redesigned). F150 took the Truck of the Year last year, same award the Taco got and I think Chevy usually has higher ratings than Ford.
  • I seriously doubt that two companies with solid reputations such as Toyota and Honda would risk their reputations on a technology that was not tested and well engineered. I guess time will tell, but I'm willing to bet that others will follow suit with composite'll be interesting. If Toyota beds crack over time, they won't be worth a plug nickel....still can't imagine a company risking this...they likely know a lot more than the rest of us. I wonder how they'll handle warranties for this bed if it does crack?
  • wooddorkerwooddorker Posts: 300
    "I seriously doubt that two companies with solid reputations such as Toyota and Honda would risk their reputations on a technology that was not tested and well engineered."

    Last Tuesday, I had a rented floor sander (industrial quality) do a dance around the bed during an emergency move. A corner of the sander hit the side of the bed with enough force to move the truck, and break some machined metal parts on the machine. The machine was sitting on a rubber bed mat, which caused the unsecured machine to barrell roll, not slide into the side of the bed.

    The extent of the bed damage is a dime sized, triangular dent, with a very small tear in the corner. The impact easily would have put a serious dent or crease in a steel bed, and definitely would have started a rust spot.

    The damage would easily be cosmetically repaired with black tinted epoxy, but I probably won't bother. I've drilled some accessory mounting holes in my bed, and the fibers that are mixed into the bed material seem like they will add a lot of strength.
  • 81trekker81trekker Posts: 51
    I've read about 2 pages of posts that seem to deal with issues like paint chips as opposed to really comparing the Tacoma and Frontier. Having had two 4Runners and their predecessor, the Trekker, I'm certainly a believe in the Toys. However, last year we bought Nissan Armada which has been an excellent truck and we previously had an Xterra that was ok. I do a moderate amount of off-roading in the GW National Forest and elsewhere but do not try to climb rocks. I believe that either the Tacoma or Frontier would do the job. The deciding factor is the gas required. I'm not paying almost 20 cents more a gallon for a Tacoma's premium gas. Should this not be a significant factor in one's decision?

    81 Trekker

  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    Premium is not REQUIRED. It is recommended to get optomial performance (read HP) but not for engine longevity or durability. So if you don't mind a loss of 5-10hp while using 87octane, you won't have a problem at all.

  • bjw1bjw1 Posts: 152
    i use mid grade on my taco and still get 19mpg in city blowing the a/c, and spend only about $1.50 more to fill up so it is not that big of a difference with me at least, gas prices are rediculous i know, but on the other hand if you do put in 87 grade you will drop in mpg so the trade of is very minimal, just like the dealer prices for the hybrid is high so it takers a couple of years just to get a difference with the cost of ownership between hybrid and regular gas vehicle, just another spin on the subject.
  • danielacostadanielacosta Posts: 132
    The Frontier gets its full rated power on regular. This is one of the reasons I chose the Frontier over Tacoma. A bigger reason was all four 05 Tacomas I test-drove had quality problems, like difficulty going in and out of 4wd.
  • boone88rrboone88rr Posts: 194
    Premium is definitely not required. I use 89 in mine too. Actually, running your Frontier at 5600 rpms gets full power out of the engine too, but I highly doubt you're doing that. I don't care what you say, you don't get max performance/ gas mileage out of regular gasoline (Frontier = built for regular, gets worse gas mileage. Coincidence?). Toyota is smart for recommending that you use premium in their V6's.

    The higher the octane, the better the performance you will get out of your engine.

    Using 89 octane for one year @ 18k miles: $90 extra
    Using premium for one year @ 18k miles: $180 extra
    The look on a Frontier owner's face after you just smoked 'em on the highway: Priceless :P
  • danielacostadanielacosta Posts: 132
    Tacoma is a great truck. It gets great performance from less power because it weighs about 500 pounds less. It does run fine on regular, but at reduced power. Other trucks, like Frontier, get their full rated power on regular. On the Frontier site, dyno tests are posted showing no gain on premium vs regular, so for the Frontier you don't need to buy premium to get maximum horsepower.

    Tacoma will hopefully improve and get the early production bugs out. I'd rather be on the road than in the shop. If you got a "good" one, then you're luckier than most 05 Tacoma owners. With the exception of Motor Trend, who liked Tacoma's many bed, cab, and engine configurations, every press review has picked Ridgeline #1, provided you don't go off-road, Frontier a close second, and Tacoma third. It's interesting how the lowest rated truck (Colorado) sells the most, followed by Tacoma and Dakota. The highest rated trucks (Ridgeline and Frontier) sell the least. Go figure.

    Tacoma's back seat gymnastics, drum brakes, and low hanging central exhaust turned me off. Failure to go in and out of 4wd on a test drive knocked it from the running.
  • gg05gg05 Posts: 1
    I have been in the Nissan family since 2000 when I bought a Frontier. That was the worst decision I ever made. Though my truck has been very reliable, I would never buy another because of poor dealer service and sleepy looks. When the 05 Frontier came out I was hoping the styling would improve but instead it got even worse! And the Frontier has one of the worst interiors i've ever seen, looks like something from the 80's! Thats enough right there for me to never give the 05 a second look. I've also had alot of problems with my local Nissan dealer, as have many others in my area. They are a bunch of crooks plain and simple. The 05 Frontier might have better power but it doesnt have the looks to go along with it.
  • steveh427steveh427 Posts: 25
    Before purchasing my truck ( Prerunner DC/SB/TRD#2), I went through all of the pros and cons including Reg. gas vs premium gas. I also looked at gas mileage of each vehicle. After a while, you can make yourself crazy analyzing all this stuff! Bottom line for me was to get the truck I liked and wanted. As far as reg vs prem gas, it's really an insignificant factor. If you look at the Frontier discussions on this board, owners have been reporting gas mileage anywhere from 14 to 18 mpg. I just filled up with my second tank of gas running regular gas the first time and premium the second. Both times I'm averaging about 20.4 mpg 70/30 hwy/city. Some say it supposed to get better as the engine breaks in. I'd gladly pay an extra 20 cents for the extra 2-3 mpg. It all evens out at the end.
  • qwert13qwert13 Posts: 24
    As for me, I think the Frontier styling is very bold. Seems to be a trend now for the "arrow" look among the manufacturers. Take a look at the fins from the 50s. . I like it when a truck follows such a trend....Titan is very good looking. (Yes, this trend too will pass). my previous posts about how Nissan actually built a body that does not belong on the road. Maybe with petroleum based paints it would fair better, but they still need to protect the overfenders (and running boards)...they knew it was inadequate.
    I see all this "mine is better than yours" stuff. Who cares, we're all in the same boat trying to get our money's worth I've always considered Toyota and Nissan trucks the best ones fighting it out. Now, with all I'm reading, seems to be deciding which is the worse of two lessers....kind of like a presidential election. Seems both have issues. Maybe these two manufacturers need to be Avis and "try harder".
    Where we do agree, for what ever the reason, is " That was the worst decision I ever made."
  • hungkhungk Posts: 14
    Last weekend put little more than 3oo miles on my new Niss O5 Crew Cab,
    200 miles of it dirt from mild, to scratchin the boulders , heres what I can say,
    was I was verry impressed with the ground clearance , and would have to repeat what another person here said, that the truck is verry nimble, and responsive, ditto . ditttttttoooo. and the most impressive thing about it is the
    horsies, something about the engine and the pedal its like either u wanna go stop or go faster, touch that pedal , and its now or not, like theres no coasting wherever the pedal is thats where ur goin .... Hmmmmmmmmmm.. the rest is personal preferences and the almighty dollar..........................
    (Toyota-Nissan) I do think the New Frontier has more interior space especially in the Crew Cab rear seats , but I would say to any prospective buyer, try the Nismo, at least go drive one /////,
    and then go from there, as far as how many doors ,and how long the box...more personal preferences that greatly affect the ride and space,towing , fuel economy , requirements for your needs, ETC
    I thought. if the only thing people could find to complain about is the rock nicks on the flare fenders - which is the only thing that distinguishes the New Frontier from the rest! as far as asthetics !, then well darn!, but Im not surprised being an ex dealership mechanic, as no matter what.... we always find something to complain about , and want sumthin for nothin , I m really impressed with my New Frontier , especially after owning the same truck in an O3 and all the things that annoyed me about it are all fixed, Id bet if a person picked the same
    compatible trucks as far as engine, weight, and creature comforts ?!?!?! . that most will choose the Nissan. particularly when slapped in the face with Toyotas higher price tag . tooooooooooooooo muucccccccccccchhhhhhhhh Hiiigher !!!!
    for what U get, for Your hard earned Buck ! but only time will tell , I guess im just one whoos made the leap away from that Bloated Overpriced American
    well I cant Say it but U kno what J word Im thinkin > still proud to be an American , Just damned embarrased sometimes , I know Id be happy with a Taco too, just glad I made the leap.......................................
  • danielacostadanielacosta Posts: 132
    I think the 05 Tacoma Double Cab is one of the best looking trucks on the road, period. Still, I ended up buying the Frontier CC NISMO, even though it's rear doors look small by comparison. I like the Frontier's front end better than Tacoma's, but the Tacoma still looks way better than the Tundra.

    Looks aside, I chose the Frontier over Tacoma for many other reasons than just looks. Even though the Tacoma rear seat is bigger on paper, the actual legroom is less when the front seat is adjusted for my 6-1 frame. Rear-seat folding options are better in the Frontier, too. If you rarely fold the rear seat, that won't matter to you, but I am always hauling stuff in the rear seat so the Frontier's quick-fold without removing the headrests like Tacoma is a big plus.

    The kicker for me is off-road capability. The Tacoma has a higher body, but lower chassis. The Tacoma central exhaust crossmember is the low point, and would be damaged in hard off-roading. The Tacoma's I test drove had "bugs" trying to shift in and out of 4wd (and other quality problems, too), but every Frontier I tried was flawless. Most magazines pick the Frontier's driving feel over Tacoma's, but I thought they both felt about the same and drive great. A Ridgeline drives better than any other truck in every press comparison, and I agree. But the Ridgeline has limited off-road and towing ability compared to Tacoma and Frontier.

    Any of these three would be a great choice. I'm an off-roader, so the off-road performance, lack of quality bugs, and rear-seat flexibility led me to the Frontier, and I haven't regretted it.

    My next truck will be whoever comes out with a hybrid model that delivers mileage in the mid-20's with hp in the high-200's or better. Honda, Nissan, and Toyota: are you listening?
  • diko617diko617 Posts: 3
    I just traded my 04 Nissan Frontier KC XE to a 05 Nissan FRONTIER CC LE. I test drive the Ridgeline, Tacoma, and Dakota. You know what guys nothing come close to a Frontier when it comes to power of the engine. I even like the quiet interior it got, im driving at 80 mph and all i here is the whistle that comes from the roof rack. I dont want to make any comment about the Tacoma & ridgeline, see it for yourselves. Believe me after you tried to the test drive the Trucks ive mentioned, you will agree with me that I MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE in choosing a NISSAN FRONTIER! :)
  • dttdtt Posts: 2
    Same here. Bought my 05 Nissan Frontier SE CC in mid July and am very happy with it. I was planning on getting a Tacoma but after test driving both, I felt the Nissan was a better choice for me. But don't get me wrong. My friend just bought a Tacoma CC long bed and that thing kicks a$$ but it just wasn't for me, though I really wish Nissan made the long bed option also. That would have made the Frontier an even better truck. We both use our trucks for hauling mountain bikes and people and both trucks are very capable of doing what they were designed to do and I personally don't know anyone who was not happy with their decision to buy one or the other. And yeah, his truck has issues but so does mine and so does every other vehicle ever sold. My recommedation: test drive both and do your homework. What really sealed the deal for me was that the Nissan dealer had the Frontier in stock while I would have had to wait 3 months for a Tacoma. Also, I got my Nissan for 5 grand less than the best deal I could get for a comparably equipped Toyota. Ask my friend and he'll tell you get a Tacoma. Ask me and I'll tell you I really like my Frontier. They're both good trucks!
  • qwert13qwert13 Posts: 24
    woodshp28 and danielacosta...
    Out of curiousity, what color is your Frontier...?
  • rutzmanrutzman Posts: 9
    Any word out there on a mild suspension lift for the '05 Frontier. It seems my old '92 Hardbody had more clearance with 30inch tires. I'd like to lift the '05 two or so inches, is it possible to do with tweeking the stock equipement.
  • streaksstreaks Posts: 64
    Nice post! See, some of us can play nice! As for me, the 4 or 5 g's more I paid to get the Tacoma was worth EVERY Damn cent!!! I've been lucky (7000mi.)...just a leaf spring big deal.
    I have a customer..owns 3 Sabb/Volvo dealerships (has a huge farm too)..know what he drives??................Tacoma!! I took his advise! Any one who drives one of these "New" designs of either vehicle will be impressed...Again, I'd would've been happy drivin' the Nissan too.. just not AS happy!!! Yeah, and the guy in the new Beamer I blew off wasn't happy!!(nothin like a 6 speed) All in how you break 'em in and drive 'em! Hey Now!!
  • danielacostadanielacosta Posts: 132
    My Frontier is blue.
  • goofballgoofball Posts: 20
    The "higher the octane, the better the performance you will get out of your engine" statement is only partially correct. The reason that you actually get better performance in these newer engines, both the '05 Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma is that higher octane gasoline allows the variable valve timing system to use a more aggressive profile without pinging/knock (early fuel detonation, usually sounds like a ratchet or popping popcorn under the hood and typically only happens during moderate to heavy acceleration).

    The only thing that a higher octane rated gas does is resist early detonation. The higher the rating the more resistance it has.
  • boone88rrboone88rr Posts: 194
    Right, so what's your point?

    I don't see how my statement was "only partially correct". You are bringing up a whole different topic. Talking about valve timing is completely different from fuel octanes. I think everyone agrees that VVT is great for gas mileage and getting the most out of the newer engines. This was my point:

    "The octane rating of gasoline tells you how much the fuel can be compressed before it spontaneously ignites. When gas ignites by compression rather than because of the spark from the spark plug, it causes knocking in the engine. Knocking can damage an engine, so it is not something you want to have happening. Lower-octane gas (like "regular" 87-octane gasoline) can handle the least amount of compression before igniting.

    The compression ratio of your engine determines the octane rating of the gas you must use in the car. One way to increase the horsepower of an engine of a given displacement is to increase its compression ratio. So a "high-performance engine" has a higher compression ratio and requires higher-octane fuel. The advantage of a high compression ratio is that it gives your engine a higher horsepower rating for a given engine weight -- that is what makes the engine "high performance." The disadvantage is that the gasoline for your engine costs more.

    Isn't the internet fun? :surprise:
  • boone88rrboone88rr Posts: 194
    "On the Frontier site, dyno tests are posted showing no gain on premium vs regular, so for the Frontier you don't need to buy premium to get maximum horsepower"

    What site are you referring to?
  • badnessbadness Posts: 242
    what ever dude.........
  • As a former Frontier owner (03 4x4), I couldn't bring myself to buy another one. It was fine in most departments except off road suspension was too soft and it developed several rattles that the dealer could not find let alone fix. I drove and liked the 05 but the interior seemed almost cheesier than my 03 so I was leary from the start. The Tacoma felt better built and the interior quality is undeniably superior. Bought the Tacoma Dbl cab 4x4....absolutely love this truck. It's my first Toyota and I can't imagine regretting buying this truck.

    As for the complaints I've read, none of them have shown up after 1200 miles....fine power, very quiet, no wind noise, ticking, groaning or vibrations....goes into and out of 4WD without complaint...runs fine on 89 octane, no pains felt at fill up. I think it rides firmer than the Frontier, but dampens the bumps quickly, and really excels off road..great hill climber! It will take a better truck than the Frontier to make me go back. If there is such a thing as a Nissan traitor, sign me up and give me my bumper sticker.
  • badnessbadness Posts: 242
    well your the only one who said Premium is need for the Nissan ,your wrong only toys need them read a nissan Manual and you will see,The guys and girls haven't ever even said anything about the Prem. gas,nor dose the any of the web sites the all give reviews,so don't put a bad taste in Nissan owner!! .
  • danielacostadanielacosta Posts: 132
    Hey congrats on the Tacoma; glad you got a good one. Does your Tacoma have hill start assist, 4-wheel limited slip, and hill descent control like the Frontier?
This discussion has been closed.