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Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier



  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Those are the only two trucks I'm interested in at this point. Receiving either a 4 or a 5 star rating with the NHTSA is respectable and certainly says something about how well the vehicle has been engineered. Throw in the IIHS good ratings for both these trucks and you have two winners. If I had money to burn I'd own one of each!
  • Not having test driven the Taco (shame on me) I bought an 05 Frontier LE a couple weeks ago and I couldn't be happier. I'm not going to start pissing, but here's my perspective (in case there are any wafflers that can't get off the fence and go buy a frontier)...

    I payed 26,500 for a CC LE w/ leather, sunroof, rockford-fosgate package, bed extender, and the abls upgrade. I also got $1000 rebate from nissan so it was really $25,500.

    I was a little uneasy about the 16mpg when I was looking, but after driving it for a couple weeks, I'm averaging 18.4 with a 17 mile commute each way, in stop and go both morning and evening. (tail-gate down bed extender out).

    I also liked the interior of the Taco better. Thought it was more refined, etc. I'm just fine with the Frontier's after a couple weeks. While somewhat blah and plasticy, it's actually quite solid and doesn't seem cheap at all. The leather dresses it up enough and it is a truck so what the hell. All in all, I would say it's clean looking. The thing I like most is the width of the door next to the driver's window. I can stick my arm there with the window up just like an armrest. Most cars I've been in, you have to have the window down for that to work right. I guess I just like the simple things.

    Love the sunroof.

    It's as fun a vehicle to drive as I've ever driven. Absolutely no complaints with the handling or engine.

    I didn't haggle with a Toyota Dealer, so I don't know what kind of Taco you can get for what kind of money, but 25,500 for an LE CC w/ leather, a sunroof and an upgraded stereo is pretty sweet in my opinion. I wouldn't doubt that by the end of the year or early next year Nissan will be kicking $2K or more back on the 05. You just can't beat what you get for the price. I certainly felt as though I couldn't anyway.

    For anyone waffling...don't worry. You'll love it.
  • badnessbadness Posts: 242
    I too have the same truck,its an a TIger I say ,I'm getting close to 22Mpgs on my truck and 19city now,1300mi.s on it so far, the stereo Rocks!
    did you get the satlite?
  • 3tacoma3tacoma Posts: 15
    My father in law has an 05 Frontier 2wd Automatic DC short bed.
    I have an 05 Tacoma 4wd Automatic DC short bed.

    We both have run only 87 octane gas. His Frontier gets average 20.1 mpg and my Tacoma gets an average of 19.4. Thats puts them about = due to the 4wd compared to the 2wd. We have driven each others trucks and both are in agreement that both vehicles are very similar. The Tacoma kicks [non-permissible content removed] in the 1/4 mile, kicking the Frontier every time, even though the Fronty is 2WD. Pulling seems to be equal with no difference pulling the same boat (5000lbs. 19' 3" Basscat bassboat).

    Both are very solid vehicles and very similar in performance and looks. If your buying, Flip a Coin!
  • Other than the Tacoma having a much better name, the Frontier is the Huckleberry. The composite (read: PLASTIC) bed in the Tacoma is Fruity. The Rails can only hold a total of 300 pounds or 100 each TOTAL. The Frontier can hold 300 per rail, and there are 5 Rails. This is much of the reason that the Tacoma is lighter. The Tacoma also has a Riveted Frame that is only partially boxed. From the Firewall forward, the Tacoma has a noodly, weak sister of the poor C channel. The Frontier is a Double C (imagine two Cs that face eachother, one inside of the other) from start to finish. It also has Welded Cross Members, instead of Rattlely Rivets. Credit the Frontier's Titan DNA.

    The motor in the Frontier is the Chain Drive VQ series. Both motors will last as long as you keep oil in them, but the Frontier will require a ton less maintenance. It also has a much lower insurance rating and the VDC/ABLS/Down Hill Assist is absolutley the best out there.

    Either truck is fantastic. The Dodge gets crappy gas mileage and has an interior taken from the 1989 Chrysler Laser parts bin. The commercial with the V8 Mitsu making the Frontier wet itself is very funny, until you consider it is about 40 Horse short of the Frontier and would get its doors twisted of by Nissan's V6 like a kid torturing a bug. As for the Chevy Canyon, who asked for a 5 Cylinder Motor? Its not a VOLVO! Ford, Mazda are absolute noncompetes. :confuse:
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    The name game is a non issue for me. Time will tell in regards to the composite bed and how well it will stand up, besides, for most half ton truck people either bed will suffice. I don't know though if I'd want to be sliding a camper unit onto a Tacoma. I do believe that the Nissan chassis may be better ( it certainly should be stronger), thanks to it's big brother, and the Frontier's VQ motor is tried and true. And, as far as the remainder of the bunch goes, I'm not particularly enthused. G.M. should possibly have stayed with their six cylinder as opposed to the fiver ( go figure), Ford/Mazda are long in the tooth and need updating, and Dodge is hanging on.
    I'm still anxiously waiting for the Tacoma and Frontier 06 models to arrive on the scene.
  • Who cares what kind of frame Tacoma /Frontier got? According to official crash test results Tacoma has higher safety rating then Frontier (this is real numbers and not some B.S from the poster above) Nissan VDC/ABLS/Downhill Assist the best? Did you hear that from you local Nissan dealer? And I don’t wanna even start engine wars here. Seem like many Nissan owners just come here to vent and make them self to believe the done right choice for the money the paid...
  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    Who cares what kind of frame Tacoma /Frontier got?

    Well, at least that spared me from having to read anymore.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    In reference to "the official crash test results", the test Frontier outweighed the Tacoma by almost half a ton in the N.H.T.S.A. test and according to the I.I.H.S. test the Frontier weighed in at 350lbs. more and both trucks scored a GOOD rating. There is no way you can call the Tacoma safer. They are both safe, well built trucks and both have their own merits. "Real numbers" are not always real world!
  • time2time2 Posts: 25
    Typical cocky Toyota poster. All defensive because they got one upped by the Frontier and can't handle it. Seems the people who actually compared the trucks and don't hide behind magazine articles and crash tests come to choose the Frontier.

    Frontier wins! Tacoma loses. Tsk, tsk.
  • jas_iajas_ia Posts: 2
    How about a few opinions on which gives more advantage off road, the higher ground clearance of the frontier or the better approach/departure angles of the taco. I would think for rock crawling the angles would be more important but I'd venture to say not many of us do much serious rock crawling. In most other situations such as rutted or rocky roads or trails with tree stumps, branches, roots the higher clearance would be more useful. Deep snow? Again the ground clearance gets the advantage I think. What do you guys think?
  • 2005lekc2005lekc Posts: 145
    Who really cares which truck is best, which has the most horse power, etc? There are
    a few who take their trucks out where it might matter who has the most ground clear-
    ance, but I wager most of us would have enough ground clearance in a Miata.

    Who cares about the safest truck unless you have a truck load of kids? I have ridden
    motorcycles and sportscars most of my life so any truck is safer than that.

    These two trucks are very close in most aspects and that is the way the manufacturers
    planned it. You cannot go wrong with either truck so why all of the ranting over a few
    cents worth of difference.

    Most of us seclect our vehicles from our personal list of preferences and rightly so.
    Just because you do not select the same vehicle I do does not make you wrong and
    me right.

    We all have a love for trucks or at least a need for trucks so why not try to accept each
    others choice and be glad we have two such great trucks to pick from?

  • I just hate to see unfair reviews from Nissan owners and probably bored dealers… Btw, all new Tacoma engines got chain even including passengers cars like Camry 4 and 6 cylinders. I don’t see any engine maintenance problems other then changing oil, coolant and air filter. Here is crash test real results:
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    Well I was! in market for new Extended 4X4 Nismo or Toy TRD. But with fuel going crazy I have backed off on purchase. Neither of 05's are very frugal on gas, so I may opt for Certified 03/04 Toy or Nissan. Probably will go with the Toy do to my research in Consumer Reports 03,04 &05 editions. While the Nissan is very good in Consumers it comes up short against the Tacoma. I may opt for late model Tacoma extended 4X4, Fronty not quite up there, and buying used certified I'm going with Tacoma duribility/reliabilty. If I change mind I still think Fronty Nismo is best buy & bang for the $$$$,s Toy TRD is 3 to $4000 more. Will look for 03/04 Tacoma with 2.7 4 banger auto trans 4X4 extended, they made alot so shouldn't
    be a problem to find. This is still a fun thread and good info,keep it going.
    PS Check out Consumer Reports (AUTOS) and they show reliability reports 03/04/05. Surf Fish'in Critter. sandblaster :)
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Even Steven, half a dozen or six. Tacoma 1 Frontier 1.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Well said 2005lekc ! Some people just seem to think they need to be partisan. Sort of like the Pepsi/Coke thing.

    A Toyota owner
  • toykicktoykick Posts: 104
    alright... alright the Frontier isnt all that bad... chit it did better then the raider...
    as for fully boxed frame... well look at the Dakota.. It has a more rigid frame then the frontier and it did bad... it also weighs more then the frontier...

    as for which frame is best... well when your on a head on or side impact collision the frame isnt going to take much of the impact.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Apples and oranges!
    If you're referring to the crash tests, the structures of all 3 vehicles held up well. And referring to the frame, as for which is best, best at what?
    The Dakota and Frontier have more mass and that's a plus if another vehicle plows into you.
    The crashability is still only one factor of many to consider.
  • Apples and oranges? - YEAH Right!!!!

    Just compared two Base 4x2 regular cab configurations. Nissan Frontier weight 4,687 lbs, Toyota Tacoma weight 4,550 lbs. Not a big difference I guess so ‘More Mass Statement’ doesn’t really apply here. As for the worries about mass absorb during front collision I’d recommend to buy 50 ton tank.., perhaps it won’t help you a lot if you hit a freight train.
    Nissan people just drive me crazy!!! :mad:
  • critter1critter1 Posts: 104
    If $$$$ isn't a problem go with what you like both TRD/NISMO give great Off Road
    performance,but NISMO gives much more standard then TOY. The TRD package is
    about $3,600.00 just for that. Toy options you to death and the bottom line is 2 to $4,000 more then NISMO. If you like Toy better go for it,but for the $$$$ Nismo is a
    very good buy. IF I buy will probably go with Nismo because of value and $$$$,for
    some of us bang for our $$$$ means alot. Keep jaw'in it's fun to read different info,slant & opinions.
    Surf Fish'in Critter

    PS drove both and liked them both.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Where did you find a Tacoma that weighs in at 4550lbs.? All I was doing was comparing 2 trucks in exact crash tests that were not of the same weight....actually, they were in different weight classes, the 2 trucks in the two tests that I looked at. The people that test these vehicles state that if you are comparing 2 or more vehicles, compare ones that are within 250 lbs. + or -. That is where the apples and oranges comes in. Actually, I would love to see a test performed that showed an 05 frontier crashing head on into an 05 tacoma at a good clip. I bet you, if anything, it would be a draw. That would be a more realistic test and quite entertaining. A lot more entertaining and/or realistic than driving around in a tank, don't you think?
    By the way, I am not a Nissan person.
  • Ops..actually I was refer to the Frontier/Tacoma fully loaded weight - GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) Vehicle Curb Weight + payload + trailer weight + driver and passengers. I’m sure you’ll be amazed to see the head crashing test of both vehicles… Personally to me more then enough to see results of crash into solid concrete wall where famous Frontier boxed frame did worse then Tacoma.
  • I've taken my NISMO though some pretty extensive tests in the GW National Forest and it certainly out performed my 98 4Runner on hill climbs with lose rocks and gravel. Of course, I could not test the Tacoma under these conditions. I did see a post earlier this year which suggested there was some part, possibly the exhaust, on the Tacoma that was lower than it should be for off road use. I took my old 91 4 Runner into some incredible places, it bottomed out,and went airborne more than once, but it always got me home. Realistically speaking, I suspect that at least 8 inches of ground clearance will get most of us there and back again. See my other posts here and under NISMO 2005+ if you want more details.
    81 trekker
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    How perceptive! You may have the final word.
  • toykicktoykick Posts: 104
    the 05 4Runner and the 05 tacoma are totaly different trucks... they dont share the same frame. The 05 tacoma frame is from the petrol landcruiser... The 05 4runner in my opinion sucks offroad...
  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    Did "worse" in what respect? You're aware of course that weight differences in the vehicles mean you can't compare crash tests. Also you seem to be implying that the benefits of a box frame are confined to vehicle crashes????
  • Read above!. The weight difference is very minimal (a little over 100lb) Have a 300lb dude in your Toy and you already should be over Frontier weight :D Now seriously, Frontier may look bigger and stronger but in reality it’s all plastic and thin body metal makeup. It performs worse in a crash test and that is the real facts and if the weight a little more why don’t their engineers adjust frame durability according to the extra hundred pounds. This is my last post here, I just can’t take this ‘frame, engine, maintenance, chain drive etc..’ b.s anymore. Toyota Tacoma is a better truck in terms of reliability, durability, resale value and their name after all.
  • It is not proven that the 2005 tacoma is more reliable than the 2005 Frontier, so that is not a true statement.
    Some crash tests I looked at showed a lower head injury rating for the Tacoma. I think it got an "Acceptable" and the Frontier got a "Good."
    I have not weighed vehicles, but I think the weight of each truck alone (without a load, or a trailor, or whatever) is more than 100 lbs. different - maybe 400-600 lbs.
    I find it odd that something that is "plastic and thin body metal" weighs more. Don't say it's because of the metal bed, either. That doesn't amount for that much.
    I do hope you enjoy your Tacoma. I am sure it is a great truck, but having owned an 04 tacoma (RIP) and an 05 frontier, I know both companies make good vehicles.
    To each his own - both are likely reliable, safe trucks.
  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    Given the amount of misinformation you've spread around here, I'm not surprised that you go with the old "this is my last post" routine when challenged. You make a big deal about comparing apples and oranges in crash tests, but don't know how they're conducted--or apparently the specifics of the tacoma/frontier scores. You make a big deal about the whole boxed frame issue but clearly think that this is primarily an issue related to frontal crash tests. FWIW, I think the Tacoma is a very nice truck, one that I'd be proud to own if (IMO) the Frontier didn't represent somewhat better value from a cost perspective.
  • "FWIW, I think the Tacoma is a very nice truck, one that I'd be proud to own if (IMO) the Frontier didn't represent somewhat better value from a cost perspective."

    I, too, stand on this ground. The frontier was a better value up front, by about 3,000 to 3,500 bucks.
    Some argue that the Tacoma has less depreciation, but what if you invest the 3500 dollar difference properly, over, say, ten years? Anyway, my logic says the frontier is a better value for my needs, but both are definitely good choices.
This discussion has been closed.