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Frontier vs Ranger - III



  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Posts: 290
    Yeah, the new S-10 will definitely open up can of whoop-a$$ as far as speed and torque go. I also read somewhere that the possibility of a V-8 in the S-10 is a dead issue. I'm not sure why, probably due to CAFE standards or something. GM already has enough gas guzzling full size trucks and making the S-10 a V8 would probably kill them.
    But like I said, my old one was a really good truck. It lost a little of it's pep in the later years no matter how much money I dumped into tune ups, timing adjustments etc. But it still got the job done. One thing about it I don't miss is the ride and the wind noise. My Nissan is so smooth and quiet that looking back I wonder how I ever dealt with the S-10's noise. There was no way you could have the radio on and carry on a conversation at the same time, especially going down the Interstate.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    The new S-10 due out in late 2001 I have heard is supposed to be about the size of a Dakota. GM is coming out will all new engines also. They are going to a straight 6 overhead cammer of sorts, a new 4cyl too. Don't count GM out yet. They are not rolling over and dieing in the compact truck segment. Even now the Vortec 4.3 is no joke. It puts a a healthy 245ft/lbs of torque and about 195hp. Don't underestimate the ZR2 either, they are everybit as good as a TRD.. Granted the S-10 has quality issues, but performance wise its no slouch.
    I saw a new Toyota Tacoma, YUCK!! What the heck is with the huge chrome grill??? Tacoma just lost its styling advantages in my book.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    that potential owners don't get it confused with the Tundra...
  • cncmancncman Posts: 487
    Well guys,
    I know this a little off topic, but there really hasn't been much of a topic lately anyway so....

    Here's what's around the corner for Nissan,
    The new Z car will debut in the (I think detroit)
    January auto show. Rear wheel drive, V6 just under 300hp for in the mid $20's!

    Soon there will be an all new altima, with a 4 cylinder around 180hp and an optional V6 similar to the current 222hp VQ in the maxima, word I have from some high ups that have seen official drawings a few months back is WOW! Think something along the lines of an Audi A6. There will be a period of about 6-10 months where there will be almost no reason to buy a maxima as it won't change until after the altima debut, then the maxima will be built on the new altima platform, but bigger and with a V6 in the neighborhood of 265 hp.

    It looks like there will be about 12 months where Nissan will not have a van as Nissan has not decided what to do when the quest/villager joint effort with ford ends. Probably something based on the renault scenic.

    Full size truck;
    Defintiely a V8 probably borrowed from Infiniti,
    Nissan says it will not be a 7/8ths full size truck like the tundra, definitely all the way full sized. Nissan still says they do not expect to sell a tremendous amount of these, because ford/chevy/dodge has that market wrapped up, but they want it out there. Also this will be the platform for the new Full size SUV with three rows of seats in it.

    The smyrna plant is still working double shifts to build these things and the crew cabs, possibility that next year they will offer the SC option.
    A friend I know at a Honda dealer said he went to a honda meeting a little while ago and the big talk there was what they were going to build to compete with the Xterra.

    I have had the same tires on my forntier since it was new, they are the firestone wilderness HT's not the ones that were recalled, they have 25,000 miles on them and, I admit, have been pretty good, and don't even have much wear on them, still I would feel more comfortable with another brand, what do you guys recommend? I have the 15" wheels,
    and I am mainly interested in long life, quietness, and grip on wet surfaces, I don't need or want any off roaders or mudders. Anyone think I can get a trade in on these? They never even had a patch in them.
  • goobagooba Posts: 391
    Thanks for the new information.It is always nice to get updated information.
    On the tires,I would recommend Goodyear.Pick which model works for you.They,at least stand behind them.I have has a few that peeled the tread and caused body damage.They replaced the tire and repaired the damage with no hassle.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    Sounds like the Z may have a bright future. It's smart of Nissan to go with the full-size and not the smaller scale. It'll have to get out and establish itself for a while to see some success.

    It seems like Nissan is moving each of their passenger sedans up a notch with the Sentra to take the place of the Alt and so on...

    I could really go for a Max providing they get an independent rear suspension, some revised styling on the rear end, and that 265hp engine you're talking about. It'd be the perfect replacement for my SVTour in a few years.

    I've been putting insane amounts of miles on my Tour. I got it about 1yr 3mn ago. It's already at 26K. The life of an auditor is not good on cars!!!

    I really, really like BFG's. The ones on my car are great (but being high performance Z-rated rubber, they don't last too long). I'll probably get some BFG's for my truck in the next year or so to replace the Firestones. I'm kinda waiting to see if they'll get recalled, as the truck gets very few miles usually at much less than highway speeds.
  • I have a 2000 4x2 KC 4cyl with the same tires stock. Since my truck is used for all on road only I bought Pirelli P400 Touring Tires from (T-rated, little more than my truck needs), but they drive lots smoother, they grip better on hard turns and acceleration. I've always run Pirelli's on my 95 Lexus SC300 5/spd manual and had good success.
  • cncmancncman Posts: 487
    Thanks for the tips guys,
    How much did those cost? are they just as quiet?
  • cygnusx1cygnusx1 Posts: 290
    I recommed either BF Goodrich or Michelin. If you need a decent combination highway/trail tire...Michelin makes quite a few and they're really good. BFG AT's are the way to go as far as an off-road tire that's top of the line as well as a great highway tire. And just an interesting side note - Michelin now makes BFG tires. BFG hasn't actually made their own tires for over a decade. Stay away from Goodyear Wranglers. Just do a search on them, like at or something and see what I mean.
  • volfyvolfy Posts: 274
    I think I mentioned to you before that I traded in my OEM tires with the paint markers still on them right after I bought the truck.

    I went with Daytona HR in the OEM size 215/65HR15, mostly because the tire dealer gave a good deal on these. Otherwise, I would definitely have gotten BFGoodrich, either Comp TA +4 or Touring TA +4. BFG is about the best bang for the buck. Michelins and Pirellis are excellent but tend to be pricey. I like Yokohama as well. I hear their new Avid line of tires are very good.

    If you are staying on tarmac 99.9% of the time, get passenger car tires instead of LTs. The load ratings are the same for the same size tire, and the NVH levels are much more agreeable with a P tire.

    Trade-in shouldn't be a problem at most tire shops. At the same time I traded my Frontier OEM tires, I got a $10/tire credit for a set of old BFG Comp TA+4 (off a VW GTI) with ~35% tread life left. Good luck.
  • volfyvolfy Posts: 274
    You probably know this already, but before you head for the tire shop, wash your car and shine up the tires with ArmorAll. It makes a great impression that you took care of the tires.
  • >>Thanks for the tips guys,
    >>How much did those cost? are they just as quiet?

    The Pirelli P400 Touring tires are $55 a piece at They are just as quite if not quiter, but traction dry/wet is considerably better than the Firestone Wilderness HT.

    I kept the old firestones, figuring that they may be recalled one day.
  • I shopped between the Ranger and the Frontier very seriously, earlier this year (2000 models). I chose the Frontier. I'll offer my reasons here, in order of priority:

    1. Price. It came down to a 4th-of-July sale where I got my Frontier DR XE for about $500 below invoice minus the $500 rebate in effect at the time. Price was $13995 plus the $520 destination, plus a couple dealer add-ons like pinstriping. Under $15k before tax. The cheapest V6 Ranger I could find would have been over $15k, easily.

    2. Availability of configurations, and personal preferences. Every vehicle I have driven for the past 4 years (I'm only 24 years old, so basically every vehicle since I've been able to afford to pick and choose, that's 3 vehicles in 4 years) has been a V6 w/ manual trans. I am a power nut and don't mind shifting. Try finding the V6/stick combination in a Ranger. Virtually impossible.

    3. Reliability and performance. Very comparable between the 2. As someone mentioned in one of the early responses in this thread, the Frontier 3.3 has more HP and torque than the Ranger 3.0. The Ranger 4.0 would have been prohibitively expensive for my needs, and impossible to couple with a stick trans unless I custom-ordered from the factory. Consumer Reports indicates very comparable reliability.

    4. Bed size is probably very similar between all compact trucks and not worth arguing over, but it is true that Nissans have the *deepest* beds in their class, if that's important to you.

    Things I preferred about my 1990 Ranger 2WD Ext Cab XLT I had until 2 years ago, that I don't like as much about my 2000 Frontier DR XE:

    1. Leg room. The Ranger seemed to have a bit more of it. The Nissan's King Cab seats should slide a little farther back.

    2. Seat comfort. Granted, the Ranger was a split bench and the Frontier has buckets, so not as cut-and-dried a comparison, but the Frontier's seats seem to have very little back support and are too squishy. My trick shoulder joint acts up after a long drive in the Frontier. It's the left one, so it's not from shifting.

    Things I like better about my Frontier than the '90 Ranger:

    1. More power. Comes with the 3.3L Nissan vs. the 2.9L 1990 Ford engine.

    2. I have a Desert Runner, which means added ground clearance, tho I'm pissed that Nissan cheaped out and left the leaf springs BELOW the axle for the DR and apparently also on the 2WD Crew Cabs. WTF's up with that? If you're gonna raise the truck and sell it as an offroader, the leaf springs have no business being under the axle. Even so, it's a better riding and offroading truck than the Ranger was.

    3. Sliding rear window. OK, just a packaging item that existed on the Ranger as well, but it is very cool that for 2000, the Value Truck Package included sliding window, meaning virtually every Nissan truck had one since very few trucks were produced without the VTP. However, I've noticed a lot of the new 2001 Frontiers with solid rear windows -- especially the Crew Cabs. OK, maybe in a Crew Cab if the rear windows roll down you don't need a sliding rear window, but I want to see them remain standard (or almost so) on the King Cabs.
  • volfyvolfy Posts: 274
    To me, these things are only good for thieves to break into your truck. I cant think of anything I would want to put in the bed and retrieve through the sliding window. As far as for ventilation, it is typically either too hot or too cold to open a window anyways. Rear sliding windows are particularly useless in an ext cab.

    Is there some hidden function of the sliding window I am missing here?
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    Just curious, but did you price any Rangers at a dealership or are you comparing MSRP off of Edmunds and the like?

    A dealer 2 miles down the street from me had a couple of Trailhead Rangers at 12.9K. The Trailhead is similar to the Desert Runner (it's 2wd with the looks of a 4wd). It came with A/C, a 5-speed, AM/FM/Cass, 3.73 gearing with the limited slip differential, and the 3L V6. It's no barnburner by any means, but it's good-looking, reliable, and very economical transportation at a price that's damn near a steal.

    For 15K you should be able to pick up a fully loaded 2wd Ranger if you buy a '00 and take the rebate ($1500 I believe) over the special financing. I got my almost fully loaded 4x4 Ranger (absolutely everything minus the LSD and ext-cab) for 18.5K a couple years ago with the 3.9% financing over 60 months to boot (could have taken the $1500 rebate if I so chose).

    Thanks for the honest observations. There's usually so much BS flying around these forums that it's annoying. No one will actually admit that their truck is not flawless or there are things they'd like to change about it.
  • First, about sliding rear window... it's all about ventilation, especially in a king cab truck whose rear side windows don't crack open.

    In response to the Trailhead Rangers... at least for the 2000 year, they were only available in regular cab. I haven't checked for 2001, so I guess it's possible they've added an ext. cab to the Trailhead lineup. I simply won't drive a regular-cab, compact pickup. My legs are too long. Note my previous post about how even the Nissan KC's legroom seems an inch or so stingier than the '90 Ranger I used to have.

    Also, that $1500 rebate wasn't offered when I bought. It might've been $500, same as the rebate at the time on the Frontier DR.

    Money aside, my first choice within the genre was and remains the Toyota Tacoma PreRunner. (My other car's a Camry, and I'm definitely sold on Big Japanese 3 reliability overall -- Honda, Toyota, & Nissan.) Only reason I didn't buy one was the $6k to $7k higher price tag, and the fact that I intended the truck as a 2nd vehicle that wouldn't warrant that kind of spending. The Desert Runner's a good poor-man's alternative, but until there's an ext. cab Trailhead Ranger, not worth my consideration.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    Have you driven a '98 or later regular cab Ranger? They increased the cab length by 3 inches. It makes quite a difference. I'm still undecided whether extended cab or regular cab for my next truck. There are trade-offs either way.

    Those Trailhead Rangers I was talking about didn't have any rebates attached to them at the 12.9K price. In any case, it's easy to get a 2wd, ext-cab, V6 Ranger for under 15K (without even applying a rebate).

    I don't think they're offering a Trailhead package for '01. I think it's being replaced by the entry-level Edge package. The Edge is a few hundred dollars more but adds some additional features (CD, monochromatic treatment, 4-wheel ABS)

    I do agree that the Tacoma is overpriced. But, it also seems that you're comparing what you paid for your Frontier with both the Ranger's and Tacoma's MSRP (which to me is like oranges to apples). For a Ranger, it's easy to get a price at dealer invoice (base invoice + destination + allocation of ad fees). For a Tacoma, you're doing good if you can get $500 over dealer invoice.

    I love my sliding rear window. But, I also know first hand from locking the keys in the truck how easy it is to break into it.
  • mahimahimahimahi Posts: 497
    Hey CT,
    Shouldn't the first line of your response read? "Have you driven...A FORD LATELY?" j/k :)
    sorry...couldn't resist!!!

    Noticed that all of the '01 CC's I've seen on the road don't have the sliding rear window. I love mine. I wouldn't ever own a truck without it. I did that once my S-10 SS didn't have one and I missed it big time.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    That's a good one. A man without humor is a man who drives a Chevy! (JK to all GM fans, just bringing up the 'ole rivalry)

    Is the Sport Trac the one with the power sliding rear window that rolls down? You gotta love that.
  • cncmancncman Posts: 487
    You won't find a sliding rear window in the 01 frontier CC's because it has a rear defroster, gotta like that too!
  • >Have you driven a '98 or later regular cab
    >Ranger? They increased the cab length by 3

    No. I did not know that. But I still have a fondness for king/ext. cabs in compact trucks. It's very useful for throwing the ice chests and sleeping bags back there and not worry about weather or theft from putting them in the bed.

    >Those Trailhead Rangers I was talking about
    >didn't have any rebates attached to them at the
    >12.9K price.

    I recall seeing a bit more, but it's not worth wracking my brain or squabbling over. As for your statement that "it's easy to get a 2wd, ext-cab, V6 Ranger for under 15K (without even applying a rebate)," I assure you that I tried. It would be possible to barely come in on one side of $15k with a stick shift, but none of the trucks that I saw on any Phoenix area Ford lots had the V6/stick combo, unless they were 4WD's with the 3L V6. All 2WD/3L and 4WD/4L trucks were sent from the factory with auto tranny, and that tacks on an extra $1k or $1100 I believe.

    The Ford dealer I most looked at, Earnhardt Ford in Tempe, AZ, also annoyed me because they have the hideous practice of tacking on a $3k "dealer markup" that no one expects to pay and nobody in their right mind ever WOULD pay. I punish such dealers by refusing to do business with them. Not many dealers in Phoenix put on markup, but every single dealer I looked at in Sacramento, where I lived up until a couple years ago, tacks on markup.

    >For a Tacoma, you're doing good if you can get
    >$500 over dealer invoice.

    Most dealers in my area have an agreement with my credit union where C.U. members have the option of purchasing thru the fleet dept. for a predetermined price of usually between $100 and $500 or 1% or 2% over invoice. There's no reason a savvy shopper should ever pay more than $200 over invoice, except maybe on a very popular SUV or luxury vehicle.
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    I agree that the utility of an ext-cab truck is very nice. I'll probably get an ext-cab truck next time. In the meantime, I'll just settle with a lockable lid and a smaller cab.

    The Trailhead Rangers did sticker for more money, MSRP was something like 14K. That Ford dealer had a one price, no haggle policy similar to Saturn. That is what the dealer marked the price at.

    It really sounds like you've dealt with some terrible Ford dealerships. That's by far the problem with Ford.

    Did they even look into a possible dealer trade for you? My salesman did a dealer trade with a dealer in WI and personally drove there and back to get the exact truck I wanted.

    "There's no reason a savvy shopper should ever pay more than $200 over invoice, except maybe on a very popular SUV or luxury vehicle."

    Tell that to the Toyota, Nissan, or Mitsu dealer where their closest dealer of the same make is an hour drive away. I'd rather pay a couple extra hundred bucks than deal with that sort of headache. Plus, the revenue will filter into your local economy.

    In any case, have fun with your truck. That's what they're there for, right?
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    Did this room die again?

    Recently, I saw the new Frontier commercials with the truck powersliding across some rough surface. To say the least, Nissan marketing should never have aired that commercial.
  • cncmancncman Posts: 487
    I'm still here CT, I have seent he commercials you talk about, why should they have not aired it? I got my first SC yesterday, do yourself a favor and drive one if you can find one, it's a blast!
  • cthompson21cthompson21 Posts: 1,102
    The commercial showed a S/C Frontier doing a powerslide across a rough, muddy surface in slow motion. The body flex that you could see in slow motion was terrible. The truck was flexing and bending like jell-o. I'm not saying that all trucks don't exhibit this trait, though. It just didn't look good, and that's prolly why you haven't seen it (pulled off the air, I only saw it once or twice).

    It just doesn't have the appeal of the Max power-sliding across the desert (very cool, definately a top contender when replacing my SVTour in a coupla years especially with that new 260hp engine on the very near horizon).

    It looks like I'll have to get out and test drive some trucks soon to keep abreast of the current offerings.

    So, what do you think? The SOHC 4L versus the S/C 3.3L??? I haven't had the pleasure yet, waiting for the 5-speed manual tranny in the Ranger.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Hey cncman!! how are you doing?? I have test driven the SC 3.3 in the automatic and compared it to a Ford SOHC 4.0 automatic. To tell you the truth the acceleration was better in the Ford. The RAnger pulled harder in my experience. At the same time I asked to drive a new Pathfinder with the 3.5. Whew we!! this is an awesome engine! This engine seemed to have no end in pulling and pulling and going and going, revs were wonderful. The Pathfinder with its 3.5 would eat any 4-runner for lunch and would give a V8 Explorer one heck of a run. I'm telling you Nissan needs the 3.5 in the Frontier. This would put the Frontier on top of Toyota, Ford and Chevy hands down. And I am a Ford fan! Tell the Nissan group to write Nissan and pressure them for the 3.5 in the Frontier, at least as an option if nothing else. I believe people would pay the extra $$$ for this wonderful engineering..
  • Nissan says it won't fit in the current frontier, they state it's too wide to fit the e bay. They also stated that they want to keep 3.5 in the high end nissan and infiniti cars/suv's.
  • cncmancncman Posts: 487
    it's been awhile since I have driven the 4.0l, so I can't tell right now without driving again. But I was very happy with the performance and it was very smooth acceleration, not alot of kickback when you floored, this may be why Vince and others may think that the 4.0l pulls more on acceleration. I am not sure, but I think the times would be similar, not enough to make a difference.

    Hey Vince, Just busy with work and school, trying to get ready for my trip in December, going to Italy! Of course business slows down alot when you really need to make the money! Last month was very slow for all dealers, not alot of traffic. What did you think of the SC vs. the regular 3.3? Wdoyle is right, the VQ won't fit in the frontier platform, I still would not be surprised to see in the next 1-2 years, a 3.5-4.0l version of the same engine now with an optional SC.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    The SC was an improvement now doubt. The styling of the new Frontier kind of grows on you too. Now that I have seen a few around in different colors. I just wish that Ford would put better tires on their Rangers. The Firestones just scream cost cutting and cheap....
  • cncmancncman Posts: 487
    Hey Vinny, just wanted to also say it is very nice conversing with you now, sure beats all of the reasearch we had to do right?, The thing I have always noticed about Nissan is they come out with a new design, alot of people talk about what a mistake it was, blah, blah, blah, then it goes away after awhile and folks really start to like it, this happened with the 95-99 maxima and the 2000 maxima, the 98 on up altima and now the new Frontier is growing on folks, we have been doing alot better with the frontiers the last two montha than the first month or so they came out. I like the tires they have been putting on the Frontiers,
    our SC has Firestone firehawks, alot of folks tell me those are good, the 15&16" have either generals or BF goodrich longtrail TA's, both great tires.
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