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Old 01-10-2015, 10:30 AM   #1
Dranrab Luap OP
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Nissan Frontier vs Toyota Tacoma

I am going to review and compare these two trucks. I just traded in a 2013 Tacoma that had an MSRP of just over 26K and bought a Frontier with an MSRP of just over 27K. To take negotiating skills out of the picture, I want to compare the price everyone can get. Allowing a $500 increase in between the two model years and taking into account a $500 rebate on the Frontier at the time I made the trade. We can fairly accurately say these two vehicles were priced damned near the same, and that dollar for dollar match will be the basis of this comparison.

The Tacoma Prerunner had a 4 cylinder while the Frontier SV had a 6 Cylinder. MSRP on comparably equipped 6 cylinder models shows the Tacoma coming in 4-5 K more. The 6 cylinder Frontier pulls very smoothly and strongly and it is reasonably quiet. It is rated at 6300 pounds of towing capacity which is why I wanted it. The Tacoma 4 cylinder is crude and noisy. When you get on it, it can get out of its own way, but not much better. It has a 3500 pound towing capacity. I typically got close to 23 MPG in the mixed driving I did with the Tacoma. I don't know where things will settle out with the Frontier, but I am guessing close to 20.

With the engine differences out of the way we can do a more direct comparison. Appearance is subjective so I won't key on that. Both vehicles seem to have good, deep paint. The outermost part of the fenders on the Tacoma were that rubberized plastic. On the Frontier they are painted steel. I prefer the Tacoma set up. I have looked at a lot of Frontiers in parking lots and the all seem t have dings in the fender metal. The Frontier has chrome bumpers the Tacoma black painted. The Tacoma has a hard plastic bed where the Frontier has a factory spray in liner. Things slip badly in the Tacoma bed but not in the Frontier. Both trucks have rails in the bed for tying stuff down. In addition, the Frontier has a bed extender.

The Tacoma came with stamped steel wheels and budget tires with very street oriented tires. I could never get mine balanced despite several trips to the dealer. The Frontier comes with aluminum rims and BF Goodrich Radial Long Trail T/A tires with a more aggressive pattern. Mine are smooth and transmit very little noise. Finishing up the exterior, the Frontier has fog lights and a tow package but the Tacoma doesn't.

The Frontier has heated seats, intermittent wipers, dual vanity mirrors, a back up camera with warning sonar, dual zone temperature control and auto dimming interior mirrors. The Tacoma has none of that.

To Be continued.
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:36 AM   #2
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So- was your recent service experience maddening enough for you to get rid of the Toyota? Or was this something you've been planning?
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:39 PM   #3
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Toyota has been coasting on their reputation for a long time. When I look at the new truck price I think . When I look at the used truck price I think . Toyota trucks are an emotional purchase for many people as much as anything else. Today's Toyotas aren't the same as the old ones. And the market has changed as well.

Today, I think Nissan is more hungry for the customer's purchase--they work harder on their bargain proposition because of it. In a badge-blind comparison of the features available at a given price, the Nissan does well for itself.

That said, I think that the Toyota will always have a higher resale value than the Nissan. However, for me, I don't really care--I'm more of a buy it and keep it kind of guy. So paying more for greater resale down the road isn't really a huge motivator for me.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:44 PM   #4
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I always pictured you as a RAV4 kinda guy.
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Old 01-10-2015, 03:28 PM   #5
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Frontier = crude and cheap ass. My old rangers were better trucks. Get the Toyota or the new Colorado
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Old 01-10-2015, 03:49 PM   #6
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Just get the Toyota. As someone who has seen the issues the two trucks have first hand, you're better off with the Taco. The new ones look pretty sharp....
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by XpressCS View Post
Just get the Toyota. As someone who has seen the issues the two trucks have first hand, you're better off with the Taco.

+1.

The Nissan has all the right stuff but a crude overall feel from the switchgear to the pushrod motor. It does get it done though and has 4 disc brakes vs the 2 on the toyota.

I had an 05 Taco and driven back to back with a Nissan it was a night and day difference. Sure it cost more but you could argue resale value takes the edge off of that. And every day it felt like a quality piece.
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:33 PM   #8
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Consumer reports scores the Frontier much higher in the test that they conduct. In fact for 2015 the Frontier is the only truck Consumer Reports recommends. Driving the Frontier does show it to be more refined, but not as much as CR would have you believe. They will both remind you that you are driving a truck. Road noise isn't as bad in the Frontier and it doesn't transmit road surface irregularities as badly. Handling on both is surprisingly good. The Frontier has a bigger turning radius. Enough to make a difference. The Frontier front seats are more comfortable. Laurie noticed this too. Back seats on both are small, but on the Frontier they are smaller. The riding position in Tacoma is odd. The cab is higher, but the seat is very low to the floor. The Frontier seat is higher relative to the floor. Both give good visibility with minimal blind spots.

In cab storage is nominally better in the Tacoma. Controls are straightforward and intuitive in both. The blue tooth phone interface is much simpler with the Tacoma touch screen panel. Connectivity with the Frontier is pretty cutting edge but I don't really care about that. Nissan uses more hard plastic on interior surfaces. They look pretty similar in both trucks but feel different. I can't say one is any better than the other. The seat material on the Frontier seems more substantial. At a year and a half and almost 39K miles my Tacoma had some wear on the seat fabric. Both trucks have similar reliability ratings with Consumer Reports. My Tacoma had front disc brakes and back drum brakes. The Frontier has 4 wheel disc brakes. I have no idea how either handles off road. I don't reckon too many people ever do technical off roading.

Only time will tell, but in a dollar to dollar comparison, the Frontier offers much more than the Tacoma.
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by XpressCS View Post
Just get the Toyota. As someone who has seen the issues the two trucks have first hand, you're better off with the Taco. The new ones look pretty sharp....
You didn't read my post did you dipschidt?
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by adam_c_eckhardt View Post
So- was your recent service experience maddening enough for you to get rid of the Toyota? Or was this something you've been planning?
I was never going to fully trust that engine. That played a part in it. I may also go with a little bit larger boat and might need the towing capacity.
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:37 PM   #11
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We have both a 2011 and a 2013 Frontier SV 4x4 in our family.

"Issues?" Well, the gas cap tether did break on the 2011 once...

It's tough to not go with the crowd and buy a Taco- especially here in Colorado where all the cool kids drive them. We loved our '96 Taco and our '01 Highlander, but our more recent Corolla encouraged us to look out of the box for our next purchase. I just don't think the value is there for Toyota anymore. While dealers and incentives vary, comparably priced around here, you get a V6 and alloys on the Nissan you would not get with the Toyota. Those are important to me. A couple chrome interior trim rings and a fancier a/v display are not important to me.

And the Frontier is still a relatively 'normal' looking truck...







surly357 screwed with this post 01-10-2015 at 04:48 PM
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:39 PM   #12
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Frontier = crude and cheap ass. My old rangers were better trucks. Get the Toyota or the new Colorado
You aren't the sharpest marble in the sack are you? First you didn't read my post, and second, anyone who would recommend a first year GM release has had their head in their colon. They have a singularly horrible track record with new releases. I have had three Rangers and they pale in comparison to the Frontier. How much time have you spent in the latest generation Frontier? Oh, and great details too fucknugget.
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:43 PM   #13
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My 2010 frontier has been solid
No issues now at 51 K miles
SE model
Really much better than anticipated off road, best truck I have owned in the snow
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:46 PM   #14
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"Fucknugget" This is the kind of in-depth reporting that is missing in CR .

Full disclosure I own a '13 Xterra
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Old 01-10-2015, 04:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dranrab Luap View Post
You aren't the sharpest marble in the sack are you? First you didn't read my post, and second, anyone who would recommend a first year GM release has had their head in their colon. They have a singularly horrible track record with new releases. I have had three Rangers and they pale in comparison to the Frontier. How much time have you spent in the latest generation Frontier? Oh, and great details too fucknugget.


How do you really feel?
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