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Tacoma, vs Frontier, "Just My Own Observation"

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Old 07-11-2013, 07:58 PM   #1
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Tacoma, vs Frontier, "Just My Own Observation"

This isn't the usual Tacoma vs, Frontier thread; just my observations after driving the Nissan, for a week. Had to have some paint work done; so I rented a 2013 Frontier. Frontier is equipped comparable to my Tacoma.

I have a 2008 Tacoma, TRD, Off Road, 4x4, 4.0, Auto. Only 34,000 miles.
Frontier 2013, 7,400 miles, 4.0, Auto, about same trim package.

1. Interstate driving pretty much equal

2. Rough secondary roads, Frontier is sooo smooth, compared to Tacoma

3. Frontier has a real manly tailgate, WITH A LOCK. I bent my Tacoma, loading dirt bikes. Tacoma is light and tinny. Take a look under the tailgate protector on your truck. I had to reinforce the Tacoma one.

3.2 Had to haul some heavy off road, heavy equipment parts, several hundred lbs; they were loaded on the tailgate, with a forklift then slid ahead, to close the gate. Frontier handled it well. Of course after I unlocked the tailgate. I say this because I had a Tacoma tailgate stolen. No lock to lock.

4. The above mentioned, off road equipment parts would have set the Tacoma down on the rear bump stops; Frontier, no noticeable height difference. Three full rear spring leafs, plus the overload ply, seemed thicker.

5. Fuel mileage. Honestly about the same.

6. Brakes. Not a fair comparison here, Frontier has rear disc; and you can tell it. Not even close, comparison. I'll just move on. You can actually stop this truck with a load on. Don't try that with the Tacoma.

7. Performance: With the heavy equipment parts, I had to haul them several hundred miles, 90% hilly, mountain, secondary roads, 10% interstate. I was surprised, very surprised. I made a few passes on uphill mountain roads in the Frontier, that the Tacoma; could never have done. And it did these passes quickly. I don't know about some people saying the Tacoma is faster, maybe; but the Frontier is quicker, using the same amount of fuel. ?????

8. Interior, About the same, I guess. No winner here. I did like the auto down, driver's window. You say, what's that; just something my Tacoma doesn't have.

9. Looks: The Tacoma wins this hands down. The Frontier looks like an outdated box. I'm still a fan of the look of my truck; but not so much of the newest Tacoma's.

10. Now, I will get all the Reliability, Feedbacks and Trade-in value comments. Hey. I only drove the Frontier a week so far.

11. Would I buy the other brand? I guess I am stuck on Toyota.

Don't beat me up, This is what I saw and felt, in a few hundred miles. At least I drove the other brand.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:05 PM   #2
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Good comparison. Only one i disagree with is 8 because the Tacoma does indeed have an auto down drivers window.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WittyTaco View Post
Good comparison. Only one i disagree with is 8 because the Tacoma does indeed have an auto down drivers window.
Then Mine doesn't work!

I'll have to look at that. For sure Mine doesn't work.

I'll look at it. Last month I had to take the passenger's door panel off, to fix the window track. It came a part at 34,000 miles.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldracer View Post
Then Mine doesn't work!
lol nope, my 2005 has it!
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:07 PM   #5
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I'm pretty sure my 08 had it, 99% sure
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:10 PM   #6
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loaded my riding mower into my tacoma today and no squat or budge at all. So I will have to say mine seems to handle a heavy load fine. and same with auto window down both fronts on my are auto. But only controlled on drivers side. Unsure if aftermarket system used but I know drivers side is auto from factory
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:14 PM   #7
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Mine has it (auto down). But it's also not a frontier. Win.
Frontiers aren't too bad, but I've never been as impressed with them as I have with the Tacoma. Even the factory supercharged Frontiers felt weak in a comparison on the same roads and same people/ bikes/ gear.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:15 PM   #8
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I test drove a few Frontiers when I was shopping for a new used truck last summer. I even rode in the back seats on Frontier and Tacoma access and double-cabs. I liked the Frontier but both cab styles seemed too tall and too skinny. Plus a 4x4 stick shift Frontier is harder to find than a stick shift Tacoma.

What I really wanted was a 1st gen Tacoma, but where I live they go for about 15-17K if they've got under 100,000 miles. When I found a 2nd gen Tacoma double-cab with 45,000 miles on it for barely more than that, I took it.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:16 PM   #9
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I've been curious about this as it seems that half the people on my job site are driving the Frontiers and the other half are in either 4runners, Tacomas, or Tundras.

If the guy with a radioactive box (soil tester) chained down in the back of a Frontier trusts it for security, what am I missing here?

I still love me some Tacos, I won't be trading in any time soon. Unless they're free, of course... nothing beats a free truck.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:19 PM   #10
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i test drove the frontier and was close to buying one. My dad talked me into buying a Tacoma. I'm glad I did for resale and reliability. Most of my friends that have Nissans had severe engine problems around 100K miles (engine needs rebuild, smoking and loosing power, leaking oil from everywhere, etc...)

I agree, the Taco isnt the best at everything. I have a 2005 with 69k and its been a pretty darn good truck. hauled home a complete LS iron block, T56 trans, 10 bolt, leafsprings, entire front suspension all in one shot. Guessing it was easy 1000lbs. No probs.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BioWheelin View Post
I've been curious about this as it seems that half the people on my job site are driving the Frontiers and the other half are in either 4runners, Tacomas, or Tundras.

If the guy with a radioactive box (soil tester) chained down in the back of a Frontier trusts it for security, what am I missing here?

I still love me some Tacos, I won't be trading in any time soon. Unless they're free, of course... nothing beats a free truck.
Well, the point was: I had my tailgate stolen, on my Tacoma. Not anything laying in the bed.

I have added an aftermarket lock kit, since that incident.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:22 PM   #12
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5 years is a long time in the auto industry. I would wonder how a head to head comparison would go with 2013's. I like the Frontier, used to have one till this January, but the new ones are to big in my opinion. I miss the old little nissans. The Toyota seemed a better size. And better looking, of course.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:41 PM   #13
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Had an '06 Frontier before the Tacoma. Frontier rode rough compared to Tacoma. Very stiff suspension. I was glad to unload the Frontier before I had the strawberry milkshake issue with the radiator. Also, gearing sucks in the auto in Frontier. Around 45 mph you have to give it a little more to get to next gear. Truck really lugs down at that speed. Tacoma is smooth as silk through the gears.


One question for OP. how did you like parking the Frontier? Damn things turn like a semi.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:51 PM   #14
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I don't think it is a good comparison at all. We are talking 2008 vs 2013. Thats 5yrs ..Also a 2wheel drive will be smother than a 4x4. Lets not compare apples and oranges.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBtaco02 View Post
I don't think it is a good comparison at all. We are talking 2008 vs 2013. Thats 5yrs ..Also a 2wheel drive will be smother than a 4x4. Lets not compare apples and oranges.
With regards to 2008 vs 2013, I think only point 8 and 9 would be affected by that.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:34 PM   #16
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BioWheelin View Post
If the guy with a radioactive box (soil tester) chained down in the back of a Frontier trusts it for security, what am I missing here?
Both trucks are pretty good vehicles in a fairly close race. If it isn't safe to put a radioactive box in the Nissan's bed, chances are it isn't safe to put it in the Toyota's bed either.

I mean for heaven's sake, we're arguing about things like looks and window auto down in this thread. That should help convince you that neither is a deathtrap. Even if one is clearly better than the other, that doesn't mean one is awful.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:51 PM   #18
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I've had good experiences with Nissan as a whole from past vehicles...minus a few things here and there. But I doubt I'll be buying anything but a Toyota from this point on. The overall build quality and fit-n-finish is better than all of my previous vehicles, all of which varied in price point and brand placement each having a big enough chronic issue that I sold them all in relative short order. Plus, I was helping to support the local economy since my Taco was built in my city.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:00 PM   #19
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yep OP. take a look at the driver side window motor or what ever. my í07 trd OR has auto down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newlife View Post
loaded my riding mower into my tacoma today and no squat or budge at all. So I will have to say mine seems to handle a heavy load fine. and same with auto window down both fronts on my are auto. But only controlled on drivers side. Unsure if aftermarket system used but I know drivers side is auto from factory
My truck use to handle it better. but once i started flexing them off road a little they donít seam to hold it as well.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:26 PM   #20
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It says auto right on the window switch..obvious troll trying to bag the Tacoma
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