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Froniter Nismo 4x4 Comparison

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by jcayce, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Jun 26, 2009 at 11:58 AM
    #1
    jcayce

    jcayce [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I know it's my first post but I have been lurking for a while. I recently purchased a 2009 Double Cab TRD Offroad 4x4 in Pyrite. My last truck was a 2005 Nissan Frontier Nismo 4x4 King Cab. I have a few comparisons to make and a few questions to ask as well. Probably redundant information to many, but it is a first hand real world comparison.

    N.1 The Frontier's bed and deck rail system were downright beefy. The bed on the other hand, even though it felt solid, was a joke. There was a raised spot near the rear that I could 'tap' and hear was loose under the factory spray-in. I was always concerned that it was either paint that had unadhered from the sheet metal or even worse (and more probable) that it was rust bubbling up under the spray-in. The other problem was that the liner had defected to an off-gray color whenever it got wet. Rainspots were horrible and I found after much trial and error that the only solution to get it back to black was Armor-All (and I HATE Armor-All). Nissan's solution only worked if someone competent was handling the job. After reading about the horror stories of the 'fix' I chose to live with the problem. The bed stood up to a lot of abuse and would clean up nice, but the wrong object at the wrong angle did leave nasty dents and the spray-in material was slick.

    N.2 The Nissan 4.0 was a beast. Don't ever do it, but breaking loose all 4 tires in 4Hi was never a problem. That engine ran like a top and only gave me one problem, a squeeling belt tensioner. My concern was the long term durability. Nissan used a chain instead of a timing belt but decided to use nylon/plastic guides around the chain. Once the guides wore down (around 40-50,000) the chain was riding on metal! This is unacceptable. At the time, my wife drove an Xterra with the same engine and it wasn't a matter of if the service needed to be done but when and if it was still under warranty.

    N.3 In my opinion, the interior of my 05 Nissan was one of the best interiors of any mid-priced vehicle I have owned. There were cheap plastic bits here and there but it flowed and the seat fabric was top notch. I had an oil pressure gauge and battery gauge (real ones, the 05 did not have 'dummy' gauges). The stereo, steering wheel controls, and HVAC were also advanced for their time and although dated now, were some of the best for the price in 05.

    N.4 The Nissan 4wd system was stellar, from the gauge on the dash that showed which wheels were locked in, the positioning of all the 4wd options, and the use of the system itself. The only problem I had was trying to get the locker to consistently lock-in when I needed it.

    N.5 Nissan's 4 wheel disc brakes. What can I say, all vehicles should have 4 wheel discs.

    N.6 The small things: Full size spare with matching rim, massive cleats, standard first aid kit, flush mounted (no visible seal) rear sliding window and fixed KC windows, rims that did not have wheel weights on the outer edge (taped from the factory to the inside), hidden wiper fluid nozzles, metal front bumper, full metal skids underneath, and Nissan's "the customer is always right policy" (i.e. the wife's Xterra had a slight squeek to the brakes, they replaced all 4 rotors and put in new pads. This policy will doom them in the end.)

    T.1. I love the idea of the composite bed in the Tacoma and the storage areas and powerpoint are well thought out. I am concerned about the composition and longevity of the bed though. Time will tell. Where are the cargo lights? And the bed rail system is extremely proprietary. I have fabricated mounts for the rails already but Nissan used a standard size and I could go out and buy spring loaded mounts at Home Depot for next to nothing to add racks, accessories, etc. Also, the build quality of the rails and non-placement in the floor is disheartening. It works, but look at the aluminum rails from a Nissan and imagine how great if would have been to have rails in the floor of the Toyota.

    T.2. I'm not sure about the engine yet. Specs show less horsepower and torque but the Toyota puts a beat down on the Nissan in 0-60 runs. It feels smooth, idles low, and pulls hard from a stop. The valve tapping sound concerns me but seems normal. The upside down oil filter on top of the engine was extremely thoughtful for maintenance and there is more room to work in the engine bay than the Frontier's. I'm not sure about the shift program of the tranny. It seems to drop a gear more than it needs when downshifting and I feel like I'm lunging if taking off from a rolling slow-down.

    T.3. The interior is a mish-mash of textures. The door fabric does not match the seat fabric, the interior door pull and center arm rest seem to be made out of some dirt attracting rubber (remember those rubber octopus toys from when we were kids, you would throw them at the wall and they fall/crawl down by sticking to it. They would also collect every bit of dirt and hair from the floor). The texture of the dash feels top-notch though and the fit and finish is perfect. I mic'd some of the gaps and the consistency is ridiculous. I do not like how the 4wd stuff is all over the place: some buttons on the left, some on the right, rear-locker sticker on the door. The emergency brake is where it belongs; on the floor as a pedal. This makes it seem like a real safety feature instead of a flimsy afterthought. The steering wheel feels like it could be thicker but the leather finish on it and the shifter is exceptional. I wish the carpet was black/graphite, it seems like it will get dirty quick.

    T.4. The 4wd system is exceptional. I had the chance to take a short excursion around Gov't Canyon and used everything that I had (not because I had to). Everything worked the first time, without any hesitation and did exactly what it was supposed to. There are no gimmicks here. I also crawled up under my truck to check out the transfer case and driveline, works of art. The Nissan had an aluminum driveshaft that I polished with Mother's but who looks at that stuff anyways?

    T.5. The brakes do not inspire confidence. Would it be difficult to spec 4 wheel disc brakes on these trucks? Use the same caliper and rotor as the front. This would lessen the parts load and make maintenace a no brainer. They work but I feel as if I'm working when braking. Perhaps they will 'bed-in' after a few hundred miles.

    T.6. The small things: Textured paint along the bottom panels, extremely efficient lay out under the truck (I have been under a lot of vehicles in my life and this one looks the best and seems to make the most sense), back-up camera, Bluetooth, full size rear windows on the Double Cab doors, flexibility of the inside rear seats,

    My questions so far:
     
  2. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:21 PM
    #2
    kilgoja

    kilgoja Well-Known Member

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    :mudding:
    i actually was considering a nissan nismo 4x4 myself...the composite bed is a big reason i went with the toyota...every steel bed is gonna rust at some point..that spay in stuff... it's easy to put a gash into it while loading something...also i noticed on the car lot the nissan bed rail covers were already rubbing off the paint where they touched the bed....the composite bed will never rust and it is just as strong if not stronger than a steel bed and the toyota bed rail caps touch the paint nowhere...a big plus and they stay black and don't fade to grey if you use like a wash and wax that protects them from uv fading...they may fade a lil bit over time but they still will look less grey....plus the gas mileage on the nissan was 17 and it costs like 8k more than my 4 cyl that gets over 20mpg and was 19.997 tax and all...a little less power of course but still enough to get the job done so that's why i went with a toyota over the nissan...both have always been great trucks so you can't go wrong with either one
     
  3. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:24 PM
    #3
    jcayce

    jcayce [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, my questions:

    I was checking out the window sticker in detail yesterday, what exactly is the 'sound shield' option? Is it interior or exterior?

    Anyone rebalance their factory rims with the weights taped to the inside? I'm an Iowa boy and salty winter roads would corrode rims in a flash, usually starting around the wheel weights. I would do two things with a new vehicle when I lived in Iowa, remove the wheel weights/rebalance the tires with taped weights, coat the frame with used oil/exposed panels under the vehicle with rubberized undercoating. If done properly and worked in with a toothbrush, the used oil would end up a matte black finish and would allow me to still be able to tell if there were any leaks. I never had a new vehicle that had surface rust on the underside.

    My sticker (you know which one) said 29 lbs, not 290 (I looked twice). Should I believe it?
     
  4. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:26 PM
    #4
    Richman21

    Richman21 I think therefore I'm a Democrat

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    This is the problem that is popping up. It will hopefully be addressed by Toyota soon.
     
  5. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:31 PM
    #5
    jonny

    jonny Betty White Edition Heep ZJ

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    i will reply..
    i used to have an 01 double cab frontier 4x4. that damn truck was solid! kind of an underpowered turd, but it handled anything i threw at it. bought an srt-4. had my boy racer moments and realized that i need to get another truck. test drove the newest line up of frontiers and i did not like them one bit. the interior was a tacky tan color and the dash seemed dated. especially around the radio area.i will admit the bed was a little more thought out than the tacoma, but i fell in love with the outlet my trd has. even though magazines say the frontier is bigger in the cabin, i felt kind of cramped. i am not a big guy by any means. about 5'9 177ish. i dunno what it was, something about the new frontier didn't feel right to me. after owning and beating my old fronty, i was a still a nissan fan, but i felt let down by the newest frontier. i test drove the tacoma...and instantly fell for it. right off the bat i noticed: nicer interior,more comfortable ergonomics for the driver,better acceleration,in bed storage and outlet,drove like a car with a bed, and after staring at them for a couple years, the looks grew on me.
    the bad: shitty orange/red cluster and composite bed/weak tailgate. and it was more $ than the frontier.
    overall i am glad i bought the tacoma.
    just my long useless .2

    congrats on the purchase! you will love this forum. Nothing but positive members, well almost. :p
     
  6. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:33 PM
    #6
    kilgoja

    kilgoja Well-Known Member

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    :mudding:
    i took the stock wheels off and got new ones with stick on weights...my truck doesn't have the sticker..i guess cuz it is a regular cab 4x4


    also at first i was concerned about the lack of tie downs in the front of the tacoma bed floor...it has them in the rear...but then i was thinking ...i have an atv....the wheels would be in the way of using them when tieing down from the front bumper of the atv anyways....so i just move the bed rail things to the front rail and tie down from the handlebars
     
  7. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:33 PM
    #7
    FlawedXJ

    FlawedXJ mall crawlin', web wheelin', concrete cowboy

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    speak for yourself asshole! :D
     
  8. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:34 PM
    #8
    jonny

    jonny Betty White Edition Heep ZJ

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    speaking of dick wads....
    hahahaha
     
  9. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:35 PM
    #9
    eordonez

    eordonez Living vicariously through mjp2

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    Welcome to TW!
     
  10. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:37 PM
    #10
    dalsmthme

    dalsmthme Well-Known Member

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    I had a balck interior once. Up here in NY with the salt in the winters it was a probelm. Ever had a salt ring on a ball cap....yeah, they don't come out. I would rather have the grey.
     
  11. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:38 PM
    #11
    jcayce

    jcayce [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Also, why the cigarette lighter? How many new vehicles come standard with a cigarette lighter these days? To me, this is a sign that the interior is dated. My wife tells me look at it this way, how many new vehicles give you the option to start a fire whenever you want?
     
  12. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:40 PM
    #12
    FlawedXJ

    FlawedXJ mall crawlin', web wheelin', concrete cowboy

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    I actually have a jeep now. Imagine that.
    some people wanna smoke?
     
  13. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:40 PM
    #13
    kilgoja

    kilgoja Well-Known Member

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    :mudding:
    cigarette lighter is a plus...can always light something with it if you don't have any matches or lighters around...plus you have an extra spot to put some type of cell phone charger or ipod or whatever...maybe a spotlight plug in for deer hunters although i think that is illegal...lol
     
  14. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:41 PM
    #14
    nad

    nad mmmm tacos!

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    I disagree I have had cars with 4 wheel disc brakes and they were nothign but problems, idk if this is different with trucks but they seem to just be more of a hassle, as well most of things you mentioned about the nissan that the tacoma doesnt have are little gimicky things that a truck doesnt really need, I would say the tacoma is a more solid truck made for offroading. Now I have never owned a nissan truck but just the look of it seems cheap to me. Just my opinion.
     
  15. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:44 PM
    #15
    FlawedXJ

    FlawedXJ mall crawlin', web wheelin', concrete cowboy

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    I actually have a jeep now. Imagine that.
    I just came from a truck with 4wheel discs. It was terrible. I replaced pretty much everything in the breaking system cause it was so terrible. I got the taco and kept stepping on the breaks too hard.
     
  16. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:46 PM
    #16
    jonny

    jonny Betty White Edition Heep ZJ

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    i dunno
    i would be pissed if i paid 27k for a truck and it DIDN'T have a cigarette lighter :p
     
  17. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:48 PM
    #17
    jcayce

    jcayce [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The disc brakes on the Nissan were firm and inspiring, almost too much sometimes. I have horror stories from high school putting new pads on my sister's 1976 Caprice Classic. They aren't joking when they tell you to do one side at a time so that you can match everything up. And I still have lingering pains in my thumb dealing with that damn star adjuster.

    Whenever I had to do a brake job on a car that had both discs and drums I always left the discs for last becuase they ALWAYS turned out to be the easiest ones to work with.

    One benefit of the drums so far is that there is almost no brake pad dust on the rear rims. Our 08 Jeep Grand Cherokee coats the rims with brake dust leaving the driveway.
     
  18. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:49 PM
    #18
    Jason'sLawnCare

    Jason'sLawnCare Prepared for Bambi

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    Welcome. Thanks for the review. Interesting to get a real world perspective instead of edmunds comparing the two and favoring which ever manufacturer pays more.
     
  19. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:52 PM
    #19
    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    Nissan's specs do list a bit more HP and Torque than the Taco for the engine, but every Taco I've driven feels more responsive than an equivalent Frontier. I think the Nissans lose quite a bit of power somewhere in drivetrain.
     
  20. Jun 26, 2009 at 12:53 PM
    #20
    jonny

    jonny Betty White Edition Heep ZJ

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    everytime i see your av pic i think of mike rowe or whatever his name is from dirty jobs...
    dont ask :D
     
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