Last post on Nov 08, 2010 at 12:40 PM
You are in the Toyota Tacoma
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Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma, Car Comparisons, Truck
Aug 13, 2007 (2:24 pm)
I researched this purchase until I wore myself out and not to mention a few sales reps. Tacoma vs. Frontier - and to some degree the Dakota and the Chevy mid-size. I did not look at the Ford Ranger simply because Ford dealerships were rarely in my path of travel, and its the only brand of vehicle I never owned in my 43 years. I had owned a 95 Nissan Pickup that has 320k and still runs (just sold it), but I did not let this impact my quest for the best new mid size pickup. My wife has an 2004 Tacoma that is reliable and rock solid. Even though my old Nissan was tough and lasted a long time, it really did not perform as well as its Toyota peers (I drove friends Toys of that same era and they were better, yet both brands did run forever with few repairs compared to the domestics).
I share the same experience with others here in that Toyota dealerships seem to have taken on a smug attitude and will not deal as easily. The brand sells itself and this in my opinion has lead to some laziness in both inovation and on the show room floor. Also the Toys are more expensive flat out. No denying that the Toyotas hold value longer than anything out there (Tacoma holds 3 spots in the top ten in resalse value, each spot a Tacoma with different trim). The Tacoma outsells everything, including the Frontier by about 4 to 1. (I think that actually has cost quality and inovation). And after all my test drives and research, resale is the only thing Toyota has left standing in regards to Tacoma vs. Frontier. Without getting into any styling debates, which I will leave up to your tastes, Nissan now makes a better truck. They are still the best two choices. Nissan always made good working trucks that came just short of Toyota quality and performance. No more. Nissan engines are better, the ride is better, the build quality is better, even the interior quality has finally surpassed the Tacoma. I would not be saying this if I had not beat myself to a pulp trying to find the truth. If it were 2004, it might have been a deadlock. But after 2005, Nissan had caught and moved ahead of its rival. Then there is price and deal-ability (if you will). Now its really a no brainer. I am convinced the Nissan Frontier with a V6 is the finest mid sized truck on the planet. Tacoma is still a fine truck and would take over any of the others, but if you buy a newer Frontier you are getting the highest quality of truck now made. A couple final words related to the topic to consider. Frame, tailgate, worldclass V6, towing, timing CHAIN.
#1385 of 1446 Re: Tacoma vs. Frontier [alienstarguest]
Aug 13, 2007 (4:42 pm)
We just got back from driving 3500 miles in our 2007 Frontier NISMO 4 x 4 Crew Cab. We drove that far to purchase a used 19 foot travel trailer that weighs less than 3400 lbs. fully loaded. The comfort and performance during the drive over was great, with the following exceptions:
1. The gas mileage not towing anything on the freeway, but with the truck loaded full of stuff, was about 16.8 mpg. The best we have gotten so far on the freeway is 17.4 mpg. Towing was weird... first, we were very happy because it was 16, then 15.8 mpg. But then it went down to 14 and finally hit a low of 12.3 mpg. The weird part was that we were doing some long slopes while it was getting the better mileage and then we were on mostly flat stretches when it was getting the worst mileage. That was totally confusing. We were able to pull the trailer without straining the engine--the RPMS stayed at around 3,000 or under, except when we passed another vehicle on an incline, then they went to between 3 and 4,000 for a short period. Anybody have any comments about this gas mileage? It seemed dismal to us, but we realize that we may be unrealistic about towing mpg, but it would have been easier to understand if the mpg was 12 when going up the slopes and then got better on the flat stretches, rather than going from good to worse.
Note that we have the heaviest combination one can buy in the Frontier--the NISMO, the 4 x 4 , roof rack, traction package and Crew Cab. Still, I would love to hear from anyone who has been able to increase their mpg with any aftermarket products. We are planning on buying a rigid two or three panel locking tonneau cover--have heard mixed reviews on whether or not that helps the mpg. We are getting it because we want to be able to store and lock things in the truck bed. But we saw an advertisement for an entire exhaust and intake system that claims to increase gas mileage by up to 15%. Not sure if the cost of such a system would ever be offset by the improvement in the gas mileage though.
2. Several times we had trouble shifting from P into D or D into R when stopped on a flat or very slight incline. We had the brake pedal depressed, but the shifter was stiff like it was stuck and when it finally did shift it made a loud clunking sound which sounded terrible and scared us! Anybody have a clue what that could be? I am taking it in to the dealer tomorrow to check on this and get its first oil change.
3. We stopped to gas up, and found when we turned the truck back on, the stereo speakers had stopped working. The CD player and radio display showed that it was playing and tuned, but the volume control did nothing--there was total silence. We tried changing stations, going from CD to radio to aux then back--nothing worked, so we turned off the stereo. The next time we turned the truck engine off and on again, we tried turning the radio on and the speakers worked just fine... haven't acted up since. What the?
We still love this truck and know that we would still not want to be driving a Toyota Tacoma because the ride was so bouncy and the engine seemed much less smooth-shifting.
#1386 of 1446 Re: Tacoma vs. Frontier [alienstarguest]
Aug 13, 2007 (5:59 pm)
tell us what changes if any were made for towing in regards to wiring. respond back after you here from the dealer. curious.
#1387 of 1446 Timing Chain
Aug 14, 2007 (10:55 am)
For those of you who do not know, the 4.0 litre engine in any of the Toyota's models is a timing chain. Not a belt. Goes for Tacoma, Tundra, and 4-Runner.
#1388 of 1446 Re: Tacoma vs. Frontier [tent2tt]
Aug 14, 2007 (11:10 am)
Just an update:
I took the car in to the dealer today to check out some of the above. In terms of the gas mileage--we didn't realize that the "MPG calculator" has to be RE-SET each time you fill up the tank or it just goes on calculating the mpg based on the mileage it was getting before you filled up the gas. So, the worst gas mileage we got towing was 12.3 mpg when we were towing 3,200 lbs. of travel trailer up a 6% grade at 50 miles per hour (it could have gone faster, but the towing guide said to not tow at greater than 50 mph for the first 500 miles). Good to know!
#1389 of 1446 Re: Tacoma vs. Frontier [tent2tt]
Aug 15, 2007 (11:56 pm)
I have a 2006 Frontier NISMO 4x4 with ABLS, Sunfroof, and roof rack, with tow package. I have a 19' travel trailer that weighs about 3500 pounds with the fresh water tank full. With the weight of the passengers and the truck and trailer loaded with supplies, the weight is around 4300 pounds. I use a weight distribution hitch and brake controller while towing. The truck pulls the trailer like a dream. I was a little nervous about how well the truck would perform the first time I pulled the trailer on a 3 hour trip that had so many hills through the mountains. It didn't hesitate to get up the hills or keep up with traffic. I've made the same trip about 5 times this summer and I'm ipressed by my truck each time I do. The gas mileage is pretty much the same that you're getting, about 12-13 mpg while I'm towing, not bad. I love this truck, it is the best all around mid size truck out there. It's awesome off road and comfortable in town. Nissan hit one out of the ball park with this baby.
#1390 of 1446 Re: Tacoma vs. Frontier [joezee]
Aug 16, 2007 (9:21 am)
Thanks for sharing your experience... I feel even better hearing from others who are towing similar weights and have had good experiences. I was afraid we'd strain the tranny because people have said that the truck manufacturers totally lie about the tow capacities and that we should get a deisel or at least a Titan or Tundra for towing anything. But since we aren't towing all the time and wanted the best gas mileage we could get when not towing too, we went for the Frontier. It does seem to be very well-built and had no trouble towing whatsoever.
#1391 of 1446 Better gasoline mileage
Aug 22, 2007 (2:59 pm)
I have an '05 Frontier KC LE with an automatic transmission. I have added a Fold-A-Cover 4 panel bed cover, a Volant CAI, and a Flo-Pro dual in dual out exhaust system.
To tell you the truth the best mileage I ever got was when the truck was a few months old and I was driving it down to Bedford, TX to have the exhaust installed.
The trip computer registered a little over 27 mpg when I pulled into the parking lot at the muffler shop. The truck was completely stock and I drove between 65 mph and 70 mph.
I should have left well enough alone. I drove back to Oklahoma City on the same tank of gasoline and by the time I arrived back in OKC it was only registering a little over 21 mpg.
I did have a very stiff headwind on the way home and the trip is more of an uphill drive.
I recently took my Volant off since I had my engine covers painted and I like the look of it better with the stock intake system.
I drive my truck like the little old man that I am so I never really used the Volant's capability anyway.
I was averaging a little over 19 mpg with the Volant and now I am averaging about 20 mpg with the stock intake back on it.
This is mostly suburban driving with maybe 10% freeway driving. I also walk to most of the business that are within a mile of my house so that cuts out a lot of the short trips I would normally make.
From my experience I don't think any of the add ons will help your mileage enough to ever pay for themselves. It is the way that you drive that will be the largest factor in what mileage you get.
Drive easy and plan ahead and that will help you the most.
#1392 of 1446 Re: Better gasoline mileage [2005lekc]
Aug 22, 2007 (9:49 pm)
Thanks very much. Didn't want to waste $ on things that didn't work. Man, I can't believe you got 27 mpg at first...that's as much as my Nissan Altima got! Wow! We are happy when we get over 17 mpg with the NISMO Crew Cab 4 x 4! Will still get a tonneau cover for the practical usage, but won't expect any mpg improvements from it.
Aug 23, 2007 (7:27 am)
Yeah, I could not believe it either when I pulled into their lot. I had my digital camera along but didn't think to take a picture of it.
I do have pictures of it at 25 mpg and 26 mpg but these were just temporary reading and not for a sustained distance. Go to my photo album at www.picturetrail.com/okiescot.
The best sustained distance mpg I have had since then is 23 mpg and that was at speeds of 60-65 mph.
I have not had it on the road since I pulled the Volant back off of it though.