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  1. #1
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    Tacoma vs. Frontier

    I'm in the market for a used truck. They are both 6 cyl. but is there a big difference in gas mileage between 6 cyl and 8 cyl?? Which one would you choose between the two? I'm thinking access cab and jacking up the suspension.

  2. #2
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    Ford vs. Chevy. lol

    As someone who has owned both, I can say I would go with neither. Only because the full size trucks get almost as good gas mileage and can haul more/are more comfortable.

    If you are set on one of those, I would say a Frontier, hands down, is the better truck now. If used, look at 2004 and older Tacomas, and they're solid as a rock. My 2006 Tacoma is the worst vehicle I have ever owned. Toyota seems to have stopped caring about quality control when they changed to the newer body style in 2005. My buddy had a 2005 and 2007 Tacoma as well, and hated both of them due to reliability issues and cheap interior. (This is why I hated mine) Our 2004 Frontier is one of the best we have ever owned.

    But again, no real advantage to buying a mid sized truck any more with the new higher mpg V8s in the big trucks.

  3. #3
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    I had an 06 xterra and a toyota 4 runner basically the same thing and i loved the xterra it was the best suv i have ever owned the 4runner was crap compared to the xterra i would get a fronteir over a taco.My xterra perfomed offroad with 33 inch nitto terra grapplers better than the 4 runner with same tires on road it was a little stiffer due to leafs in the rear compared to coils in the 4runner i think the taco has leafs though definatley would by nissan again

  4. #4
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    To each their own. Individual issues, or small samplings, should not make a decision. Look at overall history. Sure, I like the older Taco's better than the newer ones. And yes, the Tacoma could get better mileage. Also, I didnt like the Frontier, exterior or interior, as much as the Tacoma. Although I am not impressed with the cloth for the seats in the Tacoma either.

    The actual reliability of the two are about equal. With the V6, both are pretty close in MPG. I get a bit better than 21 in mine, significantly better than the 16 I got in my F150. Same roads, same drive every day to work, etc.

    If you need to haul things, there are a lot of benefits to a full size with a small v8 or a good v6. I need the truck for smaller projects, towing things like motorcycle/lawn trailers, and hauling bikes and dogs around. I did not need a full size truck, and to some the 2-3mpg difference is not much. I drive about 25000 miles a year. the difference in my old truck to newer truck are about 375 gallons of gas, per year. At $3.50 per gallon, thats $1300 bucks. Or, 3 truck payments (if you finance). Or a new bike in 2-3 years. For someone driving 10k miles per year, the difference is much less of an issue.

    Basically, consider your actual needs, costs, etc. and get the one that works best for you. I dont think you will go wrong with either.

  5. #5
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    If you are looking @ room (Access Cab= extra cab) Which you probably are not the Tacoma has more room. as for power the Fronter has more. I have owned a '05 Tacoma and now own a '10 Tacoma and love them both! I have had only one problem with either and that was on my '10 the rear bumper on delivery had some staining and was addressed immediately by Toyota. If you go Access cab I'd go with the 2.7l 4 cyl personally because it gets great mileage (stock) I don't know how it would fair wit a lift and larger tires. My '05 was equipped that way and I replaced the stock 245's (tires) with 265/75 16 tires and probably lost about 3mpg right off the bat. Just my $.02
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  6. #6
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    just picked up an 04 tacoma myself....so far i love it. did a bunch of mechanical work (belts, pump, clutch) but if taken care of, these trucks will go 300,000+ and they are tough. google top gear toyota hilux, you'll see what i mean

    if you don't need a lot of extra room, the access cab is great. the only downside is there are only two doors, so bigger items may be harder to put in the back. i've sat in the back of mine just for grins, and i wouldn't want to ride that far in it, unless i was laying across the whole back, but even then it wouldn't be ideal.

    its hard to get a feel for what to do, but every guy i know who owns/owned a yota absolutely loved it and had nothing bad to complain about.

    good luck!!!

  7. #7
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    I've got an 05 Tacoma double cab short bed v6 4x4 trd sport. I've only had it for a year but i love this truck. I get 21+ mpgs unless i beat on it. Best I have done on a tank was 24.7 mpgs. I had intentions of modding/upgrading the truck so i picked the tacoma as there is a lot of aftermarket options for these trucks. I'm pretty sure theres more than for the frontier as far as i know.

    Im lifted 3" right now, still on stock tires though (running them til they wear out), but even with these tires this truck is quite good offroad.
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  8. #8
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    Toyota trucks , according to those that rate vehicles, seem to have slightly all around better rating than Nissan trucks ... ... I own a 1985 Toyota 4Runner, can't destroy it & it conquers anything ... ... ...

  9. #9
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    To tell you the truth I've owned both v6 and v8 trucks. There isn't really that much of a diffrence except for a mile or two without driving like a nanny. v8 trucks do really well when compared to a small truck. The milage may be a bit different but the room a full size truck gives can't be compared. The Nissan in the video seems to be a bit better all around while the Tacoma does better off road. But most of us do our off roading on our bikes so unless you got beaches and going up and down dunes or trails the I'd think the Frontier would be the better buy. Its best in the end though to test drive both and choose that way instead of reading peoples reviews or opinions. Let us know what you get.

    *Can't post links yet apparently cause I'm to much of a noob but just google: Frontier vs. Tacoma and check out the youtube video from edmunds. They are a trusted source.

  10. #10
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    I can personally vouch for the tacomas being virtually indestructible

  11. #11
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    What about a ranger?

  12. #12
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    I've had a '96 Tacoma and never had any problems, even after severaly abusing it. Had a Toyota X-Runner and never had any issues (after having the stock tranny replaced under warrenty). Have an FJ Cruiser with 100k miles on it now and have had ZERO problems. I don't know much about the Frontiers, other than a co-worker who had one with the stock supercharger and he had the s'charger replaced 3 times before bailing on it and getting something else. I wouldn't even consider a Ranger. Nothing personal I suppose, just never liked them. I did know a guy years ago who had one and he beat the heck out of it and it always seemed to get him where he was going...

  13. #13
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    That's a no brainer, get the Taco

  14. #14
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    Go to Tacomworld.com. Great website.

  15. #15
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    I personally go for the Taco!

    I used to own a 2004 4x4 QC Frontier. I did lift it and toyed with it, but the accessories / options that can be put on a Taco is much more easier to find. Overall back then; I wish I got the Taco instead! It's just a better truck overall.
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  16. #16
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    my buddy has a frontier and we make him drive to all our riding destinations. Its a comfy truck when it has the leather and full 4 doors and can haul a bunch of bikes. His truck for instance has 2 racks on the roof rack, 3 fork mount racks in the truck bed, and a thule 4 bike hitch carrier. More bikes than people can fit in the car but it could happen if we wanted.

  17. #17
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    I test drove both a few years back and decided on a 4-door Frontier. It had better acceleration and braking. The ride however was a bit harder than the Taco.

    The Frontier was also easier to get in and out vs. knocking my knee in the Taco. Lastly, the Frontier came with more features for the price.

    My 2006 Frontier crew cab, 6spd manual, 2wd gets 21mpg city, ~25mpg highway. Average overall 23.5 mpg.

    Both are great trucks.

  18. #18
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    Current Taco's are too small to be used as a full sized truck, and too big for daily driving, but that's just me- I don't get the "mid-sized" truck thing. I had a 99 Taco, and it was the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned, and I just got rid of an 09 Taco, and it was among the worst. Lots of recalls, new transmission at 8,000 miles, crappy mileage. Sad that Toyota has gone luxo with their trucks and forgot about those of us who really want a rough and tumble vehicle. As others have said, you are better off with a full sized big three- more power for towing, more room for stuff, and the mileage is virtually identical. As far as Toyota vs. Nissan, for some reason Tacos hold their value much better, so a similar Frontier should be better priced.

  19. #19
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    I have a 2010 Tacoma TRD that i traded a 2005 Frontier in for about 2 yrs ago.

    I give the nod to the Frontier for the motor and the rail system in the bed, but i like the taco better overall. It is a little bigger, has a better quality interior, and the stereo is way better. I have had no problems with it at all so far (45K miles). I like the way it looks better too.

  20. #20
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    I said Tacoma before, and I still think that! I just wanted to add that either should be a good pick for you. Just please don't look at Dodge Dakotas. I had an 03 for 4 years and it was the absolute worst vehicle that I've ever owned. Two thumbs down.

    I knew that they were going to stop building the Frontier's older brother, Titan, so I just googled it. Came back w/ tons of information about Dodge building Titans for Nissan. Nissan will still build the Frontier, but still.

    I'm sure the Frontier is a great truck, I'm just a Tacoma man.

  21. #21
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    I had a '99 Tacoma for years & absolutely loved it, always swore I'd drive that thing into the ground. Then one day a drunk driver forgot which side of the highway he should be on & hit me head on. His car ripped the front axle out from under my truck as both vehicles were completely ripped apart, and my truck came to rest with the frame rails buried 4 inches into the blacktop. The drunk died at the scene, I walked out of the hospital under my own power that night. When I was able to walk normal again, I went straight to the Toyota dealership & bought a new Tacoma. I've been driving it for 5 years now & absolutely love it even better than my old 99, but you won't catch me ever saying I'll drive a vehicle into the ground again, sometimes the fates are a little too literal for my tastes.
    Last edited by Bill-E-BoB; 08-21-2011 at 08:09 AM.

  22. #22
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    I love tacomas

    I have owned nothing but toyota pickups since I was 21! I have had a 94 reg cab old style pickup, 98 tacoma xtracab v6 sr5, 03 double cab Trd, 06 double cab sr5, and now a 08 access cab 4 cyl. My current truck get around 24 mpg and is a good vehicle! Loved the 06 double cab but drive 26 miles each way to work and the gas was killing me at around 16 mpg.
    my 5 year old son took my photo, not a bad shot!

  23. #23
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    I too like the smaller size pickups. I have had a 99 sonoma, 02 dakota, 05 ranger, and just bought a 11 tacoma. The tacoma is hands down the best truck Ive ever owned. I put a K&N air filter in it and am getting about 23.5 mpg. I too looked at the Nissan frontier, but the resale value was horrible compared to the Tacoma. I also felt the Tacoma had a better ride and had a much lower RPM while climbing (I live in the Rockies). Good luck with your new truck!
    "A flute with no holes, is not a flute. A donut with no hole, is a Danish." - Zen philosopher Basha

  24. #24
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    2002 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab 4x4 Long Bed here. Love the 4 doors for the kids and the longer 6' bed to actually haul stuff.

  25. #25
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    i haven't test driven either but i've heard it mentioned that you ride lower in the seat in the tacoma opposed to the frontier. i guess which ever you feel more comfortable in.

  26. #26
    There's no need to fear.
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    I tested both in V6, 4 door models back 2008. While I liked the Frontier I just couldn't see myself owning one. Something about the interior just turned me off. The rail system they have is first class though.

    I settled on a '09 Tacoma TRD Sport. It has been a fantastic truck. Plenty of room and power. If you can get one with heated leather seats you'll be very happy in winter.

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  27. #27
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    Tacoma
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  28. #28
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    Tacoma all the way. The reliability differential en masse is staggering.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by spaghettiedy View Post
    Go to Tacomworld.com. Great website.
    Thanks a lot.
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  30. #30
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    Check out TTORA.com also. I have and 01 that has around 170k on the clock. It is a 4cyl 5spd 4x4 xtra cab. I had a 99 previously that was the xtra cab 4x4 w/ the 6cyl auto. Both trucks were great. My 01 get between 22-23mpg around town w/ a cap that has a rack carrying two bike trays and a Yak LoadWarrior. This thing runs like new and does everything I could ever ask. The frame was replaced under the recall and I installed an OME suspension to get some lift. Need to get some new rubber and going to run it into the ground. Once this is paid off, I will probably try to pick up an 04 double cab, since my girls are getting bigger, and keep the 01 for hauling & wheeling.
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  31. #31
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    I was going through the same thing 2 yrs ago looked at all small trucks. Colorado, Ranger, Frontier and Tacoma. The Chevy just looked cheap inside thin seats low seat rails just not nice at all. The Ranger off list no 4 door option. Which came down to frontier and tacoma,

    Nissan

    Bad
    ------------
    Interior dash didn't like the styling (2nd ugliest radio I have ever seen)
    small interior seemed tight
    when cornering you could hear wind noise at the door seal

    GOOD
    -------------
    Bed sturdy
    bed rails and cleats real thick sturdy great to tie down the loads in the bed like dirt bikes
    solid truck all around


    Tacoma

    BAD
    ------------
    the bed is a composite tail gate can't hold much when down there is not much braising under the composite liner.
    bed rails and tie downs are **** the tie downs are plastic and flex I have yet to break one but I watch them like a hawk.
    gas milage is low avg18
    Radio is the ugliest I have ever seen ( replaced it right away with afterarket nav)


    GOOD
    -------------------
    The interior is nice and roomy
    its an all around tough truck
    trd off road package has great option included
    personally I think the Exterior is the best looking of all small trucks
    engine is solid


    With all that said I have a 2006 Tacoma dble cab trd off road parked in my driveway

  32. #32
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    also check out customtacos.com

  33. #33
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    The bed sold me on the Frontier. The metal bed gives you a more sturdy platform, Mine has the factory bedliner and rail system. The rail system is very solid, much more so than on the Tacomas. It is also a few inches shorter and narrower overall than the Toyota. Trying to fit 2 vehicles, 7 bikes, and all the various crap that fills a garage, those few inches were important.
    A wise man once said: "Always Ride"

  34. #34
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    Another vote for a real truck (ie full size). Mileage is all about the same, just better ride and much more space, inside and out. As a Michigan guy I'd buy a domestic, but that's a different discussion all together.

  35. #35
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    What are your primary needs in a truck? Towing, cargo capacity, interior room, off-road capabilities? This will help determine which truck is the best for you.

    If you are interested in mid-size trucks you at least owe it to yourself to take a look at a Honda Ridgeline too. It has much more interior room than either the Tacoma or Frontier, a wider bed (the only midsize with a bed wide enough to haul building materials flat, at 49-1/2" between the wheel wells) and it has a trunk under the bed that is large enough for a full-size cooler, a couple golf bags, or whatever you need to carry.

    If you are looking for a truck with great off-road abilities and plan to do some actual 4x4ing, forget the Ridgeline, it's just not built for it. Also, the biggest lift you can buy for it is only 2". It also doesn't have a traditional 4x4 system with 2-speed transfer case like the Taco and the Frontier. Instead it's got an automatic 4x4 system that functions primarily in front wheel drive while sending torque to the rear wheels when slippage is detected.

    It all depends on what you will be using the truck for. I chose the Ridgeline over the Tacoma because for me it was going to be a family vehicle first (thus the need for greater interior room), and weekend-warrior vehicle second for hauling my bikes and camping gear as well as occasional building materials for projects around the house. If I was a single guy and didn't have kids to haul around, the Tacoma would have been my choice. I came across a lot of reliability issues with the Frontier while researching trucks, so it came down to Toyota vs. Honda for me.

  36. #36
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    Can't go wrong with a Taco! I had a 92 a long time ago and regretted getting rid of it for a Chevy. Then finally I bought a new 09 Taco and I was back in heaven. A couple months ago I had to trade it in for a full size pickup due to our soon to be bigger family and the Taco couldn't safely pull a 27' camper. I already miss the taco. But the GREAT thing about the Taco is that they hold value better than about any vehicle out there. I got 1 hell of a trade in on mine on a sweet Ram truck. I just home in a few years I'll feel the same about Mopar.
    uʍop əpıs ɹəqqnɹ əɥʇ dəəʞ ɹəqɯəɯəɹ pəɥsɐɹɔ əʌɐɥ ʇɥƃıɯ noʎ sıɥʇ pɐəɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

  37. #37
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    I'm in the market for a used Tacoma 01-04 vintage, 4x4 XtraCab, if anyone is selling. I did own an 06 Nissan Titan prior and other than the pain at the pump, it was an awesome truck, especially for towing. Now I just need 4WD for the winter and a truck for the dump runs and hauling bikes. Good luck with your purchase.

  38. #38
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    Tacoma is great and all but the price tag is too big for a truck that small.

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  39. #39
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    Resell a Taco and then resell any other truck. You'll understand why they cost so much more. I know from experience that from trading in a Taco vs any other vehicle I've ever owned has been way less painful and healthier for the wallet. Kind of like buying a Specialized or a Mongoose, then trying to sell them a couple years later.
    uʍop əpıs ɹəqqnɹ əɥʇ dəəʞ ɹəqɯəɯəɹ pəɥsɐɹɔ əʌɐɥ ʇɥƃıɯ noʎ sıɥʇ pɐəɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

  40. #40
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    A co-worker of mine had a late 90's tacoma that had a frame rust issue. Toyota gave him $1k over blue **** and a bunch of other stuff. Toyota crushed the truck once they got it!!

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