Toyota Tacoma vs. Nissan Frontier

People looking for a midsize pickup truck continue to show a lot of interest in the Toyota Tacoma, as shown by the fact that it remains at the top of the sales rankings for its market class.

The Nissan Frontier is one of the competitors that the Toyota Tacoma faces. This comparison of the Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier will show you how these two pickup trucks stack up against one another.

Price Comparison

Toyota Tacoma

The base price of the Tacoma is $27,915, which is $1,650 less than the Frontier. Customers may select between the bigger crew cab and the extended Access cab (with rear half doors) on the base four trim levels (SR, SR5, TRD Sport, and TRD Off-Road).

The Access cab comes standard on the TRD Off-Road (with four full-size doors). Both the well-appointed Limited and the TRD Pro are only available in their respective later forms.

With the exception of the TRD Pro, which comes standard with a five-foot box, Toyota equips every Access cab with a six-foot bed. Buyers of crew-cab models also have the option of selecting between a five- or six-foot box, depending on their needs.

Avoid purchasing a Toyota since it is equipped with a 159-horsepower four-cylinder engine as standard; this powerplant is underwhelming. Instead, we suggest that you consider upgrading to the more powerful 278-horsepower V6 if you have at least $30,175 in your budget.

The Tacoma’s basic automatic gearbox needs to seek for the appropriate gear, so selecting the manual transmission, which is only available with the V6, is the better option if you are comfortable driving one. Getting this powerplant in the TRD Sport 4×4 for the price of $36,600 is the most cost-effective option.

Nissan Frontier

The base model of the Frontier costs $29,565, and it comes standard with a V6 engine that produces 310 horsepower.

There is not a model in this range that features a manual gearbox, however, in terms of automatic transmissions, the Frontier’s contemporary nine-speed automatic transmission is superior to the Tacoma’s six-speed transmission.

Customers have the option of purchasing the S or SV trim level with either an extended or crew cab; however, when they pick the Pro-X or Pro-4X trim level, the bigger cabin is chosen for them automatically.

In most configurations, the bed size can reach up to five feet, while the midlevel SV offers the option of a box that is six feet long. Both pickups are available with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive on most of their trim levels.


Although lane-departure warning, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control are all available as optional extras on any Frontier model, only the Tacoma comes standard with all three of these features.

The Nissan doesn’t have a telescopic steering column as the Tacoma does, but it does come standard with a push-button start and has a bigger gauge cluster and infotainment displays than the Tacoma.

In addition to that, it has something that Toyota does not: a driver-attention monitoring system.

The bed surface of every Tacoma is made of a composite material that, according to Toyota, has a higher impact resistance than steel. The Nissan, which comes with a steel box, has an optional spray-on bed liner that may be purchased for an additional fee.

In addition, the Toyota is equipped with a Class IV towing hitch receiver as standard, but purchasers of the Frontier are required to pay an additional fee for this feature.

Performance and Gas Mileage

The Nissan Frontier outperforms the Toyota Tacoma when it comes to speed and acceleration. Every variant of the Frontier has a 3.8-liter V-6 engine that is capable of producing 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque.

When compared to the engine found in the Frontier, both of the available engines in Tacoma are inferior in terms of power and performance. The optional 3.5-liter V-6 engine delivers 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque, while the standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine produces 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque.

When it comes to fuel economy, the Toyota Tacoma comes out on top. It has an estimated fuel efficiency of up to 21 combined mpg, which is an improvement above the Frontier’s estimated fuel economy of 20 combined mpg.

Towing Capacity

The Tacoma has a towing capacity that is marginally superior to that of the Frontier. In comparison to the Frontier’s 6,720 pounds of maximum towing capability, this vehicle has a maximum capacity of 6,800 pounds.

In addition to this, Tacoma’s pickup bed has the capacity to transport bigger loads. In comparison to the Frontier’s maximum payload capacity of 1,610 pounds, this one has a maximum capacity of 1,685 pounds.

Off-Road Capabilities

Both the Tacoma and the Frontier are equipped with a formidable off-roading capability. Both of these pickup trucks include a four-wheel drive system that improves traction for driving over rough terrain, in addition to variants that are optimized for usage off-road.

The TRD Pro is the finest off-road model that Toyota offers for the Tacoma series, whereas the PRO-4X is the most capable trim level that Nissan offers for the Frontier.

On the Pavement Capabilities

Toyota Tacoma

Although none of these trucks is a track athlete, the method in which they carry themselves close to their limits provides illuminating evidence of the contrasts between them.

On the road course, the front-heavy Toyota Tacoma is completely discombobulated. It dives into the curves and rolls its body in a manner that gives the impression that it is not attached to anything.

It is possible that its more severe off-road suspension may give it an advantage on the trail, but it is a liability on the track and in regular driving, where it can feel jiggly and inaccurate.

Both on the road and on the racetrack, the brakes on the Tacoma, which still include the now-segment-exclusive rear drums, may be described as sensitive and difficult to modulate.

Nissan Frontier

On the other hand, the Nissan Frontier feels more composed on the track than you might anticipate from a full-frame truck. This is due to the fact that it has a new rear sway bar (in addition to a beefed-up front sway bar) that works in conjunction with the well-rounded Bilsteins to maintain a controlled feel.

The redesigned Nissan Frontier now has disc brakes on all four wheels; yet, the vehicle’s braking ability is smooth and average. Like Toyota, Nissan employs a hydraulic-assist power steering system in its vehicles.

It does not have the same weighty sensation as the one found in the Toyota, and it contributes to the Frontier’s ability to be placed more precisely around corners than other of the more twitchier electric-assist steering systems.

Although the Frontier’s 3.8-liter V6 engine has 310 horsepower and a class-leading 281 pound-feet of torque, the vehicle’s acceleration isn’t as peppy as it seems like it should be on paper since the engine is smaller.

Even though it only produces 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, the older 3.5-liter V6 engine in Tacoma seems more dynamic.

At the end of the day, both pickup trucks have sufficient power, but neither one is very quick, and neither one is particularly economical with petrol. In combined city/highway driving, the Tacoma achieved just 16 mpg, while the Frontier achieved only 18 mpg.

The torquey turbo four-cylinder engine found in the Ford Ranger achieves substantially greater fuel economy (22 mpg combined) and provides an equally robust driving experience.

When used in normal driving conditions, the off-road capability of the Frontier Pro-4X does not interfere with the vehicle’s typically pleasing road manners. In contrast, the Tacoma TRD Pro’s off-road tune causes it to fall short of expectations.

Passenger Space

Which of these pickup trucks has more interior space: the 2023 Tacoma or the 2023 Frontier?

Both the Tacoma and the Frontier are almost the same size, which means that their overall passenger capacities are almost identical. The Tacoma has up to 100.3 cubic feet of capacity, while the Frontier has 100 cubic feet.

Reliability & Warranty

In terms of warranty coverage, both the Tacoma and the Frontier come with a standard warranty that lasts for 3 years and 36,000 miles, as well as a powertrain warranty that lasts for five years and 60,000 miles.

On the other hand, in contrast to the Frontier, the Tacoma comes standard with a complimentary maintenance plan that covers either two years or 25,000 miles.

Take Away

When everything is said and done, Tacoma has more to offer than the new Frontier because of its greater capabilities, established reputation for durability, and higher resale value.

However, the Frontier Pro-4X is an enticing option for people who are comparing the two vehicles objectively, since it has significant upgrades over the previous generation and is superior to the outdated Tacoma in terms of road manners, fuel efficiency, interior technology, and pricing.

Josh Gallardo

Josh is a product enthusiast trying to help everyone fine the things they need.

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