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Wes



Joined: 18 Jun 2008
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:38 am    Post subject: Nissan Frontier Reply with quote

Hello Everyone. Normally you only find me in R50 forum. I was wondering if anyone owned and had opinions on the Nissan Frontiers. Is it a good truck? How about compared to Toyota? Is Toyota worth the extra $$. I am considering used models a couple to few years old. THanks!
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smj999smj
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Joined: 22 Jan 2012
Posts: 5000
Location: Prospect, VA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, you don't mention what model Frontier you are looking at. I currently have a 2003 Frontier SVE king cab 4x4 (supercharged). I've had a 2003 Tacoma 4x4 base. The Tacoma is a good truck, but they are not the most comfortable for long trips. The seat sits close to the floor so your legs are sticking more straight out and the cushion could do a little better in padding. This goes for the older and newer Tacomas. The older Tacomas has a lot of problems with frame rot just in front of the rear wheels, around 99-04, give or take.
The seating in Frontiers are a lot more comfortable. There is a big difference between the 98-04 models (1st gen) and the 05 and later models (2nd gen). 1st gens are more what one things of as a compact pickup. They ride hard and a bit more "tossable" when driving, meaning more fun to drive. The supercharged V6 is good on power so as long as one uses premium gas, but they get terrible gas mileage (expect 12-14 MPG combined). The NA 3.3L is pretty bullet-proof and reliable so long as one changes the timing belt every 105,000 miles. Rear oil pin lip seal and rear main seal oil leaks are not uncommon. They provide sufficient power and average gas mileage for a small pickup. The KA24DE 4-cyl. is pretty much a workhouse engine. It gets the job done but you have to think twice about passing anyone. Transmissions on either tend to be pretty good.
The 2nd gen Frontier is more of a mid-size truck. Its ride is more composed compared to the 1st gens. It feels heavier on the road, but the VQ40DE has plenty of power along with the 5-speed automatic trans, so it's a lot faster than the earlier Frontiers. The QR25DE 4-cyl. has about 100 less horsepower and only gives about another MPG benefit in fuel mileage. The 04-10 Frontiers suffer from all of the same bugs as the same year Pathfinders and Xterras: radiator cooler failures (on AT models), upper timing chains issues and fuel sender issues. On the Off-road models with the M226 rear axle, there are axle bearing issues resulting in leading axle seals. Overall, except for the straight-axle rear compared to the Pathfinder's independent suspension, the two are very similar. Engines, front suspension and some body parts are identical. 2011 and later would be the years to get, though, if you can afford it, because those bugs were worked out by then for the most part.
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2006 Pathfinder LE VQ40DE AWD, aftermarket radiator, Airlift 1000's, Bilstein HD rear shocks, Doug Thorley shortie headers and mid-pipes, Magnaflow 12580 muffler, aFe Momentum GT CAI w/ dry filter, XTP plenum spacer, Superchips Flashpaq tuner
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Wes



Joined: 18 Jun 2008
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the detailed write up. I am definitely looking at the later years around 2015 or so. I like the pro 4x trim, but not sure I want to pay for it.

I am torn between the better deal on the Frontier vs Tacoma, but possibly the resale on the Tacoma down the road is better so worth the extra $$. I expect to keep the car at least 10 years/100k miles or more. Decisions, decisions.
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smj999smj
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Joined: 22 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wes wrote:
Thanks for the detailed write up. I am definitely looking at the later years around 2015 or so. I like the pro 4x trim, but not sure I want to pay for it.

I am torn between the better deal on the Frontier vs Tacoma, but possibly the resale on the Tacoma down the road is better so worth the extra $$. I expect to keep the car at least 10 years/100k miles or more. Decisions, decisions.


Well, the good news is that if you purchase a 2015 model (or later), the model line has been out for 10 years and all of the "new model bugs" have been worked out of it for years! Yes, the body style may be a little dated by now, but it is still a good looking truck and both the VA40DE engine and the transmission are pretty good and reliable. Toyotas have, traditionally, carried a higher resale price, but they've also carried a higher initial price, as well. If you are planning on keeping the truck for 10 years, I think that difference in price is going to be pretty negligible, as both tend to keep their value pretty strong as they age. For example, my 2003 Frontier SVE with 210,000 miles on it is still valued at $6500 per NADA. That's not too shabby for a 15 year old truck!
As a subscriber to Consumer Reports, one of the things I've noticed over the past year or so is that the Tacoma has been taking some hits on reliability, so, that's something to keep in mind.
The Pro-4X is nice and comparable to the TRD trim. The question is do you need a vehicle with off-road capabilities? Do you need hill assist and hill decent control and an electronic locking diff? If you don't, then the extra cost may not be practical. If all you do is drive on paved roads and highways, then an SV trim, for example, might make better sense and will cost less.
For me, having driven both, comfort is the deal breaker, especially when it comes at lower vehicle cost. My work commute is not bad, but I do make some long trips now and then and my butt aches at the thought of doing that in a Tacoma. If you're not comfortable, then you're not going to enjoy the truck you decide to purchase. You should try and take a decent road test in both, if possible, to aid your decision.
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2006 Pathfinder LE VQ40DE AWD, aftermarket radiator, Airlift 1000's, Bilstein HD rear shocks, Doug Thorley shortie headers and mid-pipes, Magnaflow 12580 muffler, aFe Momentum GT CAI w/ dry filter, XTP plenum spacer, Superchips Flashpaq tuner
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palmerwmd
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Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 634
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Frontier is an incredible value.
Its basically the Pick up version of the R51 Pathfinder (the R51 has much nicer interior though)

2012 Frontier review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbhvx1UbIvU

2016 review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDfb5BxGMLQ

2018 Review review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=102&v=gtDxST02FKk
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Last edited by palmerwmd on Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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palmerwmd
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Joined: 31 Jan 2017
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Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ooor consider an R51 Pathfinder

Very Happy
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"Rifle first, Rifle last, Rifle always"

2012 V6 4WD, in Grey over Grey
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Wes



Joined: 18 Jun 2008
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the info. I have a few months to decide. I try to remember to post the result.
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