2020 Nissan Frontier vs. 2020 Toyota Tacoma

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/25

Both the Frontier and the Tacoma have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available four-wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/25

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Frontier second among midsize pickups in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Tacoma was rated third.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Engine

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The Frontier’s 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 151 more horsepower (310 vs. 159) and 101 lbs.-ft. more torque (281 vs. 180) than the Tacoma’s standard 2.7 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Frontier’s 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 32 more horsepower (310 vs. 278) and 16 lbs.-ft. more torque (281 vs. 265) than the Tacoma’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

Transmission

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/25

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Nissan Frontier, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Tacoma.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Frontier’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Tacoma:

Frontier

Tacoma

Front Rotors

11.1 inches

10.75 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

10” drums

The Nissan Frontier has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Tacoma. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Frontier stops shorter than the Tacoma:

Frontier

Tacoma

60 to 0 MPH

142 feet

146 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

156 feet

158 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Frontier has larger tires than the Tacoma (265/70R16 vs. 245/75R16).

Suspension and Handling

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The Frontier Crew Cab 4x4 handles at .74 G’s, while the Tacoma Short Bed TRD Off-Road Double Cab 4x4 pulls only .64 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Frontier is shorter than the Tacoma, making the Frontier easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces:

Frontier

Tacoma

Extended Cab Standard Bed

205.5 inches

212.3 inches

Crew Cab Short Bed

205.5 inches

212.3 inches

Crew Cab Standard Bed

219.4 inches

225.5 inches

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/25

The Frontier King Cab has 6.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Tacoma Access Cab (92 vs. 85.6). The Frontier Crew Cab has 1 cubic foot more passenger volume than the Tacoma Double Cab (101.1 vs. 100.1).

The Frontier King Cab has 1.7 inches more rear headroom, .8 inches more rear legroom and 3.3 inches more rear hip room than the Tacoma Access Cab.

The Frontier Crew Cab has .2 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear legroom and 1.7 inches more rear hip room than the Tacoma Double Cab.

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/25

The Frontier’s cargo box is larger than the Tacoma’s in almost every dimension:

Frontier King Cab

Frontier Crew Cab

Tacoma Access Cab

Length (short/long)

73.3”

59.5”/73.3”

73.7”

Max Width

61.4”

61.4”

56.7”

Min Width

44.4”

44.4”

41.5”

Height

18”

18”

19.1”

Payload and Towing

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/25

The Frontier’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Tacoma’s (6250 vs. 3500 pounds).

The Frontier Short Bed Crew Cab 4x4 has a much higher optional payload capacity than the Tacoma Short Bed Double Cab 4x4 (1360 vs. 1155 lbs.).

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/25

The Frontier’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Tacoma does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Frontier PRO-4X Crew Cab has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/25

Insurance will cost less for the Frontier owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Frontier will cost $230 less than the Tacoma over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Frontier is less expensive to operate than the Tacoma because typical repairs cost much less on the Frontier than the Tacoma, including $145 less for a water pump, $65 less for a muffler, $91 less for a starter, $157 less for fuel injection, $562 less for a timing belt/chain and $121 less for a power steering pump.

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