Nissan Frontier vs. Toyota Tacoma

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - January 23, 2024
2024 Toyota Tacoma

After eight long model years on sale, Toyota has introduced a fully redesigned Tacoma. The new Tacoma represents a massive upgrade over the previous generation, featuring advanced tech features, a rugged exterior design, and punchy turbocharged engines. Toyota also offers the Tacoma as a hybrid, making it the only available hybrid truck in the midsize segment.

While Toyota has introduced a fully redesigned Tacoma, the Nissan Frontier continues with its third generation which came out in 2022. Nissan has made some noteworthy changes to the Frontier to keep it feeling fresh.

If you’re looking to purchase a midsize pickup truck, you may be having some difficulty choosing between the two options. In this brief comparison, we’ll look at how the Tacoma stacks up to the Frontier when it comes to pricing, performance, towing capacity, off-roading capability, and safety features to help you decide which truck is right for you.

Nissan Frontier vs. Toyota Tacoma Price

2024 Nissan Frontier

Nissan Frontier prices start at $31,425, while the most expensive Nissan Frontier is the Hardbody Edition 4x4 which costs $45,435. The cheapest Toyota Tacoma is the SR trim which costs $32,995. The most expensive Toyota Tacoma is the Limited which starts at $53,595.

There’s a $1,570 difference in price between the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma in the Frontier’s favor. Comparing range-topping trims to one another reveals a $8,160 difference in price.

As the more affordable of the two pickup trucks, the Frontier tends to be available with better lease deals than the Tacoma. Shoppers looking to finance a purchase will find that both trucks are available with similar deals.

Nissan Frontier vs. Toyota Tacoma Performance

2024 Nissan Frontier Engine

The Nissan Frontier is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is available.

The Toyota Tacoma is available with multiple engines. The base SR trim comes with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that’s rated at 228 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. Other Tacomas come with the same engine that makes 278 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the Frontier, the Tacoma is available with an eight-speed automatic and a six-speed manual transmission. The manual transmission brings power ratings of 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. RWD is standard and 4WD is available.

Drivers seeking extra performance with the Tacoma can opt for the hybrid i-Force Max powertrain. It pairs the turbo engine with an electric motor and a battery pack for a total of 326 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque.

Nissan Frontier vs. Toyota Tacoma Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the Nissan Frontier can tow up to 6,720 pounds. The Frontier’s payload capacity maxes out at 1,610 pounds. In comparison, the Toyota Tacoma is rated to tow up to 6,500 pounds and haul up to 1,705 pounds.

Despite having more power, the Tacoma Hybrid can’t tow as much power as the gas-powered model. It’s rated at up to 6,000 pounds and can haul 1,709 pounds.

Nissan Frontier vs. Toyota Tacoma Interiors & Technology

2024 Toyota Tacoma Dashboard

As the newer pickup truck of the two options, the Toyota Tacoma has the more modern interior design compared to the Nissan Frontier. The Frontier has a simple interior design with small physical controls and a straightforward layout. The Tacoma features a chunkier look with a tiered dashboard, large physical controls, rectangular air vents, and stocky shift knob.

On the tech front, the Tacoma has a large advantage over the Frontier. Standard tech features with the Tacoma include an eight-inch touchscreen, a seven-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and four audio speakers. Available features include a 14-inch touchscreen, a 10-speaker JBL audios system, a portable JBL speaker, and a wireless charging pad.

The Frontier comes with an eight-inch touchscreen, a seven-inch digital instrument cluster, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, four audio speakers, Bluetooth, and satellite radio as standard. Available features include a nine-inch touchscreen, wireless smartphone compatibility, a 10-speaker Fender audio system, and a wireless charging pad.

Nissan Frontier vs. Toyota Tacoma Off-Road Capabilities

2024 Toyota Tacoma Wheel

Both the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma come in rugged trims that are aimed at drivers looking to go off-roading. With the Frontier, there’s the Pro-X trim. It comes with Bilstein shock absorbers, a locking rear differential, and all-terrain tires. The Pro-4X adds 4WD and extra skid plates into the mix.

With the Tacoma, shoppers can choose from multiple off-road trims. The TRD PreRunner, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter all offer drivers with the necessary features to tackle a trail. The TRD Pro and Trailhunter are the most capable in the lineup. They come with locking rear differentials, front stabilizer disconnect controls, 33-inch tires, 18-inch wheels, steel bumpers, and integrated recovery hooks. The TRD Pro has 2.5-inch Fox internal-bypass shocks, while the Trailhunter features Old Man Emu shocks.

Drivers looking to tackle grueling, rocky terrain will find the TRD Pro to be the best choice of the bunch, while shoppers who want to tackle light trails and sand dunes at speed will want to check out the Trailhunter. Toyota offers these with unique IsoDynamic Performance Seats that have built-in shock absorbers.

Nissan Frontier vs. Toyota Tacoma Safety Features

When it comes to safety, the Toyota Tacoma comes with more standard equipment than the Nissan Frontier. Both trucks come standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and a driver-attention monitor.

The Tacoma goes above by having lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, and traffic sign recognition as standard.

Nissan Frontier vs. Toyota Tacoma: Which Is Better?

Unsurprisingly, the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma match up well with one another. While the Frontier offers more towing and comes with a more powerful base engine, it loses this comparison. Compared to the Tacoma, the Frontier feels old. It doesn’t have the same advanced tech features, list of standard safety features, off-roading capability, or modern interior design. It’s a good pickup truck for drivers who want a simple, rugged pickup.

The Tacoma wins this comparison. Toyota waited a long time to give the Tacoma a much-needed redesign, but the automaker flexed its muscles and made a segment-leading option. The Tacoma has a rugged, vast lineup, a punchy hybrid engine, high-tech features, and excellent off-roading capability. It’s worth the extra money over the Frontier.

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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