The Nissan Frontier vs. Toyota Tacoma

Just like a classic western stand-off, 2022 pits the Nissan Frontier against the Toyota Tacoma, yet again. Which midsize pickup truck will win the title of most recommended?
Written by Kerry Gibson
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
It’s certainly not the first time that critics have compared Nissan to Toyota, and it won’t be the last. It’s a close race, but a
will be declared in the Frontier vs. Tacoma competition.
The Nissan Frontier has been redesigned for the 2022 model year. The Toyota Tacoma hasn’t seen any major changes since 2016. The latter was still the best-selling midsize
pickup truck
in 2021. Perhaps the old adage “don’t mess with a good thing,” still applies today. Experts will reveal which vehicle is best.

The Nissan Frontier

Pricing for a base model Frontier is above average starting at $29,105. A fully-loaded model costs around $45,000.
The powerful standard 3.8-liter V6 engine may be to blame. It produces 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel or four-wheel drive is available. The pickup can tow up to 6,720 lbs and has a maximum payload of 1,610 lbs.
Significant updates to the Frontier include a refined interior and new technological features. According to
, the large center touchscreen is either 8 or 9 inches, but the menus take time to learn and decipher.
MORE: Nissan Finally Updates the Frontier After 17 Years
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The Toyota Tacoma

The popular Tacoma starts at $27,715 and has a strong resale value. The most expensive off-roading trim level will cost about $48,000.
Buyers have the option of a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, with an output of 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. Or, a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. The latter is available with a six-speed manual gearbox when paired to four-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on most models.
Towing capacity for the Tacoma is 6,800 lbs, with a maximum payload of 1,685 lbs. The 7- or 8-inch infotainment system leaves much to be desired.
MORE: Other Midsize Trucks Simply Can't Keep Up With the Toyota Tacoma

Frontier vs. Tacoma

Critics compared the pickup trucks in several categories including fuel economy, performance, interior features, value, towing, and off-road capabilities. According to
, Toyota has the advantage over Nissan in most areas.
The Tacoma offers buyers more powertrain options at a lower base price, and slightly better fuel mileage with 21 mpg combined city/highway driving. The Frontier gets 20 mpg. Towing and hauling capacities are similar.
Both pickup trucks offer advanced driver aids such as traffic-adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning. However, more of these technologies come standard on the Tacoma. And its infotainment system is more user-friendly than the one offered in the Frontier. Nissan also lost a few points for tight rear legroom and lack of a telescopic steering wheel.
However, the Frontier’s engine is more powerful and outshines the Tacoma in terms of drivability, as per
Consumer Reports
. Its transmission shifts smoothly and quickly. Handling is stable. The Tacoma driving experience is less refined, especially when it comes to braking and its lack of speed. Although the Frontier is highly capable, critics still prefer the Tacoma for an off-roading experience.
Regardless of Nissan’s progress, Toyota still manages to win the Frontier vs. Tacoma competition in 2022. But when it comes to insurance shopping,
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