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Old 07-27-2010   #1
lookout mnt., Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 148
tacoma vs frontier vs dakota

thinking of buying one of these mid sized trucks used, around a 2005, in the 4 door model. how does the reliability of these trucks compare to each other? thanks

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Old 07-27-2010   #2
The OC, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 56
I've driven Nissans for years and I have absolutely no complaints. I currently drive a '99 Frontier with 175k and it is still going strong. Good thing about Nissans is they are not as damn proud of their vehicles as Toyota...

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Old 07-27-2010   #3
Conifer, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 131
I agree with Fry regarding how damn proud Toyota is...Being said I have owned a 98' Nissan truck and a 96' Tacoma. The Tacoma (In my mind) still is a better truck. I have driven (hard) over countless mountain roads and it just keeps going. Actually sold the Nissan bought the Tacoma and had a bit of cash left over. I feel like I came out on top.
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Old 07-27-2010   #4
Stoner, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 93
I have driven Nissans for years and had great luck with them. I just bought an 07 Tacoma and I have an 07 Frontier and there is no comparison. The Tacoma is a sweet rig and I don't think I'd ever buy anything else if I'm getting a newer rig. The bed set up is especially nice for rigging gear and the built in inverter in the bed is a nice thing when your sleeping in the back. I've always called the Nissans the "poor man's Toyota" and I think that is an apt description. The Nissans hold up well and go forever but tend to have things start falling apart a little more than the yotas. You have to search hard and be patient to find a good price on a Toyota though. I had a bunch of friends that had Dakotas a few years ago and I'm not impressed.
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Old 07-27-2010   #5
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
I've said it before, but you can find a mid-early 00's Tundra for less than a Tacoma and think it's a better value. Tundra is a little less offroad capable, gets 18 vs 23 mpg hwy and has marginally worse reliability, but the ride of the Tundra is so smooth, good power and is nice n roomy. Test drive one for fun. Having driven Toys, Nissans and Dodge, I'd go with the Toy for sure.
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Old 07-27-2010   #6
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
We bought a 4 door 2008 Frontier over the 2008 Taco because of a couple of factors; 1) significant difference in price for comparable models and features (side curtain airbags, leather, heated seats), 2) financing was a huge difference of 0.9% from Nissan and standard rate ~7% for Toyota, and 3) Taco' require/recommend 87 octane and the Nissan takes 85 (not as big a deal, but still makes you think).

The cost of ownership was higher for the Tacoma, although I guess it could be argued that you might get less repairs with Toyota. But after this year, I've had more doubts about their quality than I used to. And I've owned a Tacoma and a T100 - thought of myself as a dedicated Toyota truck owner.

This Nissan has been pretty good for us - no complaints or issues after 2 years...
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Old 07-27-2010   #7
OlyPen, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 85
I owned two Toyotas ('89 and '92 1-tons) before buying my 2005 kingcab Frontier 4WD. I still own the latter, and I love how it drives. However, I would say be careful about the 2005 models of either Tacoma or Frontier, because that was the first model year of the big changes from their previous generations. I had a lot of stuff fixed under warranty due to being a very early adopter. It'd be worth paying for the used-car history report on any candidates on your short list. (I bought all these new so know the full history of them.)

M Toyota trucks were nowhere near as trouble-free as some boosters would claim. I had some very expensive work done on what must've been a defective engine part...after the warranty expired. And there was also that little matter of the bad head gaskets.

So ignore the brand boosterism and go test drive. With used trucks, a lot rides on how well the previous owner took care of it, and how many miles they put on.

My Frontier has aluminum tie-down rails and cleats, and those are GREAT when carrying loads. I trailer with this truck regularly, including a 5000-mile road trip earlier this year. Live on a steep dirt road with mandatory canyon driving every trip and the truck's suspension is still good.

I run 87 octane in my truck and get 20-21 mpg on all-highway runs. Mixed driving is about 18 to 19 mpg. This is the 4.0L V6 engine with 6-speed manual.
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Old 07-28-2010   #8
bruceton mills, West Virginia
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 40
I own an '05 Frontier 2 door, V6, 4wd manual trany -- bought it new -- now has 145K on it -- never an issue... only wish I had bought the 4 door... although, then I'd probably have to run more shuttles...
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Old 07-28-2010   #9
Palisade, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Go with a classic...mine is a '69 Jeepster Commando....removable hard top...Dauntless Buick V6 225... collector liscense plates are good for 5 years and save $$$

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Old 07-28-2010   #10
the fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 672
i drove a 99 tacoma for 8 yrs before selling it last fall to get a bigger truck once our son was born. it was a great truck. i had zero problems with it. took it down many a rough road to get to hunting/fishing destinations. slept in the back many a night. had a lot of great times in that rig. i never did more than routine maintenance to the truck, and it never complained to me.

my only complaint about the truck was fuel mileage. i struggled to get more than 20 on a trip, and if it was headwindy at all, that number went down to like 16 or 17. i would have bought another tacoma, this time a 4-door, after our son was born, but toyota failed to improve the mileage in the newer trucks. in fact, they made it worse, so i bought a dodge diesel that gets better mileage than the tacoma did.

of the three you listed though, i would go with a tacoma, especially over a gas dodge.

By the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.
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