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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.
 

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There is a clear reason why The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular trucks on the road. Probably dozens actually! Several reasons why the Nissan is cheaper (notice I didn't say less expensive). Test drive one and decide...
 

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There is a clear reason why The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular trucks on the road. Probably dozens actually! Several reasons why the Nissan is cheaper (notice I didn't say less expensive). Test drive one and decide...
I test drove both Frontier and Tacoma twice each, on different days. First drove the Tacoma, which I liked but noticed several problems with the truck right off. When I tested the Frontier, I made up my mind in the first few minutes. Drove each a second time to be absolutely sure, as I had originally been biased in favor of Toyota.

A lot of preference is subjective, of course. But more than 5 years later, I'm still glad I chose the Frontier.

The OP needs to test drive not only each make/model, but different trucks of the same model, because used condition could vary a lot between trucks.
 

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My Frontier has aluminum tie-down rails and cleats, and those are GREAT when carrying loads.
These are nice. I wasn't impressed with them when I was first looking at them, but I end up using them a lot.

There is a clear reason why The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular trucks on the road. Probably dozens actually! Several reasons why the Nissan is cheaper (notice I didn't say less expensive). Test drive one and decide...
This is purely your opinion. My cousin has been a Toyota salesman for decades and currently manages a Toyota dealer repair shop in Utah; and has had a stint at a Nissan dealership too. He told me the Frontiers and Tacomas were a tossup when it comes to reliability. And you can check Consumer Reports for owner-reported problems and satisfaction - They're pretty much the same when it comes to Tacomas and Frontiers; Tacomas sell more probably because they've been around longer.

For what it's worth, the Tacoma is a better looking truck. But the $4000 differential in price wasn't worth looking good.
 

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I bought my 96 4 cyl Tacoma with 9 years ago with 85K on it, and just passed 222K. The truck gave me very little problems, and I still drive it as a daily driver, and whenever I am loading up a bunch of camping stuff.
I bought a 2000 4runner, since I have a 9 year old girl that was getting too big for the extended cab, but we still usually take the tacoma for trips.

I had a 81 Nissan Datsun when I was younger and bought it before I realized that the floor boards were rusted out, and multiple other issues. Fixed it up had it for a summer before I drove it over the top of the Manti-La sal mountains and through the San Rafael Desert, before I cracked two cylinders 10 miles North of Green River.

To me the few extra thousand dollars for the Toyota name is worth it. Although everything after 2004 has been so improved that the gas mileage sucks, and the body has been inflated too big.

If you buy a Tacoma get something before 2005
 

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I was looking for a Toyota, 100k miles, 10g's they weren't out there when I looked, they were all too expensive. I went with a new 2008 frontier instead of a used Toyota, love it, has 40k miles on it now with no problems, 4wd works great, more horse power,and torque than a Toyota. Almost the same exact truck, better drive train DANA 44 rear axle, tons of after market parts like Toyota, same gas mileage, about 10 k less also, drive them both, you'll see the power difference and love the price a lot more... NISSAN!
 

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Nissan's are more comfortable on the road and have a beefier engine (6,500 lbs towing capacity.) I like the looks of the Tacoma's slightly more, but for the difference in price and financing, it was a no-brainer for me to go with the Nissan. Both are good trucks. I had a previous generation Tacoma for awhile and it was super reliable, but I have known some people having issues with the new models. Nothing crazy, but they don't seem to be as bomber as the older Tacoma's. Either truck would be a good purchase, but I wouldn't go near the Dodge.
 

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Had a Nissan 4-door Frontier before having to upgrade to a F-150 for towing torque and more interior room for the family. I had a Toyota pickup prior to the Frontier. When it came time to repace my Toyota I test drove the Frontier and Tacoma on multiple occasions and did all the research. The Frontier is way better euiquiped for the money and drove way nicer. The biggest difference I noticed was the Toyota seemed to be more off-road capable while the Nissan drove alot nicer on the roads and highways. The Frontier is awesome on snow-packed roads at highway speeds while my old Toyota was super-sketch. But I wouldn't take the Frontier into some of the areas I took my Toyota 4-wheeling.

I do wish my F-150 would have come with all the nice tie-downs, bed liner, and storage compartments that the Frontier had.

I am glad to see Toyota get knocked down a few rungs. They were way to proud of their shit for no good reason other than their history. When buying a car for my wife we test drove the Highlader and compared it to the Chevy Traverse and Ford Flex. No comparison. In intial quility, the highlander is an overpriced piece of crap compared to the American cars (first time we ever even considered buying American). We'll see how the American cars fare over the long-run, but based on what Consumer Reports says, I'm not expecting them to be too bad.

My wife has a '95 Nissan Pathfinder that is still going strong with 180,000 miles on it. Some things are better than my old Toyota that had 180,000 miles on and some things are worse. Mechanically they are about the same. No major problems on either with a few more minor problems on the Toyota. The Nissan leaves alot of rust stains on the driveway and the weather stripping is falling off. The seats on the Nissan are still very comfortable while the Toyotas gave up the fight long ago.

And the most important thing, the Nissan easily crossed the Slate at OBJ numerous times without incident. The Toyota got hydro-locked on it's first attempt.
 

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Nissan parts are significantly more expensive, yotas are overpriced and tend to need new leafsprings at about the same time they need new timing chains. I wouldn't touch the dodge-had a brand new one for work in 2005 and it was a piece-very poorly designed and laid out. I have a 06 chevy colorado and it is a pretty nice truck. Mine gets btwn 17 and 24 mpg and I think is the last of the small trucks to have a 4cyl option. That being said I got the 4cyl for better gas mileage and that was a big mistake! I get 24 on the highway but 17-19 around town, and towing on hills, can you say "mmm, gotta love that burnt clutch smell"! It is a great truck but I wish I had got a v6. It was also the cheapest 4wd pickup on the market. I had a number of issues and recalls in the first 20k, all of which were taken care of under warranty(with some persuasion) and haven't had an issue since. If you see one cheap don't count it out. But all that aside, I would look for an 00-04 tacoma, as they seem to be pretty bombproof, other than the rear springs going bad on some of them.
 

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I thought of a few more things that favor the toyota and one I'm starting to think I don't like. My 07 Frontier has had an electrical issue since it was about 1,000 out of warranty. It occasionally goes on the fritz and surges with gauges going crazy. I was in Laredo, TX when it started and the dealer there said it was the computer. It was on back order and it would be ten days before they could get it...well I wasn't going to stay in Laredo for ten days! I chanced it and drove it back to Durango and they said it was a fuse. Well...it isn't a damn fuse and it's continued to do it sporadically (like once every 10-15 thousand miles).

The ground clearance blows on the newer Nissans and the yotas have great clearance. This makes a big difference to me.

The seats on the newer toyotas seem to be too narrow for me to remain comfortable on long trips. The Nissan has nice seats.

Another that favors the Nissan....less room in the extended cab portion but more comfort. The toyotas seats in the extended cab are a joke...a bench across would be sweet.

Overall, I've had great luck with the 3 Nissan trucks I've owned and I even had a couple sentras back in the day that were great...one had Parkinson's and squeeked like hell. I like my new Tacoma though.
 
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