Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2009 Nissan Frontier VS 2009 Toyota Tacoma Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2009 Nissan Frontier

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2009 Toyota Tacoma

Safety Comparison

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

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the Frontier’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Tacoma 2.7 DOHC 4 cyl.’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt, which eventually needs to be replaced. If the Tacoma’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Frontier has a 110 amp alternator. The Tacoma’s standard 80 amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine Comparison

The Frontier’s optional 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 25 more horsepower (261 vs. 236) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (281 vs. 266) than the Tacoma Access/Double Cab’s optional 4.0 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Frontier V6 is faster than the Tacoma Access/Double Cab 4.0 DOHC V6 (automatics tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

8.7 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Frontier gets better fuel mileage than the Tacoma:





16 city/20 hwy

15 city/19 hwy



15 city/19 hwy

14 city/19 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Frontier uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Tacoma Access/Double Cab requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 25 to 50 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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



Front Rotors

11.14 inches

10.83 inches

Rear Rotors

11.26 inches

10” drums

The Nissan Frontier has standard antilock 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, which work much harder than conventional brakes.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Frontier has larger standard tires than the Tacoma (235/75R15 vs. 215/70R15).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Frontier Short Bed LE Crew Cab Pickup 4x4 handles at .74 G’s, while the Tacoma Short Bed Double Cab 4x4 pulls only .69 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

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



Extended Cab Standard Bed

205.5 inches

208.1 inches

Crew Cab Short Bed

205.5 inches

208.1 inches

Crew Cab Standard Bed

219.4 inches

221.3 inches

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Frontier Short Bed LE Crew Cab Pickup 4x4 is quieter than the Tacoma Long Bed Double Cab 4x4 (68 vs. 69 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Frontier Crew Cab Pickup has 2.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Tacoma Double Cab (101.1 vs. 98.9).

The Frontier King Cab has .7 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room, 3.1 inches more rear headroom and 1.4 inches more rear hip room than the Tacoma Access Cab.

The Frontier Crew Cab Pickup has .7 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear legroom and 2.8 inches more rear hip room than the Tacoma Double Cab.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Frontier. The Tacoma doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To prevent tailgate loss and help secure heavier cargo from theft, the Frontier has a standard tailgate lock cylinder. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a tailgate lock.

The Frontier has an all welded cargo box to eliminate possible corrosion spots and to provide better chassis stiffness. The cargo box in the Tacoma is bolted through the bed to the frame with large bolts. These bolts are a prime area for corrosion to start as the normal flexing of the truck’s chassis causes them to eat through the finish; they can also snag cargo as it slides in and out.

The Nissan Frontier’s tailgate uses caliper type latches (like those used for car doors) for smooth, tight closing. The slam bolts on the Toyota’s tailgate aren’t as tight as caliper latches, and they require closing the tailgate with more force, which can eventually damage it.

Ergonomics Comparison

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 has a lever hand brake in the console, easy to use while keeping both feet free and not impeding entry and exit. The Tacoma has a plunger parking brake, which is released by turning the handle while pressing a button, a much more difficult operation.

The Frontier’s available front power windows lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Tacoma Access/Double Cab’s passenger windows don’t open automatically.

The Frontier’s variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Tacoma’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

The Frontier Crew Cab LE has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Tacoma doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

The Frontier’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Tacoma doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

The Frontier PRO-4X/LE Crew Cab’s optional outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Tacoma doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The Frontier PRO-4X/LE Crew Cab’s optional heated front seats keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. The Tacoma doesn’t offer heated seats.

The Frontier LE Crew Cab offers an optional center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

An optional built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Frontier’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a filtration system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Frontier is less expensive to operate than the Tacoma because typical repairs cost much less on the Frontier than the Tacoma, including $44 less for a water pump, $107 less for an alternator, $25 less for front brake pads, $84 less for a starter, $52 less for fuel injection, $234 less for a fuel pump, $167 less for front struts and $335 less for a timing belt/chain.

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