Saturday, June 2, 2012

Nissan Frontier vs. Toyota Tacoma - Road take a look at - Motor Trend

toyota tacoma vs nissan frontier
Supercharge a pickup truck? Old-timers who bear in mind when pickups came with an industrial inline-six, three-on-the-tree, and laborious rubber floormats can bristle at the thought. Ford's SVT performance arm started it in '99 and has since honed the blown truck plan nearly to perfection with its F-150 Lightning hot rod. currently the concept has trickled all the way down to compact trucks, a section that will positively take pleasure in slightly spice and additional improved performance.

Nissan, that will not have its 1st true full-size truck till '04, is currently employing a supercharged V-6 as a part of its effort to enhance the image of its once dowdy Frontier. As a replacement for the Hardbody in '97, the then-new Frontier disappointed prospective patrons with its styling, performance, and driving dynamics. Nissan saved it from oblivion with a Crew Cab version in 2000 and then overnight remodeled the Frontier into one among the coolest-looking trucks on the road with a macho facelift for '01.

Following an identical path, Toyota updated its compact Tacoma line for '01 with the addition of the fun-to-drive S-Runner sport truck and also the utilitarian Double Cab, a worthy match for Nissan's Crew Cab. Toyota does not supercharge its Tacoma pickup at the factory, however a Toyota Racing Development blower is on the market as a dealer-added choice, with full factory warranty. These supercharged versions of Nissan and Toyota's four-door cabs have an excellent deal of attractiveness to the active youth market. They deliver tight torque and horsepower, are spacious within, and might tow up to a 5000-lb trailer. obtaining a sedan/SUV-like cabin will mean {you'll|you can|you may} sacrifice bed length (Nissan will provide the Crew Cab's four-door cabin and also the commonplace cab's bed-length for '02), however there is enough area for the driving force and 3 or four friends and their mountain bikes and enough off-road capability at intervals these 2 4x4s to chase those bikes along the paths. The Nissan incorporates a handsome, black, leather-trimmed interior with red stitching and S/C (for supercharged) embroidered on its headrests, whereas the Toyota comes solely with a high-quality, durable, though somewhat plain cloth interior.

So that blown compact truck is best for hauling $15,000 price of carbon-fiber 28-speed absolutely suspended mountain bikes from the town to the campsite? Matching the Tacoma Double Cab and Frontier for our comparison proved more durable than it's. Nissan is additional liberal with its choices and offers each a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic on all versions of the Frontier. The Tacoma Double Cab comes solely with a four-speed automatic, thus we tend to reluctantly asked Nissan for an automatic Frontier.

The Frontier's factory supercharger, a Roots-type unit co-engineered with Eaton, boosts power from one hundred seventy hp and two hundred lb-ft within the normally aspirated SOHC three.3L V-6 to 210 hp and 246 lb-ft; sadly, the manual trans cannot handle the maximum amount torque and its engine variant is rated at simply 231 lb-ft. Toyota's TRD supercharger lifts its three.4L DOHC V-6's horsepower range from one hundred ninety normally aspirated to a fairly heady 254 blown. Torque is up from 220 lb-ft to 270 lb-ft of tire-prying twist. however that supercharged level of power comes at a hefty value for the Tacoma: $3137 for the supercharger, and approximately $500 for installation.

Nissan says that, for '02, the 4x4 Frontier S/C can go with 265/65R17 tires-better suited to offroading than the '01 model's 265/55R17 Firestone Firehawk GTAs. The Tacoma comes with knobbier, skinnier 265/70R16 Bridgestone Dueler H/Ts higher suited to trail-running. however as a result of this take a look at was designed as a street and strip showdown, our Frontier had the advantage with the low-profile Firehawks.

And it created sensible use of them: within the 600-ft slalom, the Tacoma wallowed and understeered its thanks to a fifty eight.9-mph speed, unloading its within front tire nearly the length of its suspension travel because it transitioned. it is a handful in such conditions. Yes, the Frontier handles the slalom course sort of a truck, however a minimum of its sixty.6-mph speed places it at the lower finish of passenger-car performance territory. Its steering is healthier weighted, additional responsive, and combines with the truck's additional taut suspension and tires for quicker, crisper turn-in. The Frontier is comparatively sleek and comfy at freeway speeds, with sensible directional stability, whereas the Tacoma's suspension tackles bumps and potholes additional harshly-and additional in line with a 4x4 setup. At seventy mph or thus, the Toyota feels slightly darty, particularly in serious winds. Lacking progressive-rate springs common in full-size pickups, the unloaded Tacoma merely rides harshly on most roads.

But it's higher during a straight line. The TRD blower kicks in with a pleasant high-pitched whistle, not not like the sound of these buzzy World Rally Championship cars you see on Speedvision, and also the truck launches with a hearty squeal of its rear tires. It keeps on going till it hits fuel cutoff simply keep of one hundred mph (both trucks are speed-governed thanks to tire and driveshaft limitations). build no mistake: The Tacoma TRD isn't SVT Lightning-quick, however it's spectacular.

The Frontier is softer in progressing to its ruled limit. With a 10.3-sec 0-60-mph time, the supercharger brings the large four-door 4x4 Nissan up to hurry the approach the V-6 ought to on its own. Did we tend to hamstring the Frontier by insisting on an automatic-versus-automatic comparison? No. A Frontier SE we tend to tested in October 2000, with supercharged V-6, lighter rear drive, and five-speed, managed solely a nine.3-sec 0-60, 1.3 sec slower than the Tacoma TRD.

While that TRD supercharger makes the Tacoma the new rod of the 2 during a straight line, it surprisingly does not remodel the truck's temperament. Blower or no, the Tacoma is that the additional sensible and utilitarian of the 2. it's an upright stance and a toothy grille befitting a vintage '50s pickup. Also, our take a look at truck's grey interior was thus anonymous, it looked beige in sure lighting. On the and aspect, all controls and switches are ergonomically organized, and every one the panels have Toyota-quality match and end. however the inside door handles are in an odd place: With the seat pushed back the correct quantity for a 5-ft-11 driver, the left elbow rests uncomfortably within the hole created where the armrest ends and also the door handle begins. each trucks suffer from awkward-to-operate pop-up sunroofs, largely as a result of the sunshade panels you want to take away before gap. Weird science: Our Frontier had an optional Xterra-style roof rack that obscures the sun once you finally get the sunroof open.

Still, the restyled Frontier scores in concert of the most effective comebacks in recent memory. it is a hit with its young target market, who reply to the daring, massive- trying color-keyed nose, plastic overfenders, color-keyed mirrors, and massive lettering on the tailgate. The style-Nissan calls it "industrial"-successfully repeats within, with large, LED-lighted heating/ventilation/air-conditioning rotary knobs, black-and-silver dash panels, and people leather seats. The manly Tacoma sits over an in. taller than the Frontier and has five.8 in. additional wheelbase, that pays dividends in passenger legroom. Rear leg- and headroom is adequate in each trucks, however the Frontier suffers from a too-low rear-seat cushion, thus adults sitting in back can have their knees pointing up toward their chins. Neither truck proved terribly snug in back for 100-mile journeys, though the Toyota may be a bit additional palatable for hour-long drives to that favorite off-roading spot.

Once you are off the pavement, the Toyota performs markedly higher than the Nissan. each trucks slog through axle-deep mud and articulate fairly well through twisty dirt ways. however the Frontier had the foremost hassle creating it up steep, soft sand dunes. It spins its tires slightly on thick-sand surfaces, whereas the Tacoma feels well planted. Yes, it is the tires, however unless you intend to try to to countless offroading, you will like the ride and handling of the Frontier 4x4 with its car-style tires on town streets and highways.

So that is best for you? The Tacoma SR5 with the TRD supercharger may be a fine very little performance truck within the ancient sense of the genre. However, the TRD supercharger's hefty value isn't to be taken gently. On the opposite aspect, despite its power deficit, the Nissan Frontier S/C appeals higher to our largely urban driving lifestyle. It's far more snug on pothole-ridden town streets, gets around corners additional quickly and confidently, and positively goes well enough. what is additional, it's the a part of a muscular street truck, within and out. In our fashionable, image-is-everything world, one during which you get your pickup's interior professionally detailed rather than cleaning it out with a garden hose, that will be the foremost vital feature of all.

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