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mancat

Nissan Frontier opinions

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Does anyone here drive a 2005+ Nissan Frontier? I've been considering one as an upgrade from my TJ Wrangler - was going to trade up to a JKU last year, but ended up getting wife a newer car instead, and decided that the JKU was still a bit too small after testing a few out. Also after borrowing my dad's Silverado a few times I'm sort of hooked on the versatility of just having a damn bed in the back, finally.

 

I would be looking specifically at crew cab 4x4 models with the 4.0 V6 and auto tranny - have daily driven stick for 15+ years and pretty tired of it.

 

I would also look at Tacomas but they are insanely priced in my area. A comparable Frontier is about 2/3 the cost, and so far as I can tell they are about on par with reliability and capability.

 

Full size truck is out of the question for me. Not interested in looking at Dakotas, and although I sort of like the Colorado I rarely see any for sale.

Edited by mancat

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Had a 2008 4x4 crew cab frontier and loved it. Sold it only because I lost my job and it paid for me and my family to move back to Texas. The 6 speed sucked in northern Va area. Sucked gas like a madman...but never gave me a issue. Not once.

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I know you said 2005+, but thought I would chime in. I have an '03 with 90K on it. Crew cab, auto, 2wd, 4 1/2 foot bed I believe. It's a great little truck but wish it was 4wd. It does suck on gas mileage but that's ok. It's my summer truck as there is no way I could even get out of my driveway with it in the winters here in north Idaho. We went with a 2013 Titan 4x4 Pro 4x crew cab for winter driving and hauling.

 

My father in laws Frontier just died at 300k, but up until it did, it never gave him a problem.

Edited by pinetopfirefighter

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They are great! I have a 2005 nismo with the locking rear diff, they can go many places! Make sure it has had its radiator replaced, the oem units would fail, mix coolant and trans fluid and kill the trans, if its been replaced with updated unit then great, no problem there. Also be aware the 4.0 sometimes develops timing chain noise, some vehicles get it some dont, remedy is to replace timing chain, guides, and sprockets, mine are still ok and I have 124k. Other than that I havent had any issues whatsoever, I replaced radiator as soon as I bought it because I didnt know if it was original or not and have not heard any noises from chain. I must be lucky or something.

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Keep the Jeep or pick up a Colorado.

Edited by patriot
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Nissan has a LONG way to go before I would trust their engines.

A guy at work had the tailgate hinge snap off of his, and no, he wasn't loading the hinge. Pot metal. Nissan wouldn't cover it under warranty.

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Pay the extra get a Toyota.

 

Way better than nissan holds value, less headache, a little better mpg if it matters.

 

20+ yrs wrenching and have seen more issues with nissan than Toyota. Always choose Toyota over honda and nissan.

 

No I don't work for Toyota, but yes I do own two.

 

My sil works for nissan and I paid extra for Toyota instead of getting employee discount.

 

 

Edit to add:

I'd avoid Colorado especially if your talking first gen. Captured rotors, have seen these engines have valve train issues. Pulling heads usually means head bolts snap and require labor add on to drill and tap out which adds cost to head R&R.

 

2nd gen Colorado wait 3-5 yrs that's when most issues are being seen with any new model. Especially big 3.

Edited by garnaz
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Got to go with garnaz on this one. I bought my Tacoma new in 07 and all I've had to do is routine maintenance and a new set of tires in over 8 years. Any luck and I'll still be driving this thing when I'm in my 70's. 

 

BTW 4WD, V6, 6 speed manual with access cab.

 

I hear what you are saying about the extra money mancat but the difference is worth it.

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I'm getting pretty mixed results on the Nissan vs Toyota front. Lots of people that owned both and said they were either the same, or one was better than the other - which one that was seems random. The only constant seems to be the huge price premium on the Tacomas.

 

I also have really long legs and have been disappointed with the floor pan height on the Tacomas.

 

I am aware of the aux trans cooler issues, I would most likely bypass the radiator and install an external cooler with E-fan.

 

I like the Colorado, but they are a little smaller than the Frontier, and it seems dumb that they were never offered with the I6. I'll be honest, I'm just not a huge GM fan either.


I know you said 2005+, but thought I would chime in. I have an '03 with 90K on it. Crew cab, auto, 2wd, 4 1/2 foot bed I believe. It's a great little truck but wish it was 4wd. It does suck on gas mileage but that's ok. It's my summer truck as there is no way I could even get out of my driveway with it in the winters here in north Idaho. We went with a 2013 Titan 4x4 Pro 4x crew cab for winter driving and hauling.

 

My father in laws Frontier just died at 300k, but up until it did, it never gave him a problem.

 

I like those too but they are not very numerous in crew cab 4x4, and they have the smaller 3.3l V6 that delivers about the same MPG as the 4.0 with quite a bit less power. The crew cab is a must-have for the wife & son.

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Here is my honest opinion. If you are mechanically capable. Get a 1st Gen s10 on the cheap and for less then 8k tear it apart and toss a 350 in it with a 4l60 Trans and you'll get mid 20s on the highway if you can keep your foot out of it. Add anther 2k and step up to a LSX 5.3 or 6.0.

 

OK I'm biased, I love those little trucks.

 

I have a 83 longbox that's waiting for me to have time to do the swap. My 94 blazer will come after with a LSX.

Edited by montec
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Here is my honest opinion. If you are mechanically capable. Get a 1st Gen s10 on the cheap and for less then 8k tear it apart and toss a 350 in it with a 4l60 Trans and you'll get mid 20s on the highway if you can keep your foot out of it. Add anther 2k and step up to a LSX 5.3 or 6.0.

 

OK I'm biased, I love those little trucks.

 

I have a 83 longbox that's waiting for me to have time to do the swap. My 94 blazer will come after with a LSX.

 

This is going to be a DD truck that stays reasonably stock and will be occasionally driven by my wife.. So such a project does not fit the bill.

 

Besides my project will most likely end up being a Cherokee or Explorer as a trail rig, but again one that my wife can drive i.e. auto. Wife can't drive a stick worth a shit. I am selling off my old Explorer sport mild trail rig to my MIL in Montana, almost entirely because the wife can't drive it. 

Edited by mancat

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All vehicles will have their fanboys, Toyota's have their ups and downs and so do nissans and all other vehicles too, the toyota truck has a higher floor so you sit more car like, nissan has lower floor plan so more upright, toyota super expensive and holds value, nissan cheaper, has some issues to keep in mind but otherwise awsome truck, I like both but cant afford toyota. Also if you do decide to lift truck nissan, they are engineered with shorter front suspension travel, the front shock/spring combo is only 2/3 of the toyota lengh, thus giving it a harsher ride and less lift options. Toyota is long spring/shock assembly so travel is greater, and they can keep it slightly more plush feeling and lifting toyota is easier. Toyota already comes slightly higher than frontier because of that anyway so you wouldnt have to lift it.

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Toyota=Rotten Frame recalls.

Yeah, mine had that recall. I was there when the took to bed off. Inspection showed no signs of corrosion but I still got th entire frame recoated and a complimentary Ford F-350 super duty as a loaner while they did the job.

 

I don't mind when a company is proactive on possible problems.

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Another differing opinion which may be wrong.  Might be right also.  Why tie up all that capital in some new wheels?  How about consider instead a very old 1978 or so 3/4 ton Chevy or GMC 4x4 pickup?  Perhaps even a crew cab.  Larger turning circle.  Down here good runners can be had for under $3500 bucks.  Small block V8.  Granny 4 speed manual.  Divorced transfer case.  Front hubs.  Maybe a OEM type limited slip rear.  Open front.  Stock suspension.  Then consider a breaker point distributer and coil.  Carb.  Easy to work on.  Fairly non easy on gas.  With some skill will go almost anywhere.  Or ... have you considered a good horse?... but the pickup won't talk back to you.

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It's funny this thread came up.

 

I'm getting a new vehicle this year and have been doing a lot of comparing. From what I've learned, Nissan is the best priced, has the lowest cargo and tow rating, and has the worst rated fuel economy of all truck or SUV vehicles. That is a deal breaker for me at this point. A guy at work just got a Titan three months ago and said he has not gotten over 15 mpg yet, and usually around 13. Screw that!

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It's funny this thread came up.

 

I'm getting a new vehicle this year and have been doing a lot of comparing. From what I've learned, Nissan is the best priced, has the lowest cargo and tow rating, and has the worst rated fuel economy of all truck or SUV vehicles. That is a deal breaker for me at this point. A guy at work just got a Titan three months ago and said he has not gotten over 15 mpg yet, and usually around 13. Screw that!

....and I average ~19.5mpg on my 5.3L 4x4 extended cab Silverado.

 

Amazing.

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Toyota=Rotten Frame recalls.

For rust/corrosion prevention treatment.

 

Effected mainly east coast. Both my 04 toys no problem. But I'm in sw

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Another differing opinion which may be wrong.  Might be right also.  Why tie up all that capital in some new wheels?  How about consider instead a very old 1978 or so 3/4 ton Chevy or GMC 4x4 pickup?  Perhaps even a crew cab.  Larger turning circle.  Down here good runners can be had for under $3500 bucks.  Small block V8.  Granny 4 speed manual.  Divorced transfer case.  Front hubs.  Maybe a OEM type limited slip rear.  Open front.  Stock suspension.  Then consider a breaker point distributer and coil.  Carb.  Easy to work on.  Fairly non easy on gas.  With some skill will go almost anywhere.  Or ... have you considered a good horse?... but the pickup won't talk back to you.

 

No offense but this is exactly NOT what I'm looking for. I used to wheel a lot and wrench on older trucks, I still enjoy it, but I'm looking for a newer small/mid size crew cab as a DD. It must have LATCH points for child seats. It must be startable and drivable by my wife, who isn't a car person. It also needs to not be so old as to be embarrassing when I pick up clients at a job site.

 

I don't really enjoy driving my Wrangler any longer, and it's worth more than most of the 05+ trucks in this category, so I'm pretty much guaranteed a straight trade on it. It would be nice to be able to keep it, but I don't intend on taking out a loan here.

 

I have no desire to own a full size truck, either. I've spent enough time driving them and going hunting with family and friends that have them, to know that they don't fit into most trails and places that I take other rigs like my Explorer. A small/mid size truck like a Tacoma or Frontier will still fit in those places without worrying about damage or bottoming out.

 

I have less and less time to work on project trucks, I am looking to consolidate everything I need or want to do in a single vehicle.

 

Oh yueah.. The Toyota frame issues ARE real. We don't get much rust here, though.

 

qkrLR0h.jpg

Edited by mancat

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I bought a 2007 XE (4-cyl and 2 wheel drive) new and have been very happy with it. Only put about 70,000 light use miles on it but in the nearly 9 years I've had it, the only fix I've paid for was a leaking A/C line. There were a few minor issues I fixed myself like a leaking windshield washer tank and a stupid little plastic part that contacts the clutch interlock switch. Plus, the fuel level sending unit was replaced under warranty. I am still using the OEM tires and brake pads so it's been a very cost effective vehicle.My only real complaint is the lousy turning radius.  

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I bought mine new in 2008.  It had all of the features the comparable Toyota did, AND was way less expensive.  When I sold it, I got $14,500 cash for it.  Had just 47000 on it.  Could have got more, but didn't want to dicker.  I kept it for 5 years, and never had a single problem with it.  Would I have liked to have gotten a Toyota?  Yeap, but wasn't willing to pay the extra thousands and the rebates were 3 fold what Toyota was offering.  5 years of driving, and I only lost a little less then 5K.  If it hadn't been for the stick, I sure wish I still had it. 

 

Right now, I drive a 2002 Isuzu Trooper and absolutely love it.  Eats oil like a hooker eats $50 bills on payday, but not one leak or any smoke.  Comes with the territory with troopers.  Only paid $3850 for it 3.5 years ago, and have put 35K on it.  It is at 125,000 now, and plan on keeping it for another 125,000k. 

 

Nissan, Toyota, go where the best deal is.  That is my opinion. 

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Sounds like your valid to you arguments for a newer pickup could be turned around and placed on their heads.  My 14 year old grand daughter learned very quickly how to safety check, start, air up and drive an old 1978 10 yard dump truck.  Super 13 speed Fuller.  Jake.  No problems.  Now she wants to fly a Cessna.  What have I wrought?  Yikes!

 

Teach your wife how to drive.  Or have somebody else teach her.

 

Design and install your own kids seat mounts.  Probably a whole lot better that OEM stuff.  Out here in SW OR the older the better.  Keep it clean and waxed and even the movers and shakers smile.  Seems they drive the same old stuff.  One principal drives a 1976 Ford 3/4 ton 4x4.  First owner.  We are planning a tranny swap for a 6 speed.  Fun!

 

You already know how to work on stuff.  Think of the fun and money saved?

 

My failed feeble point here is with the various economic and political forecasts, does one really want to take on new fresh debt, or reduce capital needed elsewhere?  Just another way of looking at things.  Seems the newer the stuff, the more you MUST go to the dealership and get screwed.  Nothing rebuildable.  It must all be replaced.  Just me.  Respectfully.

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HB of CJ I am a firm believer that a young driver should have an older vehicle that they have to work on every now and then. Maybe less so for daughters, unless she is exceptionally mechanically inclined vs. the average teen girl, but still along the same lines. When I burned up my first clutch on my old Bronco II, I had so few tools that I ended up bench pressing the transmission out and back in on dad's garage floor. I didn't even buy a new clutch, just bought a lightly used disc & pressure plate set from a friend, and sanded the flywheel.

 

OTOH I'm at a point in my life where I really don't have time for fiddling around with older vehicles. I've been doing that ever since I got my license. I'm not talking about buying new either, or even losing any money - most likely going to be a straight trade.

 

As far as electronics go, that is what I do for a living, but in the marine world. Reading codes, pulling resistance & voltage values from questionable sensors, even hooking up an oscilloscope to read a sine wave from a hall effect sensor.. I would rather do any of that than rebuild a 4bbl carb or adjust points. I rarely have issues with EFI components on even my oldest EFI truck, a 91 Explorer.

Edited by mancat
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Father has a "10 Frontier 4x4 Crew Cab, around 50,000 miles. Been good vehicle maintenance wise, yet lower doors, sides, and tailgate got rust issues already.(inside out, under paint) Live in Kansas, so rust, really not normally an issue with newer vehicles. He bought new in "11, great deal on hold over pricing, Nissan dealer gave offer of cash or fix, basically replace all rusting panels and repaint. Be doors, rear, tailgate and side bed panels. Front fenders, cab and hood would be only original metal panels left. Haven't heard what option he is taking. He really likes the vehicle for no mech. issues.

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i looked at the frontiers for same reason, (cost vs taco) but didnt find a good price locally....also, seems like had some issues with the autos bleeding into transmission. so i wanted a stick...

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FWTW, I purchased a new Toyota Camry after being a faithful Honda Accord owner for many years. Honda utilizes a rubber timing belt vs Toyota using chain drive. What's up with that? Also, the Toyota was much quieter at the time we test drove it. They also do the same on the portable generators they build.

http://www.newsday.com/classifieds/cars/consumer-reports-best-and-worst-car-brands-in-2015-include-lexus-mazda-and-toyota-1.10387053

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Rice, Rice Baby!

 

If the big 3 would build an actual quality small/mid size pickup that met the requirements I want, I wouldn't be having this discussion.

 

Ford refused to build the 4-dr crew cab Ranger, thinking that it would kill F-150 sales. I like the Explorer Sport Trac, but the later model years switched to an IRS with poor ground clearance, and the 4.0 SOHC is known for developing timing chain tensioner issues.

 

I like the Colorado, but it's underpowered (no I6, only I5), and not interested in going back in time to the S-10, which is fairly hard to find in the 4-dr layout any how. I have to be honest I am really not a huge fan of GM interior build quality, materials, or layout at all - even if they are mechanically sound. I may force myself to look at a Colorado though just to say that I did.

 

Dodge Dakota is rife with mechanical reliability issues and horrible styling inside & out. Not my bag at all.

 

If I didn't have a family and just wanted a small 4x4 truck, I would already be driving a late model Ranger FX4.

Edited by mancat
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