Comparison: 2017 Nissan Frontier vs 2017 Toyota Tacoma

Comparison: 2017 Nissan Frontier vs 2017 Toyota Tacoma

Staunton drivers who are in serious need of a pickup truck that won't lose its cool off road have just a few good options to choose from, and even fewer that are also a great value.  

The 2017Nissan Frontier and the 2017 Toyota Tacoma are top picks among drivers in need of cargo space, utility, and performance on unpaved paths. They share a lot of similarities, but the Nissan is clearly a better value - especially if you don't need many bells and whistles.

Read on to see how these two mid-size pickups compare:

Powertrain

Nissan Frontier

The 2017 Frontier comes in four trims: S (King Cab), SV, (King or Crew Cab), Pro-4X (King or Crew Cab), and the SL (Crew Cab). The base engine is a 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder that makes 152 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque. Upper trims feature a 4.0-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 that churns out 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. All but the base model come available with all-wheel drive and have 5-speed automatic transmission, except the Pro-4X (4X4), which has a 6-speed manual transmission. 

Toyota Tacoma

The 2017 Tacoma comes in six trims: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, and TRD Pro. The base engine is a 2.7-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder that makes 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. Upper trims are available with a 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine that makes 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. The Tacoma comes available with all-wheel drive with 5-speed manual transmission, and has standard 6-speed automatic transmission on all other models.

Utility

Nissan Frontier

The Frontier's 4-cylinder model can tow up to 3,750 pounds, while the V6 can haul up to 6,710 pounds. To support the Frontier's off-road capabilities, it's equipped with an independent double-wishbone front suspension, overslung multi-leaf rear suspension with solid axle, Bilstein off-road performance shock absorbers, front stabilizer bar, and engine-speed-sensitive power steering. It's also available with a switch-operated two-speed transfer case, electronic locking rear differential, hill descent control, and hill start assist.

The Frontier also comes with Nissan's innovative Utili-Track System to securely hold equipment in the bed when in transit. It includes four cleats that can lock into five channels, giving you unmatched versatility to secure lumber, tools, furniture, and pretty much anything that will fit in the back. It also has a spray-on bedliner for a skid-free surface, and a number of accessories that let you make the most of your cargo space.

Toyota Tacoma

The Tacoma's base engine can tow up to 3,500 pounds and the V6 can haul up to 6,500, giving the Frontier a slight edge. Rear wheel drive models have a limited-slip differential, while all models are available with part-time 4WD with electronically controlled transfer case and automatic limited-slip differential. The Tacoma features a coil-spring double-wishbone front suspension and stabilizer bar and a leaf spring rear suspension with staggered outboard-mounted gas shock absorbers.

The Tacoma - especially TRD models - come available with a wide variety of truck bed accessories, but no equivalent to the Utili-Track System. Plus, TRD models easily add thousands to the MSRP, so you'll need to consider whether the extras are worth the cost.

Pricing

Nissan Frontier

Starting at $18,390 MSRP

Toyota Tacoma

Starting at $24,320 MSRP