Opinions Solicited......Another Head Scratching Mid Size Truck Choice Thread

leeleatherwood

Active member
Wow! Thx. That’s quite an impressive off road performance endorsement. Seriously!

Initially, the tired but true Frontier was where I was headed. In fact I was trying to get a deal on a nice, lightly used king cab ProX from someone who listed it here. But it had a too heavy (FWC?) full camper on it (which I didn’t wan) and he wanted to sell it as a package only. I also felt that I did not nee all the fancy, pricey electronics of the new other makes. Give me basically power doors and windows, cruise control and a/c, and I’m good.

Anyway, then I started to read about the Frontier’s “marginal“ crash ratings. Even though those ratings certainly were better than the ones for my older 16 year old full size K2500, I decided that, heck if I was going to lay out a big hunk of cash for a newer or brand new rig, it would be pretty stupid to not try to buy the safest rated rig (damn all you distracted drivers! 💀😌).

Meh, just put a bumper from Hefty Fab and some rocksliders with all that money you will save on the initial purchase price plus the amount you will save in repair costs because of the years of reliability it has over the competition.

I feel much safer smashing into things all armored up... at least in my head anyways. :p
 

leeleatherwood

Active member
5 speed tranny may be getting long in the tooth, but the gear ratios are pretty decent, especially 1st gear. It's a good tranny, shifts very strong and is very reliable.

The VQ40 engine is amazing, it's not a Turd like Toyota engines.
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
The old Rangers were easy to get into being boxy.
The new one has the lowered aerodynamic roof as is the trend.
Being 6' you might sit in all of them.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
WRT the Frontier crash ratings, I don't think that's necessarily a fair comparison. The Frontier is a 15 year old design, so it's only "bad" in the sense that over the past 15 years others have gotten BETTER.

I don't recall people considering the Frontier to be a death trap 15 years ago and it's still the same truck, for the most part. The fact that newer trucks are better doesn't mean the Frontier is bad, it's just not "AS GOOD."

My step son has (I think) an '08 Frontier, it's his first 4x4 and he likes it. Poor gas mileage, but if the Frontier is $10k less than the nearest competition, I'd say $10k buys a LOT of fuel.

As a former Toyota Kool-Aid drinker I'd personally avoid the Tacoma. Not that it's a bad truck, but IMO it's just not good enough to justify the sky-high price tag (I also remain skeptical of the plastic bed.) I think Toyota's been resting on their laurels for too long and they seem to have adopted the "we're number 1 so we don't have to care" attitude that GM used to have back in the 70's and 80's.

Here in CO the Tacoma has become the stereotypical "Mini Bro Dozer" and you see dozens of them driving around looking like an ARB catalog threw up all over them: Big winch bumpers, racks with RotoPax cans and hi-lift jacks bolted on, festooned with LED light bars, etc, and all headed to the same office parks and light rail stations.
 
Last edited:

docwatson

Adventurer
The Rangers I've been seeing around town are starting to grow on me.

I wonder if the weight from the popup shell wouldn't soften the feel of the suspension a bit. I would put it between the Frontier and the Ranger.
 

Smileyshaun

Observer
Have you test driven any of these yet ? You might be surprised how big some new midsize rigs feel they are probably almost the same size as your 03 Chevy . Except for the frontier it’s still what I would consider a midsize and that 4.0 paired up with the manual 6speed is a very nice combo .
Remember what’s a comfortable ride for Chunky 5’7 person might be miserable for a slender 6’3 driver and vise versa, best advice is to get out there and test drive some rigs to see what fits you best .
 

Todd n Natalie

OverCamper
Just out of curiosity would you look at a Colorado Z71 instead of a ZR2? Maybe better payload with the Z71 and save some dough.
 

AbleGuy

Officious Intermeddler
The Rangers I've been seeing around town are starting to grow on me.

I wonder if the weight from the popup shell wouldn't soften the feel of the suspension a bit. I would put it between the Frontier and the Ranger.
So yeah, one wonders....but from what I’ve read and seen (YouTube) it seems that the bigger problem with the Ranger‘s ride supposedly is not with it being too stiff (I wouldn’t mind that...my hd 3/4 ton often bucks like a pissed off bee stung mule when empty and I go over the slightest of bumps....and I actually love that!)...but the complained of issue is the lurching, swaying, and overly mushy-ness of the ride. These complaints seem to be, that because they engineers tried to make the ride more smoothly “car like,” they wound up way overshooting the mark.

As far as a stiffer ride (as my wonderful, sweet wife might say)....bring it on! 😁
.
 
Last edited:

AbleGuy

Officious Intermeddler
WRT the Frontier crash ratings, I don't think that's necessarily a fair comparison. The Frontier is a 15 year old design, so it's only "bad" in the sense that over the past 15 years others have gotten BETTER.

I don't recall people considering the Frontier to be a death trap 15 years ago and it's still the same truck, for the most part. The fact that newer trucks are better doesn't mean the Frontier is bad, it's just not "AS GOOD."
You're probably right. Where the older designed Frontier is getting dinged today is with the newer offset crash ratings (the ones we’re most likely to have these days due to all of the idiot, snap chatting distracted drivers on the road). To be fair, they didn’t even use these offset tests when this old gal was originally designed, so scoring well in those tests wasn’t on Nissan’s radar. So, comparing the offset crash results of the Frontier to newer designed rigs is somewhat unfair....but still, the newer rigs are rated much safer.

FWIW...sadly, annually in the US we now kill more people on the road with distracted driving than with DUI caused crashes. I’m almost old enough to not care about the risk, but I have a much younger wife who I’m very protective of.
 

al_burpe

Observer
I owned a 2007 Frontier with the Nismo package (now Pro4x) from 2015 to 2018. It had 100,000 when I bought it and sold it with 126,000. The things that went wrong when I owned it are the following:

1. Transmission went out on it. This was a common problem from 2005 to around 2010. I believe later models have that fixed.
2. Fuel sensors went out. This was a $500 dollar repair.
3. The cruise control stopped working. There is a spring in the steering column that goes out. I just lived with this not working.
4. The paint started peeling in multiple places. No good fix for this unless you want to repaint the vehicle.
5. The air bag light on the dash would come on every 6 months or so. This is a common Nissan problem, and there is combination of turning the vehicle on and off that clears this.

My mileage when driving was around 16 combined. My wife would get closer to 17-18. Overall, I liked the truck. I never felt like it was underpowered. It drove nicely off road. I did think mine was a bit of a lemon, but it never left me stranded. Even the transmission issue gave me enough warning to drive it to the shop. Not sure how many issues that I had in mine were corrected on later years and wouldn't be an issue on a newer model.
 

phsycle

Adventurer
I don't get the "designed in the past, so today's tests are unfair" argument. Seat belts, head rests, airbags, traction control, ABS were all new innovations at one time, which made the vehicle much safer. Who in the right mind would not consider advancements in safety when shopping for a new vehicle TODAY? :rolleyes:
 

huachuca

Adventurer
I've had two Tacomas, 05 and 12, both 4WD TRD DC's with auto, and put close to 200k on each - much of that towing a 3,500# camper around the country. Both were relatively troublefree. I'd probably still be with Toyota had the sales staff at every dealership I visited not pissed me off enough to look for alternatives. Those who mentioned complacency are spot on.

After a good bit of research and lots of test drives (Tacoma, Gladiator, Ranger and Colorado), I went with the ZR2. GM did have a transmission issue but that appears to have been solved with software mods and changes to a different spec fluid. In 6K miles, I haven't noticed any problems. The V6 and eight speed auto in the Colorado felt much smoother and more powerful than anything else I drove - especially the Tacoma. Gas mileage, towing and non-towing, is up 20-25% and its much more comfortable on longer trips. Can't put my finger on it but the Chevy is more just fun to drive. The DSSV shocks and suspension are amazing on and off-road. Things I miss from the Tacoma - the storage pockets in the bed, the storage behind the rear seat and the power inverter. And the garage door opener - why GM cheaped out and doesn't include this is beyond me.
 

(none)

Adventurer
I don't get the "designed in the past, so today's tests are unfair" argument. Seat belts, head rests, airbags, traction control, ABS were all new innovations at one time, which made the vehicle much safer. Who in the right mind would not consider advancements in safety when shopping for a new vehicle TODAY? :rolleyes:
Part of that is realizing where the information comes from. Which tests is the Frontier performing poorly on and how how have those tests changed over time? As noted, it's probably the small overlap test which is relatively new. Automakers have been working around to get better results just in this test by fitting extra reinforcement in the front corner of the vehicles. Since the test was only initially performed driver's side to driver's side (simulating collided on a narrow road), many manufacturers only added these supports to the driver's side. Vehicles appeared better on the test, everyone was happy. Just hope that overlap doesn't happen on the passenger side, because then it would be just as before. Hell, Ford got caught only adding the overlap piece to their crew cabs and not the super and regular cabs. Then, you search to see that many people remove this support when they add larger tires.

I'm just saying the ratings only show so much, take them with a grain of salt.


 

Forum statistics

Threads
179,186
Messages
2,793,063
Members
214,174
Latest member
Sprock
Top