Trucks… Americans LOVE ‘em more than beer-battered pizza. We simply can’t get enough of these versatile rigs.
And what’s not to adore? They offer rugged styling, go-almost-anywhere capability and open beds to carry messy loads of Lord-knows-what. For these reasons and more, one of the most popular on the market today is Toyota’s rough-and-ready Tacoma.
This midsize pickup has been the segment’s best-seller for the past decade. It’s reliable, reasonably affordable and proven to work… HARD.
The Tacoma offers a base four-cylinder engine but you’ll want to avoid this asthmatic unit and opt for the available V6. At 3.5-liters it delivers a smooth and responsive 278 horses. A pair of six-speed transmissions are also on the menu, an automatic and a manual (THANK YOU, TOYOTA!).
Shifting gears, so to speak, and focusing on the Nissan, it also offers two engines: a base four-banger and an up-level V6. The latter displaces 4.0-liters and delivers 261 horses with 281 lb-ft of torque, 16 more units of twist than provided by the Tacoma’s six-shooter.
Frontiers can be had with a five-speed automatic transmission or one of two different manuals.
When equipped with four-wheel drive and a stick-shift these trucks are remarkably similar, averaging 18 miles per gallon each. The Toyota has a one-MPG edge in city driving, stickering at 17, while the Nissan beats it by one on the highway at 21.
Which of these midsize Japanese trucks is better? Which one would YOU rather own? Well, compare them directly right here for more information and don’t forget to vote in our poll!