Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier

Modern, sporty, and brimming with off-road capability, these are just a few ways to describe the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. While each midsize pickup supplies a nice balance of comfort and rough and tumble personality, which is the ideal choice for your lifestyle?

To help answer this question, the team at Faulkner Toyota Harrisburg created this Toyota Tacoma vs. Nissan Frontier comparison. Inside, you can learn exactly how the Tacoma and Frontier stack up in terms of performance, capability, and standard and available technologies.

Ready to see which midsize pickup reigns supreme? Let’s go!

Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier

Tacoma vs Frontier: Performance Specs

Supplying three distinct trim levels to suit your personal style, the Toyota Tacoma SR, TRD Off-Road, and Limited each come outfitted with a 3.5L direct-injection Atkinson cycle V6 engine. Using special Variable Valve Timing with intelligence, you’ll experience increased efficiency, all while enjoying 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque.

Whether picking up a yard of mulch across town or trekking down steep mountain paths, you’ll find its steering and braking remain solid. Shifting is practically unnoticeable as well, thanks to the Tacoma model’s 6-speed ECT-i automatic transmission.

When it’s time to strike off the beaten path, the SR and Limited trims are standardly equipped with the Toyota 4WDemand part-time drivetrain with Automatic Limited-Slip Differential.

By comparison, the Nissan Frontier model’s base 2.5L 4-cylinder engine provides an agile, though noticeably weaker, 152 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque. Even its special 4.0L V6 engine inside its King Cab® Desert Runner® trim can’t match the performance of the Tacoma, delivering just 261 horsepower.

Relying on either a 5-speed manual or available 5-speed automatic transmission, the Frontier is best suited for on-road travel, though its Pro-4X® trim does provide decent 4×4 capability.

Tacoma vs Frontier: Towing and Off-Road Capability

Built with capability in mind, the Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier are meticulously engineered to tackle your active lifestyle. From hauling the boat down for a day on the river to loading up the crew for a long weekend camping trip, you’ll find each pickup can tow well over 6,000 pounds.

To help keep you steady when the trail gets rough or muddy, the 2019 Toyota Tacoma offers a full suite of smart off-road technologies. These include an available Active Traction Control system, TRD-tuned off-road suspension with Bilstein® shocks, and Multi-terrain Select and Crawl Control, which allows you to customize your driving capabilities from five different drive modes.

Meanwhile, the Nissan Frontier also uses Bilstein® off-road performance shock absorbers along with its own Hill Descent Control feature found on its Midnight Edition trim. While capable of navigating light trails and grassy fields, we suggest steering away from rougher terrain.

Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier

Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier: Interior Space

Of course, it’s not just about being able to go almost anywhere, it’s also about arriving there in comfort. Supplying spacious seating for up to six passengers, the Tacoma Double Cab and Frontier King Cab® each offer plenty of room to stretch out:

Interior Space

Toyota Tacoma (front/rear)

Nissan Frontier (front/rear)


39.7/38.3 in.

39.7/36.6 in.


42.9/32.6 in.

42.4/25.4 in.

Shoulder room

58.3/58.9 in.

58.3/54.9 in.

Hip Room

57.2/56.3 in

55.8/55.0 in.

Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier: Technology

In addition to the powerful equipment and impressive capabilities offered by the Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier, these models also provide quite a selection of top-notch technology features. Both pickups come standardly equipped with Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio along with available turn-by-turn navigation systems.

However, the Tacoma goes a few steps further with the addition of an available Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging pad. It also features an available 7-inch Entune™ Premium Audio with easy-to-use features including:

  • Siri® Eyes Free
  • HD Radio™
  • Predictive Traffic and Doppler Weather overlay
  • SiriusXM® technology

Likewise, the Frontier includes the NISSANCONNECT™ infotainment system with similar features, though you’ll notice it’s more limited on lower trims and harder to navigate.

Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier

Active Safety Features

No matter where the path leads, travel with the peace of mind knowing the Toyota Tacoma uses special driver-assist technologies to help keep you more alert of your surroundings.

With Toyota Safety Sense™ P, you’ll have access to a long list of useful features like Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, and Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection.

On the other hand, the Frontier lacks any of the features listed, though it does come standard with both Vehicle Dynamic and Traction Control systems for better steering while traveling through snowy or icy weather.

Toyota Tacoma vs Nissan Frontier: Which Pickup Is Right for You?

As you can see, in nearly every category we presented, the Toyota Tacoma makes the better option for drivers wanting a midsize pickup.

To see what else the 2019 Toyota Tacoma has to offer, we invite you to visit us at Faulkner Toyota Harrisburg!  Drivers living near Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Carlisle can call or go online to schedule a personalized appointment today! Contact our team today!

Faulkner Toyota Harrisburg 40.2547533, -76.8321522.