2023 Nissan Frontier vs 2023 Toyota Tacoma

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  • 2023 Nissan Frontier

    Starting at

    $29,570[a]

    2023 Toyota Tacoma

    A white 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport is angled left.

    Starting at

    $28,600

    310Horsepower (hp)159
    281Torque (lb-ft)180
    6,690Max. Towing (lbs)6,800

    The midsize truck space is filled with exciting models from various manufacturers, with the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma being two standout pickups. These highly popular trucks represent some of the best that the smaller truck segment has to offer, and they bring with them some great features for those looking to purchase a midsize pickup. But between the 2023 Nissan Frontier vs 2023 Toyota Tacoma, which one do you go with? Well, when it comes to performance, capabilities, and technology, the easy answer is the Frontier. But why is that? Well, we'll break down the differences in this comparison, starting with what's new for both trucks for 2023.

    When it comes to the Toyota Tacoma, it's the final model year of the third generation, and Toyota decided to focus on offering a limited number of features for the new model. This includes two new appearance packages in the form of the SR5 SX Package and the Chrome Package, as well as some standard convenience features added to upper-end trims. Two new colors are also available for the model year for select models, including Solar Octane and Electric Lime. You can get the 2023 Toyota Tacoma in seven different trim formats, which start with the SR, the SR5, the TRD Sport, the TRD Off-Road, the Limited, the Trail Special Edition, and finally, the TRD Pro.

    For 2023, the Nissan Frontier offers a modest amount of new features to the slate, upping many of the standard features and adding a new package to the slate as well. The headlining feature is the all-new Midnight Edition package available for the SV trim. The blacked-out package gives you an LED lighting array consisting of LED fog lamps, headlamps, and taillights, as well as 17-inch black painted alloy wheels, black bumpers, a black grille and mirrors, and black accents for the interior cab. The SV Convenience Package is also now standard equipment for the SV, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard on the PRO-X and PRO-4X trims. You can get the 2023 Frontier in five different trims, including the S, SV, Midnight Edition, PRO-X, and the PRO-4X.

  • Performance

    A grey 2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x is shown from the front while driving down a hill.

    The midsize pickup truck segment differs greatly from the full-size segment when it comes to power output and giving truck shoppers a lot to sink their teeth into. The 2023 Nissan Frontier and 2023 Toyota Tacoma both have their own unique offerings and while the Tacoma has more options, it offers less power overall than the Frontier. The Frontier, meanwhile, is more about quality over quantity.

    The Frontier's Standard 3.8-Liter V6 Engine

    With the 2023 Frontier, you have a truck that comes with a 3.8-liter V6, and it manages to deliver 310 hp at 281 lb-ft of torque. The powertrain is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission and is available in two different drivetrain configurations: rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. It's a powerful midsize option within the segment and clearly provides better out-of-the-box specs compared to the Toyota Tacoma.

    With the Tacoma's Engine Choices, More Doesn't Mean Better

    By comparison, the 2023 Tacoma has two different powertrain options in two different drivetrain configurations, including rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. You can get the Tacoma in either a 2.7-liter inline 4-cylinder that manages 159 hp at 180 lb-ft of torque or a 3.5-liter V6 that manages 278 hp at 265 lb-ft of torque. The 4-cylinder is only available as a 6-speed automatic, but the V6 can pair the engine with a 6-speed manual transmission.

    Of course, the Frontier offers better horsepower and torque than the Tacoma. There is just over a 10% difference in favor of the Frontier regarding horsepower and almost a 6% difference in favor of the Frontier regarding torque output. So overall, you just get better performance output from Nissan's midsize truck. That's not to mention that you have slightly better fuel economy with the Frontier as well when it comes to traveling on the highway. The Tacoma's fuel economy tops out at 23 MPG on the highway, while the Frontier tops out at 24 MPG on the highway. So you get more travel and more power out of the Frontier by comparison.

  • Exterior

    The capabilities of a pickup truck are absolutely essential, and the right kind of capabilities can change how durable and functional the truck is. The Frontier and Tacoma both offer good towing and payload capabilities within their segment, but when it comes to off-road functionality and rugged capabilities, the Frontier gets the leg up in this segment. Both trucks offer off-road capable trims, but the Frontier's PRO-X and PRO-4X take those features to the next level.

    Ground Clearance

    First and foremost, the Frontier has better ground clearance, which is essential for traveling off the beaten path and getting over rocks, muddy trails, and obstacle-ridden pathways. The Frontier tops out with a maximum ground clearance of 9.8 inches. Compare that to the Toyota Tacoma's 9.4 inches of ground clearance, and you can see that you get slightly more height on the Frontier, which is great for when you want that extra leeway when traveling over uneven terrain or dealing with a heavy load and compensating for squat.

    Lighting Options

    You can also access more LED lighting options with the 2023 Frontier versus the 2023 Tacoma. You get LED headlights standard on the PRO-X and PRO-4X. With the Tacoma, the LED headlights, fog lamps, and daytime running lights are only standard on the Limited and TRD Pro trims and not even optional for the other trims. Meanwhile, the Frontier comes standard with LED taillamps across every single model, and every model is also available with High Beam Assist and automatic headlights. You also get standard overhead cargo bed lights for the Frontier, so you can see what you're loading into and out of the bed even when the lighting is poor.

  • Technology

    The black interior of a 2023 Nissan Frontier is shown from the passenger seat.

    A big part of today's vehicles is having a tech-rich interior with lots of safety features present. The Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier both come with a great slate of tech features that not only keep you safe through the Toyota Safety Sense and Nissan Safety Shield 360 suites but also provide you with great infotainment and vehicle information as well. In the Frontier versus Tacoma comparison, they're nearly neck-to-neck regarding the tech roll-out offered by both automakers, but the Nissan Frontier does manage to slip ahead in a few key areas of the tech race.

    Connectivity

    When it comes to digital driver displays and HD touchscreens, both offer multiple display screens for users to interact with. However, in both cases, the Nissan Frontier excels in offering larger and clearer screens compared to the Toyota Tacoma. The Tacoma comes with a 4.2-inch digital Multi-Information Display and an accompanying 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, along with Bluetooth connectivity and voice pass-through commands.

    Alternatively, the Nissan Frontier comes standard with a 7-inch Advanced Drive-Assist Display, which is implemented across every trim. In addition to that, the Frontier has an available 9-inch HD touchscreen for accessing your media with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with Bluetooth wireless connectivity, voice commands, and standard SiriusXM Satellite Radio support.

    The Frontier Offers More Tech Options

    Every Frontier model comes standard with voice recognition and the Siri Eyes-Free technology, so you can access infotainment features without ever having to look down or take your eyes off the road. There is the availability of advanced navigation support for the Tacoma, which is part of the infotainment suite that comes with the TRD Pro and the Limited.

    The Frontier does counter the Tacoma with the NissanConnect suite of features, such as the available Nissan Door-to-Door Navigation with Premium Traffic for finding the best routes to destinations and receiving live traffic updates with support for avoiding rush hour, congestion, or closed roads, giving you a lot of accessibility and reliability when it comes to traveling both in and out of the city. The improved infotainment stack on the Frontier gives you more access and easier access to the tech, which can help improve the value of the driving experience within the Nissan Frontier.

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