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While the GM and Ford midsize trucks were on hiatus from the North American auto market, the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma carried the torch. These two stalwarts battled furiously for dominance in this arena, with the Tacoma besting the Frontier more often than not. Could it be the 2023 version of the Nissan Frontier is a better midsize truck than the Toyota Tacoma? Let’s find out.

Does the 2023 Nissan Frontier cost less than the Toyota Tacoma?

Front angle view of Lunar Rock 2023 Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck
Lunar Rock 2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

If you desire to drive an affordable small truck, the Nissan Frontier has been that pickup for several years. With more trucks entering the midsize pickup market than ever before, the Frontier might not be your first choice, but maybe it should be.

The 2023 version of the Frontier offers a starting price of just over $29,000, which is a relative bargain in this class. The 2023 Toyota Tacoma undercuts the Nissan Frontier with a $27,250 starting price, but that’s for an extremely basic SR model.

Both trucks start at affordable price points, which means we’ve got to dig deeper.

Which midsize truck rides on a newer platform?

Until the 2022 model year, the Nissan Frontier was getting long in the tooth, but 2022 brought us a brand-new Frontier to drive and enjoy. Unfortunately, the Toyota Tacoma isn’t scheduled for a new generation until 2024. This means there are two years for the Frontier to be a more modern truck than the Tacoma.

Is the 2023 Toyota Tacoma worth more for off-roading than the Nissan Frontier?

A 2023 Nissan Frontier mid-size truck sits in a field, it may have a recall.
2023 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X | Nissan

The off-road trims of these two trucks are the Tacoma TRD Pro and Frontier Pro-4X. The TRD Pro starts at $47,800, while the Pro-4X begins at $38,720. The Toyota off-road truck has more standard equipment, but is it worth the difference of $10,000? That’s a question you’ll need to answer.

Could the 2023 Nissan Frontier with the Midnight Package be the right truck?

The Midnight Package of the 2023 Frontier is available on the SV Crew Cab models. This package gives you:

  • Black-painted 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Black outside mirrors
  • Exterior badging finished in black
  • A black grille
  • LED fog lights, headlights, taillights
  • Interior black elements

The added drama of this package turns the base Frontier into a more attractive and exciting truck.

Toyota has a special package for the Tacoma

Front angle view of new orange 2023 Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck, highlighting how much a fully loaded one costs
2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma offers the SX Package filled with blacked-out features for the SR or SR5 models. This is a comparable package to what you find in the Frontier, but the Nissan gives you interior elements to offer the black theme throughout the truck.

Which midsize truck is more powerful?

The top power level for the 2023 Nissan Frontier gives you a 3.8-liter V6 engine that delivers 310 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. This is where the Frontier has a true upper hand. The 3.5-liter V6 engine in the 2023 Toyota Tacoma only offers 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque.

Is the Frontier better than the Tacoma?

Front angle view of Tactical Green Metallic 2023 Nissan Frontier midsize pickup truck
Tactical Green Metallic 2023 Nissan Frontier | Nissan

Better might be subjective, but if you want a more affordable off-road truck with more power, the 2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X is a better choice than the 2023 Toyota Tacoma. If you want dark features, the Midnight Edition has more for you than the SX package. When you want the midsize pickup that rides on the most modern platform, the Frontier is newer than the Tacoma, for now.

Next, check out how electric trucks can replenish the power grid, or watch the 2023 Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier go head-to-head in this video below:


The 1 Reason Toyota Will Never Make a Bigger Tacoma