While all other midsize trucks had left the market, the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier remained. These two workhorses carried the torch for this class awaiting other models to return. Today, we see midsize trucks from most major brands and a pair of compact trucks that have entered the fray. If it weren’t for these two, would those others exist?
|2022 Toyota Tacoma||2022 Nissan Frontier|
|Price Range||$26,500 to $46,000||$27,840 to $37,240|
|Engine Options||2.7-liter four-cylinder/3.5-liter V6||3.8-liter V6|
|Horsepower||159 horsepower/278 horsepower||310 horsepower|
|Torque||180 lb.-ft./265 lb.-ft.||281 lb.-ft.|
|Transmission||6-speed manual or automatic||9-speed automatic|
|MPG Rating||20/23 RWD, 19/22 AWD | 19/24 RWD, 18/22 AWD||18/24 2WD, 17/22 4WD|
The 2022 Toyota Tacoma wears a big crown
For many years, the best-selling midsize pickup truck has been the Tacoma. Even with the onslaught of other models, this Toyota continues to dominate the sales race. The long history of quality, dependability, and reliability play a huge role in keeping this truck at the top. Toyota boasts the Tacoma is configurable in thirty different ways, but you’re only going to need one configuration for the truck you drive.
The gauntlet is down, and the TRD Pro is at the top of the mountain. MotorTrend informs us this truck is the flagship off-roader in this class, and it continues to get better every year. This model has new aluminum upper control arms, improved rebound travel from the rear Fox internal bypass shocks, and a special color called Electric Lime.
Will you enjoy the drive in the Tacoma?
According to U.S. News and World Report, this Toyota truck is rated fifth in its class behind the Honda Ridgeline, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Ford Ranger. Even so, this truck has the off-road chops to make it fun to drive.
- Excellent list of standard features
- Useful infotainment system
- Off-road capabilities (especially in the TRD Pro model)
- Underpowered base engine
- Stiff suspension
- Tight seating
When you want a good off-road truck with lots of features, skip models with the base engine and experience the Toyota Tacoma. This truck is easy to love on the trails but could be hard to like when you bring it back on the roads.
The new generation welcomes the 2022 Nissan Frontier
Sixteen years is a long time for any truck to remain on the same platform, but that’s how long it’s been since we’ve seen a new build for the Frontier. Thankfully, the 2022 Nissan midsize truck isn’t decidedly larger than the previous model, but it does take things up a notch with better power and performance.
The Pro-4X model of the Frontier is the staple this truck must have in the lineup. Select this trim, and you’ll have the off-road goodies you want when you’re ready to tackle some trails and have some fun. The ride is better in the Nissan Frontier, thanks to the Bilstein monotube dampers and an electronic locking rear differential.
Will the Frontier climb the ranks?
The same publication rating the Tacoma stuck the Frontier at the bottom of the pack. This allows the two compact trucks to be ranked higher than the Nissan Frontier. This new model has a well-built cabin and comfortable seats, offering a smooth ride on the roads.
- Composed handling and smooth ride
- Impressive infotainment system
- Well-built cabin
- One powertrain option
- Low fuel mileage
To be fair, the Frontier is only at the back of the pack because it is new and has not had a full review or testing yet. If you want a truck that easily handles the trails and the road, the Nissan Frontier could be the ideal truck for you to drive.
Which torch-bearing midsize truck should you drive?
The popularity of the Toyota Tacoma is a compelling case. This truck is reliable, tough, configurable, and useful on and off the roads. The new Nissan Frontier gives us a much better truck than before while offering excellent off-road capabilities in the PRO-4X. The Nissan is the right choice if you’re looking for comfort and capability but if you want better fuel mileage and more options, go with the Toyota.