2023 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2023 Nissan Frontier: 1 Truck Is More Affordable Up-Front and Long-Term
2023 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2023 Nissan Frontier highlights:
- The Tacoma has a lower five-year cost to own
- The Frontier is more affordable in terms of insurance and maintenance
- Toyota Tacoma models are the most popular in the midsize truck market
While other automakers left the midsize pickup truck market for dead, Toyota and Nissan carried on with two incredible trucks. Several years removed from the return of GM, Ford, and Honda midsize pickups, the 2023 Toyota Tacoma and 2023 Nissan Frontier continue to battle for supremacy in this truck class.
2023 Toyota Tacoma vs. Nissan Frontier: Which truck has the better starting price?
The starting price doesn’t always tell the story, but it’s a good place to begin. Edmunds tells us the Toyota Tacoma is a little more affordable out the gate, with a starting price of $28,600 for the base SR Access Cab model, while the Frontier costs $29,570 to get into the base S model with the King Cab build. The nearly identical starting prices make choosing much more difficult for most consumers.
At the top trim levels, the 2023 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X Crew Cab starts at $35,720, while the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro starts at $47,185. This provides a much wider price gap between these two midsize trucks.
2023 Toyota Tacoma vs. Nissan Frontier: Which truck is more affordable long-term?
Over the course of five years, the cost of ownership creates an even wider gap than the starting prices of these two midsize pickup trucks. The estimated 5-Year Ownership Costs are $3,500 lower for the Tacoma than for the Frontier. Edmunds estimates a true cost to own the Tacoma at $42,473, while the Nissan Frontier costs $45,943 over the same five-year period.
The breakdown of these ownership costs is as follows:
|2023 Toyota Tacoma||2023 Nissan Frontier|
|True Cost to Own||$42,473||$45,943|
|Average Cost Per Mile||$0.57||$0.61|
|Taxes & Fees||$2,640||$2,805|
Does this mean the 2023 Toyota Tacoma is the better choice?
From a value standpoint, the base model of the Toyota Tacoma beats the base Nissan Frontier in every area except insurance and maintenance costs.
That said, the Frontier starts with a standard V6 engine that gives drivers 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. The base model of the Tacoma has a four-cylinder engine providing only 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. The Nissan Frontier uses a nine-speed automatic transmission, while the Toyota Tacoma has a six-speed version. These two trucks are matched in terms of fuel mileage but deliver different city/highway figures.
These two midsize trucks offer several trim levels with various equipment levels, including an off-road trim of each truck. For the Tacoma that is the TRD Pro model, while the Frontier has the Pro-4X trim with the off-road equipment desired. When moving up to higher Tacoma trims, a 3.5-liter V6 engine powers this Toyota truck, but every Frontier trim uses the same powertrain.
Consumers who stick to the base model of either truck will find more value in the Tacoma but more power and capability in the base version of the Frontier. Higher trims lean everything toward the Tacoma with the V6 engine and more impressive off-road features.