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In the realm of midsize trucks, the 2018 Toyota Tacoma and 2018 Nissan Frontier stand as notable contenders. For budget-conscious consumers seeking a reliable pickup in the $25,000 range, these used Tacoma and Frontier years are solid choices. The following is a detailed 2018 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2018 Nissan Frontier comparison to help used-truck shoppers make an informed decision. 

2018 Toyota Tacoma2018 Nissan Frontier
Average Used Price$25,000–$35,000$20,000–$30,000
Engine Types + Sizes2.7-liter 4-cylinder; 3.5-liter V62.5-liter 4-cylinder; 4.0-liter V6
Horsepower + Torque159 hp +180 lb-ft; 278 hp + 265 lb-ft152 hp + 171 lb-ft; 261 hp + 281 lb-ft
Transmission + Drivetrain6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, or 6-speed automatic with manual shift mode + RWD or 4WD5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, or 5-speed automatic + RWD or 4WD
0–60 Acceleration + Top Speed7–9 seconds + 115–130 mph
(varies by powertrain)
7–9 seconds + 110–120 mph (varies by powertrain)
Fuel Efficiency 18–19/22–24 mpg city/highway15–19/21–23 mpg city/highway
Payload + Towing1,155–1,620 lbs + 3,500–6,800 lbs900 to 1,460 lbs + 3,500–6,710 lbs

2018 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2018 Nissan Frontier: Driving and performance

You can buy cheap trucks like this Toyota Tacoma in Florida
2018 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

The 2018 Tacoma and 2018 Frontier deliver distinct driving and performance experiences. The Tacoma impresses with a refined ride and responsive steering, making it a comfortable daily driver. Its 3.5-liter V6 engine offers robust acceleration and ample power for off-road adventures.

Meanwhile, Frontier, though capable, leans more toward traditional truck characteristics. Its 4.0-liter V6 delivers solid torque, making it proficient for towing. Off-road enthusiasts might prefer the Tacoma’s TRD Pro trim for its exceptional trail-going capabilities.

2018 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2018 Nissan Frontier: Interior and tech

2018 Nissan Frontier interior
2018 Nissan Frontier | Nissan Motor Corporation

In comparing the Tacoma and Frontier in terms of interior and tech, both offer functional cabins. The Tacoma boasts a modern interior with user-friendly controls and comfortable seating. Higher trims provide more tech features, including the Entune infotainment system with a touchscreen display.

However, the Frontier’s interior feels more dated and basic. Though it’s practical, it lacks the Tacoma’s refinement. The Frontier’s tech features are somewhat limited, with a basic infotainment system that falls behind Toyota’s.

2018 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2018 Nissan Frontier: Trim levels and features

Blue 2018 Toyota Tacoma out in the desert
2018 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

The Tacoma and Frontier offer a range of trim levels to suit diverse preferences. The 2018 Tacoma lineup includes SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, and TRD Pro. Each trim provides a unique blend of features, with the TRD Pro standing out for its exceptional off-road capabilities.

On the other hand, the 2018 Frontier has S, SV, Desert Runner, SL, and Pro-4X trims. While the Frontier offers good value, it lacks the upscale options in the 2018 Tacoma, especially regarding advanced tech and interior refinement.

Which used midsize truck is the right fit for you?

In this 2018 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2018 Nissan Frontier comparison, both midsize trucks have strengths and weaknesses.

The Tacoma excels in refinement, tech, and a broad trim range, making it an attractive choice for daily drivers and off-road enthusiasts. J.D. Power gave it a cumulative score of 78 out of 100. Its biggest strength is its “best” resale value rating of 91/100. That’s reflected in the Tacoma’s higher average used price than the Frontier.

Meanwhile, the Frontier offers solid value and workhorse performance. J.D. Power gave it a cumulative score of 79. Its strengths are its “great” quality, reliability, and resale value.

In J.D. Power’s rankings for that model year, the 2018 Tacoma places third after the first-place Honda Ridgeline and the tied-for-second GMC Canyon and Frontier.

Regardless of the used car you choose, obtain a vehicle history report and have a trusted mechanic perform an inspection to uncover potential problems before purchasing. Also, prices will vary depending on trim level, mileage, overall condition, and location.