Thread: 1st Gen "Taco" on the "Frontier"!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Music City USA

    Default 1st Gen "Taco" on the "Frontier"!

    I believe we can all agree that that the later 1st Generation Toyota Tacoma's are a great platform to build a smaller and compact Expedition vehicle as there are LOT'S of suppliers of aftermarket, off-road and expedition equipment for these trucks.

    Having said all that "I" rarely see anyone building the 1st Generation Nissan Frontier trucks into expedition off-road trucks.

    I have my own guess's as to why however I would like to hear the real reasons from some seasoned pro's.

    So my question is WHY are there so few late 1st Generation Nissan Frontier truck builds????

    Remember "Drive Fast, Turn Heads, Break Hearts"!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Quebec, Canada
    Maybe because of the limit on aftermarket? Could also be Toyota's reputation for being extremely reliable, so if you're going out away from civilisation, you want one of the most reliable rigs you can get. The Frontier is a great truck and the D22 is a solid platform that's an evolution from the old Hardbody trucks (and Pathfinder). Maybe it's just the mentality of the buyers of the market. If you're not in a Toyota, you're not with the cool kids.
    2003 Nissan Xterra - 4x4, 5-Speed, Supercharged
    - 2" BL, SLR UCA, Revolvers, Military-Wrap Leafs & Rear Inboard Shocks
    - 33" MT/R Kevlar, DT Headers, Volant Intake & Terrano Snorkel
    - Dual Battery, 165amp Alternator, Titan Winch 10K, Heated Seats & Mirror
    2001 Nissan Frontier SE - Expedition/Off-Road Trailer Project
    - Titan Winch Roof Top Tent. Sunday Campers WA02 Awning
    - 75L Fuel, 60L Water, 20lb Propane
    - Dual Isolated Batteries, Wabasto AirTop 2000, Martin Hot Water Heater

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Seattle, WA.
    I find it odd as well because in the rest of the world, the D22 Navara is widely popular. But the Tacoma has the lions share of the market and user base which is why there is more aftermarket, parts, and trucks in general across the world. I'm a Nissan fanboy, but it was more out of price than anything because to get into a similar Toyota vehicle I feel you pay way more for what is essentially a similar truck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Billings, Montana
    I can shed some light on this I think, as a former D22 owner. The first gen Frontier we get here has a few pitfalls that the Toyota does not have.

    First among which is the aftermarket support, as mentioned. Calling it "limited" is being extremely generous. It's more or less nonexistent. Beyond that, a lot of the parts we can get are of lesser quality and less refined than the Toyota options. There's very few options for mods, whereas the Taco has a huge, almost unlimited aftermarket. So, from an overlander's perspective, that makes it difficult to work with.

    Second is the very reliable, but very slow and very thirsty VG33E. Yep, it's nearly impossible to break and will likely go 500,000 miles with only regular timing belt changes, but they're slow and incredibly inefficient. You'd rarely see above 17 or 18 highway mpg in the stock configuration, versus the Toyota 3.4 trucks getting better fuel efficiency. It's a good engine, but it's thirsty. Couple that with the smaller tank, and you run into range issues when you start adding weight, bigger tires, or roof racks.

    Another possibility is the interior. I was always annoyed that there were no storage spaces in mine. It was like it was tailor-made to drive you nuts. Tiny glovebox, minuscule center console, ridiculous door pockets. That was always annoying. I never felt like I had anywhere to put anything.

    That's my theory. They're really good little trucks, especially for a daily beater or runabout truck. But for long range travel, they have a few limitations. That all being said, I love them to death and I think they're great. The price over a comparable Tacoma alone is worth the look. My friend just bought one, and it's the best little truck. 1998, 4cyl, 5 speed, 4x4. Gets amazing mileage, and is the perfect little truck for doing little truck things. Plus apparently we bought it fresh out of a time capsule, because it had 63,500 miles on it. Yep, you read right. Only $5k for essentially new truck.
    "Lola" - 2005 Nissan Frontier NISMO CC/SB
    M205 Swap, 33" Grabber AT2s, ARB bullbar, Extended Radflos, OME leafs, Bilstein 5125s, rear e-locker, ARE cap, White Knuckle sliders, Shrockworks skidplate, Hella 4000s, Warn VR8k, ARB OBA, Snorkel, Indel B fridge, Inverter
    The mountains call, and I must go

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Toyota's have a certain cult following. When buying new, they are crazy expensive. This does lead to higher resale values and perceived quality. People naturally want to think they got something better because they paid more.
    Toyota's are awesome vehicles, however they are not without their pitfalls. Keep in mind that the Tacoma is not a Hilux. Look into the massive frame rot issues they have if you are looking at anything 2005-2010. The first gens are a good option as they do not rust away as badly. As Wreckdiver said the D22 is great platform as well, they had some issues of their own like the nock sensors and cracking manifolds. And the fuel economy is not be ignored. To me, you could pick up a good 1st gen Frontier and refresh a lot of parts for the price of 1st gen tacoma with twice the miles.
    On a recent trip I went on, I was the only non Toyota in the group. Talking with the guys around the campfire each night, the aftermarket for the Toyota's is staggering. Where with the Nissan we do not have that luxury. But if you can build a few things yourself or do your research you should be able to build a capable rig for Overlanding out of either. Ultimately I would look at and test drive both. When I bought my Frontier I was pretty set on a Tacoma and before that the GMC Canyon, neither of which ended up doing anything for me. Now every day I see my truck in the drive way I smile, and most days I giggle or jump with excitement. This Frontier just does something for me.
    3-10 - Ascent by David Wakely, on Flickr
    A picture of me in the line of Toyotas. If you look close you can see a few generations of Tacoma in the pic.
    A quick look on the Nashville auto trader does show that you can pick a Frontier for around $5k less then a comparable Tacoma. That and some of the early D40 or 2005+ Frontiers could be had for the same price
    Last edited by kootenay; 10-13-2017 at 07:15 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    This vid got uploaded yesterday, funny timing. I have to admit that I like the form factor of the D22 but I'm glad I have a D40. Too bad we didn't get 2.5TD D22's here in the states though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
    ready for an expodition
    2005 Nismo Frontier 4x4 CC

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