The medium-duty 2019 Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma add utility and adventure to your drive without putting a dent in your savings. Which of these capable trucks is your best bet? Our comparison guide is here to help you mull over the facts.
Most Reasonable MSRP: 2019 Nissan Frontier
The Frontier is a favorite among practical-minded truck drivers. With a starting MSRP of just $18,990, it'll help you save thousands on a capable performance. Compare it to the 2019 Toyota Tacoma, which starts at $25,550.
Favorite Daily Driver: 2019 Nissan Frontier
The Frontier offers two engines and two powertrains, leaving drivers to choose the daily drive they prefer. Unlike the Tacoma, the Frontier offers a manual transmission, supplying driving enthusiasts with old-school control over performance. If you prefer a smoother, more carefree experience in rush-hour traffic, choose the Frontier's automatic transmission. Both transmission options are available for the Frontier's two engines options. Choose the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for optimal fuel economy and the 4.0-liter six-cylinder for extra pulling power.
Like the Frontier, the Tacoma comes standard with a thrifty four-cylinder engine and offers a more powerful V6 engine. Choose the latter for enhanced towing and hauling performance. Unfortunately, Toyota discontinued the Tacoma's manual transmission for 2018, effectively giving drivers one less powertrain option.
Best Off-Road Performance: 2019 Nissan Frontier
Optional four-wheel drive is available for every Frontier trim model, potentially giving you a great deal on a rugged ride. If you plan to forage deep into the wilderness, check out the Frontier's two off-road-ready trim models, the Desert Runner and the PRO-4X.
The Desert Runner comes standard with two-wheel drive, as it was designed to travel over harder terrain. However, it helps you scourge the underbrush with special off-road tires and high-performance shock absorbers. For greater traction on soft surfaces - like mud and snow - choose the PRO-4X. This Frontier features standard four-wheel drive and extra rugged gear like knobbly off-road tires. The PRO-4X's locking rear differential lends extra precision in especially difficult terrain.
Back on the 2019 Toyota Tacoma, you'll find one off-road-ready trim model: the TRD Off-Road. It comes standard with Bilstein shocks and special all-terrain tires. However, the Frontier offers a better deal on rugged performance.
Best Tow Ratings: 2019 Toyota Tacoma
Here, the Tacoma has the edge, albeit a slim one. Properly equipped, this medium-duty truck can tow up to 6,800 pounds. When you equip the 2019 Nissan Frontier for max towing, you can pull 6,720 pounds of trailer. Whether you're hauling a medium-size boat to the beach or headed off into the forest with your small Airstream, either truck will help you with your efforts.
Although these medium-duty trucks have a lot in common, the 2019 Nissan Frontier ultimately gives you the better deal on modern utility. It also offers an impressive range of powertrains and trim models, leaving shoppers to create their own best truck.