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Nissan Frontier PRO-4X vs Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – Mud, Rocks & Water Find the Best Off-Road Truck

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We pit the brand new 2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X against one of the best off-roaders in the segment, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. The Tacoma has been one of the best for years, while Nissan has finally stepped up its game with a fresh interior and a new powertrain. But does it make the Frontier better off-road? Lets find out.

Hey folks and welcome to the truck king youtube channel it’s a gloomy day but that is not keeping the smile off my face because we have two mid-sized trucks and we’re going off-road that of course is the toyota tacoma trd pro recognized as one of if not the best off-road mid-sized truck you can buy so we’ve brought the newest entry in the segment to compare it to

This is the 2022 nissan frontier pro 4x and today we’re only going off-road in this video we’re gonna find the mud we’re gonna find the rocks and we’ll tell you which one of these two is better the struggle let’s start with the walk around and we gotta talk powertrain so over here in the tacoma that’s a three and a half liter v6 that makes 265 pound-feet of

Torque 278 horsepower and in our case today it is sent through a six-speed manual transmission that’s going to be a lot of fun now over here on the frontier we do have the most powerful midsizer in the segment this 3.8 liter v6 is making 310 horsepower 281 pound-feet of torque and this is matched to a nine-speed automatic so we do have more gears over here in the

Frontier and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays into it so the other thing i want to talk to you about of course are the two off-road packages here and they are fairly similar if you get a pro 4x or if you get a trd pro you’re getting a suspension upgrade with nissan it’s bilstein shocks all the way around a toyota it is fox suspension all the way around

And the tacoma does get a lift over stock height the pro4x does not that is an important distinction now when it comes to tires over here on our nissan hancook dynapro ats whereas over here on the tacoma goodyear wranglers with kevlar protection as all terrains go just visually these don’t look like the most aggressive tires but once again we’ll really prove that

Once we get out there into the thick stuff let’s look at the numbers now before we start driving so here on the tacoma 35 degree approach angle and the departure angle and breakover are actually the same at 23.8 degrees now when it comes to ground clearance i got to tell you guys these trucks are actually identical both of them list 9.4 inches of ground clearance now

Over here on the frontier talking about all of those angles well sadly they’re not quite as good as in the tacoma nissan lists a 32.3 degree approach angle 23 degree departure angle and a 19.6 degree breakover angle so on paper the toyota is a little bit better once again it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out in the real world for recovery and hopefully we

Don’t need it today there are some red tow hooks of course the red here on the pro4x and these are fairly easy to get to they’re a little under the bumper but at least i can see them over here on the tacoma it’s definitely a point against the toyota there are recovery hooks but you got to get down here one of them is right there one of them is back over here it’s

Really down deep under that bumper and that bumper is buried in mud that’s going to be miserable so once again hopefully we don’t have to pull it out and then i think the last thing i have to mention about both of these packages you are getting a rear locking differential and that’s going to play a role today as well and that’s just about enough of me standing

Here i want to get out there and start driving we’re heading up the hydro line right now in the tacoma so first things first we got to set up the review today i did bring matt along so we do have two drivers i’m going to be taco man today matt’s going to be frontier man this is my first time driving the frontier so i’m pretty excited yeah it’s going to be cool

I’ll get epically stuck so quickly i just do have to say a little bit of setup here the reason we grabbed this truck it’s a 2021 tacoma is because it was the only one available to us but we wanted the benchmark we wanted what we know is a really good off-road mid-sizer to see if that frontier can really stack up so that’s why we grabbed it don’t say why don’t you

Have the 2022 i wish we did but it wasn’t available to us so uh with that out of the way let’s talk about how these two trucks handle and so far the tacoma is just walking through this i was gonna say have you even got it in four-wheel drive yet yeah it’s it’s oh no you’re just two wheels on the intro trail that was two wheel the entire way along didn’t even care

A little momentum no problem all right well we already said this we basically walked up to the deep section and uh now we’re diving in i do have it in four high i think that’s all i’m going to need for high first gear and then let’s crawl right through this thing all right here we go i like oh there’s a rock right the front there yeah i’m in there the water’s

Actually kind of low for this time of year a little more momentum there we go oh pre-collision system unavailable oh no well we’re in a pond oh no the radar is underwater okay it’s spinning a bit come on but now we’re coming up to the right the hill that was good clearance coming out of there too little there but not bad keep the revs up get the rpm nice yeah

Pretty damn good pretty good clearance a couple knocks but less than i’m used to honestly coming through there yeah a lot a lot of height a lot of clearance so now we’re gonna head back down the hill and into the pit and of course because this is a manual we don’t get the downhill ascent control or descent control so what i’m gonna do now is the old school way

Put it into four low and use the actual gearing also pretty cool here yeah when you go into four low the camera comes up right away so you can see both front tires plus you have these little guidelines telling you exactly where your tires are going to go yeah it gives you a vehicle angle gauge too which is nice and it actually might it moves the camera angle as the

Truck pitches nice that’s kind of interesting so you can see how your truck’s looking at the terrain so matt feeder off the gas off the brakes right now this is all engine braking four low first gear this is nice and low what are we doing zero it’s literally not registered zero kilometers an hour we’re about to drop over this rock right here let’s see if it runs

Away at all oh man that’s smooth wow and that’s the thing right downhill descent controls always existing up there going down we did not bump that coming up yeah well we’re going a little slower now we probably bounced over maybe and now we need a little bit of speed we’re digging out new rocks in there oh my goodness oh it’s a cola nicely done man yeah that’s

Cameraman’s a little close he might get wet dad’s gonna get it i think he’s okay and out out oh there’s another one we’re out nice all right well four low the torque feels great and this is the thing right you mentioned earlier worrying about the revs if you are ever worried you put it in four low and you just have so much there at your foot yeah you don’t have to

Worry about styling i really like this camera back there in the pit as we were kind of pitched to one side so it showed you that on your low side it was actually underwater like it didn’t just you didn’t have to assume it actually showed you where it was as far as your your plane of angle so to speak yeah it’s cool man that is really interesting all right truck

Switch driver switch time match drive in the frontier and uh in the first section here i was actually just in two-wheel drive in the tacoma so we’re just feeling two-wheel drive here in the nissan so far so good yeah it’s walking right through a little bit of speed like we said all right so we’re through the entrance trail and we’re gonna go ahead and put it in

Four high this is the same spot we put the tacoma in four high there it is oh it takes off a lot better right away holy cow all right now this is where we clip that one new rock let’s just see i i do i feel the nose dragging a little more i think than in tacoma because your approach is not quite as good yeah but the arizona clearance is the same there you really

Felt it it almost bit that corner and sucked it down yeah definitely you feel i think that and i think that’s the approach that’s all just that the front end is getting a little more caught up yeah okay heading into the deep stuff now let’s do it for high just like the tacoma here we go rock and roll oh that was a hit we did not feel in the other truck you know

What did you see the splash right there when we hit the water yeah that’s definitely the front end getting a little bit lower yeah absolutely it’s digging okay though and the tires feel soft oh the tires nothing is slipping it didn’t slip nearly as much as the tacoma you’re right actually coming through the mud your tires were spinning a fair bit this thing just

Kind of grabbed and went yeah and and again this is my right seat uh passenger seat feeling but this feels just a little more powerful like when you are giving it those little inputs it kind of jumps yeah a little more sluggish power wise i feel and that also could be the difference manual to automatically fair enough yeah sure there’s a clutch there involved too

And the gearing is different and everything you’re right but you know even on paper that’s coming straight up has less power and then you know you can kind of feel it out here okay so we’re back at the hill now so we’re going to switch her over into four low once again keeping in the same as we did with the taco oh just like the tacoma you switch into four low

And the camera come up but they’re not as good here in the nissan the tacoma has more views and if i hit the button yeah now it just turns it off the tacoma has more views and it has that really cool camera that kind of actually articulates with the truck that’s cool and i’ve got a downhill descent control down here on my left nice so this is going to combine the

Two right low gearing and downhill so it’s just flashing well usually you take your foot off the brake and it’ll sense the hill and just start to grab you okay well we’re just rolling to the top of the hill now and again this is like right there you felt it it sensed the yeah nice and this is combo right now you have super low gearing plus the truck is breaking

For you same thing it’s not even registering my my foot’s not on the pedal we are doing zero kilometers an hour and it’s silent i love that the system is silent no abs none of that okay here’s the break over let’s see if it holds little hit there but yeah that was that was a bigger hit more rocks in the front end here all right now we’re gonna get some speed for

The pin yeah here we go speed as you go then all right nicely done nicely done there’s a new rock there that i do not remember oh yeah slow down to not soak the camera guy you got this pro 4x for the win right and we’re out nicely done well a couple you know not huge differences i think we’ll both agree right off the top they do actually feel pretty similar um

What i felt was slightly worse clearance in the nissan but slightly better tires in the nissan would you agree definitely more grip now attributing to tires or just the uh the weights on these trucks i am unsure we’ll have to check those numbers fair but it definitely didn’t slip nearly as much going through the pit as the tacoma it just it grabbed and it went i

Mean at no point there was i worried i feel like i probably could have stopped and started again without needing the speed well my my mission today is to make you worried so it’s time to go to the left hook and see how these trucks handle that trail all right let’s head out all right folks now it’s time for the left hook and we’re starting with the tacoma to see

How she handles uh we switched out matt for dad he uh he wanted to drive dad you know we’ve been in the frontier now but he hasn’t driven it off-road so we wanted to get a piece of this too right well tell the truth it’s raining out and i decided that i’m senior partner so i’m sitting inside yeah that’s fair too so you know we said this a lot lots of clearance in

This tacoma nothing coming through there but we are about to get to the gnarly section and it is maybe the hardest it has ever been dad so this is gonna be interesting yeah and let’s tell them why because you brought the new backhoe back here and got it stuck well we were trying to clear out that one tree we’ve complained about we wanted the backhoe to dig the stump

And the backhoe didn’t quite make it yeah some big rocks yeah 13 000 pounds of background like the titanic yeah there’s some big ruts so we’ll see what happens all right dad so we mentioned it this could be the hardest left hook yet so we’re going for low and we’re going to lock up that rear end so we are fully locked we are for low honestly i think i’m going

To start in second because i want a little bit of speed here and then for low i think before long you should be okay with that and then you can hopefully just leave the clutch in okay here we go hold on oh yeah lots of power there on baby into the ruts now not bad oh yeah she’s okay stick drivers and driver left left left now up the rocks what’s that big one

Yes toyota nicely done you know what in that mud it actually felt pretty dang good fully locked up i thought you’re gonna kiss that stump yeah that stump’s a little sketchy yeah um that felt really good though no clearance issues yeah i mean it didn’t even feel like we really had much spin no no it just it did it just just just clawed its way through and it was

Spinning on the hydra line so you know that’s the effect of four low and locked up right you set everything up properly and it just works yeah it’s a little greasier on the hydra line too here you got a little more grit fair regardless we’re at the top thank you i didn’t have to get out and slog through the mud all right time to hook the left in the frontier now

And uh we’ll see if we have any clearance issues in this truck that we didn’t have in the tacoma well and that’s what i was feeling when i drove through on the hydra line is yeah the approach and departure you know yeah we definitely were smacking more stuff than in the toyota no doubt about it it’s not horrific but you know you notice the difference yep you do

And obviously if you own the vehicle you you know every time you get one of those hits you cringe a little bit right so less is better just less chance of something ripping off well thank goodness for skid plates so yep all right so i think we’re gonna lock it up now yeah we’re at the deep section so four low locker this is uh you know basically the exact same

System as you’re gonna find over there in the toyota and we’ll see how she does four low locked up let’s feel her yeah right inside there’s nothing i can do here i’m following the freaking ruts that’s okay it’s okay oh geez sorry about that what happens nicely done though we made it too okay well that was a little more eventful than in tacoma it was definitely

Pulling you around a little bit it was spinning a heck of a lot more i wonder if that’s the tires yeah i don’t know you know before the tires felt good in the taco but coming through there you felt like you were definitely spinning i did climb and i think my biggest takeaway is at the limits the suspension here it gets stiff and you like you’re bouncing right

The tacoma is smooth coming through there so i’ll give the suspension the edge but yeah it still climbed up real nice yeah we did okay and i i avoided most of the rocks so we didn’t get any huge bangs yeah which is good news unlike you and only one swear word all right cut print well the hard off-roading is done and now we’re just heading back to the yard and

You know we were just talking about sort of both trucks coming through what we felt what we saw and i’m actually going to tell you that i think the biggest difference here is suspension you can see it in these two shots so dad and i went pretty quick past the camera in the nissan the suspension was maxed out to the point where the front tires came off the ground

That thing was bouncing so much and dad’s head kept hitting the roof in the tacoma i was hitting the exact same whoops the exact same bumps and i felt like i could have been going faster the suspension just absolutely absorbs it and the truck stays smooth and that’s what i think happened in the mud pit if you watch the frontier coming through the pit it ends up

Bouncing around more and you get those light moments and when the truck gets light well the tires slip whereas tacoma coming up on over those rocks the suspension just flexes with the ground and with the rocks and keeps the truck nice and smooth the biggest difference here it’s it’s not the clearances the toyota’s better there too but it’s actually the suspension

Setup well folks we have arrived at the end of this one so now we need to pick the king of the hill this 2022 frontier did everything the tacoma did today plus i have to tell you that new powertrain in there really does make it a better truck but for the overall conclusion listen the tacoma had better clearance better suspension an available manual transmission

That makes it so much fun so the nissan kept up but the toyota did everything with a little bit more ease so i gotta tell you if you have to pick an off-road mid-sizer i would still lean towards the tacoma plus for 2022 they’ve actually upgraded this truck new tires a couple tweaks so it should be even better now and now of course i want to hear from you so please

Go into the comments and let me know what you think would you take the frontier or the tacoma and like always while you’re down there don’t forget to hit like hit subscribe hit the join button become a member of the truck king family today and like always come right back here to the channel to see what we’re testing next see ya you

Transcribed from video
Nissan Frontier PRO-4X vs Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – Mud, Rocks & Water Find the Best Off-Road Truck! By Truck King