Our article looks at two Japanese contenders in the full-size truck category. The US truck or pickup market is hotly contested, with many choices available to prospective owners.
We share with you what each of the latest versions of these trucks has to offer, assisting you in making that all-important buying decision confidently.
Introduced in 1995 and first classed as a compact truck, this Japanese pickup is now in its fourth generation, introduced in May 2023.
This current generation Tacoma is available in eight trim levels, six of which are carryovers from the third generation: SR, SR5, Limited, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and TRD Pro. A new addition is the Trailhunter, specifically equipped with overlanding equipment.
Sales of the first generation of the Nissan Titan kicked off in December 2003, with production happening in Canton, Mississippi, United States. Remarkably, the production of this first-generation Titan continued without any major redesign up to 2015.
The second-generation Nissan Titan released in 2016 saw a refresh later in 2020. Sad news for fans of the Titan is that Nissan has confirmed the discontinuation of the Titan model after the 2024 model year, with a focus on building their EV sedans.
The 2023 Toyota Tacoma is built on Toyota's TNGA-F global body-on-frame vehicle platform and available in two body configurations: a 2-door extended cab marketed as "XtraCab, and a 4-door crew cab, which Toyota refers to as a Double Cab.
Most Toyota Tacomas are available as the four-door Double Cab with a choice of a 5 ft or 6 ft load bed, and both versions come equipped with coil-sprung rear axles. Interestingly, Toyota removed the rear-hinged half-doors for this 4th-generation Xtra Cab after customer surveys revealed that very few owners used the rear for passengers.
The Nissan Titan body options have continued from its 2016 redesign unchanged. They are available in two forms, regular and XD, with the XD version built on a heavy-duty frame based on Nissan's commercial vehicles. Three different cab styles are available for the Titan and Titan XD: a two-door regular cab, a four-door King (extended) Cab, and the four-door crew cab.
The current generation Tacoma uses a 2.4-liter T24A-FTS turbocharged I4 engine that offers 228–278 horsepower and 243–317 pound-feet of torque, depending on trim and transmission.
A hybrid version of this powerplant marketed as "i-Force Max" is also available, which produces a combined total of 326 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. The option of a 278-hp V-6 engine making 265 lb-ft of torque is also available.
Standard transmission fitment is an eight-speed electronically controlled automatic with a six-speed manual transmission with automatic rev-matching and anti-stall technology available on selected trim levels.
The full Tacoma range features a longitudinal-fitted engine, including the i-Force Max hybrid. The i-Force Max features a single electric traction assist motor/generator between the engine and transmission and shares the same transfer case and mechanical running gear as the non-hybrid Tacoma models.
Off-road performance is enhanced on all Tacomas with the fitment of an automatic limited-slip differential on the rear axle, with four-wheel-drive versions offering a two-speed (high and low range), electronically-controlled transfer case.
The Nissan Titan sticks to its trusted large capacity 5.6-litre V8 gasoline engine, which from the 2020 model year makes 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque when mated to the nine-speed automatic transmission.
Prospective buyers can also look out for Titan models up to 2019 with a 310-hp Cummins 5.0-litre turbo diesel V8 pushing out almost 555 lb-ft of torque.
Transmissions found on the Titan range include a 6-speed automatic Aisin transmission on diesel-powered trucks up to 2019, a 7-speed automatic transmission on 2015 to 2019 gasoline models and the 9-speed Jatco transmission on the latest 2020 to 2024 trucks.
Full-size trucks are typically bought for their prerequisite large cargo and towing capabilities, thus greatly influencing buying decisions.
The Toyota Tacoma range offers a maximum payload capacity of 1,685 lbs with towing capacities ranging from 3,500 to 6,800 lbs.
The Titan XD, with a payload capacity of up to 2,390 pounds across all trim levels, is the go-to option when considering any of the Titan models' cargo-hauling ability.
All King Cab trims with a 4x4 drivetrain offer a maximum payload capacity of 1,690 pounds. The Titan King Cab 4x2 carries 1,610 lbs, and the Titan Crew Cab 4x2 offers a maximum payload of 1,590 lbs.
No self-respecting pickup owner has to forego creature comforts when they climb into their trucks, so what do these two Japanese brands have to offer in the way of creature comforts?
The Tacoma has a utilitarian layout with abundant hard plastics and minimalistic materials. However, a nod to luxury is the power-adjustable driver's seat and fitment of touchscreen systems, with the base model featuring a 7.0-inch display and all other trim levels offering an 8.0-inch screen. All trim levels see standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot.
On the latest Nissan Titans, drivers and passengers are treated to comfy Zero Gravity front seats. Listening pleasure sees a standard 8-inch center touchscreen display with a 9-inch touchscreen option. Standard fitment sees Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ on all grades, with wireless Apple CarPlay® reserved for PRO-4X and Platinum Reserve trims.
For the driver, a 7-inch programmable information display shows important vehicle information.
Phone connectivity sees two illuminated USB ports (1 Type-A, 1 Type-C) and two charge-only USB Type-A ports on the back of the center console.
Key standard safety features fitted on the Tacoma include adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, and lane-departure warning.
The Nissan Titan features many safety features, including automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and more.
Visit Tims Trucks near Concord, NH, to experience our exceptional customer service and view the extensive selection of pre-owned trucks and cars or at your convenience, go online to view our inventory of pre-owned vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, crossovers, Jeeps, vans, and diesel options.
Our knowledgeable team will gladly assist in selecting the right vehicle for your specific needs and ensure you drive off 100% satisfied.