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Howdy!
Currently own a 2000 King Cab 4x4, and am at a serious crossroad. I am getting more into offroad and dont want to dump money into the truck since its a pretty cheap truck and it can really only seat two. I have to decide between a Gen 1.5 NA Crew Cab or a 2005-2007ish Frontier as a vehicle I can keep a long time and put some money in to. Reliability and longevity is a big deal for me. I understand the 3.3 Supercharged had its issues but the NA3.3 has been dead reliable for me. When it comes to reliability how does a NA 3.3 compare to the 4.0 (assuming the coolant/atf problem is sorted out). Another advantage to the Gen 2 is that I could have a King Cab( looks better IMO) and it would have alot more room than my Gen 1 KC. Any input would be great.
 

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I have a 2008 crew cab long bed manual 4x4 and its a crazy reliable truck. It has over 200,000 now and the only major issue it had was the clutch going out at 186,000 which i think is pretty good. I offload it a lot and have done a lot mod wise but its also my daily driver. I don't know much about 1st genes but i do know a buddy of mine is a mechanic and he much prefers working on the 2nd gens of the 1st gens but he sees the 1st gens in the shop a lot more.
 

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They are really quite different vehicles. The gen 1's, like the Hardbody and earlier Nissan trucks, were more "tossable" and fun to drive, IMO. Gen 1's are very reliable on the whole, more "old school" mechanics than "high tech," and pretty poor an gas mileage no matter what engine/trans/drivetrain you had. The ride of the Gen 2's feels a lot more solid and "heavy," but the VQ40DE puts out so much more power than the VG's that it's still a lot faster. Gen 2 gas mileage is a bit better, due to more efficient engines and transmissions with more gears. The VQ puts out as much power as some of the domestic's V8's of years past. The Gen 2's are usually better optioned and more comfortable than GEN 1's; I would take a Gen 2 over a Gen 1 for a long trip without even thinking hard about it! Each Gen has it's own types of problems. Gen 1's had their cracking exhaust manifolds, fuel senders that corroded and disabled the fuel pump, steering shafts that binded and a timing belt that needed to be serviced every 105,000 miles. Gen 2's have their radiator cooler issues with the factory radiator, fuel sending unit issues, suspension bolts that seize in the control arms and need to be cut out when you align it, U-joints, rear axle seal leaks, upper timing chain issues on some and quirky HVAC systems. Outside of the upper timing chain issues, which don't occur on all of the VQ40DE's, I would say that the engine is very reliable. The VG engine was a great engine that Nissan used in the USA from 1984-2004. Twenty years is a long run for an engine family! On the other hand, the VQ engine came to the USA in 1995 and is still being used; that's 22 years! Not too shabby!
 
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