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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning! I have had my 2010 frontier 4x4 for 7 years now. I haven’t really had many issues with it in it’s 183,000 miles other than some basic maintenance parts like wheel bearings and U-joints etc. The gentleman that owned it before me was a farmer and towed plenty with it so it has definitely seen its fair share of abuse.
It has been a great work truck and has hauled a 4000 pound trailer for my mowing/landscaping business five days a week for years now. Although it has served me well I have been debating on trading it in for a newer truck for reliability purposes. Having my truck down for a day or a week would be devastating in my position with as busy as I am and I am really not wanting to take that risk. All that aside I am curious of how the new third generation frontiers would tow versus the second Gen? I’m curious to see if anybody has towed trailers with both and would be able to compare? I am aware that I should probably upgrade to a full size but the mile per gallon of the new frontier is pretty tempting and I have had many hardbodies and frontiers over the years and they have all done me well so I am hoping to stick with them. Plus I do a lot of road trips with my daughter and fuel mileage is obviously an important thing for everyone right now. My main concern is that with the smaller higher revving engine on the new frontiers they might lack more low-end torque versus the second Gen. I am aware the nine speed automatic and the gearing would probably make up for it but I do not want to make a purchase on a new truck to find out that it is going to be downshifting on me every time I hit a small hill. I hope these trucks aren’t losing their low end grunt.
On a sidenote how long/how many miles do the five speed automatics in the second GEN typically last? It seems lately that my transmission when towing takes longer to upshift after getting up to speed on the interstate. My mind may just be playing tricks on me though because of my recent concern for things going wrong in the future but if the transmissions are known to last as long as the engines I may go ahead and hold onto my current truck for some time. Or buy a new one to have as a backup work truck. Thanks in advance!
 

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2022 Frontier SV 4X4
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I had a 2007 CCLB 4x4 and now have a 2022 CCSB 4x4. I have towed loaded vehicle trailers with both. My 2007 was pulling car trailers with over 240k miles on the clock without incident. The 2022 definitely is a nicer vehicle to tow with, but I don't think that alone should be a deciding factor. Yes the '22 has 50 more HP, and the 9 speed is much more refined while towing (even without trailer brakes), but the 2010 is pretty bulletproof. You've still got some life left in the 2010, I'd save the car payment for a new truck and keep up with maintenance. Just my $.02
 
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Sorry I do not have any experience comparing the 2 but...both the 4.0 and the newer 3.8 have exactly the same torque 281ft lbs. With the added 50 hp + the 9 speed I would think it would tow better.

When was the last time you changed the automatic trans fluid? How many miles do you have on your truck?

Finally my buddy has a newer V6 turbo (ecoboast) F150 4wd. He averages 21-22 mpg. I average 18...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies! The truck has 183K on it and the transmission fluid has been changed at least three times. Twice in the last 75K. Every time I ask the technician to let me know how the fluid looks and they always say that it looks very good and the transmission is probably in pretty good shape. Imo The rather large transmission cooler that they put on these probably helps quite a bit with the transmission life.
I might try to squeeze another year out of it or keep it around as a work truck. It is pretty aggravating that the gas mileage on it is atrocious. Without the trailer I average 14.5-15.6mpg but with a trailer on it 5 days a week I average 12’ish. I have to fuel up almost every day and that is getting pretty old ha ha
 

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I have towed with my 2013 4x4 and it had plenty although I will stress that I tend to go conservative with weight and all. I’ve been towing off and on since the late 1970’s early 80’s and have had plenty of experiences, both good and bad with towing. I have yet to tow with my ’22 and will not until some good tow mirrors come out for them.
since I’ve towed with several vehicles I will say that the extra ponies on the 22 is a plus and the draw back is they left the TORQUE where it was 281 ft lbs. BUT they added extra gears. Back in the “good ol days” there was a reason why I took my truck down to gearvendors in San Diego to install an over/under electronic gear box behind my 4 spd automatic. More gears the better. So after all is said and done the ‘22, with more ponies and gears will tow better than a secend gen.
 

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They are basically the same motor, just the 3.8 has 50 extra hp which might make it a bit easier to keep pulling at highway or intestate speeds. Nissan just made the VQ40 DI, swapped a few other parts, and retuned it. This is great IMO since the 4.0 was rock solid from 2011 onwards, so a lot of that pedigree should carry over.

The bigger difference is the transmission, which should allow for lower RPMs pulling the same trailer on a 3.8 vs 4.0 since it just has more gear options. The nicer 2022s have a tow mode too.

Probably not worth buying a new car over but it should be nicer. I haven't towed anything with my 22 yet but I can tell it'd handle a mediumsh trailer easier. The new rear sway bar should help it as well.
 
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The Fast Lane Truck did the Ike Gauntlet tow test with the new Frontier, comparing it to a Titan a few months ago. They're in Colorado and use parts of I-70 where it's around 7% grade and it did pretty good pulling around 6700 lbs. They also did a test with the gen 2 several years ago and it did pretty good.
 
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I had one short bed and four long beds and the long bed tows better due to the extra wheel base. I used my trucks for work and just dealt with the gas mileage as I had no choice. On a long highway drive they do get good mileage, I saw 21-23.5 mpg depending on if there were any backups on the interstate. Towing a 6x12 utility trailer 1200 miles to Florida got me in the mid to upper teens.

Clint
 
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It is pretty aggravating that the gas mileage on it is atrocious. Without the trailer I average 14.5-15.6mpg but with a trailer on it 5 days a week I average 12’ish. I have to fuel up almost every day and that is getting pretty old ha ha
I doubt that you would see much improvement in fuel economy in the 2022 model while towing.

Most of that poor fuel economy is due to things that are beyond the truck's control - Namely, the weight and wind drag of the trailer.

Driving solo, you would probably see a couple MPG improvement with the new truck - The extra gears in the transmission would help in that regard.
 
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I have both power trains, have towed with both. They’re both great. For what it’s worth, they both get crappy mileage, but my ‘18 is not quite as crappy.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am assuming they wouldn’t make the truck tow worse after 20 years ha ha. You never know though with the new high revving engines that they are putting in cars it concerns me. Kind of like with the jeeps when they took the straight 6 out and put in a V-6 and took away all the low-end torque a lot of keep guys were pissed. I doubt between technology advancements and how the motor is only a tiny bit smaller there would be any difference in low end. 50 extra horsepower at 6500 RPM doesn’t help with towing but it does help sell trucks. I just wanted to make sure they aren’t sacrificing low end power to get there because that is often the case. I am fairly confident that the third GEN will tow better I would just hate to spend 45 grand to find out it was worse. Sadly there are not a whole lot of dynos available yet to compare torque down low yet. Either way I’m sure it will be fine but maybe I will cool my jets on getting a new truck for the time being.
 

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Although it has served me well I have been debating on trading it in for a newer truck for reliability purposes. Having my truck down for a day or a week would be devastating in my position ...

I am aware that I should probably upgrade to a full size but the mile per gallon of the new frontier is pretty tempting
Unless you have easy access to truck rentals, it would make sense to have a backup truck immediately available for your business.
Try renting a new Frontier, hang your trailer off the back and use it for a day or so. For a few hundred bucks a day your questions will be definitely answered. Maybe do the same with an F150 EcoBoost.
Depending on the configuration, the F150 gets about the same mpg, maybe better, and it's substantially more truck.
The Frontiers have squandered their price advantage for the most part, so a proven full size truck makes sense when towing 4K every day.
 
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