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Discussion Starter #1
I've had the 2012 Frontier SL for over 5 years. It has 45K miles on it and needs new tires for the winter. My only major issue with it is the lack of legroom. So before I put new tires on it, I thought I would go shopping. I looked at the GM twins and the new Ridgeline. The Tacoma is still an uncomfortable, weird design, new but not really any different. I couldn't stand it in 2012, and it has zero appeal to me now, too.

The GM twins have so much front legroom that I actually had to move the seat up an inch or two from all the way back. Check. But as soon as we got onto a concrete slab road it bounced over the joints like a hobby horse. The back seat was actually worse than the Frontiers, no legroom, bolt upright and no headroom. Missing obvious stuff like Homelink. Nope.

I liked almost everything about the Ridgeline. Adequate front legroom. Comfortable seats. True crew cab back seat room. The trunk is nifty. The dual tailgate is unnecessary. Rides well, handles well, quiet. I could care less that it's 'not a truck'. So? The infotainment system is terrible. Takes seconds to change screens. No knobs or buttons, all touch screen. The volume control alone is so bad it makes the whole thing a no.

So the Frontier is at Discount Tire wearing new tires right now. I won't have another shopping urge until either Honda fixes the Commodore 64 they put in the dash or Ford comes out with the new Ranger. The VW Armonk would be worthy too, but I doubt VW decides to build it here. Of course Nissan might come out with a new Frontier...or not.
 

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When i last went looking when I was trading in my wife's nissan juke, i had a Frontier, and nothing met our needs. Finally i went to look at an NV2500 which is the Nissan full sized cargo van. I bought it. Put a bed in, a frig powered by a 12v solar charging system and a small 12v lunchbox size oven. LOVE IT!!
 

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I'm kind of the point where I'm considering replacement cars and vehicles too.

Haven't gone as far to actually going to test them out yet.

But my list is kind of similar like yours and have the similar criteria of more comfortable rear legroom and seats.

Sat in a Tacoma and that's definitely off the list due to the funny seating position and also lack of rear legroom. The funny thing is that sometimes when I see it on the road, I think it's a Tundra at first until I get closer to it. I like the looks of it but just doesn't work out for me.

I keep considering the Ridgeline on and off. From a family hauling perspective I think it meets the criteria. I kind of want a longer bed the next time around and also it sounds like the bed sides are a bit more shallow compared to other trucks. I think due to the inbed trunk. With the tonneau cover on the Frontier, I can get some items to just barely fit under the cover and I think it's a nice to be able to do that. Also on the Ridgeline owner's club forum some people talk about paying $50k for their Ridgelines. At that price I'd be looking at full sizes.

The Chevy Colorado was high on my list to check out. I'm not so sure anymore. Would have to get over the mental hurdle of buying a GM product. But looking at it more closely on the road, the bed sides are really high. And one of the factors of staying with a midsize is being able to reach over and access the back of the bed from the sides easily.

Then I might consider a full size in the $35k range because it looks like the ones in those price range has the features I want and aren't that far off of the pricing of the midsizes. They're just too big for my needs and purposes.

If the back seat of the Frontier works, there's also a good chance that it would be high on the list too. A lot of it depends on pricing too.

But I think if we can wait a couple of more years, the midsize market will look a bit different with the Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier, Jeep midsize, Hyundai confirmed that they'll be building a midsize, etc.

The V6 Titan should be out next year too. I wasn't a big fan of the second gen Titan at first but then heard that it's mostly the same as the first gen with a different front clip. Then comparing the mileage between the two, it doesn't seem to make as much sense to get a used first gen like I was thinking of. I hope Nissan doesn't do what Ford did a couple of years ago and pull out of the midsize market saying people can just get a fuel efficient full size instead. That mentality that Ford had kind of has me leaning away from their products, even though I kind of like them otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
To be clear my issue with the Frontier is front legroom. I'm 6' 3" with long legs.

$50K for a Ridgeline? Impossible. The Black Edition lists for $44,800 and can be had anywhere for $41,300. The RT-T, which is more loaded than a SL Frontier, lists for $38,900 and can be had for $35,600. This is for 2018's, $500 over invoice. I was able to get 2017's down to $1200 under invoice, or $33,900 for a RTL-T.
 

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I just have an issue with any truck with less than a 6-foot bed. To me, that's the minimum practical size for hauling the kind of stuff that you need a truck for. Like the 4x8 sheathing I picked up at HD this morning. But it all depends on your personal needs.

Vic
 

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To be clear my issue with the Frontier is front legroom. I'm 6' 3" with long legs.

$50K for a Ridgeline? Impossible. The Black Edition lists for $44,800 and can be had anywhere for $41,300. The RT-T, which is more loaded than a SL Frontier, lists for $38,900 and can be had for $35,600. This is for 2018's, $500 over invoice. I was able to get 2017's down to $1200 under invoice, or $33,900 for a RTL-T.
This may so far be my biggest complaint about the truck and I'm not that tall. I was hoping its just an adjustment from the car seating positions I'm use to. I'm only just over 6' but my right knee ends up bothering me fairly quickly. I wonder if the seat rails can be moved back some or anything...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This may so far be my biggest complaint about the truck and I'm not that tall. I was hoping its just an adjustment from the car seating positions I'm use to. I'm only just over 6' but my right knee ends up bothering me fairly quickly. I wonder if the seat rails can be moved back some or anything...
Nope, nothing can be done.
 

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Dunno. You may have looked at it more than I did. I was just going with what some people posted on Ridgeline Owners Club.

Although on some forums I'm not sure if there are some people working for the manufacturer just posting positive things. coloradofans being one of them.

One thing that people on Ridgeline Owners Club did say is that low production/availability of the Ridgeline is a reason why they can't get a good price on it. Not sure if it's true or not. Haven't really taken a look at once since shopping for trucks back when the first gen was out.

Also there is a thread on there asking if the current Colorado is what the second gen Ridgeline should've been. Guess people liked the first gen Ridgeline a bit more but maybe it takes people a while to get used to something new/different.

That's funny, I'm barely over 6 feet and don't really have any issues with legroom in the Frontier. I do have issues with my view getting cut off by the roofline.

I'm about to give hauling sheets of plywood a try in the next couple of weeks, if not this weekend. From what I gathered online, it sounds like even a 6 foot bed would have an issue hauling plywood where the main issue is that there is not enough room between the wheel wells. So am planning to use some 2 x 6's to prop it over the wheel wells. Something similar would probably have to be done with a six foot bed. The primary difference sounds like it would just be the amount of overhang past the tailgate? Where the 6 foot bed would still have maybe a foot of overhang? The less overhand is probably better and why I want a longer bed the next time around. But don't think six foot beds are perfect for plywood too. The Ridgeline sounds like it can haul plywood flat in it's bed, due to it being above the wheel wells.

I also considered vans briefly. In particular the Ford Transit Connect. Didn't realize it but the passenger van offers neat features to fold all of the seats down so you have one long flat load floor. But I had concerns about bad weather handling or handling in general with that shape. And while I complain about the limits of the box, it's still nice to have that room for overhang when it's needed. I also briefly looked at the Metris on and off but I don't think it's what I want.

Other than the Tundra and Tacoma, most of my looking has mainly been online. So didn't go in and see how they were and see what the realistic pricing is for them.
 

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I haven't yet taken possession of my Frontier so don't really know the bed.

I DID have a 2005 Canyon back in the day. It had a feature that was designed for plywood (4' x 8' sheets): pockets in the side of the bed to take 2 x 4s cut to length across the bed just above the wheel wells to enable carrying the sheets flat across the 2 x 4s with the tailgate down.

Anything similar in the Frontier or other current trucks?

Rob
 

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I haven't yet taken possession of my Frontier so don't really know the bed.

I DID have a 2005 Canyon back in the day. It had a feature that was designed for plywood (4' x 8' sheets): pockets in the side of the bed to take 2 x 4s cut to length across the bed just above the wheel wells to enable carrying the sheets flat across the 2 x 4s with the tailgate down.

Anything similar in the Frontier or other current trucks?

Rob
Is this what you're describing:
http://www.clubfrontier.org/forums/f10/husky-lined-2x6-s-16524/
?

When I first read it and also seeing other threads, I thought that it meant putting 2x6 s length wise into the bed. But after seeing your post think that it might be more what you're describing with your Canyon.

I remember seeing other posts mentioning notches for plywood over the wheel wells. Will need to take a closer look at the bed of the truck later.
 

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I haven't yet taken possession of my Frontier so don't really know the bed.

I DID have a 2005 Canyon back in the day. It had a feature that was designed for plywood (4' x 8' sheets): pockets in the side of the bed to take 2 x 4s cut to length across the bed just above the wheel wells to enable carrying the sheets flat across the 2 x 4s with the tailgate down.

Anything similar in the Frontier or other current trucks?

Rob
Hmm...I think I remembered it wrong. I found my notes from when I bought the truck...this is what it was:

The cargo bed is a shortbox at 5 ft. 1 in., but has an excellent feature for carrying large/long items (like 4 x 8 sheets of plywood)--the tailgate can be let down to a 55 degree angle to support sheets laid on top of the wheel wells! Nice!


Rob
 

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If you're not carrying a lot of 4 by 8 sheets, just leave the tailgate up. The "front" end of the sheets will rest on the bed floor, and the sheets will clear the wheel wells. Plus the sheets won't exit the truck when you forget what you are carrying and race that Civic at the traffic signal.

Vic
 

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If you have the drop in bed liner and not the spray in one it has slots in front and behind the wheel well that you can put a 2 by something across the bed to raise everything above the wheel wells. You can see one of the slots I was talking about in the picture as well. It may not be a frontier, I just used the pic from the sale page, but my Frontier had the same thing.

But either way, if you want to hold everything buy one of these:


https://www.harborfreight.com/truck-bed-extender-69650.html

I used one with a 2X12 on top to bring home 17' baseboard on the freeway one day. Tie it down right and you are fine.
 

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If you have the King Cab with the opening rear window, you just put the front of the board in the cab. I've hauled 16-foot lumber that way.

Vic
 

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If You Don't Want a Full Size Truck

I've used that rear window to haul lots of long stuff, convenient but it isn't ideal- even with the six foot bed, when you've got 16 foot material it hangs way out, it needs to be strapped down really good. I went over a bump and the stack of material jumped up and broke the latch off my window, now I add a strap to the front of the bed to hold the front of the load down. I've heard of people losing a windshield, too. A ladder rack would be better, or a trailer. I've strapped long boards on the side of the truck, used the rear view mirror to tie the front of the load . . . I knew that wasn't right but I got away with only a little scuffed paint . . . I can't recommend that method.

As to carrying plywood/drywall/sheet goods, my truck doesn't have the notches for supports, I just leave the tailgate up and the material sits up on one wheel well. It twists the material, but even when I've left it that way overnight it hasn't been a problem. It may not be elegant, but I've done it for 24 years and it's easy and it works.

For the way I use my truck, lots of guys would say they needed a full size truck- I'm proof that if you're determined to use a small truck there is a way to get the job done.
 

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Thanks for your insights on various trucks. Like you, I seem to find something about all of 'em that turns me off.

I've said this before and I'll say it again - if Nissan started selling a slightly updated 1st-Gen with a 4-cylinder diesel and an 8-speed ZF transmission, it would be killer. Just the right size, the 6' bed is just right, solid and dependable. They would sell a bunch of 'em.
 

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Hi-
As the Colorado is mentioned here- I can speak to that.
This December it will be one year that I traded my 06 Frontier Crew for a used 16 Colorado Z71 Ext Cab.
Is the Colorado perfect- NO... far from it. Is it better than the Frontier? In some ways yes, and in some ways no. There are days I miss my Frontier.

My 60K mile Goodyear Adventure AT Radials are toast at 30K, I hate the electric power steering, and the shifting.
I love the audio and media integration, I love the gas mileage(4 MPG better than my Frontier).

I think the Frontier has much better throttle response, and much better bed utilization tools.

The Colorado looks a bit weird- as the bed is so tall. The bed is much deeper than than the Frontier.

I did not drive a Tacoma, and did not care to. The Ridgeline was out- as I really wanted the 6 foot bed this time. When I drove the Colorado- I did like the looks of it, but did not want to like driving it, as I could not see myself going back to a domestic.
In the end- I did like it, and really didn't have a lot of time to search around for something else.
The dealer put 8500 into my truck- which I thought was more than fair- as it needed a fair amount of work. The core Support was completely rotted out along with all nearby pieces and hardware. I could have been looking at $2K just to get that done- support alone was 600. It needed brakes and tie rods, and wheels were pretty badly peeled, scratched. The body had a lot of scratches on it as well. I saw the 8500 cash for the vehicle and made the deal. All told I got the Colorado for $19k and my Fronty.

In retrospect- I don't believe there is any perfect vehicle and you will have trade-offs or compromises. That being said I made my deal and I live with it. There are days I miss the Fronty and there are days I don't.

Chris
 

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Thanks for your insights on various trucks. Like you, I seem to find something about all of 'em that turns me off.

I've said this before and I'll say it again - if Nissan started selling a slightly updated 1st-Gen with a 4-cylinder diesel and an 8-speed ZF transmission, it would be killer. Just the right size, the 6' bed is just right, solid and dependable. They would sell a bunch of 'em.


Just curious on what you like about the first gen more than the second gen.

For a while I was considering switching to a first gen. Part of it was for the seemingly smaller size, the reputation for reliability, etc. And for some reason might've thought that the six foot crew cab with 4WD was easier to come by.

But when comparing the specs between the two decided that there wasn't as much of a difference between the two like I originally thought there was.

Looking at Edmund's site (I don't really like how they redesigned it and there might be something not set correctly when comparing the two) for short bed crew cabs, it looks like the specs are:

2004 Nissan Frontier:
mileage: 15/19 mpg (which might not matter since you suggested changing the engine and transmission)
turning radius: 41.8
length: 199.9
height: 67.1
width: 71.2



2017 Nissan Frontier:
mileage: 15/21 mpg
turning radius: 43.3
length: 205.5
height: 70.1
width: 72.8

Like I said I don't like Edmund's new site where it's hard to set the settings right. It's saying that the rear legroom in a 2004 crew cab is 30.7 (vs 33.6 in the second gen). But having being stuffed in one before, sitting in the front with others in the back, I'm not sure if that's right and if that's the numbers for the king cab. It's also saying the turning radius for the long bed crew cab is 41.8 the same as the short bed. I thought that when I compared before it wasn't that far off from the current gen. But I might be remembering wrong and maybe the shorter turning radius was another factor on why I was considering it. It's been a long time since I considered switching to a first gen.

But either way don't think that the difference between the two were as much as I originally thought. Any differences might be more room in the cab, which probably a better thing for me.
 
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