Childre Nissan Compares 2006 Nissan Frontier VS 2006 Dodge Dakota Near Gray, GA

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2006 Nissan Frontier

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VS

2006 Dodge Dakota

Safety Comparison

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The Frontier has standard Active Head Restraint, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraint system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Dakota doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Frontier has standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes for quicker stops and controlled steering ability, especially under poor traction conditions. Four-wheel antilock brakes cost extra on the Dakota.

To prevent wheelspin and loss of control under poor traction conditions, full range traction control is available on the Nissan Frontier. The Dodge Dakota doesn’t offer traction control.

The Frontier LE/NISMO 4x4 Automatic offers optional Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), which uses the antilock brake hardware along with powerful software and additional sensors to detect the beginning of a skid. VDC then intervenes by automatically applying the brake at one appropriate wheel, preventing a skid. The Dakota doesn’t offer skid prevention.

Both the Frontier and the Dakota have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, available front seat side-impact airbags and head airbags.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH front offset crash tests on new cars. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Frontier King Cab is safer than the Dakota Club Cab:

Frontier

Dakota

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Structure

GOOD

GOOD

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index

1.4/1.2

2.3/1.7

(This test is not comparable to the NHTSA NCAP 35 MPH front crash test.)

Warranty Comparison

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Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Frontier 2 years and 24,000 miles longer than Dodge covers the Dakota. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years and 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Dakota ends after only 3 years or 36,000 miles.

The Frontier’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Dakota runs out after 100,000 miles.

Engine Comparison

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The Frontier SE/LE/NISMO’s 4.0 DOHC V6 produces 5 more horsepower (265 vs. 260) than the Dakota SLT/Laramie’s optional 4.7 H.O. V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Frontier SE/LE/NISMO 4.0 DOHC V6 is faster than the Dodge Dakota V8 (automatics tested):

Frontier

Dakota

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

8.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.1 MPH

80 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Frontier gets better fuel mileage than the Dakota:

Frontier

Dakota

4x2

2.5 4 cyl./Manual

22 city/25 hwy

n/a

4.0 V6/Manual

17 city/21 hwy

16 city/22 hwy

3.7 V8

2.5 4 cyl./Auto

19 city/24 hwy

n/a

4x4

4.0 V6/Manual

17 city/21 hwy

16 city/20 hwy

3.7 V8

4.0 V6/Auto

15 city/20 hwy

15 city/19 hwy

3.7 V8

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The Nissan Frontier has standard antilock four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Dakota. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes, which work much harder than conventional brakes.

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Frontier has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Dakota doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The Frontier with its standard antilock brakes stops shorter than the Dakota with antilock brakes:

Frontier

Dakota

60 to 0 MPH

131 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The Nissan Frontier’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Dodge Dakota only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Frontier has a standard tire pressure monitoring system, which uses the ABS sensors to measure slight differences in wheel speed to alert the driver to a drop in tire pressure before damage to the tire or an accident might occur. The Dakota doesn’t offer a low tire pressure warning system.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Frontier has engine speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Dakota doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Frontier LE Crew Cab Pickup 4x4 handles at .74 G’s, while the Dakota SLT Quad Cab 4x4 pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Frontier NISMO King Cab 4x4 goes through Motor Trend’s slalom faster than the Dakota Laramie Quad Cab 4x4 (59 vs. 58.4 MPH).

For greater off-road capability the Frontier has a 2.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Dakota Club Cab (10.1 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the Frontier to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Frontier’s minimum ground clearance is 1.2 inches higher than on the Dakota Club Cab TRX4 (10.1 vs. 8.9 inches).

Chassis Comparison

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The Nissan Frontier may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 600 pounds less than the Dodge Dakota.

The Frontier is 1 foot, 1.3 inches shorter than the Dakota, making the Frontier easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Frontier LE Crew Cab Pickup 4x4 is quieter than the Dakota SLT Quad Cab 4x4:

Frontier

Dakota

At idle

43 dB

47 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The Frontier King Cab has .1 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room and 1.8 inches more rear headroom than the Dakota Club Cab.

The Frontier Crew Cab Pickup has .1 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear hip room and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Dakota Quad Cab.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Frontier. The Dakota doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To prevent tailgate loss and help secure heavier cargo from theft, the Frontier has a standard tailgate lock cylinder. The Dakota doesn’t offer a tailgate lock.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Frontier’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Dakota does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Frontier has a lever hand brake in the console, easy to use while keeping both feet free and not impeding entry and exit. The Dakota’s foot pedal parking brake is not handy to use as a hill holding device with a manual transmission.

The Frontier Crew Cab has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Dakota doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Frontier has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Dakota doesn’t offer rear vents.

An optional built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Frontier’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Dakota doesn’t offer a filtration system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the Frontier owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Frontier will cost $3279 less than the Dakota over a five year period.

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