New Truck – Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier?

9:16 am Nissan


© Summary: Regular readers of DenLors’ Auto Blog know I write about my vehicles. Hopefully there won’t be any repair articles for a while on my new truck, but I thought I would share our recent buying experience in Brandon Florida. I’ve included a couple of key points when bargaining for the best deal.

OK it was time we thought, to trade in our 2007 Dodge Dakota Quad cab. We bought it used 3 years ago when it had 30,000 miles on it. It had just turned 60,000 recently. The driver’s side power window motor, battery and tires were the only problems I had with it. I  know the Dakota has a lot of life left in it, but I figured we would trade now while it’s worth a little more. With the 2014’s coming out soon the value is surely to go down. I also realize that doing a private sale would result in a higher price, but to be honest we are so busy I prefer to trade. Financing is another issue. Dealers can make it much more easy for the buyer, to get financing. I didn’t want to have to show the vehicle multiple times, not knowing if the potential buyer would be able to get financing or not.

Here’s some key things to keep in mind when trying to get the most for your vehicle and not paying too much for the new one. First we started looking online. Some dealerships show Internet pricing and some require a contact form to be filled out and they contact you. The ones that do not display Internet pricing are usually a big waste of time. They are holding on to the old car salesman tactics of sizing each potential buyer up and then getting as much as they can, rather than showing their best price up front.


We first saw this 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD (Toyota Racing Development) truck with Internet pricing of $26, 953. Below are some of the options it had.

  • 115-Volt/400-Watt Auxiliary Power Outlet
  • 4-Speaker Audio System
  • 60/40 Split Rear Seat w/Under-Seat Storage
  • Active Traction Control System
  • Air Conditioning
  • Auto-Dimming Interior Rearview Mirror
  • Bluetooth Connectivity & Streaming
  • Cruise Control
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Display Audio AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA System
  • Driver/Front Passenger Advanced Frontal Airbags
  • Electronic Brake Distribution & Brake Assist
  • Fog Lights
  • Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Hill Start Assist Control
  • Off-Road Suspension w/Bilstein Shock Absorbers
  • Outside Temperature Display
  • Power Door Locks
  • Power Exterior Mirrors
  • Power Front Disc/Rear Drum Anti-Lock Brakes
  • Power Windows
  • RWD w/Automatic Limited-Slip Differential
  • Rearview Mirror Back-Up Camera Display
  • Remote Keyless Entry System
  • Side Curtain Airbags
  • Sport Fabric-Trimmed Seating Surfaces
  • Tilt/Telescopic Steering Wheel
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • USB Port w/iPod Connectivity
  • Variable Assist Power Rack & Pinion Steering
  • Variable Intermittent Windshield Wipers
  • Vehicle Stability Control & Traction Control

I have to say the this model even with the big tires rode like a car. But, surprisingly there was no Home-link garage door opener. Not a deal breaker but come on? It has a back-up camera, Bluetooth connectivity, power everything  and even a power outlet in the bed for my electric saw (or any other electric-powered tool). But no Home-link garage door opener? Oh well like I said that wasn’t the deal breaker. The deal breaker turned out to be the trade in offer. The Dakota’s Kelly Blue book price was 10,100 trade in and 13-15,000 retail. I know the dealers only pay black book, but Jason, the appraiser at Courtesy Toyota in Brandon only offered $7,000. When we spoke with him he said the vehicle was re-painted on the doors. This simply was not true. There were no paint lines and we had other appraisers agree that the truck was never repainted. When we told him that we needed closer to $10,000 he was unwilling to raise his offer at all. We told him we didn’t have a lot of time to spend, but we were prepared to make the purchase today, if he could come closer to the book trade in value. He said we would be there all day because he couldn’t do any better than that. Despite the name of the company that he was working for called Courtesy, he ended up very rudely turning and walking away leaving my wife and I standing there in disbelief. I later thought that if he was unable to give any more on trade, he should have politely said so and offered a suggestion to privately sell. He could have mentioned what a great price they have on their Tacoma… We would have considered purchasing even though the trade price wasn’t where we thought it should be. The salesman Mark Blanc was polite. But after being treated poorly by Jason the appraiser, we decided to move on. Just a side note: When grabbing the image above for this article I found the price on the Tacoma was raised $2000 by the very next day.


Researching and shopping on-line again we decided to check out the 2013 Nissan Frontier. Wow, glad we did. The Nissan Frontier at Autonation, Nissan of Brandon, right down the street from Courtesy Toyota had an unbelievable deal. On-line the price was $28,500.  Both trucks had power accessories, 6cyl’s and back-up cameras. But the Nissan Frontier had the Navigation system, dual climate control, leather interior, chrome package, step rails, Rockford Fosgate Premium sound system with 10 speakers and a booming sub-woofer, a factory sprayed bedliner, the track system for securing cargo like pictured above called Utili-track with four adjustable anchors called Tie-Down Cleats and yes a HomeLink garage door opener built into the rear view mirror.

But what about our trade? After leaving Courtesy Toyota the previous day I decided to get an offer from Carmax. Carmax offered $9,000 to buy our Dakota. I had the printed Carmax offer which is good for 7 days with us. I didn’t mention this at first, not wanting to sway their offer in case it was more. The appraiser at Autoway Nissan came back with an offer of $7500. They presented us with a written agreement with the $7500 listed as the trade offer but had neglected to include the Internet price which was the reason we were there to begin with. They had the list price of $31,555! My wife was quick to point that out and I mentioned having the printed Carmax offer so our salesman could go talk to his boss armed with our objections. He quickly came back with another written agreement, with the correct Internet price and an increased offer of $8500 for our trade. When considering the tax savings that was close enough to Carmax’s offer. That’s when we decided that this was the deal for us. We love this truck. Thanks to the Internet sales manager Carlos Echeverry at Autonation Nissan of Brandon for a great buying experience.

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