2022 Nissan Frontier and the State of Mid-Sized Pickups
Show Notes for Podcast Episode #55
2022 Nissan Frontier and the State of Mid-Sized Pickups
Scott Brady discusses his test of the new Frontier, and Matt Scott raises important questions and insights on the state of the mid size truck market.
This podcast is supported in part by:
Full Transcription below:
Scott Brady: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the Overland journal podcast. I am your host, Scott Brady, and I'm here with my co host Matt Scott, and I have somehow forgotten how to use all of these controls on this thing. I didn't hit a record the first time, and then I just let the music keep...
Matt Scott: Computers are hard. I dislike them.
Scott Brady: I know. There's just a few buttons on here and I can't seem to master any of them.
Matt Scott: That's a lot of buttons. There's at least...
Scott Brady: Nine.
Matt Scott: Nine. So we're talking about the all-new ish. I can't say everything is new. We're talking about the...
Scott Brady: Mostly new.
Matt Scott: Mostly new 2022 Nissan frontier.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I mean it is always good to see companies like Toyota or Nissan, or even like in the background right now we have the new Ford Bronco behind Matt and we're seeing this kind of golden [00:01:00] age, or I think you summed it up like the Swan song of the internal combustion four-wheel drives.
Matt Scott: A hundred percent.
Scott Brady: And it's almost like every engineer knows that and it's like the last time to make the great frontier or the last time to make what will be now the new Tacoma or the new Tundra that we're going to be seeing here in the next couple of weeks in its entirety. The Bronco, all of these vehicles, it's almost like they're all taking it really seriously and we're all benefiting from it.
Matt Scott: Well, they have to, otherwise the internal combustion engine was just kind of a failure. I know people hate hearing that. I mean, they cannot match the performance of electric cars and the form factor will drastically change. You no longer will have to have the design necessity of a large engine and cooling and all of these different things that come along with it. So it'll be really interesting to see where it goes, but I really do think that a lot of people [00:02:00] love to hate modern four wheel drives. But maybe they just haven't driven them.
Scott Brady: I think a lot of times that they haven't driven them and I think if you look at how most people view the world is that they've invested a lot in whatever they drive. Right? So if they're driving like a mid nineties Ford pickup truck or Ford ranger from the mid nineties, and they've got 50 grand in the thing, it's going to be really difficult to wrap your head around the fact the new vehicle from Nissan is going to be better in almost every single way and I think that that's difficult. It is difficult for all of us to make a big investment, get really personally vested in something, a brand or a particular model, and it's really hard, especially on the interwebs to acknowledge that it's just okay if something's cool.
Matt Scott: Well, there's that internet meme that is hard to swallow. Yeah, exactly. Like that was like my 80 [00:03:00] series for me, you know? Oh, it's got the diesel, it's got everything on paper that everybody on the internet says is great.
Scott Brady: Well, and Dan Grech has got an article in the next issue of Overland Journal where he does, I think a very compelling job of making the argument for driving around the world in modern vehicles and he brings up a bunch of examples including my own defender that I have with Marcos and like he was here to hang out. So we go to the coffee shop and I'm like, so, you know, the brakes don't work. I mean, or the brake lights don't work and the turn signals don't work...
Matt Scott: That's a classic car. Like you're putting yourself at a disadvantage. The people in the dealership... take a Defender to a Land Rover dealership anywhere now.
Scott Brady: Other than Landover, Las Vegas, probably. But that's it.
Matt Scott: They're great.
Scott Brady: But the reality of it is that he drove essentially a [00:04:00] stock TJ around South America with no failures. He tightened up some shifter linkage that was getting loose and that was it.
Matt Scott: And TJ's weren't like...
Scott Brady: They weren't super reliable. And then he takes his JK around Africa and essentially has no mechanical failures. So now we have to look at the contrarian view of that of if you do have a failure with a modern vehicle. That's going to become very complicated. So the likelihood of it failing is lower, but if it does you can't, like Ray Highland did where you make a seal from someone's hat, you know, to reseal the engine, like it's going to be a problem to get a technician and parts and everything in to repair it.
Matt Scott: Yeah. It's interesting. We've both put a lot of miles on Jeep products and I've never had a single issue.
Scott Brady: I can't think of a single issue I've ever had with one. Yeah. I mean, the JK that I bought in 2009 that ended up becoming [00:05:00] the EarthRoamer XVJP that I had. Zero issues with that, including all the way down to Panama. Nothing. I mean, I had some problems with the Earth Roamer parts, but like nothing with the Jeep.
Matt Scott: It's just interesting. I mean, I think modern vehicles are... Well, I mean, first off, let me preface this by just saying, drive whatever you want. It doesn't matter. Just actually get out and do something. Don't be somebody that likes lives on Instagram and doesn't actually do it, or does it for Instagram.
Scott Brady: Do it for the gram.
Matt Scott: Do it for the gram. Yeah. But you know, modern vehicles are cheaper to service, cheaper to run. My Gladiator and I were lucky enough to have the Gladiator and the diesel 80 at the same time, both relatively similarly equipped, you know, to the proportions of the vehicle. The 80 would get a little bit better gas mileage, but it required oil changes every 3000 miles with expensive filters, like 74 [00:06:00] gallons of diesel oil.
Scott Brady: It didn't stop.
Matt Scott: Diesel diesel was more... it didn't stop very well, even though it had all of the parts. It's actually a great car. If you're listening, Kevin knows a really great car.
Scott Brady: Just don't try to stop it quickly.
Matt Scott: You know, the Gladiator ran on regular gas... runs on regular gas. It is $29 to get an oil change anywhere. You know, there's jeep dealers.
Scott Brady: You're getting attacked by a fly right now.
Matt Scott: It is the monsoon season in Arizona. So there's moisture.
Scott Brady: It's the Landcruiser fly. It's like the Land Cruiser gods are...
Matt Scott: I'll buy another land cruiser. Buy a troopy and be a turtle.
Scott Brady: But even then, a 200 series land cruiser is one of the most durable, reliable Land Cruisers ever made and it's well-documented, well-documented.
Matt Scott: Very durable. But we're talking about the 2022 Nissan Frontier, which is based on the 2005 Nissan frontier. Sorry, I [00:07:00] have to say that.
Scott Brady: Yeah the frame is very similar. There are some changes.
Matt Scott: It looks great.
Scott Brady: It does.
Matt Scott: Of like minded vehicles you know, the Ranger, Tacoma, Colorado. I think it's the best looking in the market right now.
Scott Brady: I agree. Yeah, it looks great and I was fortunate to be able to go to their press event and get a chance to drive the vehicle and one of the upsides... I mean, I shouldn't even say it that way, but due to COVID you cannot drive with another driver in the vehicle. So they hand you your own truck.
Matt Scott: I think that's a total upside.
Scott Brady: That's a huge upside.
Matt Scott: Lets find some kind of positives from these sucky two years we've all had.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. So you basically get thrown the keys to your own Frontier and then you really get to spend time focusing on things, because a lot of [00:08:00] times, I mean, you and I have done so many press events even together. I mean, like we're the worst combination for the OEM because we're doing it together and we're picking everything apart. So we're rapidly deconstructing the vehicle. Whereas usually it's you and some other journalists you don't really know or...
Matt Scott: Who's a terrible driver.
Scott Brady: Who's a terrible driver. Exactly.
Matt Scott: I have never gotten car sick... I never started getting car sick until I started doing press events. I have been driving race cars since I was well, just before my fifth birthday when I was like 20. I'm not the person that gets car sick, except that you get some dude that has only had positive reinforcements for every error that they make. I mean, most journalists live in a consequence-free environment. Don't worry that you flipped the Land Rover. It's fine. It must've just been that the sand was a little bit different and then they think they're great and then they're terrible, and I'm gonna move on from that because I'm going to get slapped at Car Week.
Scott Brady: Well, it is also... it's important for [00:09:00] the listener to know that, I mean most people who write about cars aren't performance drivers. They don't have training other than what they may get at a press event. So they don't tend to have those limit handling skills. Right? That smooth is fast kind of thing. In my experience, now of course there are journalists that are excellent drivers, better drivers than I'll ever be.
Matt Scott: A hundred percent, me too.
Scott Brady: But for the most part, they don't have that experience and they're not reinforced to get more training, to get better at it.
Matt Scott: Well, there's always this ego that they have to prove that they're Mario Andretti.
Scott Brady: Right and it's pretty funny. It gets really funny at motorcycle press events, because you can't fake that. Like you cannot fake writing a 1200 GS, like either you can on the dirt or you can't, and it's very... you learn it very quickly who can and can't. They're like the guys that are duck walking through everything. There's the ones that are being hauled off to the hospital and then there's the ones that get through it. Then [00:10:00] you read this story from the guy who ended up in the hospital and he's talking about how he was drifting the bike and lifting it up over the rocks and you're like no wait, man you went to the hospital.
Matt Scott: I love when you go to press events and you like to say something semi-intelligent and end up in like four other stories.
Scott Brady: You cannot disclose your findings. No matter how much you like them, because a lot of them are wonderful.
Matt Scott: Particularly on the four wheel drive side. I mean I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but generally when we go to press events, we're probably the more four wheel drive oriented people. It's no disrespect. A lot of these guys are, you know, usually reviewing like Toyota Camrys or something. There's a larger market for that than there is four wheel drive.
Scott Brady: And there's always guys that are there, like Sean Holeman and others that are fantastic drivers and super experienced and those are the ones that are fun to... yeah, and Sean writes for Four Wheeler and Motor Trend and he has his own podcast. What's his podcast?
Matt Scott: The Truck Show!
Scott Brady: The [00:11:00] Truck Show.
Matt Scott: Sponsored by Nissan.
Scott Brady: Oh, there you go.
Matt Scott: Back to Nissan.
Scott Brady: That was a tangent, but that was kind of a fun one though.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Most people suck, I mean there's a lot of things that I suck at.
Scott Brady: Oh yeah. Like I suck at most things.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I mean like punctuality... horrible at it.
Scott Brady: Well, and that's the thing, we can't be good at everything. That's just the way that life works.
Matt Scott: I'm just good at everything that's cool.
Scott Brady: There you go and on that bombshell, so yeah, the New Frontier is notable in a couple of ways.
Matt Scott: So you drove this thing.
Scott Brady: I did and they throw us the keys, hop on the road, and you immediately notice the performance. So 310 horsepower V6, nine speed automatic.
Matt Scott: Naturally aspirated too.
Scott Brady: And naturally aspirated. Although we were at altitude in Utah. So I hope that the opinions that come [00:12:00] out on the drive train take into consideration the fact that we were at 6,000 feet or more, which is going to affect how much power you feel that the vehicle has because of the elevation. But given the elevation that we were at, it was a great performer. On the high end of the RPM range. It does get a little rough kind of like the previous model did. So it's not smooth all the way up to the red line, but it's certainly not annoying or even really...
Matt Scott: It's also not a super expensive vehicle. It's not going to be a sewing machine 911.
Scott Brady: But what is the contrary to that is they have done such a good job with attention towards NVH. So noise, vibration, and harshness have all improved. They've got hydraulic dampers, they've got better insulation in the cab. They're using this higher quality glass that reduces the...
Matt Scott: Ooo the laminated glass.
Scott Brady: I believe it's in the front and on the [00:13:00] side on the driver and passengers side. Which is very noticeable. Cause I have recently driven the previous edition and it's night and day, and especially on...
Matt Scott: That fly man.
Scott Brady: That fly is out to get us. Literally out to get us still... We love Land Cruisers, we promise. But no, he... It is much more comfortable and you notice it. Plus with the nine speed, it just kind of stays in the power band and all the touch points have improved quality wise. The seats are nice and comfortable. You know, for a midsize value minded truck. I think it's something you could enjoy driving for decades. So you have that reliability of the previous models, but the technology is there now, the comfort's there now, and definitely the on-road driving performance has improved. And there's a couple of things that immediately come to mind for me because most of our audience [00:14:00] is going to be interested in the Pro 4X. So the Pro 4X, it gets you a 54-1 low range. Which in an automatic is more than sufficient. In fact, the low range is so low that the hill descent control is almost not even a consideration. We'll talk about the hill descent control in a little bit, but a 5.42-1 first gear, which when you compare it to the Tacoma with a six speed automatic, and that has 3.6-1 first gear. I mean, that's always been my concern with a tacoma is they didn't gear the transmission correctly. So you have this, this engine that develops lower torque at lower RPMs, and you combine it with too tall of a first gear. It actually just, it feels not only uninspiring, if you're doing any towing or the vehicles heavily loaded, it feels dangerous. So the fact that the Frontier addresses that with this 5.42-1. First gear, I think is a [00:15:00] real advantage in my mind. You know, you got a locking rear differential. You have traction control that works when the lockers on, and it works when you're left foot braking, which most manufacturers get wrong. Toyota gets it right with the eight track. Land Rover always gets it right, of course. But a lot of the OEMs when you're left foot braking with an automatic transmission, it cancels the trash control. So it's defeating the purpose. I mean, it's not an advantage to the driver. Then it's got these bilstein shocks front and rear with an all new suspension architecture and the rear suspension has got these progressive jounces just like a Timbren does. So you've got these super progressive tall jounces that they work great. I mean the Nissan has less suspension travel than the Tacoma. We know that. I mean, it's like in the order of like an inch in the front, which is an [00:16:00] infinity in an ifs, but they have done such a good job of tuning these bilstein shocks that you don't even notice it.
Matt Scott: Well there's definitely something to that. I mean there's the amount of travel there's how much you use it, right?
Scott Brady: How you take advantage of it. Right? And they did such a great job with that. And then in the rear, they put in these progressive jounces. So even on larger events and G-outs, it's just very progressive. It feels super smooth.
Matt Scott: Simple solution to something that a lot of other manufacturers turn to more expensive or more complicated ways and you were saying $37,000 for that Pro 4x.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Which is like, it's a bargain in my mind.
Matt Scott: I think so.
Scott Brady: I don't think you can buy a ten-year-old Tacoma for $37,000.
Matt Scott: I don't know if you can buy Tacoma for that much.
Scott Brady: Well, yeah. I mean, they're just so... even a used one, they're so valuable.
Matt Scott: I always question when people buy used Tacomas.
Scott Brady: I think it's because right now you can't get it. So you're buying [00:17:00] something used, but you're right. I think the financial argument for a used a few year old Tacoma just isn't there, you just wait. You just have to be patient.
Matt Scott: What's the starting price of a gladiator? I think it's 34,900. I mean, I know that you can buy a $70,000 gladiator if you're...
Scott Brady: Diesel... RUbicon.
Matt Scott: All that stuff and I think mine was 62,000. It was so long ago in the realm of how long I usually keep cars.
Scott Brady: In fact, I'm always surprised when it shows up. I'm like, oh he still has that.
Matt Scott: I really like it. Like what else? The only thing I want more than my Gladiator is my Gladiator with a 392.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I mean think of... I mean, the diesel was really nice. Have you driven the diesel one?
Matt Scott: I think so. Didn't we have one.
Scott Brady: Yeah, we did. I liked it. But then again though, [00:18:00] you and I are totally different... We are actually on two different planets when it comes to enjoyment of horsepower. So like it doesn't mean that I don't enjoy horsepower, but for whatever reason when it comes to four-wheel drives, I don't even really think about it.
Matt Scott: See I like the hearse purse. I just bought a TRX for listeners.
Scott Brady: Just how many horsepowers?
Matt Scott: 702 baby.
Scott Brady: That's incredible.
Matt Scott: It's amazing! It's amazing. I love this car. We'll do a podcast on that later.
Scott Brady: I mean that is...
Matt Scott: It has launch control.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that's three Tacoma's worth of horsepower. That's incredible, that's really amazing.
Matt Scott: But when you buy desirable cars and you don't keep them for too long, you don't really lose money on them. So you can kind of cycle through things.
Scott Brady: You can't drive Bitcoin, man.
Matt Scott: You [00:19:00] can't drive Bitcoin...
Scott Brady: You've done really well with cars.
Matt Scott: Used cars are up 20% this year.
Scott Brady: That's right, and Bitcoin is down at least that much.
Matt Scott: Yeah. It's like the mythical Bitcoin millionaire that everybody knows. It's like an MLM for millennials.
Scott Brady: Well, I think a lot of them did make money, but then they didn't sell when they had the opportunity to, and then they just wrote it right back down again. Although if you bought Bitcoin 10 years ago and you still have it, you're a many many squillionaire. But they just don't... those people just aren't really out there. You read about the guy who had it on his laptop and then he threw his laptop away and he's trying to...
Matt Scott: Or the guy that spent like 700 Bitcoin on a pizza.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. Interesting how these all work together, right?
Matt Scott: Sure he's not happy with himself.
Scott Brady: Hopefully that pizza was really good, but when you look at the frontier, it's always been... and this is not even fair to say, but in a way I think the market has seen it as the also-ran. [00:20:00] Despite the fact that it's sold in excellent numbers, 70,000 units have been sold regularly in recent years. It won our value award for the Overland Journal midsize truck of the year test. And it's also the most reliable vehicle, according to JD power and associates, which there seems to be on the interweb, some confusion around JD power results. If one of our listeners actually understands that company enough or has connections with them and can answer the internet memes of like...
Matt Scott: Sorry, but there's that JD power who the bleep is JD power. I don't know...
Scott Brady: What movie was that.
Matt Scott: It was just like a... I don't know, Laura showed it to me. It was something on the internet. She also explains to me all the time, stop trying to explain internet memes in real [00:21:00] life... so I'm sorry.
Scott Brady: They only work in context.
Matt Scott: They only work apparently on the internet.
Scott Brady: So people will say, ah they bought that JD power award, but I know Nissan doesn't spend money on anything. So I don't think Nissan paid off JD power to get...
Matt Scott: I think they send you surveys. Cause I think I get JD power surveys, which are thrown in the trash.
Scott Brady: Well, so you're not part of that factor. Like I've seen some of them because you don't own the car long enough to be able to do the three month quality thing. Right?
Matt Scott: Hey, I mean, maybe I could do the six months.
Scott Brady: Well, like you said, you have owned the gladiator since 2019. 2018?
Matt Scott: April, 2019. That's when my little baby was born.
Scott Brady: Forever ago.
Matt Scott: My little Gladiator. Love her... him whatever it is, whatever it wants to identify as, that's fine. I don't really care. [00:22:00]
Scott Brady: Cause it's awesome. Yeah. So it's got great reliability, legacy. I mean, you're thinking about the same company that makes the Patrol. I mean, so Nissan does make good quality vehicles and I think that that's a consideration when you look at a vehicle like this in my mind. Yeah. And you combine that with the fact that it's a great looking truck, a really comfortable truck to drive plenty of power, which is like, it makes it fun. It makes it where you can tow almost 7,000 pounds, I believe is the rating on it and when I drove it, I had some takeaways that really stood out. I mean, it's got the best steering feel of any midsize truck. So the Ford was really good but this is even better because it's variable rate and it's electrically assisted. So you get this heavy truck feel, this mechanical heavy truck feel, but then at low speeds it gets this electric assist and then it [00:23:00] varies the rate based upon speed and a bunch of other things and as a result on the trail, you get good feedback and not too much effort. Then on the road, you get this very, on-center very direct feel out of the steering. So Nissan nailed it on the steering. In my mind, like we talked about the NVH noise, vibration, harshness is way down, so way more comfortable. There were a couple of things that I noticed. One of the things that I didn't like is when you go into manual mode on the transmission, you typically want it, unless it's way outside of range, you want it to stay in the gear that you've selected. And there's a lot of reasons. Like you could be driving very spirited where the transmission shifting could upset the stability of the chassis. So I was driving in a very spirited manner and I'm keeping it in third.
Matt Scott: Cause you're relying on engine braking.
Scott Brady: That's right. I want [00:24:00] lots of engine braking, but I also want this like a smooth transition through the turn. So like I'm coming into the corner. It's a decreasing radius uphill corner. And I start feeding into the throttle and I'm at probably 4,200 RPMs now and it downshifts. It downshifts and looks, cause I didn't ask it to, it just downshifted and went to the moon. It went almost to a red line. So now I've got nothing left and it totally upset the vehicle and so that was one thing that I noticed is when it's a manual selection mode, I get it. Like if you're lugging the thing at 1200 RPMs, go ahead and down. But if someone's already romping along at 4,200 RPMs, don't send it to the red line. It had just enough room in the gear to make the downshift, and then it went right into the red line. So I'm banging off the rev limiter, and I'd like to see that improved. But that's a minor gribble, you know.
Matt Scott: It could be pre-production [00:25:00] tuning as well.
Scott Brady: Yeah, for sure. So that was the only thing that I really noticed on the road stuff. I mean, it's better than the Tacoma in most ways on the road, much quieter, much more responsive I think.
Matt Scott: You know, it's hard to argue against the Tacoma... it's just that drive train.
Scott Brady: That's it. Literally.
Matt Scott: I know that I rag on that Tacoma a lot, 100 hundred percent because of the drivetrain.
Scott Brady: Yeah, and the payload. Those are the only two things that I would possibly say.
Matt Scott: Well, it's a small truck.
Scott Brady: But I mean, it should be able to have a higher payload than a Jeep Wrangler. The Jeep Wrangler now has a 1300 pound payload, maybe even 1395. I would think the Tacoma TRD Pro should at least... as a truck, should at least be able to carry as much weight as a Jeep Wrangler? I'm just saying.
Matt Scott: I have received feedback that I am not kind to the Toyota Tacoma. So I am trying... thing really sucks, man. I mean, like....
Scott Brady: We were talking about getting the Tacoma button.
Matt Scott: A Tacoma button, [00:26:00] like every time I hit it, I insult the Tacoma. That 3.5 Atkinson, like I think this is the biggest case for the frontier. The 2021 Frontier, the D40 I believe that it's called... it was hard to argue against the utility of it, but it just didn't compete in my opinion... it wasn't a modern offering. Right? You know, it was originally launched in 2004. It ran until 2021 in this market. Like is... we'll get into it... you know, so that means that it started to be designed in the nineties. And it is still sold. I'm just not crazy about that. Oh, well I mean, I guess that means that the chassis that this is based on is...
Scott Brady: Yeah, it's getting up there. I mean, like how much do you need to change a box?
Matt Scott: There's definitely an argument for not...
Scott Brady: [00:27:00] Not spending the money on that. Spend the money on the suspension and the tuning and all that other stuff right? Yeah. We, the thing is that we don't hate Tacomas. We just know Toyota can do a little bit better. Because it's such a great company and they make such great vehicles.
Matt Scott: The argument that I will make is that if you don't... if people with a little bit of a voice or in the media do not push these car companies, you end up with, even though this is a nice option, you end up with this. Nissan is only spending the money that they have to be competitive in the market. Same as Toyota. Right? When I was running unsealed four by four, I drove the D23 which launched in 2014. That's a five link Frontier. They call it a Nevara, basically the same thing. That's a five link coil sprung rear end. Really balanced, really modern interior. Loved the look of it. You can get it with a [00:28:00] diesel. They sell it in Mexico, which is a crazy thing. But they only have to be as competitive as their closest competition and you have Ford who's selling Americans a truck that I want to say has been manufactured since 2011. Which isn't that bad.
Scott Brady: They win on that drive train...
Matt Scott: It's great Ford does great things with drive trains, but Tacoma they didn't really try that hard. So why would Nissan try very hard? They don't need to retool that frame because there's really no necessity for it.
Scott Brady: Other than I think that for me, and this is purely personal, it's not a negative about the vehicle because they did such a great job of tuning the rear suspension. But I was fully expecting to see the five links because Nissan has always done that. They were the first to come out with the four-door pickup. They were the first to come out with all these little things, you know, they had all these firsts and I was [00:29:00] totally expecting a five link.
Matt Scott: I mean, I was told by the CEO of Nissan Australia at the time that this vehicle would be in the United States in 2015 and maybe it's not because Toyota showed their cards right around that same time. That's speculation, but I know that that chassis was designed to be launched in the United States and it's like, well, if you could offer a better product, why not? Because the problem that this frontier is going to have, in my opinion, is that it is competitive now. You have a new Ford Ranger coming out, you have an inevitable update to the Tacoma. The Tacoma has a lot of advantages. As you're saying, it has more ground clearance. The way it's kind of engineered and designed. All they have to do to fix that vehicle is find a little bit more payload and a different drive train. Which is super easy. Like this is [00:30:00] relatively easy. I think the Tacoma looks good. I think the Frontier looks better. So it's competitive now, but why are they? It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall. Sorry, they fly. For those that aren't watching us on YouTube.
Scott Brady: We are being attacked by a single...
Matt Scott: It must be the PR minder from Nissan. Maybe it's not actually Tacoma... What was the decision to not bring that here? I just think it has to be reset. I'm sorry. I'm going to stop talking about it, but it's a really great car. I mean, Mercedes for the X class, the only pickup truck Mercedes has ever done limited production. They only ran it I think for two years. They used the Nissan chassis like if that doesn't say something. Nissan would not use a chassis that came out in 2004 or Mercedes would not use a chassis that came out in [00:31:00] 2004 right? It wouldn't be competitive.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I was just fully expecting Nissan to grab that first and have the five-point...
Matt Scott: Especially with this fantastic exterior. It looks great.
Scott Brady: Yeah and if you think about it, I mean, by the time this podcast goes to air, we'll be past the embargo, but the new Tundra is a five link coil sprung rear suspension.
Matt Scott: Raptors gone to it, 1,500s gone to it from Ram.
Scott Brady: The 2,500 Ram, if you can get it.
Matt Scott: You know, there are some advantages I think to coil springs, there's some people on the 3,500 Ram prefer, sorry. They prefer the leaf spring, something to do with how it tracks down the road or something. I never really experienced any issues with my 2,500.
Scott Brady: Well, it handles a wider range of payload. A coil spring has a narrower operating range but they ride better to begin with. So you don't need to make them so progressive like you do with a leaf [00:32:00] spring. But yeah.
Matt Scott: It's interesting... we're at that, you know, to kind of go back to where we were at this, you know, kind of golden age of the internal combustion four wheel drive, so there's a lot of stuff on the market right now.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Really, really good stuff.
Matt Scott: I mean, you know, Chevy's killing it.
Scott Brady: With the little Colorado.
Matt Scott: Colorado and the GM AT4.
Scott Brady: Yeah. When I drove that AEV Bison from Colorado, that thing was incredible. Little diesel front rear lockers, that Multimatic suspension system. I mean... It is class leading. I mean, you just cannot get that combination for what we want in anything else, which is why it won our test. But, you know, it's pretty impressive. Everything that's going on and I guess maybe just to kind of wrap up Frontier, you know, [00:33:00] off-road the rear suspension was great. The bill steam tuning, whoever at Nissan tuned those shocks deserves an award because I've never seen an out of the box, midsize truck that has that precise of damping.
Matt Scott: It's cool to see billstein stepping it up. There's been a lot of emphasis on, oh it's got bad shocks. I'm cool.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I mean, Fox makes great shocks, but like it's not just stick a Fox sticker on something and now it's... but I think that's what a lot of the manufacturers are doing is they're not really tuning it. They're just saying we're going to go with Fox and then the customer is going to be happy. Whereas what I found with this one, and also this is personal preference too. I prefer a vehicle that has a heavier rebound and I realized that because of the fact that the Nissan has less suspension travel, that's part of the reason why they have to make the valving a little firmer on rebound so [00:34:00] that they still give some compliance on compression. But then the rebound helps control the jounce and the vehicle extending off of an event, but I did find that I was getting some pretty notable clunking out of the front suspension on like not big events, like the vehicle wasn't even being pushed hard. It was just loose and maybe had rocks. Kind of bouncing up off of rocks and things like that and I was getting some clanking out of the suspension. So I think this may have been early production, so maybe it didn't have an internal jounce and the shock fitted. But that was one thing that I noticed there. again the steering off-road was excellent. The hill descent control was the best I've ever used, even better than the Defender for smoothness. The problem with it is that it's not adjustable. So if you go into manual mode on the transmission and you go from first to second, it doesn't change the threshold. How else do we do it on those vehicles? When we [00:35:00] want to make it go slower.
Matt Scott: I hate hill descent control. I refuse to use it. It is not very hard to dislike, put it in a low gear and then like occasionally use the brakes when you start over driving.
Scott Brady: Well, for you and I, I can see that because I don't typically use hill descent control, but for someone who's maybe new to driving off highway, it would be such a confidence booster because this thing it's so smooth...
Matt Scott: Terrifies me.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I know. Letting go, letting go of control. Yeah, exactly. Cause you're literally like, okay, I'm going to take my foot off the brake as I go off of this precipice. Right? Yeah. But it was super good, but it isn't adjustable. It isn't driver adjustable. So it's just one speed. You can't change it on the cruise control, nothing. So I'd like to see that.
Matt Scott: Taking your foot off the brake and trusting it to Japanese electronics is one thing. The Land Rover stuff always terrifies me. I'm sorry but like I love Land Rover [00:36:00] people. They're wonderful, but like they haven't had a great track record with electronics.
Scott Brady: Especially with hill descent control regularly went out.
Matt Scott: We have a problem. Let's keep digging the hole that we're in and adding more electronics on top of more electronics that continue to not work.
Scott Brady: I had a discovery one and it would regularly... the hill descent control would stop working. I got the D2. Yeah, sorry. On the D2. I say D1? On the D2, 2001 discovered two that I had, and then you would get the three Amigos. So you could, you could be trusting the hill descent in the middle of a descent and it would just stop working, you know which of course was terrifying.
Matt Scott: Maybe it's because I'm a land Rover guy at heart.
Scott Brady: Of course we are. We love them. Like, there's so much about it that... like they get so much right. And they just miss the mark.
Matt Scott: It's just why I don't trust electronics.
Scott Brady: Yeah, for sure. We have trust issues with electronics from [00:37:00] being Landover owners. The crawl ratio is great. The tracks
Matt Scott: 54 to 1?
Scott Brady: Yeah. 54 to 1, which is for an automatic is unbelievable, right? The traction control is super smooth. Like you don't even really notice that it's intervening and it's constantly working and it works with the left foot braking, which is really important. It does feel like the suspensions locked down, but I think that's because it doesn't have a lot of travel, so they really did what they could to manage that. But you really only notice it like higher speed, gravel road corrugations it tries to step out a little bit.
Matt Scott: Well, that's where that older chassis is, you know, we fit larger tires to vehicles. Now we expect more suspension travel. We expect more out of vehicles in 2021 than we did in 2004.
Scott Brady: Well, and again, that Bronco that's just right behind you there. What does that have in the rear? [00:38:00] Coil overs.
Matt Scott: Lots...it's basically got a 6,100, you know, spectrofee design, kind of with this big trailing arm and like this coil over that goes...
Scott Brady: It's pretty awesome. I like it and then I think that a couple little downsides, I did notice the clunk. The suspension is locked down a little bit. The rear locker switch position is totally in the wrong spot and the people that were there, of course the Nissan people are truly wonderful. Like they're one of the nicest groups that you deal with and they're like, yeah we know, it was so far... like when the steering wheel locks off the road cause... I mean, not the steering wheel that the seatbelt locks off road, you cannot reach the locker button. So you're bouncing up...
Matt Scott: Where is it?
Scott Brady: It's way down. Like by your ankle. It's as far away as you could possibly put it from the driver. On the left side of the dash. It's like down where you'd [00:39:00] put the parking brake thing, right? You can't get it. You can't get to the locker button. So if you're, if you're kind of like bouncing up a trail and you need... you're like, oh this is getting a little rowdy and you want to lock the rear diff you can't actually reach the rear diff without stopping, which of course is a big problem or removing your seatbelt. So anyways, I went with the remove the seatbelt option as opposed to stopping. But it's an easy thing for them to fix, but it is worth noting since we like to include the full spectrum of what we liked and didn't like.
Matt Scott: Four wheel disc brakes too, What else has that in a segment?
Scott Brady: Colorado does. The Ranger does. Well only the Tacoma has... the Tacoma may be the only remaining passenger vehicle with front brakes.
Matt Scott: Well the Tacomas now are the oldest in the segment, right? Or would Colorado have come out slightly before that?
Scott Brady: Yeah. They were pretty contemporary to [00:40:00] each other. Yeah. I mean the Tacoma may be the only remaining passenger vehicle with front brakes.
Matt Scott: Well it's interesting that the segment is heating up.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I love it.
Matt Scott: That's going to be good for everyone, I think it's important to, I don't want to say call out things that they could have tried harder on, but kind of have to.
Scott Brady: Yeah. We've gotta be able to share our full experience, but I really liked... like, would I drive that truck the Nissan Frontier every day? Absolutely.
Matt Scott: It looks great.
Scott Brady: I think it looks great. The only negative that I can find that's like a glaring negative is that there's not a lot of aftermarket support for Nissan and if there's anything that Overlanders like to do it's...
Matt Scott: Well, I mean, maybe that is the diamond in the rough with the fact that it's very similar to previous vehicles. It's the same [00:41:00] chassis.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I don't know if the suspension is that much the same, but... The truck also doesn't need much. I think it would benefit from a little bit of a lift. It's lower than the Tacoma by a little bit, especially with the quarter panels. You can really tell the difference. I mean, Tacoma's look lifted from the factory. They look tall, like if you get a TRD but I mean, Nissan is going to kill it with this thing. It's going to be really popular for them. I think it's a great truck. I think people should take a look at it. At least go drive it. Because it drives really nice and then hopefully the aftermarket responds, it's 70,000 units a year. That's a lot of trucks. So it seems like there's a benefit to having some aftermarket support for it.
Matt Scott: Hmm. I don't know. I don't know...
Scott Brady: And then I guess I'm moving on to like the midsize truck segment as a whole. I mean, we've got Colorado, we've got Canyon, which [00:42:00] they're very similar vehicles. We've got the gladiator, got the Ford ranger. We've got the Tacoma and then we've got the Nissan.
Matt Scott: There's the Gladiator and then a bunch of other stuff.
Scott Brady: Okay. So I'll bite. So tell me what you believe makes the Gladiator, the superior choice in this segment.
Matt Scott: It's designed to go off road, not to deliver parts at NAPA.
Scott Brady: Oh, gotcha. Okay. Fair enough.
Matt Scott: It is the only vehicle on the market where it's primary purpose. The only vehicle in that segment where its primary focus and purpose is off road first.
Scott Brady: It's designed that way.
Matt Scott: So, 37s. Factory lift. Shall we move on?
Scott Brady: Well, and there's even more, if you think about it. You can get a diesel. You can't get the diesel in the Bison anymore I believe. Which is sad.
Matt Scott: [00:43:00] Inevitably we're gonna get that Recon... I think it's the Recon package that's on Wranglers right now. That was kind of a response to Bronco. That gives you, at least on the Wrangler, gives you 456 gearing and that gives you 35 inch tires. Available steel bumpers, front and rear winch capable front bumper from the factory. Factory rock sliders and with all of that still has some of the best payload in the segment. If you took a Ford ranger, which also has very good payload and you added steel bumpers, front and rear rock sliders, skid plates.
Scott Brady: You don't have much left.
Matt Scott: Locking differentials, all that kind of stuff. It's more money to purchase upfront, but you're getting something with a factory warranty.
Scott Brady: Yeah and if you get the sport with the max tow package, you can get 1600 pounds.
Matt Scott: I think it's 1700 pounds actually. Yeah. I think they updated it. It was 1600 pounds at launch.[00:44:00]
Scott Brady: With the manual transmission, you get 1700. Which is awesome. Maybe you can't get the manual... There's some configuration that you can do that gets you to 1700 pounds. It's something obscure and that's another thing you can get a manual transmission in the Gladiator, which you can only get in the Tacoma. Otherwise I believe that's the only option for a manual. Tacoma and Gladiator, which, I mean like hats off to Jeep and Toyota for at least giving us the option of having a manual. Like I think that for me, I would be very tempted to go buy a manual transmission Tacoma because it's like, they're just going to not be, you just won't be able to get it. You know, those cars will just be gone or like the base sport, Gladiator with the manual. And then just add a few things that I want to add to it. But I mean, the Gladiator that I drove with that diesel, I drove it out to New Mexico all off-road on the way there and [00:45:00] then I got a U-haul trailer, double axle trailer, and I put the AEV brute of Mike McMods on there with the diesel in it and I pulled it all the way back.
Matt Scott: Did it pull it brutishly?
Scott Brady: It pulled it great except for, and this Jeep has to be aware of this, like it has some cooling trouble, like it has some cooling difficulties.
Matt Scott: I could see that though. I mean, it doesn't have a wide grill. It doesn't have a lot of ways to shed that heat. Yeah, part of the form factor.
Scott Brady: Yeah. If you're pulling 6-7,000 pounds with it, I think it's really pushing it. Like if you're pulling a 3000 pound boat or a 4,000 pound or 3000 pound off-road trailer or whatever, it's going to be great or camper or something like that, I think it'll be great. But it does struggle with the heat a little bit. So you make a great point on the Gladiator. I mean, it's literally so purposely made for [00:46:00] around the world to travel right out of the box.
Matt Scott: I mean, I'm biased, but I paid full retail for mine. Like I didn't get a deal from FCA or something. It's just that I happened to be really enthusiastic about that product. I've taken mine all over the country and it's been flawless.
Scott Brady: And you make a good point about 37s. What else can you put 37s on with very little modifications. Nothing.
Matt Scott: Drives like stock. You can even write 37s and you're gearing into the factory traction control and PCM like... Now we have two flies. Jeez. Now I think it's Nissan and Tacoma owners trying to kill me.
Scott Brady: It's the flowers on your shirt, man. They're really attracted.
Matt Scott: Attracted to my manliness.
Scott Brady: To ginger.
Matt Scott: I'm not ginger.
Scott Brady: I think we should pull our audience. We should do that on like, when we do our first, ask me anything, which will be very soon by the way, those of you who are listening, [00:47:00] please send any questions that you've got about anything, including Matts hair color and we'll talk about it on the AMA, because I think we should.
Matt Scott: Not ginger. I think that the ZR2 and the AT4, why are they separate companies? I don't understand.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I don't know.
Matt Scott: I mean like is GM supposed to be more premium than Chevy?
Scott Brady: GMC is supposed to be more premium. Yeah. That's why they like the Denali and then...
Matt Scott: Sounds like something that will go away the next time they go bankrupt. Not that I'm singling them out. They've all gone bankrupt.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Except for Ford, I think.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I think except for Ford.
Scott Brady: I mean, I know Toyota hasn't gone bankrupt.
Matt Scott: Because they're still selling us drum [00:48:00] brakes. They've amortized the development cost over.
Scott Brady: It shows how little we know, right?
Matt Scott: Let's take the motor from this minivan.
Scott Brady: Toyota's got it figured out. They know how to stay profitable.
Matt Scott: But it is so hard to argue against the Tacoma. I know I kind of rag on it. I rag on it because I've seen what Toyota is capable of. They just kind of consistently by choice seem to lag behind in the marketplace. That's what I have a little bit of an issue within. That's what I'll take issue with, with Nissan on this as again, like the D23 is a wonderful chassis.
Scott Brady: And it's such a competitive marketplace. I mean, five years ago, it was the Tacoma and the Nissan. That was it.
Matt Scott: They only had to compete with each other and then you started seeing the US companies come in. There's been a lot of rumors about a mid-sized Ram coming out. That'll be interesting to see [00:49:00] what Stalantus... I hate that name.
Scott Brady: It's an interesting one.
Matt Scott: I could get behind FCX. It's like, yeah Chrysler. Automobiles.
Scott Brady: It sounds like synergy.
Matt Scott: Why even change it. Like Peugeot is never going to sell a single vehicle here. Like Fiat I think has sold like five?
Scott Brady: Not very many.
Matt Scott: I mean, Chris Cortez bought a Fiat.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I don't think I still don't know. Like I still don't know how he fits in that car.
Matt Scott: I remember the first press car I got Scott Brown sent me like a Fiat 500 ragtop convertible, and me and Charlie were, and it was like Pearl white with a red interior.
Scott Brady: You've had some interesting experiences in Fiat's like coming back from outdoor retailer with Brian McVictors. Yeah you were in a rental Fiat 500 and nearly died from a deer impact.
Matt Scott: I just remember [00:50:00] like...
Scott Brady: Screaming?
Matt Scott: This is the last car you want to be in is a Fiat 500 hitting a deer in Flagstaff. But surprisingly, the rental car company didn't even know.
Scott Brady: Well, didn't it just slobber all the way over the roof?
Matt Scott: And it had like a little chunk of hair. The deer was probably shaken up, like it was just gone. Like there was nothing we could do. It was like two in the morning in Flagstaff, like we had just made it through the Rez without getting hit and then we're like 12 red bulls deep for after Easter Jeep safari and then this thing goes poof. It was on my side,
Scott Brady: I just remember Brian telling the story about him screaming, which woke you up cause you were sleeping and then you just started screaming. You didn't even know it was what had happened.
Matt Scott: This is what we're doing now. Okay. So Ford ranger, you have more [00:51:00] experience with that than I do.
Scott Brady: Yeah. We had a long-term loan from ARB. Their blue one.
Matt Scott: Looked really great.
Scott Brady: It did look really great. And it worked really great. I like the fact that it's very compact. It's like the smallest of all of the trucks
Matt Scott: But it feels a little bit bigger inside.
Scott Brady: Yeah, maybe. I hadn't thought of it in that way, but Ford with their like turbocharged, anything with a 10 speed attached to it. I mean..
Matt Scott: I mean that's where Jeep needs to be careful. Is ford drive lines. They are the best.
Scott Brady: Well let's go from the top, you go get a Tremor. With rear locker, front limited slip.
Matt Scott: Over a 1,000 pound feet of torque and a 10 speed.
Scott Brady: Exactly. It's just... it's literally the most powerful thing I've ever driven. Like not the fastest, but it was so unbelievable. [00:52:00] You felt like you were literally ripping the asphalt off the earth. It was like, you wonder how do they keep tires on this thing? I mean, the only thing that works is traction control. I mean, it just, it makes so much power and then this Bronco we've been driving totally rips. Yeah. I mean, it definitely is faster than a Wrangler, probably not faster than a Wrangler 392.
Matt Scott: No chance, well, 310 horsepower versus 470.
Scott Brady: Yeah, sure. Exactly. But it feels great. With the turbo and the 10 speed and it just moves it around. It's really fun. Super fun to drive.
Matt Scott: And I don't know. I mean, okay, so what's your ranking top to bottom?
Scott Brady: Well, I guess we got a real quick, the Bison is still available, which is really important. So... the suspension on the ZR2, in my opinion, is the best suspension on any of them because of that multimatic, it's just excellent.
Matt Scott: The [00:53:00] Multimatic stuff is like, it's no joke. I mean, my argument against it has always been that really great shocks. What's the first thing that people do with a four wheel drive?
Scott Brady: Yeah. They changed the shocks out.
Matt Scott: They change the shocks and the suspension and yada, yada, yada, okay. Boom. There you go. But I mean, that's the suspension that they use on the Ford GT... actually Multimatic builds the Ford GT in Canada, not an American made car, by the way. It is the suspension on Ferrari challenge cars, like it's serious.
Scott Brady: Yeah and it seems like the only people who kind of rip on the suspension just don't think about how... they don't drive it in a way that maximizes the way that it works and it doesn't mean that you have to drive it fast. It just means understanding the capability of the suspension and then letting it work and it's really... I mean, it's great and I think that we're going to keep [00:54:00] seeing the GM respond in that way.
Matt Scott: I love their new facelift, I mean.
Scott Brady: Front locker, that's another thing to think about.
Matt Scott: I would love to spend more time in that vehicle.
Scott Brady: Oh, we need to get another one in for some more testing, I think. But it's the only other option other than the Gladiator with a front locker.
Matt Scott: So, and a diesel engine. It is actually like somebody was listening and they're like, what do you want in a four wheel drive? Okay. So you want front and rear lockers. Okay, cool. You want crazy suspension? Okay, cool. You want wider fenders? Yeah. Like the Raptor, but on a smaller truck. Okay, cool.
Scott Brady: Boron steel skid plates.
Matt Scott: And then they do the AEV treatment to it. You know it's good.
Scott Brady: Yeah. It's really good.
Matt Scott: Raquel has one.
Scott Brady: Oh, I didn't know that.
Matt Scott: Yeah she loves it. She loves it.
Scott Brady: Oh, that's cool. Well, that's awesome. Well, because Raquel is awesome. We're talking about. Raquel from X Overland, by the way. Amazing human being. So yeah, my ranking, this is interesting. You're putting me on the spot here. I think [00:55:00] this is important though, to think about, I would say that... so is this like what I would buy and drive right now? Or would I buy and drive around the world?
Matt Scott: Well, we are about overlanding. So which one would you put your pith helmet on and drive around the world tomorrow?
Scott Brady: I would be really tempted to go with the diesel Gladiator. I think that or the max tow package sport Gladiator, because I like the fact that the vehicle has so much capability, so I would be inclined to make that first, because unfortunately when it comes to Toyota reliability, the Tacoma is not the class leader anymore on reliability. So I wouldn't buy it for that reason. I do really like the Tacoma, but I would take the Gladiator or the Bison either one of those two. The [00:56:00] Gladiator has more payload. So the Bison just needs that extra 2-300 pounds. But the Gladiator would probably be number one for me or the Bison.
Matt Scott: Where would the Frontier land? I guess that's what I'm trying to make a point on is that it is now the newest vehicle in the segment, but is it even competitive at the top?
Scott Brady: You know what I think I would want to do with the Nissan? I think it would be a great exercise and a great tool for the job and you literally, you just leave with it stock. Maybe you put a little like an AT Overland habitat or something on the top of it and you just go, like you buy the truck, you put the little habitat, whatever you want on it. Go fast, take your pick, right? Then you drive away and like you [00:57:00] never Instagram a thing... you just go enjoy an adventure on a vehicle that will most certainly bring you all the way around the world and back again for $37,000. Plus how much is a habitat?
Matt Scott: Let's call them 10 with some options.
Scott Brady: Okay. So you're at 47. Let's just run through the math real quick. You're at 47 grand with the habitat. You don't do any other modifications to it cause it doesn't need it. And then if you look at a $70,000 Gladiator, you would have enough money to buy the truck. Put on the habitat and drive around the world for less than it would cost to buy the Gladiator. So like, to me, it always comes back to just being open and honest about the influence that our ego has on our decisions. Like if we just want to travel, then why don't we get the most reliable one. Nissans are sold everywhere in the world.
Matt Scott: This [00:58:00] is a US only model.
Scott Brady: Yeah. But like, you can go into a Nissan dealership and like they could probably send you some parts or whatever. And not that I'm making the argument in that perspective, but it is a global brand and then just makes it about the trip. Whereas like that little... I want to do the Camel trophy, Sabah, Malaysia thing. Like I want the Gladiator, I want that capability in that adventurous projection out into the world of like, I am adventuring now as opposed to a delivery truck, but the reality is that we should probably get the Nissan and spend the extra 30 grand going around the world. Right?
Matt Scott: I think it's, it's really attractive.
Scott Brady: So what would be your...
Matt Scott: I'd take a Tacomma. I'd put like [00:59:00] 37s and long travel on it and I'd spend like 150 grand and do the Mojave road. Sorry, it's just too easy. It's too easy. No, I mean, yeah. I would drive what I would want to drive.
Scott Brady: And you've already got it.
Matt Scott: And I've got.
Scott Brady: It's parked right here, although we should probably, I mean, what, what was the most recent modification you did to your Gladiator and how did that turn out? Are you ready to talk about this?
Matt Scott: Let's see how it pans out, but I decided to do a Magnuson supercharger and currently my car drives like a bucking Bronco. Apparently because the kit's not designed for heavier vehicles than stock and vehicles with [01:00:00] larger gearing or larger diameter tires.
Scott Brady: Which is every Jeep in the world.
Matt Scott: Which is every Jeep in the world so...
Scott Brady: Magnuson if you're listening...
Matt Scott: Moments away from ripping that off, sending it back to you with a pile of dog crap
Scott Brady: Dack is too sweet to do that. He won't even contribute to it. He'd be like, dad I'm not going to do that. But yeah, I mean, but how much have we learned about trying to modify these cars like...
Matt Scott: How many times have I pontificate about leaving the drive-line stock and then I mess with it and I get bit.
Scott Brady: Yep. So yeah, Magnuson, if you're listening, like your website shows a Jeep on 37s clearly with altered gearing.
Matt Scott: If not it would be worse.
Scott Brady: Yeah. With a bunch of aftermarket components on it. That's how you're marketing a supercharger that you just [01:01:00] told Matt doesn't work with a vehicle with larger diameter target tires and additional weight. So we'd love to hear from you and just figure out how to make this thing work for the people who want to buy it.
Matt Scott: I'll give it like a 5% chance of me not ripping that thing off. Yeah. Which is sad because like on paper and per their advertising it's interesting, cause I paid full retail for this thing.
Scott Brady: Yeah you weren't sponsored.
Matt Scott: I haven't gone through any channels. Just wanted it, went out, worked, and bought it. Now I have a car that arguably, the warranty is voided. What was left of it and all of that kind of stuff for nothing.
Scott Brady: Well, and you really trusted your Jeep and it never left you stranded. It was really reliable and now it's not performing the way you wanted it to and it's less reliable.
Matt Scott: Yeah. It's just interesting, like the response [01:02:00] we've been getting is like this isn't our problem. I'm like, well, it's a tuning problem.
Scott Brady: Well then, then provide the instructions to allow us to tune this thing.
Matt Scott: They're trying to fix it, but... you know, I don't know. It's frustrating also with the long range American tanks on it. Which is cool. We probably should do a project roundup on that. We should, you know, I think what's interesting with my particular Gladiator is it has a lot of firsts on it, so there's not many long range tanks. There's not many that are supercharged, it had the first AT Habitat kind of camper, or I have a Summit, not a Habitat. I always mix them up.
Scott Brady: Yours goes *click* instead of *swoosh*.
Matt Scott: And I just put the new AEV suspension on it. And an AEV snorkel. I mean, now that the AEV stuff is available, it's just like send it to AEV because it works every time.[01:03:00]
Scott Brady: Every time. Now we have, we're getting close to the end of the podcast and we have not been totally fair to the Tacoma and again, I think it's just because Matt and I love toyota vehicles. We've driven them around the world but the Tacoma is no question one of the most capable off-road. Yes, it has the most aftermarket support.
Matt Scott: I'm going to argue on that.
Scott Brady: You think that the gladiator has more?
Matt Scott: For sure, half of it's a Wrangler.
Scott Brady: I wonder what gladiator would have that, that you couldn't get for the Tacoma.
Matt Scott: This is a few year old data, but in terms of aftermarket spend, according to SEMA Wrangler, first Mustang second, and then I dunno where that Tacoma falls in that, but you know, there's only so many different varieties of UCAs that you can do.
Scott Brady: And maybe that's it. You can get anything you want for Tacoma. Maybe [01:04:00] not as many different options as what you could find with a Gladiator, but all of the aftermarket support that you would want. You can get with that. There's a huge community of owners that can help you make decisions on what to buy. The vehicle is very confidence inspiring off-road. It does have that Toyota heritage of reliability and I think that there's just something very familiar about buying a vehicle like a Tacoma and it's also a pretty good financial decision. I mean, I don't know if the Gladiator has a higher resale value, but like if you go to try to buy a two year old Tacoma, you basically spend what you bought for what you would spend on a new one. So the resale value alone makes it a great argument.
Matt Scott: This is an area that I have some knowledge in because I'm always buying and selling cars. It's a hobby. Like I work in the auto industry during the day and I play around with cars and stuff at night in my garage. I mean, what else are we doing during COVID? [01:05:00] Very fortunate to be able to do that, I guess I should say, but Toyota's have and always have sold stickers. If you get $500 off on a Toyota, you're doing good. You can go and get at a certain point you could go and get 5-6 grand off of a gladiator. That was never the case with Wranglers. Wranglers were like Toyota's Wranglers sold for what they sold for. That's why they've always had stellar residual values, but they're chasing the volume game. So I don't know if that's true anymore. I don't think that the resale value of the Gladiator is poor.
Scott Brady: No, I wouldn't say so at all.
Matt Scott: And yeah, I don't think it's poor. I think that you maybe don't... you can really option these things up. And I don't know if you see all of the value back on those options. But [01:06:00] financially, buying a new Tacoma... I mean, I had a Toyota Forerunner, which I liked. There's things I didn't like about it. I didn't like the gas mileage. I did a really modest lift and a really modest tire size. I mean, you could kind of tell it was modified if you looked at it and with the roof tent, I was getting like 10 or 11 miles to the gallon. That's what my Earth Roamer gets. You know, so again, it's not that I'm criticizing the vehicle. I'm criticizing Toyota. And I'm just saying do better. Like, I think that the previous generation Tacoma, I liked more. In the current generation Tacoma I liked the four liter more. I wanna say you still had a six speed or you had the five speed because they shared the 400 drive train.
Scott Brady: My first big project was a 2004 Tacoma TRD. Drove it [01:07:00] all over the place, grossly overloaded, which I learned a lot from, but the vehicle never failed. And it went from Tuktoyaktuk all the way to the Darien gap. I mean, that truck was really, really robust and I think if I could swing a magic wand and somehow tell Toyota what I would love to see with the next Tacoma, I would love to see the five link coil sprung rear suspension we're going to see in the Tundra. I'd love to see that there. I would love to see an eight or 10 speed transmission with a five and a half to one minimum first gear. Give us some really low gearing because once these trucks start to get loaded up, they need that mechanical advantage and I can't imagine that they're going to go with the same engine again, there's going to probably be something hybrid or something turbocharged or whatever, which I think will be great. I mean, Toyota, we'll build something great.
Matt Scott: When the mid cycle refresh of that vehicle comes. I will likely change my [01:08:00] opinion on it based on what happens. Right? But make no mistake. Toyota is selling you a minivan engine with the same frame from the previous generation, the same greenhouse in the previous generation, you know, the same rear axle with drum brakes, because they can, not because they're offering value. We're now in this market segment where you have the ZR2. You know, you have the Colorado, you have the Ranger, you have the Gladiator and brand loyalty, which we both have to Toyota. If I'm going to do a serious trip around the world, you get a Toyota. You get a 70, you get a 200, it's just... it's not really a question. They're great, but they can do better and if nobody says do better. They're not going to.
Scott Brady: It's literally just because we care. And that sounds kind of cheesy, but it's literally [01:09:00] because I've entrusted my life to Toyota products and literally trusted my life to them and I want to see them reach their full potential with the midsize truck.
Matt Scott: When you're in the skeleton coast what do you take?
Scott Brady: Yeah, that's right. You take a Land Cruiser... well, on that.
Matt Scott: 2022 Nissan Frontier and a midsize truck recap. Take care guys.
Scott Brady: I like it. Yeah, talk to you next time.