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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My take;

I am fresh from a test drive this morning of a Frontier Pro4x $47,500 CAD. (Santa Cruz Ultimate $45,129 CAD)

Frontier is definitely truckier. It is composed for being body on frame and can confirm what the reviewers say. Most closely compared to a Ridgeline (unibody) than Tacoma in terms of on road manners. NVH are excellent for body on frame. But it is not as smooth and suv/car-like as the Cruz, even though there was considerable steering wheel vibration I witnessed during my Cruz test drive.

Watch the ass end when accelerating as the Frontier is obviously RWD. I'm used to AWD goodness. It was POURING rain during my test drive unfortunately.

The low speed steering is HEAVY, reminded me of my old manual steering RX7. But I guess the heft helps its freeway composure and offroad manners? I don't know, I'm not a truck guy, but compared to my friends new F150 the steering on the Frontier is at least twice as heavy.

A compelling truck to consider in the segment for those that may torn between trucklette or mid-size truck. It could be just-right-sized for some shoppers. Almost SUV like road manners, but capable of very trucky things.
 

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I actually thought the new Frontier was decent looking but ruled it out quickly when it didn't have the Auto 4WD setting - up here in the frozen north, I used that mode all the time on my Chevy Silverado, and I either wanted that again in a mid-size (GMC Canyon?), or true AWD like the Maverick and the SC. And the SC is just cooler looking as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
That is a concern for sure. More for my rainy Vancouver weather than the frozen weather but same idea.

AWD or AWD-like is very reassuring to drive in inclement weather. My current car's 4matic AWD is incredibly reassuringly.

Point and shoot in any weather. It is a tremendous system and with good tires it's as sure footed as it gets. I will miss the ability to take on/off ramps at speed, and like accelerate uphill in the wet withoutslip. Without even having to think about modulating the throttle.

I just mash the pedal and take off without any slip. Its glorious.
 

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Thanks for the review. It confirms what I heard that the steering is too heavy (stiff). I like light steering. I haven't heard anything about the SC steering, but the stiff steering on the Frontier rules that out for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, for whats it worth. I walked away from my Cruz order.

I wound up finding what might be the frst Frontier to hit the streets in Canada.

I might be back to the Cruz someday. The accelleration and unibody awd is really nice.

But for now, this Frontier works for me.
 

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Well, for whats it worth. I walked away from my Cruz order.

I wound up finding what might be the frst Frontier to hit the streets in Canada.

I might be back to the Cruz someday. The accelleration and unibody awd is really nice.

But for now, this Frontier works for me.
Nice! Also been considering the new Frontier, the power down low is actually really good for what it is, the only thing is that it kinda peters out at the top.

I wish Nissan would have given it a slightly better powertrain to make it a bit more future proof.
 

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I walked away from my Cruz order. I wound up finding what might be the frst Frontier to hit the streets in Canada.
I am inclined to do the same. Consider this forum being just a small sample of Santa Cruz owners. The number of issues and problems being reported here sure feels problematic. I owned a 2009 Frontier, that I loved. When it turned 100,000 miles, it had never once had a problem, or been to the dealer. My daughter and son-in-law have it now, with 230,000 miles and climbing. I have never owned a Hyundai, so the SC will/would be my first experience. However, better judgment is starting to beat down the passion for the SC.
 

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You also have to consider that the vast majority of owners of ANY vehicle don't appear on forums. They just buy and drive and only seek out forums if they're having problems of some kind. So it certainly can skew what you read. There tends to be a skew to the extremes - the complete and utter fanboys and fangirls and those who are having problems and seeing if they're alone in the problem. Nobody tends to seek discussion on the mundane day-to-day stuff when everything is working as expected. You'll see it on every forum for every make and model on the road. At least that's what I've always seen over the decades.
 

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You also have to consider that the vast majority of owners of ANY vehicle don't appear on forums. They just buy and drive and only seek out forums if they're having problems of some kind.
From my experience, I agree with you 100%. Having only ducked in here a few days back, I may well be wrong on this, but I get the sense that the biggest chunk of folks here didn't seek out the forum to complain. Instead, most folks seem to be passionate about the SC, and came here to learn more. The community seems to have formed around the folks waiting for the SC to finally complete design, get released, and become available to purchase. Slowly, a piece of the community are getting their vehicle, and reporting back what they are experiencing. Those, like you, that are having a good experience so far give me hope. However, there seem to be more than a few having a less than desirable outcome.
 

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Well, for whats it worth. I walked away from my Cruz order.
I wound up finding what might be the frst Frontier to hit the streets in Canada.
I might be back to the Cruz someday. The accelleration and unibody awd is really nice.
But for now, this Frontier works for me.
So I have to ask, others have said the Frontier steering is unusually stiff. What is your opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Don't get me wrong, the Cruz was fun. But it was too much of a compromise for my personal wants and needs.

My Mercedes A250 4matic (AMG package) had better tech, better interior quality, better ride and handling. Superior AWD system and was a hoot to drive with enough utility given the hatch back layout and kayak rack on the roof with a huge pano roof.

The Cruz, although just about as fast 0-60 it did it with a lot more ruckus, not as refined.

But I was going to get the Cruz anyway because I valued the trucky utility over the Mercedes.

But after seeing the reviews and then driving the Frontier, I decided to buy it.

If I was going to forgo the Mercedes for something more utilitarian, I felt that the Frontier gave me MORE of that for my money.

Sad to trade in my A250, but the trade in value the dealer gave me was excellent. And the factory warranty was going to be up in May.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The low speed steering is heavy. But this is to make it handle ruts and pot holes better. The steering wheel doesnt bounce around.

I had a 15 minute highway drive home from the dealer and it tracks so nicely at high speeds. Its on centre feel is excellent.

Well worth the bit of extra effort at low speeds. It is a hydraulic steering system opposed to electric. Er something...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I wish Nissan would have given it a slightly better powertrain to make it a bit more future proof.

I hear you. That said, for my use, the next 3-5 years or so... 'future proof for' me means no growing pains. A trusted a proven engine/transmission is what actually won me over. My future starts tomorrow and not having any concerns about towing was a key factor for me. Not that the SC can't/won't have the goods to tow, I decided to give myself more of a buffer in terms of capacity.

We shall see what the future holds. I can see myself looking at an F150 Lightning, Rivian, Cybertruck or who-knows-what EV truck or SUV comes up down the road. I was never a truck guy until 3 days ago.

But for now, I am looking forward to beating on this thing for a few years. With glee.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, over 1000kms in the books. I continue to use my truck to do truck like things.











It was well documented, my plight to have the Cruz able to tow from the factory/showroom (after break in). Glad to see more and more Cruz owners towing.

One whiff on the Frontier to note. It has, up til now, a bare roof. No side rails.

I wanted to throw my kayak and cargo box up there, but nope. Its bare. No one from Nissan has a timeline on that, or many other accessories.

I also want side steps or running boards. But the aftermarket hasnt caught up.

New models are always a bit of a work in progress.
 

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They just buy and drive and only seek out forums if they're having problems of some kind.
As a long-time moderator and administrator of many automotive forums and groups, I can't completely agree with that. While forum and group participants do tend to be more vocal than the average owner, I see just as many "excited enthusiasts" as I do "miserable complainers".

If anything, I do see a bias toward more enthusiasts in forums that represent somewhat unique vehicles such as Miatas and more complainers in forums that represent more mundane models such as Malibus. :)
 
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