2018 Chevrolet Colorado vs. 2018 Toyota Tacoma
The pickup truck segment is extensively varied, with buyers getting to choose from full-size pickups to smaller utility trucks. While there are plenty of models from which to choose in the full-size pickup segment, but there are comparatively few choices when it comes to the midsize pickup truck class. The two most popular and toughest contenders in the category are the Chevrolet Colorado and the Toyota Tacoma.
Toyota’s Tacoma has built a fan following over the years among off-road enthusiasts due to its burliness and long life. This has consequently led to a high used car price among the Tacoma models. Having said that, the Tacoma is also known to have a noisy cabin and uncomfortable ride along with limited safety options, especially when you consider the fact that is a darling among off-roading adventurists.
Chevy’s Colorado, conversely, has a much more comfortable and quiet cabin along with an agile handling quality. The towing capacity of this GM truck is high.
The Colorado is available in extended cab and crew cab body styles, in two bed lengths and five trim levels. If you are looking for a no-frills midsize pickup, the Base and Work Truck (WT) are the best variants available at an excellent price. The LT and Z71 are the mid-range variants that come with a larger touchscreen and 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot as standard. The top end ZR2 comes with improved suspension and some minor tweaks in the body design to enable greater ease of off-roading.
As for the Tacoma, you get to choose from six trims. The entry-level SR is the basic work truck for Toyota, while the SR5 takes you a level up with some more equipment inside. The best-selling Tacomas, however, are the TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road trims. Both are similar, with the latter being more capable of maneuvering off-road. For the current model year, Toyota also offers street variants of the Tacoma in the form of the Limited and the TRD Pro.
The Colorado features a no-nonsense cabin with an upright driving position and well laid-out controls. When you consider the crew cab option, the front seats are extremely comfortable. Though the B pillars are strong, they do not create much of an obstruction for the driver. All the switchgears are well labeled and controls are easy to reach, including toggles in the center console that can be operated wearing thick hand gloves. In addition, there’s plenty of headroom for taller passengers at the front.
Thanks to Chevy’s MyLink system, the Colorado comes with exceptional in-car technology. It is loaded with plenty of features and is easy to use. Two USB ports at the front and two optional at the back offer more than enough charging options. The pickup’s Bluetooth is easy to set up and work efficiently. Then in-car infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is as easy to use as in luxury sedans. The touchscreen constantly displays the command buttons and does its best to ease the usage of the same.
The Tacoma’s interior is also well laid out with effective control buttons. Space is decent but taller passengers might find the headroom insufficient. In addition, the tall step makes it rather uncomfortable to get in and out of the cab. This is because the Tacoma has high ground clearance, chiefly because of its off-road focus. This further limits the legroom for the driver and narrows the steering adjustment range. While the rear seats are spacious, they still fall short of the Colorado’s roominess.
The Tacoma has traditionally large and simple knobs for its infotainment system that are easy to use. The limited glare makes the graphics of the touchscreen clearer. The sound quality of the base system is decent. Although Tacoma’s Bluetooth pairing is simple, the smartphone interface requires you to install an app in order to access all the features. As for charging and other purposes, the cabin has just one USB jack.
Engine & Performance
The most surprising thing about the Colorado is the option of a diesel engine, which is generally limited to full-size heavy-duty pickups. The 2.8L 180-horsepower four-cylinder turbo diesel delivers outstanding torque, making it one of the most powerful engines in the class. In addition, the 3.6L 308-horsepower V6 petrol engine goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in 7.5 seconds. The 3.6 V6 is perfectly matched to the Colorado’s size, making the handling agile and improving maneuverability. While the V6 offers a combined fuel efficiency of 18 mpg, the turbo diesel offers an impressive 24 mpg.
When it comes to safety, the Colorado is the only truck in its segment to offer a forward collision warning system. A backup camera is standard across all trims.
Toyota Tacoma’s 3.5L 278hp V6 goes from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, which is slightly slower than the 3.6L engine of the Colorado. Toyota has placed so much emphasis on off-roading that it completely forgot how a truck should drive on normal roads. On a regular surface, the handling and maneuverability of the Tacoma is primitive and uncomfortable. The suspension wobbles so much that by the end of the ride, you get the feeling you’ve been off-roading although you haven’t been. In addition, the cabin is too noisy to allow a soft conversation on the go. The Tacoma does not offer many safety options like a forward collision warning, although rear cross-traffic alerts and blind spot monitoring are available. Having said that, the 3.5L engine offers a decent fuel efficiency of 19 mpg combined, while the lower 2.5L trim offers 23 mpg – still short of the Colorado.
While both the Chevrolet Colorado and the Toyota Tacoma have their own pros and cons, there are a few aspects where the Colorado easily comes out on the top. This is mainly in areas like interior comfort, technology, safety features, handling, and performance. When it comes to day-to-day usage, the Colorado is the better choice.