When it comes to these two mighty pickups, they’re both outstanding choices but depending on your personal taste one is far better than the other.
When buying a midsize truck, you’d want to consider a bit of off-road ability apart from the utilitarian side of things. While people generally associate with trucks having AWD as standard, that’s really not the case. Manufacturers charge extra for setting a 4WD drivetrain which usually ends up being $1,000 or more.
But if you do have enough budget to spend on one of the more off-road centric versions of a truck, why hold back? Inevitably you’d have to end up choosing one and it’s quite confusing especially with the options available. We believe a square-off between the respective midsize offerings from Toyota and Chevrolet, specifically, the Tacoma TRD Pro and Colorado ZR2 would help with your dilemma.
Toyota has done a fabulous job with the TRD Pro and the same holds for Chevy’s Colorado ZR2. Given that both of these midsize trucks are the best of what their monikers can offer, seeing how they fare against each other in terms of general off-roading would help shed some light.
As to which one’s the best, well, it depends on what you want. If extreme off-roading is what you’re looking for the Colorado ZR2’s the one; Chevy’s impeccably tuned suspension and various off-road gadgetry onboard outweigh whatever Toyota offers with the Tacoma TRD Pro.
Since both of them are set up to tackle the wilderness, power is undoubtedly important to crawl out of muddy trails. While the Chevy gets the option of a diesel-powered 2.8-liter Duramax and an optional 3.6-liter gasoline V6, Toyota only offers a 3.5-liter gasoline V6 for the TRD Pro. However, Toyota does offer a choice of two transmissions; a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual, whereas the Chevy gets a 6-speed auto for the inline-four diesel and an 8-speed automatic for the V6.
In terms of numbers, Chevy Colorado puts out 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque in its V6 avatar. The Duramax diesel is good for 186 horsepower and a whopping 369 lb-ft of torque, a big plus for off-road junkies. Taco makes 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of twist, which is not the best but certainly not the worst.
Toyota’s part-time four-wheel-drive system with an electronically engaged two-speed transfer case is part of the package. There’s also an electronically locking rear differential for intense off-roading. Interestingly, the ZR2 gets both front and rear locking diffs plus a switchable four-wheel-drive system making it more versatile and that much more capable than the TRD Pro.
Whatever mentioned above are things on paper and it’s important to see how those numbers fare in the real world. Unlike most American manufacturers, Toyota creates a full-blown off-roader and then rips off everything for civilized road use. The body-on-frame chassis ticks the box along with bespoke Fox-tuned suspension. Both of these coupled with the drivetrain makes the Taco TRD a force when traversing the road less traveled.
On the road, Tacoma is a lot stiffer owing to tightly sprung shocks and the Good Year all-terrains aren’t the comfiest either. Being the number-one selling midsize truck, the Tacoma has enough oomph from the V6 to get you through the gnarliest of terrains without much drama.
The Chevrolet Colorado is not a slouch either. In ZR2 guise, the Colorado is more than ready for some thrashing. For starters, it gets a trick DSSV dampers, which, unlike conventional dampers offer multiple profiles for compression and rebound; six at the front and four at the rear axle to be precise.
The Duramax diesel offers immense torque for those tricky bits and the Good Year Duratec rubber offers ultimate grip during the ordeal. Even if you were to get the gasoline motor, you won’t be disappointed, the 275-lb ft pales in comparison to the diesel’s grunt but is more than enough for most scenarios.
On the road, the Colorado is surprisingly well behaved and handles corners with minimal roll; dare I say, like a sportscar. Further complementing its on-road abilities is the lack of judder or flex usually exhibited by body-on-frame designs.
Apart from a list of off-road specific features like all-terrain tires and low range gears, both cars offer a lot more. The Taco offers a 1-inch suspension lift, crawl control, 1/4-in aluminum front skid plate, 16-inch Black TRD wheels with a 1-inch wider track, larger anti-sway bar, TRD cat-back exhaust, a unique hood scoop, and an optional snorkel. Only available as a double cab, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma in the top of the line TRD Pro spec will set you back $47,995.
The Chevrolet Colorado if equipped with the ZR2 package, comes with painted stainless-steel tubular rocker protectors and a full suite of skid plates. In addition to this, the ZR2 gets a 3.5-inches wider track, increased ride height of two-inches, and gets the option of a snorkel if you so wish to take a dip with the ZR2. As per GM, the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 will cost you $41,600 for the extended cab and $43,200 for the crew cab.
Kiran is relatively naive in every aspect other than cars. As per him, a vehicle is a living being with a soul. Ever since he was a toddler, cars fascinated him, so much so that, he only ate when there’s a picture of a car beside him. Fast forward 20 years with his passion still intact, he graduated with a degree in automobile engineering. His fetish towards Italian marques and Porsches is well known amongst his colleagues, his hopes and dreams still stand very high as to owning one someday.
Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota
World news – CA – Which Truck Is Right For You: Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Vs Chevrolet Colorado ZR2