Toyota Tacoma vs. Chevrolet Colorado: Find Out Which Truck is Better

Toyota Tacoma vs. Chevrolet Colorado: Find Out Which Truck is Better

With an abundance of options out there, we cannot help but compare products – be it TVs, computers, shoes, phones, or cars – to determine which choice is best. 

Buying a pickup truck is no exception. Allow us to introduce to you two of the most-discussed models on the market currently: the Toyota Tacoma and the Chevrolet Colorado

Built for optimal utilization, both the Tacoma and the Colorado are fit for driving on slick city roads and wilder, off-road terrain. Each midsize pickup truck’s design boasts sensible dimensions that provide internal comfortability and allows drivers to handle the vehicle itself more efficiently. 

Whether you’re in the business of hauling cargo or transporting various passengers, each pickup has its merits, but which one is better?

Currently, the Tacoma has been one of the most popular choices over the last few years. Still, as we well know, people’s preferences fluctuate, and the Colorado is most definitely biting at Toyota’s heels.

So, read on as we break down the similarities and differences between the Tacoma and the Colorado.

Chevy Colorado vs. Toyota Tacoma specs

First, each truck features four doors and comes with two sizes of cab options.

With the Tacoma, drivers have their choice between the access cab, with a 74-inch cargo bed, or a double cab whose bed measures 60 inches. The former is better suited to hauling loads, while the latter is better for passenger transport. The access cab offers approximately 40 inches of headroom in the front and 35 inches in the truck's rear, with 43 inches of legroom in the front and 25 inches in the back. The double cab offers remarkably similar dimensions.

The Tacoma's interior isn't flashy, but it shows off a clean, streamlined design that compliments several technological perks, including a touchscreen infotainment center, climate control, and Apple CarPlay. Finally, the Tacoma can tow up to 7,000 pounds.

In comparison, the Colorado's cab sizes include the extended trim with a 74-inch bed and the crew trim with a 62-inch bed. The extended cab offers approximately 41 inches of headroom and 37 inches of legroom in the front and rear of the vehicle. The crew cab's dimensions are the same.

As for storage space, the Colorado offers plenty, and its infotainment system rivals that of the Tacoma, as it has the same features mentioned above.

So, as far as vehicle specs go, particularly interior dimensions, both models closely resemble one another.

How do the Tacoma and the Colorado compare in terms of pricing?

Toyota offers the 2021 Tacoma in three different trim levels: the Tacoma SR begins at $32,665, the TRD Off-Road is available for $37,530, and the Limited for $42,230. 

When purchased new, the 2021 Colorado's prices start at $26,395 for the extended cab but range up to $30,595 for the top-tier crew cab.

Pickups are often more costly than other vehicle models, but you needn't dismiss your automotive dreams and compromise on either the make or model for the sake of the price. 

Shift has Tacomas available for purchase starting at $15,950 up to $42,950, and with more than 100 options from which to pick, it won't be difficult to find a pickup to suit your fancy. The Tacoma SR5 is one such option. Averaging at $32,900, this truck promises a comfortable, enjoyable ride wherever you roam.

The Chevy Colorado is also available at Shift, and with prices that range from $19,950 to $44,950, this pickup is just waiting for you to take it home. Furthermore, this model is one of the best-reviewed midsize pickups you can buy if you're eager to get every bang for your buck.

What kind of gas mileage do the Tacoma and the Colorado get?

What about the fuel efficiency of the Tacoma versus that of the Colorado, you ask? Arguably that is one of the most critical aspects of a pickup truck, seeing as gas prices aren’t necessarily cheap these days.

The Tacoma has two engine types: four cylinders with 159 horsepower or a 265-horsepower V6 engine. Both have a range of 18-21 mpg, and the gas tank holds approximately 21 gallons.

The Colorado offers three engine types: a 200-horsepower four-cylinder, a 308-horsepower V6, and a 181-horsepower, four-cylinder diesel. The diesel engine is the most efficient option by far but also more costly. Its fuel economy ranges between 17-21 mpg for both city and off-road driving, depending on whether you opted for the standard two-wheel drive or upgrade for the four-wheel drive. Like the Tacoma, the Colorado’s gas tank holds approximately 21 gallons of fuel too.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD LT (from $31,450)

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 2016 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD LT (from $31,450)
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How do the Tacoma and the Colorado compare when going off-road?

If you’re looking to explore off the beaten path, the Tacoma’s V6 engine is the way to go, thanks to its rugged performance and ability to tow 6,500-6,800 pounds without difficulty. More specifically, the Tacoma TRD Off-Road is the Toyota model solely known for its off-roading talents, with its bypass shocks, LED lights, and a six-speed transmission to suit all your driving moods.

On the other hand, this is where the Colorado’s diesel V6 engine shines. Able to go from zero to 60 mph in approximately nine seconds, this model can also tow up to 7,000 pounds. The Colorado ZR2, especially, is a model that’s top of the line. With big tires and a two-speed automatic gear shift, whether you’re camping or hauling ATVs deep into the woods, this baby will get you there.

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How long does the Tacoma last compared to the Colorado?

The Tacoma can run 200,000-300,000 miles and can go up to 15 years or so before the need for repairs start to arise. For the Colorado, it will serve you well and, if kept in good condition, you’ll most likely be able to squeeze out an acceptable 200,000 miles on it before touch-ups are needed.

2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road (from $41,950)

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How reliable are the Tacoma and the Colorado?

Toyota's contender has acquired a so-called cult following because of how reliable consumers have found the Tacoma. This car includes standardized driver assistance, which makes the vehicle simple to understand. Cruise control comes standard as well. In terms of safety, the Tacoma features forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking. Furthermore, this not-so-little gem features airbags for both the driver and front passenger and side airbags for extra precautions. It's safe to say that Toyota doesn't mess around when it comes to protective measures. 

The Colorado has also garnered its fair share of popularity, and many consider it to be just as reliable, if not more effortless to handle. Safety-wise, Chevy also equipped the Colorado with forward-collision warning as well as a rear parking camera to help you better maneuver tight spaces in your blind spots. The airbags in this model match the former's.

Both the Tacoma and the Colorado make the cut as two of Shift's most reliable pickup trucks currently available to customers. 

Regardless of whether you're leaning toward the Tacoma or the Colorado, rest assured that Shift has plenty of choices. Certified mechanics perform extensive 150-point inspections on each member of Shift's expansive inventory, and Shift provides complete vehicle history reports, so you know your used car feels as good as new. 

But which pickup is genuinely better? To answer that question, you'll have to go ahead and decide for yourself. Either way, trucks do tend to make navigating life's obstacles all the more fun.

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Author
Shift Editorial Team