Toyota Tacoma's two-step plan to match Chevy's 2015 Colorado
The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado could be the best thing that ever happened to the Toyota Tacoma. Visit any Tacoma forum or blog and you will see that although the pickup has a tremendously loyal following, those fans know that it can be better. Chevy is not pulling punches with the Colorado. It intends to be the top-selling vehicle in the mid-size pickup market, and the Colorado has the potential to steal away market share from the long-in-the-tooth Tacoma.
Some suspect the Tacoma will emerge in 2015 as a Colorado-beater. We think not. The 2015 model year is now, not later. If Toyota was planning to meet the Colorado’s challenge head on from the first moment it arrived, we would have already seen the new Tacoma at shows, and we would have learned some details. For example, the Lexus NX 200t is going to be a 2015 model and we already know pretty much every detail on that vehicle. No, Toyota is going to sit back at least one year and see what the Colorado actually brings, then Toyota is going to adjust its game (and product) and come back with a solid update capable to sustaining its 140,000 trucks per year sales pace.
Tacoma Update Step One – Engines
If there is one area that is already a problem for the 2014 Tacoma versus the 2015 Colorado it is engines. In our previous story we explained that the base engine may be fine for some, but by comparison to what the Colorado will offer, it is way too weak as an affordable truck. We still think the main parry by Toyota will be to place the new 2.0 liter twin-scroll turbocharged engine in the Tacoma. In the upcoming Lexus NX 200t the new turbo will produce 235 horsepower and about 260 ft-lbs of torque. After the Tacoma’s next redesign, this will be the engine most frequently selected by individual buyers. It matches the output of the current V6 almost exactly. Toyota may retain the inexpensive base 2.7 liter four cylinder engine, but it will be for commercial 2wd delivery vehicles and for fleet sales.