Chevy Colorado Tops Tacoma - Except In This One Critical Way
Chevrolet's new Colorado ZR2 is a fantastic new midsize off-roader. Its optional 2.8-liter turbo-diesel Duramax engine made by Isuzu in Thailand is an excellent alternative to the 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine Chevy offers. Buyers can either choose strong low-end torque for towing, or opt for the 306 hp gas engine for speed and refinement. That the ZR2 is a great addition to the midsize off-road focused pickup market ins not in dispute. The question of which truck, the Tacoma TRD Pro or Colorado ZR2, is the "better" truck certainly is.
Chevy has created a detailed chart which compares its ZR2's advantages over the Tacoma TRD Pro. Some of them we question as reasonable advantages. Take the 4G LTE WI-FI. How is that an advantage in an off-road specialty truck? Perhaps to text AAA to ask for a tow if there are not Tacomas around to help out? We jest. There are some areas that the ZR2 seems to top the Tacoma on the list. For example, the tubular rocker protectors. Those can't hurt when rock-hoping.
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GM lists its 'Standard Eight-Speed Automatic" as an advantage over the Tacoma. Eight speeds are all well and good, but does the Colorado get better fuel economy from this transmission compared to the Tacoma, or even compared to the prior model year of the Colorado. Not in the case of the gas engine it doesn't. However, it's the lack of an available manual stick shift that GM is trying to gloss over that is the real story. GM is not offering the ZR2 with a stick shift. On an everyday car, or even a daily-driver truck that wouldn't be a big deal. On a sport truck built for off road fun, it is quite a big deal.
The Tacoma TRD Pro is available with a choice of a manual or automatic transmission, and a healthy 11% of buyers opt for the manual stick shift. For many buyers that one factor is the start and end of a comparison list. See Chevy's list here.