Tacoma Versus Colorado: The Better Truck Falls Behind

2015 chevrolet colorado-pic-3672756912968334547

Two trucks named after places are in the midst of an epic battle for superiority.

One is a long-standing stalwart in the industry while the other has evolved into something all-new after returning from a short hibernation.

The Toyota Tacoma, named after the third-largest city in Washington, and the Chevy Colorado, named for the 38th state to join the United States, compete in the U.S. to capture market-share.

Oddly enough, the truck that looks better on paper is the one losing the battle. In fact, it’s getting destroyed.

Toyota sold 15,959 units of the Tacoma in June while the Chevrolet Colorado sold 6,558 units. The Tacoma is obviously still the gold standard when it comes to the midsize truck segment in the automobile industry.

What I’m about to say is hard because I am a longtime Toyota fan, but I have to wonder if Toyota deserves to keep the top spot. Compare the Tacoma to the Colorado and you’ll see that the rival Chevy is probably the better buy.

The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado can be had with a new 3.6-liter V6 engine while the Tacoma has an antiquated 4.0-liter V6. The Colorado comes with a six-speed automatic transmission while the Tacoma still comes with an old five-speed slush box. How does that translate to power?

The Colorado churns out 305-horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, while the Tacoma produces only 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of twist. The maximum payload of the two trucks is nearly identical, although the edge again goes to the Colorado, with its 1,590 pounds against and 1,500 for the Toyota.

The Colorado wins in the fuel economy comparison, too. The Colorado can get 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway. A comparable Toyota gets an average of 16/21.

The Chevy wins in about every category, so why are people buying the Toyota instead? It comes down to reputation and marketing. Both trucks are priced about the same but Toyota is famous for being reliable and capable, while Chevy dealt with many years of quality concerns. Those days are behind it, as proven by the new Colorado, but it’ll take many years to overcome the perception that Toyota still builds a better truck.

If shoppers can look past the logos and start comparing the facts, Toyota might start to lose some ground.

Which truck is for you, the Chevy Colorado or Toyota Tacoma?


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  1. Big reason is for me at least is reliability. Had both in the past, and the Toyota has been bulletproof reliable compared to the Chevy.

  2. My Dad makes this point all the time … better to get in on the better deal before everyone else notices!

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