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Chevy Colorado Drive


Frisky Dingo

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Here's one you guys might like. 

My dealer group owns a Toyota store and a GM store, so I took a new Crew Cab Z71 Colorado out and drove it back-to-back with a Double (Toyota speak for crew) Cab Tacoma TRD Sport. I did a write-up right afterwards-

 

Exterior-

It's bigger than I expected. At first glance, it doesn't really seem smaller than a Silverado. Parking the two next to one another reveals the Colorado to mainly be narrower and have a smaller cab. The bed height is virtually identical, which is a sore point, imo. But it's a good-looking truck, overall. Nicely detailed, modern looking. I dig it. 

In comparison, the Tacoma looks cheap and toy-like. It's decidedly more dated, and just isn't as filled-out. To the Taco's credit, it has a lot more clearance at the front end, giving it a much better approach angle, and you can reach the bottom of the inside of the bed over the bedside. The composite bedliner is also nice.

Advantage- Colorado.


Interior- 

This one's really no contest. The Colorado has a nicely finished interior with nice materials, lots of features, and well-placed, easy to use controls. The seats are comfortable and there's plenty of room for four adults. Materials are nice, but the guages are cheap and plain-looking.

The Taco, on the other hand, is a sea of hard, cheap, strangely-textured plastic paired with a center stack that loos more like an aftermarket addition than an OEM integrated unit. I was easily able to find a perfect driving position in the Chevy, which I've never been able to do in the Tacoma. The Toyota's seat is too close to the floor, and offers no height adjustment, and no power controls at all.

Advantage- Colorado by a huge margin.


Powertrain-

I questioned GM's decision to use the 3.6 rather than the new 4.3, but it plays very nicely here. Power is really good, and the truck isn't plagued by that poor transmission tuning like in other GM products. Just lightly tipping into it moves the truck sufficiently, but there's no hesitation to kick down and deliver some real power here. Shifts were very smooth and quick. Doesn't sound half-bad, either. 

The Tacoma surprisingly doesn't feel as slower as it certainly is thanks to it's similar torque numbers, but it's not happy in doling them out. The engine is loud and coarse, and just doesn't have the response nor top-end immediacy of it's competitor.

Advantage- Colorado.


Ride/handling-

This is one of the aspects of the Colorado that impressed me most. The truck shines here. It swallows up road imperfections with no drama time and again. I drove this thing on some truly horrid roads, and it just loved it. No bouncing, no shudders, just the repeated smothering of bumps, holes, and heaves. The handling is about as good as you can get in a truck not compromised for performance use. The truck feels neutral and is just incredibly composed and planted, no matter what you throw at it. Almost makes you forget you're driving a truck.

The Tacoma isn't as far behind as you may expect here, but it's clearly outmatched. While pavement flaws are a largely uneventful fare here, there's more body movement and the truck doesn't feel as buttoned-down. Handling is decent; it feels fairly light and chuckable, though I'm not sure those are desirable traits in a truck. But there's more roll here, more wallowing, more wavering. It doesn't feel as stiff and solid as the Chevy.

Advantage- Colorado.


Steering/brakes-

Along with the aforementioned handling, the Colorado has the nest steering and brakes I've ever experienced in a truck. ANY truck. The steering is perfectly weighted, direct, and makes the truck easy to place. The brakes made me realize how bad the ones in other trucks suck. The firm pedal here gives great feel and makes the brakes very easy to modulate. Braking power itself seemed more than adequate.

Toss the Tacoma into a turn, and it feels soggy compared to it's rival. Steering is oddly weighted, not progressive, and just generally not enjoyable to use. The brake pedal feels like stepping on a marshmallow after driving the Colorado. In short, it feels like a truck here, and not in a good way.

Advantage- Colorado by a big margin.


Value-

Here's where the Tacoma really takes a beating in my view. A decently equipped V6 Double Cab 4WD Tacoma TRD Sport/Off-Road is 34K. The Colorado was 37K. For a truck that leather, power seats (on both sides), more content, nicer rolling stock, more power, and better efficiency. Whereas the Colorado actually makes a compelling argument against the Silverado, the Tacoma can't do the same against the Tundra. A similarly-equipped Tundra can be had for about 4 grand more than the Tacoma. And it's a way better truck. A similarly-equipped Silverado is 10 grand more than a Colorado, and it's just a different sized truck.

And that's what kills the Tacoma for me. When I sold them, I never understood why people bought them. I understand they have legendary reliability, but that's a moot point for most. Of course, they also have stellar resale value, but when you're paying that much up front, that counts for little. Truth is, the Tacoma looks bad in comparison to both it's own big brother, and it's new nemesis from across the street.

Advantage- Colorado by a land slide.


Summary-

About as one-sided a comparison between 2 new competing vehicles as I've experienced. I drove the Colorado and 4 dr Tacoma TRD Sport back-to-back, and there wasn't a single objective measure I could say the Tacoma excelled, or even equaled, the Colorado in. It was soundly outperformed in every aspect. And subjectively, the gap is even larger. The Colorado is a great truck. In fact, all things considered, it's the best truck I've ever driven. I think it nails the needs of the buyer in this segment perfectly. True, it probably won't off-road with quite the gusto of the Tacoma, but if that's your concern, by an FJ or Wrangler. For everything else, the Colorado trumps the Tacoma. It seriously strikes the want for a truck in me, and that's saying something.   

 

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Yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing the 2016 Tacoma in person.  That will be the real comparison, did Toyota do enough to keep it in competition with these new GM trucks.  I wish we could actually get a Colorado or Canyon on the lot for me to test out, but they are just gone way too quickly if they get to the lot at all (only one has so far).  Another nice review.

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I like the Colorado's exterior but prefer the GMC interior and 4WD auto option.

Yeah, normally where twins are concerned I prefer the GMC's looks to the Chevy's, but on this one I have to give the nod to the Colorado, but GMC does tend to have better interiors.

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I like the Colorado's exterior but prefer the GMC interior and 4WD auto option.

Yeah, normally where twins are concerned I prefer the GMC's looks to the Chevy's, but on this one I have to give the nod to the Colorado, but GMC does tend to have better interiors.

 

They are very similar inside of course. I would like to get a crew cab long box in the future. Used preferably. Let depreciation work for me!

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I like the Colorado's exterior but prefer the GMC interior and 4WD auto option.

Yeah, normally where twins are concerned I prefer the GMC's looks to the Chevy's, but on this one I have to give the nod to the Colorado, but GMC does tend to have better interiors.

 

They are very similar inside of course. I would like to get a crew cab long box in the future. Used preferably. Let depreciation work for me!

 

 

I've always preferred the exterior AND interior look of the Colorado over the GMC Canyon; however, with this generation, I'd like to take the GMC interior b/c it has the option of the tan-neutral interior, which the Colorado doesn't have.

 

 

Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve
"I wanna drive" __ Trace Adkins __ '(Her Favorite Color Is) Chrome'
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I love mine!  The current Tacoma is like a primitive buckboard in comparison.  I heard one of the engineers, an American, surprisingly, say the 2016 Tacoma is "not a mini Tundra", which I think he meant as a jab toward the GM trucks... but I took it to mean the new Tacoma will be more of the same... another primitive buckboard.

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I love mine!  The current Tacoma is like a primitive buckboard in comparison.  I heard one of the engineers, an American, surprisingly, say the 2016 Tacoma is "not a mini Tundra", which I think he meant as a jab toward the GM trucks... but I took it to mean the new Tacoma will be more of the same... another primitive buckboard.

They are just polishing the current truck. Which will probably make them a lot of money. It is still a good little offroad vehicle and has a strong following of people that will buy it without ever even looking in the window of the GM twins. Where I live, people will buy based on theoretical off-road capability and then take it through a muddy field or ditch twice the whole time they own it.

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I love mine!  The current Tacoma is like a primitive buckboard in comparison.  I heard one of the engineers, an American, surprisingly, say the 2016 Tacoma is "not a mini Tundra", which I think he meant as a jab toward the GM trucks... but I took it to mean the new Tacoma will be more of the same... another primitive buckboard.

They are just polishing the current truck. Which will probably make them a lot of money. It is still a good little offroad vehicle and has a strong following of people that will buy it without ever even looking in the window of the GM twins. Where I live, people will buy based on theoretical off-road capability and then take it through a muddy field or ditch twice the whole time they own it.

 

That's one of the different things with our dealership, since there are so few options for small trucks, by carrying Nissan, Toyota, and GM on our lot we have the whole collection available for them to look at and compare (well, we would if we could ever get a Colorado and/or Canyon in to show instead of immediately being delivered to a customer) and I get to see the sales trends firsthand.  Many people do seem to like the Tacoma, the biggest complaint I hear all the time is fuel economy.  That is where I am hoping that the new Tacoma will be a big improvement over the previous one.  I would say the Colorado and Canyon probably are and will continue to be overall better trucks than the Tacoma, but a lot of people put some serious stake in that Toyota name.  If the new Tacoma hits some good MPG numbers I think the fervor for the GM twins will die down a little.  I expect them to still stay well ahead of the Nissan, but because Toyota has the crown already they don't have to do near as much to retain it as others will in order to steal it.  If they have a downfall it will be that the new Tacoma looks butt-ugly from the front (our Toyota manager remarked that the redesign looked kind of like a puffer fish).  Even before the Gm twins released if someone came in asking for a specific truck it was always the Tacoma.  People that just wanted a small truck and didn't have a make or model in mind (maybe they were used to Dakotas or Rangers, for example), would end up more evenly split between the Tacoma and Frontier, with a slight edge still to the Tacoma.  I'm very interested to see how those numbers pan out once the new vehicles are all on the lot together for customers to shop.

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Funny that Toyota named the truck after our twin city here in washington Tacoma and yet it does not sell that well here. People that come in wanting a 4x4 or work truck look to GM & Ford mostly, then RAM and finally Toyota. The Pacific NW is truly an American Truck market.

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