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2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO vs. 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison

John Coyle | February 12, 2020

In this domestic corner, we have the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison Diesel. This is the beefiest off-rig on the menu from Chevy, and offers diesel power in a mid-size package.

Representing the imports is the 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. This venerable competitor has long been a favorite of the outdoorsy set, and showcases Toyota's legendary build quality.

Both the Chevy and the Toyota are great choices if you want to keep going when the going gets rough. So let's take a look at the engines, cabs, infotainment, and price to determine a winner!


Powertrains

First, let’s look at the powertrains. Our tester featured Chevy’s 2.8-liter turbocharged diesel. The little mill is good for 181 horsepower and a robust 369 lb-feet of torque, and comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. With the diesel under the hood, Colorado is rated at 20 miles-per-gallon city, 30 highway. With the ZR2 package, the Colorado can tow 5,000 pounds and haul 1,000 pounds. Standard diesels can tow up to 7,700 pounds.

In comparison, the TRD Pro comes with a 3.5-liter V6 pumping out 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. While lower Tacoma trims all come with a six-speed automatic, a six-speed stick is available on the TRD Pro. At 19 city and 24 highway, fuel economy isn’t as impressive as the Colorado. But the TRD Pro is rated to tow 6,800 pounds, and haul 1,540 pounds.

We like the Colorado’s diesel offers great torque and fuel economy. But we think the Toyota’s superior towing and hauling capacity, along with the availability of a stick, gives in the win in the powertrains category.

Shop Chevrolet Colorado Inventory

Cabin Interiors

Next, let’s look at the cabs. The design of the Colorado’s interior has an attractive modern feel. But while the standard leather seats are comfortable, and the rear seats of the crew cab are roomy enough for adults, some of the plastics feel hard, and material quality doesn’t stack up against competitors in the segment.

In contrast, the cab of the Toyota is somewhat utilitarian. But materials are high quality, and overall the build quality feels excellent. That said, the interior feels smaller across the board, and there’s less headroom and rear passenger space.

Shop Toyota Tacoma Inventory

Infotainment Systems

In 2020, being built to tackle trails is no excuse to skimp on infotainment, and both the Chevy and Toyota come well equipped. Both have an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, and available USB ports. Also, both systems are intuitive, and tech-savvy folks looking for a WiFi hotspot will be able to pony up for it when it comes time to select options. Since these systems are more alike than they are different, we’re going to call this another draw.

Now, let’s look at safety. In testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Colorado earned four out of five stars. While GM’s teen driver package,which allows parents to limit radio volume and vehicle speed is standard, more advanced features like lane departure warning and forward collision warning are extra.

Shop Chevrolet Colorado Inventory

Safety

While the Tacoma also earned four out of five stars in NHTSA testing, it comes with Toyota’s Safety Sense P, which includes forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and pedestrian detection, and more. So we’re as far as safety goes, so regarding safety, we’re going to give it to the Toyota.

Shop Toyota Tacoma Inventory

Value and Price

Finally, it’s time to talk price.

The Chevy Colorado with the ZR2 package and the diesel engine starts at $44,900, which is just over the $43,960 which will get you a Tacoma TRD Pro. So while the margin is narrow, the Toyota wins on price.

All told, this competition is close. And while we like the availability of the diesel engine in the Colorado, we think the Tacoma’s better towing, manual option, and lower base price give it the win.

Shop Chevrolet Coloardo Inventory

Verdict

Overall, this is a tough comparison, particularly because we love wagons, and don't like to see them fight. But while we like the power of the Volvo's available plug-in hybrid, we think the Subaru's lower cost of entry, fantastic cargo capacity, and better infotainment win the day.

The power of a test drive

Of course, you shouldn't buy a truck without a thorough test drive. So if you're looking to check out a Chevrolet Colorado or a Toyota Tacoma, find an AutoNation dealership near you!

Image commposite of 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO and Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison
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