2020 Chevy Colorado vs 2020 Toyota Tacoma
  • Comparisons

2020 Chevy Colorado vs 2020 Toyota Tacoma

By Autolist Staff | July 21 2020

2020 Chevrolet Colorado

2020 Toyota Tacoma

Our User's Take

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2020 Chevy Colorado score: 6.7

Highlights:
  • Solid towing capability.
  • Compact size makes maneuvering in tight spaces easy.
  • Smooth, composed ride on most road conditions.
  • Variety of engine options unmatched by Tacoma: four-cylinder, V6, and diesel.

2020 Toyota Tacoma score: 7

Highlights:
  • A generous list of standard driver assistance and safety features.
  • Bold styling for on- and off-road-oriented models.
  • Class-leading reliability and resale value

How they stack up:

Safety Features:

Chevy Colorado: 7

  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado' Good' for small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof, and head restraints/seats in crash tests. Small overlap front crashworthiness was rated 'Marginal,' while the headlights were rated 'Poor.' Vehicle-to-vehicle crash prevention was rated Basic with the optional safety equipment.

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated the Colorado four stars overall, out of a total of five. This includes four stars for both front driver and passenger side crash protection, five stars for side crash protection, and three stars for rollover prevention. Lower star ratings are fairly common for trucks and SUVs because of their tendency to tip more easily than normal cars.

  • The Colorado comes standard with a total of six airbags that includes dual-stage front airbags, seat-side mounted impact airbags, head curtain airbags, and a passenger-sensing system. Other standard features include electronic stability control with rollover mitigation, trailer sway control, hill-start assist, and a rearview camera.

  • A Safety Package is available for the LT and Z71 trims that includes forward collision alerts, lane departure alerts, and rear park assist

Toyota Tacoma: 8

  • Unlike most compact pickups, the Tacoma comes standard with a number of driver assistance features intended to prevent crashes altogether. All models get adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, and automatic high beams, while features such as blind-spot monitoring and rear parking sensors can be added. Some rivals don’t offer any of these features, so the Toyota stands out here.

  • It also holds up well in crash tests. The Tacoma received four out of five stars from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave it a Top Safety Pick, which is a high score for its class.

Value:

Chevy Colorado: 6

  • In higher trims, the Colorado's fatter sticker price clashes with that of the larger and more capable Chevrolet Silverado. It's a hard sell at that price.

  • Middle trims offer the best value, as the price tag is reasonable, and the list of standard features is much longer than the lowest trims. This level of available customization and choice is a big selling point for the Colorado against its rivals from Toyota and even Honda.

  • The base model is just that and is more oriented towards fleet use or buyers who just need the most basic transportation that's also functional.

  • Even in higher trims, there's more hard plastic and cheap-feeling materials than we'd like to see. The Colorado falls roughly in the middle of the pack when compared to its competitors, as it's "nice" enough to stand up to newer rivals like the Ranger but not refined enough to beat the Ridgeline for daily driving.

  • The Colorado has been noted as being able to handle significant abuse, both on- and off-road, which makes it an excellent choice as a go-anywhere, do-anything vehicle.

Toyota Tacoma: 5

  • Base Tacomas start at relatively reasonable prices but can rise quickly when more creature comforts are added. For 2020, all models get items such as a sliding rear window, four doors, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But the base model comes with a four-cylinder engine and lacks things like alloy wheels and keyless entry. A 4x4, leather-lined version easily surpasses $40,000.

  • And the off-road-oriented TRD models don’t come cheap, either. It starts to push the Tacoma past other compact pickups and deep into the price range of full-size trucks or more accomplished SUVs that could be easier to live with every day.

Efficiency:

Chevy Colorado: 6

  • With 2WD, the 2.8-liter engine, and the automatic transmission, the Colorado is rated at 20/30/23 mpg city/hwy/combined. With the 2.5-liter engine, those numbers move to 20/26/22 mpg.

  • The 2.8-liter diesel engine is rated at 19/28/22 mpg when 4WD is equipped.

  • The Colorado's V6 engine is rated at 18/25/20 mpg city/hwy/combined. With 4WD, those numbers change to 17/24/19 mpg.

  • The Colorado ZR2 with the diesel engine is rated at 18/22/19 mpg, and with the V6, it's rated at 16/18/17 mpg.

Toyota Tacoma: 7

  • The Tacoma’s standard four-cylinder engine and two-wheel-drive only get 23 mpg highway, according to the EPA. That’s slightly worse than some rivals do with much more powerful engines and four-wheel-drive. The V6 4x4 models only achieve 22 mpg highway, far below some competitors with similar configurations.

  • Part of the Tacoma’s problem is that it still uses a six-speed transmission when competitors have mostly adopted eight, nine, or 10-speed transmissions. Some also offer diesel engines that get far better fuel economy. Even full-size pickups generally get better fuel economy than the Tacoma.

Driving Experience:

Chevy Colorado: 7

  • The V6 engine provides lively acceleration and a strong sound when the pedal hits the floor. Acceleration has been clocked at around seven seconds from 0 to 60 mph. The V6 matches well with Chevy's new eight-speed automatic, as there's never an occasion where the gearbox is hunting for gears. In towing scenarios, the transmission finds its gear and downshifts readily. The same can't always be said for leisurely drives on flat roads, where the gearbox is slow to downshift for better acceleration.

  • The Colorado's ride is comfortable and confidence-inspiring. Body roll is well contained by the suspension system, but some slips through on the curviest roads. That said, the Colorado handles its business well when the roads twist up.

  • Off-road, the Colorado is a mixed bag. On the one hand, the ride height and off-road tires for some trims make the truck an off-road star, but awkwardly-placed bodywork like the front air dam limits the approach angle. The good news is that it can be removed in about a half-hour if necessary.

Toyota Tacoma: 6

  • The Tacoma never lets passengers forget it’s a truck, but that’s par for the course. The on-road ride is generally choppy and is only made worse when selecting one of the TRD models and their off-road tires and suspensions. Some rivals may be softer-riding, but the Tacoma holds its own for the most part.

  • However, it could use more power. Even with the V6, the Tacoma can struggle for power when others with more horsepower or turbocharged engines get up to highway speeds with less hassle. Four-cylinder models are even more gutless and are likely best avoided. And depending on the combination of cab size and bed length, the Tacoma can be just as ungainly to maneuver in town as a full-size truck, which can further put its price tag into question.

Tech Features:

Chevy Colorado: 6

  • Chevrolet's Infotainment 3 system is a pleasure to use. It's colorful, easy to understand, and intuitive. The available eight-inch screen is bright and easily viewable from wide angles and almost all lighting conditions.

  • Standard features for most trims include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two USB ports, and a six-speaker sound system.

  • Optional features include an eight-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, extra USB ports, automatic climate controls, wireless device charging, an upgraded audio system, and navigation.

  • The Colorado also comes with an AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot, Chevrolet Connected Access, and GM OnStar. Subscription charges may apply, and service may not be available in all areas.

Toyota Tacoma: 7

  • For the 2020 model year, Toyota has kept the Tacoma relatively up-to-date in terms of infotainment systems, with all vehicles receiving a 7-inch touchscreen, two USB ports, and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s upgradable on some versions to an 8-inch unit, too.

  • Other tech includes built-in navigation, rear parking sensors, a JBL audio system, and a multi-view monitor that can assist in off-road maneuvers. The Tacoma doesn’t really have any surprises when it comes to the latest automotive technology, but none of its rivals do, either.

Style & Design:

Chevy Colorado: 7

  • The Colorado has adopted the sharper, busier style that Chevy gave to the larger Silverado pickup last year. This includes a large grille with a prominent Chevrolet logo, large headlights, and a highly visible skid plate on some models.
  • Though it's a small truck, the Colorado has an imposing stance and strong lines that make it look muscular and aggressive. Long lines and a high beltline make the truck look larger than it is, and the sharp styling draws attention to prominent areas up front and on the rear.

  • The front seats are set high in the cabin, which opens up a large viewing area and excellent visibility out front. The truck's large pillars and smaller side windows make side visibility problematic in some situations.

  • The Colorado's cabin prioritizes space for front-seat passengers, which makes sense, but the result is a back seat that is uncomfortable for most people. Children and shorter adults will find a comfy spot in the back.

  • All controls, buttons, and displays are driver-oriented and easy to reach from the driver's seat. Everything is well organized and easy to recognize when the truck is in motion.

Toyota Tacoma: 7

  • The Tacoma has many costumes, depending on the trim. Base models are fairly pedestrian, while Limited models are noticeably more posh and aggressive from the outside, with lots of color-keyed accents and chrome. SR5 4x4 models add a little sportiness, as well. But it’s the TRD models that embrace their persona, with large block “TOYOTA” script in front and black wheels. It’s bold and distinctive for the class.

  • The interior is built to a price, however. It screams durability more than anything, even on the models costing in excess of $40,000. While newer technologies have been decently integrated, newer designs in the segment have a more cohesive layout that’s also more user-friendly. They also make the Toyota seem dated, even though it recently received a round of updates.

Practicality:

Chevy Colorado: 8

  • The Colorado's high degree of customization and the wide selection of bed and cab sizes make it possible for buyers to pick the exact truck that best meets their needs.

  • The Colorado's bed features corner steps, cargo tie-downs, and the ability to carry items up to eight feet long with the tailgate down. When equipped, the easy up/down tailgate makes using the bed much easier.

  • Inside, the Colorado lacks small items storage. Cubbies are small and awkwardly placed, and the center console storage area should be much larger. The back seat does not fold completely flat, which makes loading cargo in the cabin awkward.

  • In configurations with a rear seat, space is severely lacking. This includes head and legroom, as well as storage spaces. The rear door openings are small, and the truck's ride height makes it difficult to load car seats, cargo, and even pets.

Toyota Tacoma: 7

  • There are two cab sizes and two bed lengths, depending on the trim level. That’s more choice than some offer in this class, but it lets customers better tailor their Tacoma to certain needs. Payload tops out at 1,600 pounds, while a Tacoma can tow up to 6,700 pounds when properly equipped.

  • Other than that, the Tacoma is a typical compact pickup. While the dimensions aren’t as ungainly as a full-size truck’s, there are a few compromises. Even the largest cab design is tight for four adults, and a family will struggle to find room for odds and ends because there isn’t an abundance of covered storage.

Cost of Ownership

2020 Chevrolet Colorado

2020 Toyota Tacoma

Annual Fuel Costs

$1,951
15k miles at $2.211/gal
$1,843
15k miles at $2.211/gal
Fuel Economy

16 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
17 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
18 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway
20 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway

Safety

2020 Chevrolet Colorado

2020 Toyota Tacoma

NHTSA Crash Test Results

Overall
Overall
Safety Features

Standard
Autonomous Braking
Standard
Autonomous Braking
Standard
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Lane-Keep Assist
Standard
Lane-Keep Assist
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert

Interior

2020 Chevrolet Colorado

2020 Toyota Tacoma

Interior Features

Standard
Leather
Standard
Leather
Standard
Moonroof
Standard
Moonroof
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Climate Control
Standard
Climate Control
Technology

Standard
Apple Carplay
Standard
Apple Carplay
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Navigation System
Standard
Navigation System

Under the Hood

2020 Chevrolet Colorado

2020 Toyota Tacoma

Powertrain

Transmission
Transmission
4X2
Drivetrain
4X4
Drivetrain
Drivetrain

N/A
Horsepower
N/A
Horsepower
N/A
Torque
N/A
Torque
N/A
Cylinders
N/A
Cylinders