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Edmunds Compares: 2024 Chevrolet Colorado vs. 2024 Toyota Tacoma

This photo provided by Chevrolet shows the 2024 Colorado. Recently redesigned, the Colorado boasts a muscular engine, a smooth ride and impressive technology features. (Courtesy of Chevrolet via AP) This photo provided by Chevrolet shows the 2024 Colorado. Recently redesigned, the Colorado boasts a muscular engine, a smooth ride and impressive technology features. (Courtesy of Chevrolet via AP)
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Having undergone a complete redesign last year, the 2024 Chevrolet Colorado proves how transformative the midsize pickup truck market has become. In a segment where slow and steady changes used to be the norm, this generation of Colorado boasts dramatic new styling, a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and the latest in technology features and driver assist systems.

It's not the only new truck vying for the top position, however. The Toyota Tacoma is fully revamped for 2024. Even though the previous iteration was long overdue for a reboot, the Tacoma was a sales leader and enjoyed an enviable reputation for ruggedness. The 2024 model builds upon this foundation and improves key factors like refinement, fuel efficiency and cabin comfort. Edmunds' experts put these trucks in a head-to-head comparison to see which is the smarter purchase.

Engines and fuel economy

With their recent redesigns, the Toyota and the Chevy jettisoned previously optional V6 engines in favor of turbocharged four-cylinders in different states of tune. In the Tacoma these number three, including a hybrid, while the Colorado's powertrains are whittled to two. The Tacoma's gas engines range from 228 horsepower to 278 horsepower, with the hybrid powertrain offering 326 horsepower. During testing of the midrange engine, Edmunds' experts found it lively and paired well with the smooth-shifting automatic transmission.

Motivating the Colorado is a turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 237 horsepower, or 310 horsepower in high-output format. Edmunds found the Colorado's turbo-four similarly responsive in daily driving. The Colorado returns an EPA-estimated 16-22 mpg combined depending on chosen version. There are no official EPA figures yet for the 2024 Tacoma, though based on Toyota's estimates, it's about equally efficient as its Chevy rival.

There's no going wrong with either truck, but the Tacoma gets a slight edge for its wider range of available powertrains that includes the hybrid as well as an available manual transmission, which is a rarity for a truck.

Winner: Toyota Tacoma

Towing and off-road capability

Properly equipped, the Colorado can tow up to 7,700 pounds. That's the most in the midsize truck class. The Tacoma checks in at 6,500 pounds. Owners who are serious about towing might prefer the Colorado, but in reality either truck is well suited for towing most small to midsize trailers.

It's a similar story for heading off-road. Chevy offers the midrange Trail Boss trim level that comes with a lifted suspension for more ground clearance, all-terrain tires, and a locking rear differential to help it better tackle dirt roads and rocky trailers. There's also the Colorado ZR2 and ZR2 Bison that add even more capability. For its part, Toyota offers the midrange Tacoma TRD Off-Road and the decked-out TRD Pro and Trailhunter.

Winner: tie

Features and value

Momentum shifts in favor of the Chevrolet when comparing standard and available features. In basic format the Colorado and Tacoma are hardworking trucks at heart. Yet it's the Chevy that comes standard with a big 11.3-inch touchscreen with Google-based software, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a digital gauge cluster.

The quality of the materials and layout of the cabin are major steps forward compared to the previous Colorado -- and a notch above the new Tacoma. Pricing for the Colorado starts at $31,095 including destination fees and stretches up to $48,395 for the off-road-ready ZR2.

The Tacoma also features wireless smartphone connectivity across every trim. However, the base screen is smaller at 8 inches. A 14-inch touchscreen is optional and has large menus and crisp graphics, but it dominates the dashboard and looks awkwardly placed. In general, the Tacoma lacks the refinement of similarly equipped Chevy Colorado and feels more utilitarian. Pricing starts at $32,995 and rises to $53,595 for the hybrid-powered Tacoma Limited.

Winner: Chevrolet Colorado

Driving and comfort

The Colorado has an advantage when it comes to handling, ride quality and engine refinement. Bumps and other road imperfections rarely unsettle the Chevy, and its solid steering lets you maneuver the Colorado with confidence. Braking performance is good, though the front seats' flat and firm cushions can get a little uncomfortable during long drives.

The Toyota's suspension is stiffer and more truck-like in lower trims. In the plus column, it's easy to get comfy behind the wheel thanks in part to a wide range of seating and tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel adjustments. The Tacoma boasts more interior storage nooks and cubbies, but the Colorado is the more polished truck for getting down the road.

Winner: Chevrolet Colorado

Edmunds says

Truck buyers will appreciate the new Tacoma as it's a markedly better truck than the one it replaces. But the Chevrolet Colorado makes a better all-around case for being at the top of midsize-pickup shopping lists.

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