2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro: By the Numbers

ZR2 vs TRD Pro 1

With the introduction of the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, there is now a challenger to the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro’s off-road dominance in the mid-size pickup truck segment. While we haven’t had a chance to get this duo together yet to see how they match up on a trail or do in some rock crawling (hopefully soon), it’s still interesting to see how they match up on paper.

There are important differences to note right off the bat. The Colorado ZR2 is offered in both extended and double-cab configurations, while the Tacoma TRD Pro is only offered with the double cab. Extended-cab versions of the ZR2 only seat four passengers, while the other two cabs seat five. There are two engine options in the ZR2, while the TRD Pro only has one engine but two transmission options.

Now let’s dive into the details.

Engine and Powertrain

Colorado ZR2:

  • 308 horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6, 275 pounds-feet of torque, eight-speed automatic (gas); 186-hp, turbo-diesel 2.8-liter four-cylinder, 369 pounds-feet of torque, six-speed automatic (diesel)
  • Standard four-wheel drive; front and rear locking differentials
  • Fuel economy: 16/18/17 mpg city/highway/combined (gas); 19/22/20 mpg (diesel)
  • Axle ratio: 3.42

Tacoma TRD Pro:

  • 278 hp, 3.5-liter V-6, 265 pounds-feet of torque; six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission
  • Standard four-wheel drive; automatic limited-slip differential; locking rear differential
  • Fuel economy: 17/21/18 mpg (manual); 18/23/20 mpg (automatic)
  • Axle ratio: 4.30 (manual); 3.91 (automatic)

Dimensions and Clearances

  • Wheels: 17-inch wheels (ZR2); 16-inch wheels (TRD Pro)
  • Tires: 265/65R17 Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac all-terrain tires (ZR2); 265/70R16 Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires (TRD Pro)
  • Curb weight: 4,985 pounds with the diesel, 4,734 pounds with the gas (ZR2); 4,445 pounds with the manual, 4,425 pounds with the automatic (TRD Pro)
  • Height/width/length: 72.2/76.7/212.4 inches (ZR2); 71.6/75.2/212.3 inches (TRD Pro)
  • Ground clearance: 8.9 inches (ZR2); 9.4 inches (TRD Pro)

Towing and Hauling   

  • Maximum trailer weight: 5,000 pounds (ZR2); 6,400 pounds with Tow Package (TRD Pro)
  • Maximum payload: 1,100 pounds (ZR2); 1,155 pounds with the manual, 1,175 pounds with the automatic (TRD Pro)

Price

Our final number is also an important one: price. These two are very evenly matched on this front — the 2017 Colorado ZR2 starts at $40,995 (including destination charges), while the 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro is slightly more expensive, starting at $41,920 for manual models and $43,920 for those with the automatic.

Cars.com photos by Matt Avery and Mark Williams

ZR2 vs TRD Pro 2

 

Comments

Taco is miserable to drive but it wins entirely based on a cohesive exterior design with excellent approach angles as opposed to the hacked up amateur job trying to make the Colorado function off the pavement.

Actual performance doesn't matter when you cringe every time you look at your driveway...

Neither of these trucks is exactly my cup of tea, but the diesel in the Chevy with 369 lbs-feet of torque makes it the winner hands down.

That, and the fact that this Tacoma is virtually the same truck they've been selling for more than ten years. Since that's the case, why not include the 4WD Frontier with the off road upgrades?

Either way, this is a market segment that is very profitable for GM and Toyota, but is a micro-market in terms of the total numbers of trucks they'll sell.

Why is the manual Taco heavier than the auto Taco?

Hwy MPG really takes a hit on the ZR2 with the lift, loss of air dam, and more aggressive tires.

The Toyota is the best looking for the two for sure. MPG should be a none issue since this truck is not made for efficiency.

The Taco gets better comparable MPG's to the ZR2's diesel (significantly better than the 3.6 gas V6), Fox coilovers/shocks, a proven platform, and it can tow and haul more... Sounds like the Taco is a much better buy on paper.

Plus the Taco has more ground clearance and Toyota actually knows how to tuck away a spare tire, and not let it hang down 4" above the rear diff like Chevy does...

The Taco gets better comparable MPG's to the ZR2's diesel (significantly better than the 3.6 gas V6)

@Jack

did you pull that factoid out of your butt or can you cite some specifics for the rest of us? Have you personally tested and compared these models or did you just read an article somewhere?

The Colorado is about the same weight as a similar F150 and presumably the aluminum bodied 2018 full size GM trucks. It is a shame that this relatively new truck is encumbered by an obsolete body material. You can bet that the new Ranger won't be.

Where's the approach and departure angles? I know those have already been released

What about approach and departure angles? Toyota has the better spec there also.

Well I do wonder if they are measuring ground clearance the same way?

I do remember not too long ago a Ram Rebel vs Tundra comparison and the Tundra did not actually meet up to its advertised ground clearance, because when the contest measured the ground clearance at the center of the rear differential the Tundra was much less than advertised.

The Tacoma will be worth something in 10 years, the ZR2 won't. Simple as that

Taco over priced junk, don't even come with a front locker WEAK!

The front locker gives the ZR2 the win.

A few observations:

The Tacoma weighs much less than the ZR2, that is a HUGE factor for off-pavement!

Add the slight better ground clearance as another advantage for off-roading by the Tacoma!

16 inch rims are not bad, that translates into more opportunity to air down more than 17 inch rims, so yet another advantage for the Tacoma!

Price is not really that much more because in just 1 year, the Tacoma will be worth more than the ZR2!

And as with most Americans, you will cite the higher hp and torque numbers, but in off-road arena, those mean squat when compared to off-road angles, ground clearance, axle ratio's, tires, weight and distribution of weight. Those out weigh the engine power numbers!

And sure the ZR2 has a front locking diff, but from what I gather with an IFS, you really need to be careful locking your front end with a locker running a IFS with smaller diff and axle shafts. You bind that front under some hard steering, and boom, their she goes!

I would rather keep the front open or limited slip rather than risk binding the front end. Most of the work is done by the rear end anyways with an IFS truck!

But do not worry, the ZR2 will win because it has better buttons and a diesel option, with which most of society really does not understand the higher maintenance of a diesel over the long run will cost you more!

The Colorado is about the same weight as a similar F150 and presumably the aluminum bodied 2018 full size GM trucks. It is a shame that this relatively new truck is encumbered by an obsolete body material. You can bet that the new Ranger won't be.

@Walt

Wrong! The base model weight of the 2wd Colorado is 3700 lbs, according to GM's website. The F150 base model weighs in at 4200 lbs. Big diff.

Both are good trucks and I am glad they are still building them in a world that seeks boring, easily produced vehicles for the masses for high profits for shareholders while we get the shaft!

I know beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but the front view of the Chevy looks like the Tech school kids hacked up the front bumper. Just my opinion.
I am more curious to know the work Eaton had to put into the front diff and what nannies are in place so you don't grenade it. Usually IFS and front lockers are not a match made in heaven.
We'll see when the comparison testing is done...

The Colorado is a great looking truck. The complaints about the front bumper is pure ignorance of reason it is designed that way. It you don't understand, than review the videos from about a week ago here on PUTC.

Taco is completely outclassed here.

The ONLY thing the Taco has is reputation for reliability and IF you like its looks and horrible seating position better.

Otherwise its completely outclassed in just about every way including price.

Taco is completely outclassed here.

The ONLY thing the Taco has is reputation for reliability and IF you like its looks and horrible seating position better.

Otherwise its completely outclassed in just about every way including price.

@gms
Really? The purpose is obvious, the execution is debatable. Where is the ignorance?

@papajim It's in the flipping article tard... Learn to read.......

ZR2 diesel - 19/22/20
ZR2 gas - 16/18/17
Taco (6M) - 17/21/18
Tacom (6A) - 18/23/20

I'd say the auto Taco's 18/23/20 MPG is pretty comparable to ZR@ diesels 19/22/20 MPG...

Colorado ZR2:
•308 horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6, 275 pounds-feet of torque, eight-speed automatic (gas); 186-hp, turbo-diesel 2.8-liter four-cylinder, 369 pounds-feet of torque, six-speed automatic (diesel)
•Standard four-wheel drive; front and rear locking differentials
•Fuel economy: 16/18/17 mpg city/highway/combined (gas); 19/22/20 mpg (diesel)
•Axle ratio: 3.42

Tacoma TRD Pro:
•278 hp, 3.5-liter V-6, 265 pounds-feet of torque; six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission
•Standard four-wheel drive; automatic limited-slip differential; locking rear differential
•Fuel economy: 17/21/18 mpg (manual); 18/23/20 mpg (automatic)
•Axle ratio: 4.30 (manual); 3.91 (automatic)

I just speced out the TRD Pro Taco and ZR2 Colorado on the build and price on both manufactures websites and optioned them as close as I could.

Tacoma TRD Pro (Auto) - $42,960.00
Tacoma TRD Pro (Manual) - $40,960.00

Colorado ZR2 - $43,615.00 with the extra cost of navigation (nav also adds Bose sound system).
Colorado ZR2 - $42,620.00 (without the Nav)

So when you spec these trucks out basically as close as you can, the Tacoma is still cheaper by MSRP.

Now when GM throws incentives on the hood the Colorado will obviously be cheaper because the Tacoma TRD Pro's basically go for MSRP if not more...

Under "PRICE" the ZR2 should say 40k undriven off the lot price as tested 23k. The Taco is worth 41k all day long.

GARBAGE MOTORS IS IN TROUBLE. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

GM accused in lawsuit of using VW-like defeat devices
Automaker says it will 'vigorously defend' itself
Scandal Garbage Motors Volkswagen Diesel

UPDATED: 5/25/17 1:58 pm ET - adds details, GM response
Garbage Motors was accused of putting defeat devices in its trucks to beat emissions tests, the sixth carmaker linked to diesel cheating scandal since 2015, when Volkswagen AG admitted to installing software to bypass pollution rules.

People who own or lease more than 705,000 GM Duramax diesel trucks filed a lawsuit Thursday, claiming GM installed multiple such devices in two models of heavy-duty trucks from 2011 to 2016. The 190-page complaint is littered with 83 references to VW, and asserts that the environmental damage caused by each truck could surpass that of the German automaker’s vehicles.


GM’s cheating allowed its trucks to pass U.S. inspections, even while they spewed emissions two to five times the legal limit under regular driving conditions, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

"These claims are baseless and we will vigorously defend ourselves," GM said in a statement. "The Duramax Diesel Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra comply with all U.S. EPA and CARB emissions regulations."

The company's shares fell 2.5 percent to $32.36 as of 2:01 p.m. ET.


The lawsuit was filed by several plaintiffs' law firms including Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, which was involved in similar litigation against VW and helped reach multibillion-dollar settlements with that automaker.

"GM claimed its engineers had accomplished a remarkable reduction of diesel emissions,” attorney Steve Berman, a managing partner at Hagens Berman, said in the complaint. Berman has also represented drivers and dealerships against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. “These GM trucks likely dumped as much excess poisonous emissions into our air as did the cheating Volkswagen passenger cars.”

Excessive emissions from the GM vehicles exposed the general public to noxious levels of smog, according to the complaint. Diesel engines, while more fuel efficient, produce greater volumes of nitrogen oxide pollutants, or NOx. During on-road testing the diesel trucks polluted at levels beyond legal limits and higher than their gasoline counterparts, according to the complaint.


The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, underscores questions about the credibility of clean-diesel technology. This week, the U.S. Justice Department sued Fiat Chrysler, alleging violations of clean-air rules. Daimler AG is the target of a German probe related to diesel emissions, and French carmakers Renault SA and PSA Group are both being investigated in their home country.

Technology provider Robert Bosch GmbH, which was named as a co-defendant by consumers who sued VW, is also defendant in the GM case, described in the complaint as “an active and knowing participant in the scheme to evade” emissions standards.

A Bosch representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the GM suit.


Representatives of the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The case is Fenner v. General Motors LLC, 17-cv-11661, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit).

Hey Brian and Mark,

For all the "specs" you've listed, some important ones for Off- Road driving are missing:

1) Wheel Base
2) Track
3) Approach Angle
4) Departure Angle
5) Break-over Angle
6) RTI (Ramp Travel Index)
7) Shock Travel Range (Bounce vs Jounce)

But for me, it would have to be the Taco: Manual Transmission trumps everything else (^_^)...

======================

Chevrolet looks much nicer. I would guess it will far outsell the Toyota.

They(Toyota) took the epa mileage rating of the standard Taco and applied it for the TRD PRO. GM tested the ZR2 as an individual truck. Ford use to do that on their F-150's, same gas mileage rating on a regular cab short bed as on a Crew Cab long bed, ot and never did happen..

Taco is just ugly, it will do the job but I would pull my hat down real low while driving it.

They(Toyota) took the epa mileage rating of the standard Taco and applied it for the TRD PRO. GM tested the ZR2 as an individual truck. Ford use to do that on their F-150's, same gas mileage rating on a regular cab short bed as on a Crew Cab long bed, ot and never did happen..

Taco is just ugly, it will do the job but I would pull my hat down real low while driving it.

"as opposed to the hacked up amateur job trying to make the Colorado function off the pavement."

Posted by: Toycrusher | May 25, 2017 7:59:17 AM

I guess we're supposed to ignore the fact that the TRD Pro is really just a standard Tacoma with a amateurish "mini-lift" and $1000 worth of budget-tier Fox Shocks. The weak stamped steel control arms haven't been touched. I don't recall the steering being upgraded either. The flimsy rear leaf springs and mounts also appear untouched. Then there's the low hanging exhaust crossover pipe and transfer case that make the perfect targets for a big pointy rocks. I mean, even the rear diff's weak ring and pinion gears were ignored.

Maybe you can argue that the ZR2 *looks* like an amateur job, but they beefed up stuff that GM management would have ignored 20 years ago. Stronger steering rack, heavy duty cast steel control arms to go with their Multimatic struts, stronger front diff and CV axles, GY Duratrac tires as standard (as opposed to the pathetic choice of GY Wrangler AT's on the TRD Pro). All stuff that Toyota seemingly ignored for their 2017 TRD Pro. Considering how much the price jumped (~$7k US) for the 2017 TRD Pro, what did we get for that extra money? Not much it seems, not even rear disc brakes.

Who did an amateur job again?

GM is just like VW. Toyota IS THE BEST!!!

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/25/gm-ford-dip-after-reported-suit-alleges-diesel-pickups-are-rigged-to-pass-emissions-tests.html

So when you spec these trucks out basically as close as you can, the Tacoma is still cheaper by MSRP.

Now when GM throws incentives on the hood the Colorado will obviously be cheaper because the Tacoma TRD Pro's basically go for MSRP if not more...
Posted by: John | May 25, 2017 2:29:31 PM

The problem there is that Toyota isn't including the cost of tires. Well, they put some junk Goodyear Wranglers AT's on it so you can drive it to the tire shop and put real off-road tires on it.

I mean, the Goodyear DuraTrac's on the ZR2 are not great tires by any stretch, but at least you'll be able to take your off-road truck... ya know... offroad.

That's an additional $1000 to the TRD Pro's cost.

Plus the Taco has more ground clearance and Toyota actually knows how to tuck away a spare tire, and not let it hang down 4" above the rear diff like Chevy does...
Posted by: jack | May 25, 2017 9:16:41 AM

That's because the ZR2 comes with a real, fully boxed truck frame. Toyota just bends some rusty 20 gauge sheetmetal into the shape of an open C frame, which leaves all kinds of extra space for a spare tire.

in a world that seeks boring, easily produced vehicles for the masses for high profits for shareholders while we get the shaft!
Posted by: oxi | May 25, 2017 1:10:56 PM

@oxi

Seriously, dude---get help!

The Colorado is about the same weight as a similar F150 and presumably the aluminum bodied 2018 full size GM trucks. It is a shame that this relatively new truck is encumbered by an obsolete body material. You can bet that the new Ranger won't be.

@Walt

Wrong! The base model weight of the 2wd Colorado is 3700 lbs, according to GM's website. The F150 base model weighs in at 4200 lbs. Big diff.
Posted by: papajim

I was referring to the trucks in the article that according to the article weigh "Curb weight: 4,985 pounds with the diesel, 4,734 pounds with the gas (ZR2)". That puts them close to the max curb weight for the F150. Just for fun I looked up the weight of the Raptor and runs from 5600 to 5800lbs. I would bet that with its bigger tires the Raptor has lower ground pressure and is less likely to since in soft soil than the ZR2.

That puts them close to the max curb weight for the F150. Just for fun I looked up the weight of the Raptor and runs from 5600 to 5800lbs.

Posted by: Walt | May 25, 2017 6:21:13 PM

A 2017 Ford Raptor has a track width of 73.7" and an overall width of 86.3". A 2017 ZR2 has a track width of 65.9" and an overall width of 74". That's a HUGE difference off-road.

The other problem is that Ford still ignores the Raptor community. They HATE the Torsen front diff and the weak junk IWE front hubs. They probably hate the plastic gear, vacuum actuated IWE's worse. What a terrible design. I'd rather have manual hubs. Plus Ford ruined the Raptor by shoving the ecoboost down everyone's throat. Really Ford, not even a 5.0 option?

I WILL NO LONGER VIEW THIS SITE AS YOU ARE CARS.COM

YOU ARE A BIASED LEFT WING CULT OF AN ORGANIZATION !!

YOU ARE BIASED AND THAT ISNT RIGHT..

YOU SHOULD NOT PICK ONE POLITICAL SIDE OVER ANOTHER !

@gms
Really? The purpose is obvious, the execution is debatable. Where is the ignorance?

Posted by: Grnzel1 | May 25, 2017 1:47:31 PM

If the purpose is obvious then the ZR2 front bumper is an example of Form follows function. Questioning the form equates to ignorance.

@Walt

I tried to be fair but your comments regarding my last question about the accuracy of your remarks about curb weight...they were nonsense.

There is no way you can suggest that the curb weight of the Colorado is anywhere near the same as an F150

@Walt

I tried to be fair but your comments regarding my last question about the accuracy of your remarks about curb weight...they were nonsense.

There is no way you can suggest that the curb weight of the Colorado is anywhere near the same as an F150

Posted by: papajim

I didn't suggest it, I just quoted the article. I was as surprised to read that a Colorado weighs nearly 5,000lbs as you seem to be. I am surprised that nobody else seems to have read that line. Maybe the article is wrong. See if you can provide a link to another source with different weights for the ZR2.

"The other problem is that Ford still ignores the Raptor community. They HATE the Torsen front diff and the weak junk IWE front hubs. They probably hate the plastic gear, vacuum actuated IWE's worse. What a terrible design. I'd rather have manual hubs. Plus Ford ruined the Raptor by shoving the ecoboost down everyone's throat."

I am sure that Ford feels the hate with every check they cash from selling another Raptor.

@Walt

Edmunds is a good site to verify this stuff. Here's my best guess---the base model 2wd Colorado is about 3800 lbs.

Add a V6 and an auto trans and you get maybe 4100. Add 4wd and you bump it up another 200 lbs maybe.

An F150 with 4wd must be nearly 5000 lbs before you add any other options. Not close.

MARK PNRD YOU ARE RIGHT CARS.COM IS AS LIBERAL AS IT GETS
NOT COMING BACK.

MARK PNRD YOU ARE RIGHT CARS.COM IS AS LIBERAL AS IT GETS
NOT COMING BACK.

If you believe the EPA MPG ratings for the ZR2 diesel is 22 and 23 for the taco, you just have not been paying attention.

The EPA always puts diesels sown by about 10 to 20%.

Therefore, the ZR2 Diesel gets 24-26 mpg. Much better then the Taco.

If you don't believe me, site an independent tester. And don't say the chin makes the ZR2 much worse. The chin does not change much in MPG. It is designed to primarily cool the engine during extreme towing.

"And don't say the chin makes the ZR2 much worse. The chin does not change much in MPG. It is designed to primarily cool the engine during extreme towing."

Kinda true. The front air dam is purely for improving fuel economy during high-speed, constant speed cruising. If you only plan on driving your truck at 75+ MPH all the time, the air dam could increase your fuel economy by AT THE ABSOLUTE MOST 1 MPG. Manufacturers don't care if an air dam only improves fuel economy by 0.1 MPG in the EPA's tests, it's a cheap way to improve fuel economy and even 0.01 MPG. Based on what I've read from guys with 2014+ Silverado 1500's, removing their low hanging air dams had such a small effect on average mpg that it was difficult to even calculate. The guys that averaged 80+ MPH on long Interstate highway driving were the only ones that claimed it made any difference at all.

I believe the drop in fuel economy for the ZR2 was primarily due to the larger parasitic losses due to changes in transmission control module programming to suit the ZR2's intended purpose, and the larger parasitic driveline losses due to the different differentials (and maaaaybe different transfer case) and perhaps a different torque converter.

@Grizz

So, you don't think that the wider track, taller over all profile, larger tires (on all corners) and lower control arms hanging out there for all to see have any adverse affect on aerodynamics, not to mention the added weight?

= lower MPG, more then acceptable tradeoff!

G.M. Accused in Lawsuit of Deceit on Diesel Truck Emissions

By NEAL E. BOUDETTE
MAY 25, 2017

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/25/business/energy-environment/general-motors-diesel-emissions-lawsuit.html?_r=0


Papajim give it a try - you are a great lawyer!

G.M. Accused in Lawsuit of Deceit on Diesel Truck Emissions

Papajim give it a try - you are a great lawyer!
Posted by: David Robertson | May 26, 2017 4:38:10 AM

@David

You need a crystal ball to know what a court or a jury will rule in these sorts of cases.

RE: emissions

The EPA and the CAFE regs are outdated ideas from the 1970s that make no sense in today's auto industry. CAFE is based on the silly idea that the world is running out of oil.

The EPA is based on the idea that Americans should all act like ninnies every time some goofy professor decides that some species of moth or worm is endangered. There is plenty of that silly thinking to go around without dedicating the resources of an entire federal agency to it. In many places the EPA and state/local government spend millions in court arguing over who gets to wear the big boy pants in a lawsuit over endangered moths and worms or fungus. As a nation we have bigger fish to fry (unless of course they happen to be endangered fish).

@Walt

Edmunds is a good site to verify this stuff. Here's my best guess---the base model 2wd Colorado is about 3800 lbs.

Add a V6 and an auto trans and you get maybe 4100. Add 4wd and you bump it up another 200 lbs maybe.

An F150 with 4wd must be nearly 5000 lbs before you add any other options. Not close.

Posted by: papajim

So you think that the numbers published in this article are an outright lie? That is a serious charge. I am surprised that you even bother to look at this site if you feel that way about it. Or do you not understand what the following statement says?
"Curb weight: 4,985 pounds with the diesel, 4,734 pounds with the gas (ZR2)"

It is the third bullet in this part of the article:
Dimensions and Clearances
Wheels: 17-inch wheels (ZR2); 16-inch wheels (TRD Pro)
Tires: 265/65R17 Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac all-terrain tires (ZR2); 265/70R16 Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires (TRD Pro)
Curb weight: 4,985 pounds with the diesel, 4,734 pounds with the gas (ZR2); 4,445 pounds with the manual, 4,425 pounds with the automatic (TRD Pro)



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