QOTD: Two Trucks, Once Choice

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd two trucks once choice

Advice time. My friend wants (though she might say “needs”) a truck, and the choice is narrowed down to two prospects, each competing for midsize pickup supremacy.

Can you help her make a decision?

I’ve known this friend, whom I’ve mentioned in the past, since Grade 4, so you’d best treat her well. Having just given birth to her first child, days and nights are long, and periods of sleep are excruciatingly short for this new mother. I don’t know how they do it. My parenting abilities fall short of a potted houseplant.

Anyway, after the joyous arrival, my friend discovered, to her dismay, that her Mazda CX-3 — a vehicle she quickly grew ambivalent of — proved to be too small for the simple task of carrying two normal-sized adults and an infant in a child seat. Stuffing the loung lady in the backseat requires a forward positioning of the front seats, apparently, and this just won’t do. Maybe a subcompact crossover can be too compact?

Given that the family’s other vehicle is a previous-generation Ford F-150 crew cab 4×4, the possibility of a second truck in the driveway looms large. However, going full-size for the second vehicle seems like overkill. While she’s in a rural area where big trucks rule the roads, she’d prefer slightly easier parking lot maneuvering and an extra MPG or two.

It comes down to two very familiar choices: A Toyota Tacoma or Chevrolet Colorado, in crew cab/V6/automatic guise. One can’t be built fast enough and holds its resale value, the other is the Colorado, which sells in very healthy numbers. The Colorado is newer, overall, and could be had for a lower MSRP. In terms of power, both trucks don’t disappoint, though the Tacoma slightly edges the Colorado in terms of fuel economy (20 mpg combined vs. 19 mpg), while the Colorado has a slight leg up in torque. “Slight” seems to be the word of the day here. Keep in mind that towing and payload capacity are not considerations here.

Safety’s a top priority, for obvious reasons, but both the crew cab Colorado and its Tacoma rival boast “good” IIHS ratings in all crash tests. Headlight performance for both are dim, pardon the pun.

So, B&B, which of these closely matched vehicles should my friend buy — the Tacoma, or the $2,800 cheaper Colorado LT? Or, should she save her loonies and just get into a larger crossover?

[Images: General Motors, Toyota]

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4 of 166 comments
  • Mackey Mackey on Nov 21, 2018

    If a body on frame truck already exists, I think the Honda Ridgeline absolutely needs to be at the top of the list. It offers greater efficiency, AWD, excellent ride and accommodations, and features that make it far more flexible than the standard mid-sized trucks, unless heavy off-road needs exist. The cabin is larger and more flexible, the in bed trunk is a game changer (see and use one for yourself), and the dual-action tailgate isn't just a gimmick. Yes- I own one- I am a life long 'truck guy', but can confidently say that the current Honda Ridgeline is all the truck that 70+% of truck buyers would ever need, but will never admit (save for construction crews, heavy tow needs, etc).

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Nov 21, 2018

    All these recommendations but the choice is between a Colorado or Tacoma. Tacoma no longer has any durability edge over the Colorado. The engine in the Tacoma has been much maligned. Drum brakes are still on the back of the Tacoma. The Colorado has a nicer and much more comfortable interior along with a better ride. Tacoma has better resale but the Colorado can be found at a better price. I personally would buy the Colorado. They didn't say trim... how about a diesel ZR2 in deep forest green ;) Sorry, that,s my favourite but a Colorado would be my recommendation.

    • See 1 previous
    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Nov 22, 2018

      @Big Al from Oz Oh, I should have typed 33mpg for the Nissan Navara 2.3 diesel.

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