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We have to give it up for the 2021 Chevy Colorado! It currently outranks the 2021 Toyota Tacoma. As the Chevrolet Colorado climbs the ranks, it feels like an underdog, but it has earned its current position. But why does it rank ahead of the Toyota Tacoma? 

The 2021 Chevy Colorado vs. the 2021 Toyota Tacoma 

A 2021 Chevy Colorado after kicking up sand
2021 Chevy Colorado | Chevrolet

According to the U.S.News, the 2021 Chevy Colorado currently ranks ahead of the 2021 Toyota Tacoma on the list of the best compact trucks for 2021. The Colorado is in third place, while the Ford Ranger is in second place and the Honda Ridgeline sits in the top spot. The Toyota Tacoma is all the way down in fifth place. 

The U.S.News ranks vehicles based on various factors based on reviews by respected critics and third-party data that includes the performance, strength, value, interior quality, safety ratings, reliability, and more. As new information is released, rankings may change. 

Why does the Colorado rank ahead of the Tacoma? 

The 2021 Chevy Colorado ranks highly for having a high towing capacity, capable V6 and turbo-diesel power trains, an easy-to-use infotainment system, and a smooth ride with responsive handling. 

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma ranks highly for having outstanding off-roading capabilities, a long list of standard features, and an easy-to-use infotainment system. It has fewer positives listed than the Colorado. 

You can get started in the new Chevy Colorado for about $25,200. The Toyota Tacoma begins at about $26,400, so they’re pretty competitively priced. The Colorado gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and up to 30 mpg on the highway, while the Tacoma gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. 

The Colorado has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine with 191 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque. The 3.6-liter V6 engine provides 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. If you go with the turbocharged 2.8-liter four-cylinder engine, you’ll get 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. 

The Tacoma has a 2.7-liter four-cylinder base engine that provides 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the 3.5-liter V6 engine for 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. 

When properly equipped, the Chevy Colorado can tow up to 7,700 lbs and carry a payload of up to 1,550 lbs. The Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 lbs and carry a payload of up to 1,685 lbs. Both can tow campers, boats, and more. 

How do the Colorado and Tacoma perform? 

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma going off-roading, the Tacoma TRD Pro is one of the best new off-road pickups according to Edmunds
2021 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

With the V6 engine, the 2021 Chevy Colorado can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.3 seconds, which is pretty good. The transmission is pretty smooth, and the firm suspension limits body roll. A little wind and road noise may enter the cabin.

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.2 seconds. The transmission is smooth, and the brakes are precise. Thicker side-window glass cuts down on road noise, and it’s a little bumpy compared to rivals. 

Taller drivers may find the larger seats in the Tacoma to be more comfortable. It might also be easier to fit child seats in the Tacoma. Both trucks have adequate storage space for smaller items. 

The Toyota Tacoma has an edge against rivals for having more off-roading capabilities. But the Chevy Colorado can tow a little more and offers a smoother ride. We recommend giving both options a test drive.


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