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The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro has long been the king of the midsize truck factory off-roader segment. But Chevrolet is clearly taking aim at Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro by enlisting American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) to co-engineer the gnarly “Bison” trim of its 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. Is Toyota taking this attack laying down? Heck no. Toyota fully redesigned the 2024 Tacoma, which includes the most powerful Tacoma TRD Pro ever. In truth, the two off-road halo trucks are different tools for different jobs. Here’s how they stack up.

2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro vs. 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison highlights:

  • With 35-inch tires and two locking differentials, the Chevy Colorado Bison is an excellent traditional rock crawler.
  • The Tacoma TRD Pro’s 465 lb-ft of torque hybrid I4 embarrasses the Colorado Bison’s base engine.

2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro vs. 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison by AEV

The ZR2 Bison sticker on the bed of a white Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup truck.
2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Bison | Henry Cesari via MotorBiscuit

The most exciting off-road truck battle of 2024 was on display at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show this year. On the Chevrolet side was the Colorado ZR2 Bison, co-engineered by Chevy and American Expedition Vehicles (AEV). At the heart of Toyota’s 2024 display was the fully redesigned Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

Chevrolet obviously set the outgoing Tacoma TRD Pro as a benchmark, then out-did that truck with the AEV-designed Colorado ZR2 Bison’s front and rear locking differentials and 35-inch tires on beadlock-capable rims. The result is one of the best factory rock crawlers around. But while Chevrolet is working overtime to catch the old Tacoma, Toyota has moved on.

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is a high-speed desert runner in the spirit of the Jeep Gladiator Mojave and Ford’s Raptor series. It boasts the most powerful powertrain in any Tacoma TRD Pro to date, rides on rear coil springs, and boasts disconnecting stabilizer bars. It features a suite of advanced driver-aid technology. Plus, it even leverages proprietary technology, such as air-ride seats engineered for high-speed off-roading.

2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
Engine Types + Sizes2.7-liter Turbocharged I42.4-liter Turbocharged I4 Hybrid
Horsepower + Torque310 horsepower/430 lb-ft326 horsepower/465 lb-ft
Transmission8-Speed Automatic8-Speed Auto/6-Speed Manual
DrivetrainFront and rear locking differentialsRear locking differential
Shock AbsorbersMultimatic DSSV dampersFOX internal bypass 2.5-inch Quick Switch 3
Lift2 inches2 inches (Front)/1.5 inches (Rear)
Track Width3.5 inches wider than stock3 inches wider than stock
Rims17-inch beadlock capable by AEV18-inch, black, flow-formed by TRD
Tires35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T
Ground Clearance12.2 inches11 inches
Angles38.2-degree approach, 26-degree breakover, and 26.9-degree departure angle33.8-degree approach, 23.5-degree breakover, and 25.7-degree departure angle

2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison one-ups the 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Wheel and Tires

  • Grille of a white 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Bison pickup truck parked at an indoor car show.
  • Tailgate and tail light of a white Chevrolet Colorado on 35-inch tires parked in an indoor car show.
  • The ZR2 Bison sticker on the bed of a white Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup truck.
  • Brown leather dashboard and wheel of a Chevrolet Colorado special edition.
  • 35-inch Good Year tire standing up in the bed of a Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Bison pickup truck.

With the 2024 Bison package on its successful Colorado ZR2, Chevrolet raised the bar. This midsize truck comes with a host of AEV accessories already installed. This includes the AEV boran steel skidplates, off-road rear bumper, and winch-capable front bumper. Heck, it even has “heavy-duty” AEV fender flares.

The most notable feature of the ZR2 Bison is its 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires. Paired with the stock ZR2’s front and rear locking differentials, it makes the Colorado a formidable rock crawler.

You can see how all this kit improves the regular old Colorado ZR2’s approach and departure angle. By the numbers alone, the Colorado ZR2 Bison on 35s will be even better than the 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro at navigating large off-road obstacles.

Simply put, if you are into low-speed off-roading, the 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison is one of the best factory-built trucks around.

2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro’s powertrain leaves the 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison in the dust

  • White Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro pickup truck off-roading in Hawaii
  • White Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro pickup truck off-roading in Hawaii
  • White Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro pickup truck off-roading in Hawaii
  • White Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro pickup truck off-roading in Hawaii
  • Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro tow hook.
  • Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro front coil spring.
  • Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro engine bay.
  • Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro steering wheel.

While AEV threw a bunch of its off-road accessories at the Bison, this company left the ZR2’s stock engine alone. That’s too bad, because this is the same company made famous by insane engine-swapped off-roaders (AEV has been dropping Hemis in Wranglers for decades). And powertrain is where the 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro leaves the Colorado Bison biting its dust.

Toyota ditched its naturally-aspirated V6 for this latest generation of Tacoma. Every trim of this truck will have some tune of the turbocharged 2.4-liter I4. The 2024 Tacoma TRD Pro comes with the hybrid i-FORCE MAX stock. Though the most powerful engine in any Tacoma, this hybrid only offers 35 more lb-ft of torque than the Colorado ZR2 (430 vs 465). But its power delivery that will set this engine apart.

With the new Tundra hybrid (which rides on the same chassis), Toyota engineers aimed for a diesel-like flat torque curve. And by all accounts, they accomplished it. That truck’s electric motor/generator launches it off the line and accelerates up to 18 mph. Then it helps out until the gasoline engine’s turbochargers kick in. The effect is such seamless power delivery that drivers report checking the tach is the only way to figure out which powertrain is propelling them.

But don’t expect the new Tacoma TRD Pro to be overly civilized. It is available with a manual transmission, and its suspension setup (which includes its new air-ride seats and a disconnectable stabilizer bar) is tuned for high-speed desert running.

The Colorado ZR2 Bison caught the outgoing Tacoma, but its too little too late. The Tacoma TRD Pro has already floored it out of the rock-crawling segment. And honestly, of these two trucks, it’s the 2024 Tacoma TRD Pro that looks like a lot more fun.

Next, find out what makes AEV the Shelby Americ of off-roading, or see the 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro compared with the Tacoma Trailhunter trim in the video below: