Midsize Truck Showdown: Does 2023 Offer Us a Better Toyota Tacoma or Chevy Colorado

We’re heading into 2023 with excitement. Some of that comes from putting the Toyota Tacoma up against the Chevy Colorado. The Tacoma comes into the new model year with very few changes, while the Colorado delivers an entirely new powertrain package. The Chevy truck is totally redesigned with new styling and modern tech, but the Toyota pickup continues to deliver more configurations than all other midsize trucks.

When will a new Toyota Tacoma arrive?

Red 2023 Toyota Tacoma Pulling a Trailer at dusk
2023 Toyota Tacoma Pulling a Trailer | Toyota

RELATED: The Dune Buggy Returns! With an Electric Powertrain?

You could say the 2023 Toyota Tacoma pickup has old bones, but that’s not something that bothers most fans of the Taco truck. This truck should receive updates for the 2024 model year when we expect to see hybrid and electric versions. Until then, the Tacoma continues as the best-selling midsize truck in the class with a few upgrades for 2023.

The Chevy Colorado offers only one body type

2023 Chevy Colorado has more power
2023 Chevy Colorado | Chevrolet

Chevrolet changes the Colorado to offer fewer options while the Toyota Tacoma continues with several body types. For the 2023 Chevy Colorado, all models give us a crew cab setup and a 5’ 2” bed.

The 2023 Tacoma doesn’t have this same limitation. You’ll find the Access Cab and Double Cab models for this midsize truck. Along with the cab options, there are two bed lengths, a standard 5-foot bed and a longer 6-foot bed.

Where did all the Chevy engines go? Toyota still has theirs

Cherry Red Tintcoat 2023 Chevy Colorado driving on a dirt road
Cherry Red Tintcoat 2023 Chevy Colorado | Chevrolet

One of the biggest selling points of the previous generation of the Chevy Colorado was the three engines offered. That changes for 2023. All three engines are gone, and a single 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is used for this Chevy truck. This engine mates to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

This new powertrain for the Chevy Colorado has its own bag of tricks. The standard power setting gives you 237 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque. Choose the 2.7 Turbo Plus setting, and you have 310 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque.

The 2023 Toyota Tacoma continues with the 2.7-liter 4-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6 engines. Both of these engines are naturally aspirated and use a 6-speed automatic transmission. A 6-speed manual transmission is available for the V6 engine.

The power output for the Tacoma engines is 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque for the 4-cylinder, with the V6 offering 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque.

Can these midsize trucks haul a heavy load?

2023 Chevy Colorado Z71 Towing a Light Trailer
2023 Chevy Colorado Z71 Towing | Chevrolet

Both of the standard power settings for these two trucks give you 3,500 pounds of towing. Move up to the V6-powered Toyota Tacoma, and you have 6,800 pounds of pulling power. The Turbo Plus in the Chevy Colorado delivers 7,700 pounds of towing power, which puts the Chevy ahead in this category.

The payload ratings for these trucks are very similar. The Toyota pickup can carry between 1135 and 1685 pounds in the bed, while the Chevy truck handles a range of 1151 to 1684 pounds of payload.

Toyota outperforms Chevy on the Trails

2022 Toyota Tacoma off-roading
2022 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

Which of these two midsize trucks is better on the trails? The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro continues to be a staple of off-road driving, but the Chevy Colorado ZR2 is no slouch. Both trucks give us additional off-road trims, with the Colorado adding the Trail Boss model that has a two-inch lift and a wider front track than the standard truck. Similarly, the Tacoma brings the Trail Edition model, which also has a lifted suspension.

Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Ground Clearance: 9.4 inches

Approach Angle: 32.0 degrees

Departure Angle: 23.1 degrees

Chevy Colorado ZR2

Ground Clearance: 10.7 inches

Approach Angle: 38.3 degrees

Departure Angle: 25.1 degrees

When compared, the Colorado is the better off-road truck with steeper off-road angles. These angles could make a huge difference when you’re on the trails.

Which truck should you drive? Toyota Tacoma or Chevy Colorado

Electric Lime Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Posed on Some rocks
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Toyota

If you’re looking for a midsize truck with several configurations that has been a proven performer for many years, the 2023 Toyota Tacoma is hard to beat. On the other hand, when you need more towing capacity, better off-road statistics, and you’re looking at a Crew Cab setup for your truck, the new 2023 Chevy Colorado is an excellent choice.

Next, learn more about which 4WD trucks are the most efficient, or watch these two trucks square off in the video below:

RELATED: 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro: This is a Serious Off-Road Truck