• Chevy Colorado ZR2 vs Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Towing Comparison: How Do They Tow?


    2018 chevy colorado zr2 toyota tacoma trd pro
    Chevy Colorado ZR2 vs Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

    We know that the Colorado ZR2 and the Tacoma TRD Pro are very good in tough off-road situations, but how do they perform at towing a 5,000 lbs trailer on the Ike Gauntlet? The Ike Gauntlet is the world’s toughest towing test because it covers eight miles up and down a 7% grade with the top elevation of 11,158 feet above sea level.

    How does the ZR2 compare to the TRD Pro? Check out this Cliffhanger 2.0 off-road test to see how they stack up on a difficult mountain trail.

    Chevy Colorado ZR2 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
    Engine 3.6L V6 3.5L V6
    Power 308 hp / 308 lb-ft 278 hp / 265 lb-ft
    Transmission 8-speed auto 6-speed auto
    Rear Axle Ratio 3.42 3.91
    Max Payload 1,220 lbs 1,000 lbs
    Max Towing 5,000 lbs 6,400 lbs
    GVWR 6,000 lbs 5,600 lbs
    GCWR 10,300 lbs 11,360 lbs
    MPG (EPA rating) 16/18/17 18/23/20
    Price (as tested) $43,560 $45,087

    Can you have an excellent midsize pickup truck that can also be a competent towing machine? There is definitely some compromise. The ZR2 has a much lower towing capacity when you compare it to a regular Chevy Colorado (7,000 lbs for a gas-powered Colorado).  The TRD Pro has a lower payload rating that other Tacomas.

    EPA fuel economy ratings

    Check out the Ike Gauntlet video for all of the details and trailering fun!

    ( https://teespring.com/stores/tfl ) Please Visit Our Store for New Holiday TFLcar and TFLtruck Shirts, Hoodies and Merchandise.


    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    26 thoughts on “Chevy Colorado ZR2 vs Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Towing Comparison: How Do They Tow?

      1. Daniel – – –

        You are right (as usual).
        TFLT did not do the downhill braking part of the test.

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

        1. They briefly discussed manually shifting on the downhill portion so I assume there were no major issues controlling speed that way.

    1. I would love to see the 98 miles fuel economy loop done with these trucks. I find it hard to believe the Tacoma gets 5 mpg better on the highway.

      1. The Tacoma’s automatic transmission gear ratios are quite a bit taller. When the TRD Pro is equipped with the manual transmission, the fuel economy numbers change quite a bit:

        Auto: 18 City/23 Highway/20 Combined Manual: 17 City/20 Highway/18 Combined

        Other factors:
        -The ZR2’s Duratracs have a higher rolling resistance compared the the highway/AT tires on the TRD Pro.
        -The ZR2 sacrificed aerodynamic drag for improved ground clearance and approach angles.
        -The ZR2’s upgraded drivetrain components likely increased parasitic drivetrain losses.

          1. So you’re saying that real world fuel economy numbers don’t match EPA estimates? Is that surprising to you? Based on what I have read so far, it looks like the ZR2 guys have no problem beating the EPA estimates. You can granny a manual and destroy the EPA estimates.

            Doesn’t change the fact that the TRD Pro is running highway AT’s instead of an an all-terrain/mud-terrain hybrid like the duratrac, has taller gearing, and the same lower output FE-focused V6 that the rest of the Tacoma lineup has. The 2017/18 TRD Pro guys with automatics are no doubt pressing the ECT PWR button or getting tuned to improve the driveability of their truck at the expense of fuel economy.

    2. Nice tips TFL, still wish we could see actual mpg by completing the uphill and downhill loop with a top up and re-fill on return. And where was the downhill? Also would like to see longer videos showing the rpm, more cabin and gauge shots as the trucks go up and down. Cant hurt the wallet that much to add more video.

          1. Moondog, my friend flipped a switch, almost bought the 2018 Canyon Denali that I was comparing to the 2018 Tacoma Pro; but could not get away from the feel that the 2015 Tacoma brought her for 3 years. She did not want to risk the howling diff and get a Tacoma so guess what she bought. It has push button start, seats 5, has AWD, drives like a Tacoma basically and has a 4.0 V6 with 270HP. No adaptive cruise though. 2018 Limited 4Runner 5 seater with the Redwood Leather. We pick it up today. She got 32,000 on trade for the Tacoma after 3 years on a truck worth 40,000 Canadian. Not bad. She did not really need a open bed and the 4Runner is the next closest thing to a truck like feel in the SUV world and thats what she liked about the Tacoma so much and how tight it still feels after 3 years. So we are both driving Toyota again. No problems with my 2017 Tundra with 1100km now. But it sucks fuel like a fat kid with a soda pop, I cant even try to hyper mile but I knew that, its a heavy truck but My feeling is it will be problem free when its -32 C outside this winter and I do very little mileage so not a deal breaker.

            1. Congrats, Rambro. There are a lot of Taco owners jumping ship to the 4Runner because of the how,I get diff issue. I ah e yet to hear a single regret. They all like the souped up 4.0 better and the build quality of the Japanese made 4Runner wins out. Now that my wife is on the mend I’m going back to my dealer to try to get my diff replaced. If that doesn’t work then I’m jumping ship too. I would like a truck but want to stay midsize. Nothing against GM but I just hate the looks of the GM trucks. I’ll wait for Jeep or Ford to drop theirs before I do anything. My preference is to get my diff fixed.

              My brother-in-law was over for Thanksgiving and he just got a new Sequoia. He loves it and sai it is the best vehicle he has ever owned. But, he had the same complaint as you – terrible fuel mileage. He said he has yet to find a way to get more than 15mpg.

            2. Well we got 400km on it now driving home. The short wheelbase is is a bit choppier than the Tacoma at highway speeds. Decent power, still needs a V8 of course but decent. Low head room in the rear seats and passenger seat. Otherwise so far so good. It has a soft ride and lots of body clearance and you sit high, feels like a truck. 🖖

    3. Interestingly, these two trucks (towing 5,000 lbs) & the Ridgeline (towing 4,500 lbs doing a Super IKE) all ended up at about 8 mins and more or less similar performance. The Ridgeline showed 6.4 mpg but all these mpg readouts tend to be optimistic (my Ridgeline reads between 0.7-2.1 mpg high).

      The point is a 3.5-3.6 V6 in a 4,500 lb truck ends up more or less in the same place. All these mid-sizers, off road suspension or not, are good for comfortably towing 3,500-4,500 lbs. If you tow often at a 5,000-7,000 lbs, a half ton is best…

      1. All that really matters is HP. If you have enough HP to pull 5000 lbs up a hill at 65mph it doesnt really matter any difference in the specs. The only way you would see a true difference is if you floor all of them the whole way up and let them go as fast as possible, which isnt realistic.

    4. So if Toyota abides by J2807, how does the Taco have a 6400 lbs towing capacity. I thought you needed a 10% tongue(640 lbs), 300 lbs of passengers, and a 75 lb hitch. That would put it over the 1000 lbs of MAX payload. Is there a difference for mid-sized trucks?

    5. Looking at the dsl fuel mileage numbers compared to there gas engines idk if im all that impressed.

      Tacoma seem to hold it’s own the Ike. Considering that they have went to a smaller engine.

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