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]