2020 Chevrolet ZR2 vs. Toyota Tacoma TRD: Midsize truck dirt battle
All right folks, I asked what two trucks you wanted to see compared and you all answered.
Let's take a look at the Chevy Colorado zr2 and the Toyota Tacoma.
Now both the Taco and the zr2 are running on some fairly ageing platforms, but both really deliver in terms of suspension, geometry, engine, size, utility and of course price.
But you know the drill, there can be only one.
[SOUND] I can't compare these trucks without first diving into the suspension since the Z-R two is really unique.
It uses these crazy multimatic spool valve shocks and it has a two inch lift over the base Colorado Along with two stage leaf springs in the rear.
Now if you want to deep dive into how they work, you can check out Anton's piece over on roadshow because they're pretty complicated when compared with the standard setup like what's on the Tacoma.
Now the taco suspension is pretty impressive, sure, but it is less than.
Is techie than the ZR2.
The TRD off road gets Bilstein shocks with an offer tune but the TRD PRO goes really big 2.5 inch internal bypass Fox coil over shocks grace the front along with a one inch lift.
And the rear gets the same shocks with remote reservoirs, and progressive rate off road leaf springs.
Now the setups in both the Tacoma, and the co2 do a great job off road.
They absorb whoops at higher speeds, and the cushion the big drops when you're in the rocks.
However, that spool valve technology just doesn't compromise when you've got to drive home on the pavement.
And can prevent body rolls on corners and it offers a better ride when the going gets smooth.
And before I forget that Tacomas have a rear locker while the ZR2 gets both a front and rear locker standard.
Yeah buddy advantage ZR2.
So in geometry is where we really see the big difference between the TRD off road and the TRD Pro.
But in general, they line up pretty well with the ZR2.
Now, I wanna make it clear that these are the numbers I got from the manufacturer directly from the mouth of Toyota, so don't ask me if they seem weird all right.
Now the Tacoma TRD off road has an approach angle of 32 degrees.
The Pro is 35 degrees, but the ZR2 is just 30 degrees.
For departure angle, the TRD Off-Road sits at 23.5 degrees.
The TRD Pro is at 19.1 degrees.
That's what Toyota says.
And the zR two is at 23.5 degrees.
Finally the break over angle on the TRD off road is 21 degrees.
The TRD Pro is the same at 21 degrees and the zR two comes in at 23.5 degrees.
Look I told you some of those numbers are weird.
Now ground clearance totally goes to the yodas 9.4 inches of clearance regardless of TRD off road or pro trim And there's just a measly 8.9 inches for the 02.
And that's after that 2 inch lift over the regular Colorado I mean game set and match to the Tacoma except for that weird departure angle.
No, the Toyota Tacoma in both offroad and pro forms is offered with a 3.5 liter V 6 pushing out 278 horsepower.
265 pound feet of torque.
Meanwhile, the ZR2 gets a 3.6 liter V6 with 308 horsepower and 275 pound feet of torque.
Now you can get a 2.8 liter diesel in the ZR2 but you all, I've driven it and it's a dog.
So I'm going to keep everything here related to that gas powered basics.
The tacomas are both available with a six speed automatic or manual transmission.
Unfortunately every press vehicle we've gotten has had the automatic so I haven't had the pleasure, but it's the only manual on offer in the segment aside from the Jeep Gladiator, the zR two however, just gets an eight speed automatic.
Now overall I really like the setup in the 02 better here.
The engines more powerful and the Toyota six speed automatic transmission is just desperately old.
It searches around like a newborn kitty looking for a mom and it just can't decide what gear it wants to be in.
You can put it in sport mode, but that's really just a gear lockout, it helps but the zR twos automatic is just more refined.
Although you can get a TRD off road in a double cab with a long bed, that's not an option for the TRD pro or the ZR2.
So let's just keep it to a double cab with a five foot bed.
wheelbase for both the Tacoma and the ZR2 is about 10 and a half feet long, the ZR2 just a smidge longer and both have an overall length of about 17 and a half feet.
But inside it's a different story.
The Tacoma has 39.7 inches of headroom in the front while the zR two best fit with 41.4 inches.
It's the same story with legroom with the Tacoma coming in at 42.9 inches in the front.
While the zR two has 45 inches.
Taller folks should probably look at the car too.
In terms of utility, we're at a bit of a draw here.
The Tacoma with the manual transmission can haul 1,135 pounds, while an automatic ups that to 1,155 pounds.
The ZR2 can haul a bit more at 1,250 pounds Towing for the Tacoma is at 6400 pounds regardless of transmission, but the zR two can only tow 5000 pounds.
You know I'm second thought that's not a draw.
Yeah, the zR two can haul more but I'm giving this one to the Toyota I mean that tow rating for the zR two is just embarrassing for a truck Especially when you consider that the standard Colorado can tow up to 7700 pounds.
Now looking at price the 2020 TRD off-road with a manual starts around $34,000 while the pros around 44,000.
Both of those do not include 1120 bucks per destination Meanwhile the ZR2 starts at around $43,000, plus $1,095 per destination.
Now, are those multimatic shocks and footlocker worth $9,000 over the TRD off road?
That's a tough sell.
I mean, the TRD off road was more than sufficient in Moab, Utah, and if you stick to medium difficulty trails, you should be just fine.
Plus you get standard Ada s features like adaptive cruise control and Lane Departure alert.
Heck, you can even get blind spot monitoring as an option.
The zR two has none of those available.
The real choice here is between the zR two and the TRD Pro.
Sure the Toyota Roxette with drive modes for sand rocks and mud plus it's got extras like a front aluminum skid plate, LED lighting and 16 inch wheels with Goodyear Wrangler Kevlar reinforced 31 inch tires.
And of course all that budging Heck, you can even get a snorkel right from the factory.
Meanwhile the ZR2 also gets a skid plate but it depends on projector beam headlights.
It's 31 inch Goodyear dirt track tires are on 17 inch wheels, so less sidewall than that to come up but it does come with standard rock rails.
So are the drive modes and ADAS technology worth the extra grand or so over the ZR2 I mean, sure, if that stuff is important to you.
I'm not really a drive mode kind of gall, but if you want your truck to do a little bit of work for you, then go for it.
Overall, though, I just think that the ZR2 provides a better off-road driving experience.
It's got killer suspension, a front [UNKNOWN] more power, better transmission, and a roomier interior.
.for me it is ZR2 all the way.
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