This is the ultimate fight of the beasts

It’s like a battle between two hulks, if you may. As if their off-roading capabilities were not good enough, Chevrolet and Toyota decided to elevate the game to the next level. Toyota launched the Tacoma TRD Pro sometime last year and the Colorado ZR2 Bison is due for launch early next year. Chevrolet has built the Colorado ZR2 Bison in collaboration with AEV – American Expedition Vehicles – an aftermarket truck outfitter.

Exterior

2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Exterior
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2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
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The Colorado ZR2 Bison comes with five new skid plates around the body, made of high-tensile Boron steel. These skid plates will protect the undercarriage stuff like transfer case, fuel tank, front and rear locking differentials, oil pan, etc. The Tacoma TRD Pro has skid plates too, but uses more plastic. It may seem practical in terms of maintenance, but kind of stares in the face of a truck known for its strong build.

Front

2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Exterior
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2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
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The Colorado loses its gentlemanly bowtie to its alter-ego self, where it’s replaced by the word “Chevrolet. The license plate housing is relocated on the bumper and gives way to the accommodation for a winch. The ZR2 Bison gets a steel bumper with a place for a pair of standard factory fog lights. A thoughtful move by AEV and Chevrolet, because most people go for additional lights and mount it in a messy way on the bumper. After seeing the ZR2 Bison, the standard Colorado looks like some vehicle from Bob The Builder!

Just like the ZR2 Bison, The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro too has a front grille with “Toyota’ embossed on it, instead of the logo.

This is pretty much like the automaker’s iconic vehicles from the past. There’s a nice hood scoop which gives this otherwise tame-looking beast an aggressive look. Couple that with a small skid plate and a raised bumper, and the TRD Pro looks like a cheetah ready to pounce. However, the face doesn’t look as intimidating as the ZR2 Bison’s.

Side

2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Exterior
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2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
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The ZR2 Bison gets wider wheel arches to fit in the new tires. It rides on 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratec off-road tires. These are mounted on 17-inch aluminum wheels custom-made for the Bison ZR2. A functional snorkel has been added to purify the air inside, as well add character to it. The rest of the profile remains the same.

The Tacoma gets square-ish wheel arches that fill in the 30-inch Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires. Might seem ordinary, but they’re reinforced with Kevlar, making them less prone to punctures.

Rear

2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Exterior
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2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
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The Colorado’s rear looks bulky, and the Bowtie is retained. Though convenient, the handle to open the flap looks out of place. The rear bumper features two integrated recovery points, and chassis-mounted tubular corner pieces are wrapped around the rear quarter panels to provide some extra protection.

The TRD Pro has a very sedate looking rear, with a few decals breaking the monotony. At this segment and price point, stickers look cheap. Toyota should have either left it plain or gone for some badges.

The bed is smaller than the ZR2 Bison’s. However, Toyota offers a storage box and 110-volt power outlet in the bed wall.

The Tacoma’s payload is rated at 1,420 pounds.

Interior

Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension High Resolution Interior
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2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven Interior
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Note: 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 pictured on the left, 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport pictured on the right.

The Bison’s interior is shared with the standard Colorado, apart from the headrests and floor lining, which now have the AEV logo on them. The basic essentials include heated front seats, center console with storage, Bose sound system, etc.

The Bison's cabin space is not great, but not bad either. The Tacoma TRD Pro, on the other hand, is fairly loaded.

The Tacoma comes with stuff like touchscreen infotainment system, wireless charging pad, and reverse camera, to name a few. Infotainment system doesn’t offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (typical Toyota!). The cabin space is poor. The raised ground clearance has cut short the leg room and the headroom.

Drivetrain and Performance

2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Exterior
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2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
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Neither of the companies has played around with the engine, so you can find the familiar 3.6-liter V-6 engine that produces 308 horses and 275 pound-feet of torque in the Bison. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission system. It will also be available with a 2.8-liter, turbodiesel engine that generates 186 horses and 369 pound-feet of torque. This is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission system.

The other parts, like front and rear locking differentials, Autotrac transfer case, Multimatic DSSV dampers, and rear axle with a 3.42 ratio, are carried over from the standard Colorado. The towing capacity is rated at a massive 7,700 pounds!

This is where the Tacoma TRD Pro shines. The body shell is unbreakable and built to last.

Toyota may not have given attention to the exteriors or interiors, but the driving experience is something different altogether. Perhaps, that is why the car enjoys a great resale value. The front has a good approach angle, meaning you won’t bang your car into the ground on tricky surfaces. Toyota offers a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that churns out 278 horses and 265 pound-feet of torque in the Tacoma TRD Pro. It’s mated to a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic is optional. This all-wheel-drive truck is available with an electronically locking rear differential.

Other than this, it comes with multi-terrain select and crawl system controls, which give an excellent control on highly uneven terrains. The towing capacity is 6,400 pounds. So, if your Tacoma gets stuck somewhere and you need to get it out, you can call the ZR2 Bison; but not vice-versa!

Final Thoughts

2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Exterior
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2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
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Both cars are value-for-money propositions when compared to their Blue Oval rival.

While the Chevy wins in the interior and exterior department, the Japanese truck excels in terms of performance. Even in terms of reliability, the Tacoma TRD Pro is unmatched. The Chevy has a stronger engine with more power, but the Tacoma offers a manual transmission. But the cargo space and cabin space is much better in the ZR2 Bison, and don’t forget, the towing capacity is also better in the Chevy. So, it’s tough to decide who the winner is. At the end of the day, decision relies on your needs and requirements.

Further Reading

2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Exterior
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Read our full review of the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison.

2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison Vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
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Read our full review of the 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

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