2021 Tacoma vs. Colorado Comparison

Replacing the Hilux, which debuted in 1969, the Toyota Tacoma came to fruition in 1995. Before becoming the truck we know and love today, it went through some changes. After dropping the Hilux name in 1975 it offered a 5-speed manual transmission and a 2.2 liter engine. This was simply called "Toyota Truck." Since then, it's been changing and evolving to match the performance truck owners wanted. After earning the Tacoma name, this truck has continued to be a true workhorse. The Chevrolet Colorado was first introduced almost ten years later for the 2004 model year, giving a new face to the “S10” truck.

While both of these vehicles offer the utility you want out of a pickup truck, only one of these competitors has standard convenience options to turn your drive into more than a job.

When comparing the Colorado vs. Tacoma, the Colorado offers a little more hauling power, but the Tacoma offers standard features for an all-around excellent pickup truck. You not only get tons of safety features that the Colorado doesn't have, you also get multiple connectivity options like Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, Amazon Alexa compatibility, and SiriusXM® All Access 3-month trial..

See whether the Tacoma or Colorado have the features you want and need when we compare them side by side in the categories of safety, performance, and interior.

Published Date: 06/23/2021

Tacoma off-roading in the forest

Safety

  • Get Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) standard in the 2021 Tacoma.
  • Even with the optional Safety Package, the Chevy Colorado doesn't have as many active safety features as the Tacoma.
  • The Chevy Colorado doesn't have a feature comparable to the Tacoma's Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA).

Advanced driver-assistive technology in the 2021 Tacoma helps you worry less and drive with confidence.

Standard Safety Features

The Tacoma is equipped with a full suite of active safety features called Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P). This includes standard Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). All of these are standard on the Tacoma SR 4x2 Access Cab which starts at an MSRP of $26,400.

Comparatively, the base model Colorado WT does not have any similar safety features available. You would need to upgrade to the Colorado LT 2WD, Extended Cab, Long Box, starting at $28,895, to get the available Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, and Rear Park Assist. The LT Safety Package will cost you an extra $690 on top of the starting MSRP. It's important to note that Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, and Lane Departure Warning don't come standard on any Colorado trim.

Change lanes more safely with Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) available starting on the Tacoma SR5 4x4 Access Cab V6. The Colorado has no such feature listed on their specs page.

The 2020 Tacoma Crew Cab also received a Top Safety Pick rating by the IIHS when equipped with specific headlights. The 2020 Colorado did not receive this distinction.

Tacoma climbing a steep rocky hill

Performance

  • The The Tacoma has more standard off-roading-styled features at a lower starting MSRP.
  • To avoid slipping on tough terrain, the Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4x4 Access Cab V6 has an electronically controlled locking rear differential.
  • The ZR2 4WD is not only more expensive, the driver-selectable full-locking front differential doesn't go into action without your help. Tacoma comes standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) which has a load of top-notch safety features.

When you want to take the adventure off road, the Tacoma is the truck to take you there.

Off-Road Capabilities

The Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4x4 Access Cab V6 boasts standard 9.4 inches of ground clearance, Multi-Terrain Select (MTS) and Crawl Control (CRAWL), and an electronically controlled locking rear differential. Plus, you get standard skid plates that protect the engine and front suspension. You’ll be an off-road trail boss right out of the factory. You get all of this for a starting MSRP of $36,595.

The Colorado Z71 2WD, Crew Cab, Short Box has the standard Off-Road suspension package which includes an underbody transfer case shield that helps protect the transfer case from rocks and debris and hill descent control. It also has a ground clearance of 8.3 inches. For driver-selectable full-locking front differential standard you'll need to look at the ZR2 4WD, Extended Cab, Long Box which starts at $42,795.

The TRD Off-Road also features TRD Off-Road tuned suspension with Bilstein® shocks designed to provide a smooth ride.

Interior of 2021 Tacoma

Interior

  • The Toyota Tacoma comes standard with more connectivity options.
  • You can also upgrade to a larger touchscreen option for less in the Tacoma SR5.
  • Add more style to your drive with leather-trimmed heated seats on the Tacoma Limited 4x2 Double Cab V6.

Whether you're working or adventuring, the Toyota Tacoma has interior options to keep you comfortable and entertained.

Optimized Interior

With standard Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, Amazon Alexa compatibility, and SiriusXM® All Access 3-month trial the Tacoma SR has tons of ways to listen to your favorite stations. The Colorado WT comes standard with a SiriusXM® Radio trial subscription, Android Auto™, and Apple CarPlay® but lacks Amazon Alexa compatibility.

Both trucks come with six speakers and 7-in. touchscreen displays and available 8-in. touchscreens on higher trim options. A bigger screen comes standard starting on the Tacoma SR5 for a starting MSRP of $28,190 compared to the Colorado LT starting at $28,895.

For more interior luxury, the Tacoma Limited 4x2 Double Cab V6 comes with leather-trimmed heated seats, 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and a 4-way adjustable front passenger seat. With the Colorado Z71 you get heated driver and front passenger seats and 6-way power driver seat. The Colorado Z72 has a 4-way power front passenger seat standard. To get leather-appointed seat trim for the Colorado you'd have to purchase the leather interior package for an additional $950.

2021 Tacoma parked at an outlook in front of a scenic mountainscape

Conclusion: Tacoma vs. Colorado

  • The Tacoma offers more standard active safety features with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P).
  • If you're looking for an adventure-capable truck, the Tacoma Off-Road will take you there.

Both of these trucks offer style and utility. However, only the 2021 Tacoma offers a variety of standard active safety features that the Colorado can't compete with.

Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), for example, includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). The Colorado only offers Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Automatic Emergency Braking with the purchase of the Safety Package which will cost you an additional $690 more on the Colorado LT.

Not to mention, the Tacoma Off-Road has great features to help keep you going in some of the toughest of terrain.

Whether you are looking to take an adventure or want a truck to get you to and from safely, the 2021 Tacoma is the mid-size pickup you need.