Comparison shopping: Colorado, Gladiator, Tacoma

rpearce1475

New member
Lots of good discussions here.

I agree to the Ranger seeming like a rushed after thought, and the back seat issues are also no go for me, as I need a load flat seat back for dog kennels and it would be a huge pain in the a** to undo dog hammocks, carseats (in the future) etc. every time I wanted to get something from under any part of it due to the lack of a 60/40 split. I don't have any qualms on the powertrain, in fact it would probably be my favorite engine/tranny on offer in the mid-size market (haven't driven a Ranger but have driven a few newer Ford ecoboost trucks/SUVs)

With the Gladiator vs ZR2 (bison only for me as I think the non-bison is hideous), I think the ZR2 would be better overall for most of our needs with better highway manners and yea, not quite as capable off road but honestly who is going to be pushing a $50K rig hard enough to find that difference? As I mentioned earlier the price of the Gladiator can be brought down with some shopping around and custom ordering to about 10% off MSRP (though dealers won't usually give you that on one already on the lot as they're waiting for the Brodozers to roll in and pay the dealer markup and another $3K for 37s on 20 inch rims courtesy of a 72 month loan). To add a wrinkle to it, I read an article that Chevy is going to upgrade their pickup truck interior for the next model year as ''consumer reports showed there was room for improvement". Perhaps they'll upgrade some stuff on the Colorado?
 

Cackalak Han

Explorer
What’s not to love? Not having an at least 6” bed.

Yeah, I know, it’d mess up the off roading angles a bit to do that, but I want a truck that I can put a shell (like a GFC) on and sleep in the back of. And to heck with the RTT as a solution!

And I believe you can get a 6’ bed in the Colorado with the ex cab. Don’t know about the Bison.
GFC makes shells for 5’ beds, FYI.

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Explorerinil

Observer
Fit and finish aside, it's hard to fault Chevy trucks for reliability. There are a lot of REALLY high mile Suburbans and the like running around out there. Their passenger cars are garbage, but they can make a truck. I fully expect things like... I don't know... Heated steering wheels to give up the ghost relatively early in the game without a fair amount of attention, but I feel like the parts that matter should do the miles just fine. Hopefully the diesel only adds to that potential, and I read early on about some particularly high miles trucks in Australia living rough lives. I think there's enough of a difference between that generation and the current Americanized version of the engine, but hopefully things haven't fallen too far. Where the Jeep falls flat in outright reliability, you can be sure you can get parts long term. The Toyota SHOULD match both just fine, but I don't think for a second a new one could hold a candle to the first and maybe second gen Tacomas. I've owned at least one from all three makes, and a Tacoma has specifically been on my "list" for more than a decade, but I think Toyota got complacent and left us all behind. And seriously, if Consumer Reports is giving Toyota the lowest marks for expected reliability, something has gone very very wrong in the land of the rising sun...
Your right the core of GM vehicles are very good, get a suburban or Tahoe with a drivetrain that’s the same pretty much as 20 years ago, it simply works. The rest of the vehicle will fail around the gm drivetrain. What really scares me about the Colorado is the bent rear frames and air bag disaster... those two huge issues steered me away from that truck.
 

04Ram2500Hemi

Observer
Your right the core of GM vehicles are very good, get a suburban or Tahoe with a drivetrain that’s the same pretty much as 20 years ago, it simply works. The rest of the vehicle will fail around the gm drivetrain. What really scares me about the Colorado is the bent rear frames and air bag disaster... those two huge issues steered me away from that truck.
I think the bent frames has been blown out of proportion. I’ve seen two trucks with bent frames online, and one had a trailer behind it that may or may have not been overloaded or going too fast for conditions. To me it’s like the 1st Gen Raptors that were being jumped. If you go fast enough in the wrong condition you’re going to break something.
 

04Ram2500Hemi

Observer
I think the bent frames has been blown out of proportion. I’ve seen two trucks with bent frames online, and one had a trailer behind it that may or may have not been overloaded or going too fast for conditions. To me it’s like the 1st Gen Raptors that were being jumped. If you go fast enough in the wrong condition you’re going to break something.
In regards to the Raptor (my favorite Raptor video on the interweb)
 

spectre6000

Observer
I think the bent frames has been blown out of proportion. I’ve seen two trucks with bent frames online, and one had a trailer behind it that may or may have not been overloaded or going too fast for conditions. To me it’s like the 1st Gen Raptors that were being jumped. If you go fast enough in the wrong condition you’re going to break something.
I looked into both of these issues for obvious reasons. The curtain airbags going off in less than rollover situations off road scenarios appears to have been a sensor threshold issue. Essentially, it's a predictive system versus a responsive one. With the regular air bags, deployment occurs when a sensor detects an impact. The curtain air bags deploy for that reason OR if it thinks the truck is about to roll. In that event, it must deploy prior to the roll or, I believe, it'll have a damage multiplying effect. For that reason, the sensors are looking for things like speed, steering angle, and most critically the lateral angle of the truck relative to the ground. I believe it was this latter threshold they needed to reduce, but I imagine the others got attention too. Explanation aside, it was an easy dealer flash sort of fix, and it's gone and done unless your truck is old enough to have been affected and hasn't been to a dealer (or you have a crappy dealer) since the patch was issued.

The frame thing... For all the talk of the ZR2 being Chevy's answer to the Raptor, I honestly expected to see more of this. Through another lens, it could easily be considered a good sign for the strength of the frame that we're not seeing more of it. Hell, the GM PR team was literally instructing automotive journalists to jump the thing! This particular instance was abuse, plain and simple. This is hearsay for lack of availability of direct knowledge by incident or design, so pass it through a filter, but from what I was able to gather the guy with the trailer did a dumb thing, then tried to make his own media blitz to get Chevy to fix it. His insurance didn't cover it either (no filter there, his own admission, but much less publicized). I have not verified this, but it comports with expectations, he seems to be quite a "bro", hanging out with a bunch of other bros, many of whom drive and were driving Raptors. He wanted to play too, tried too hard, and the result was very predictable. I could be wrong, but for everything I was able to find on the incident and the individual, that was the case. It's the only one I've seen, but it looks like there may be other cases I'm not aware of that could change my tune. I can always be swayed by evidence.

Regardless, from a frame perspective, I don't recall the construction or materials of the Gladiator frame off hand, but the Tacoma frame is plain steel C-channel with a few boxed sections (that seems to be having rust issues AGAIN in this generation). The Colorado is HSS and fully boxed from the factory. You won't see see Gladiators having this problem because they're meant to be driven slowly, and that's a different kind of stress on the frame. The Tacoma wont see issues like that because Toyota is too damn lazy to give us anything good worth doing anything exciting with (a fake snorkel and even more fake hood scoop do NOT qualify as good...). Chevy took a chance, and to be fair, Ford did it first. I've been saying for years that for all of Chrysler's quality issues, they're at least giving us exciting cars left right and center. Chevy has finally seen the light, and I'm stoked for it. As we near the end of the reign of the internal combustion engine, I suspect we'll see quite a few exciting options at this zenith.[/I][/I]
 
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vintageracer

To Infinity and Beyond!
The best new vehicle marketing by far by from ANY an OEM is from Dodge and Ram. To think Dodge can continue to rethink and sell in large numbers a Challenger body that was first offered in the 2008 model.

Dodge continues to PROMOTE AND MARKET different Dodge Challenger trim/appearance packages along with better and better engine/powertrain packages. To think that in 2019 the Dodge Challenger CONTINUE'S TO OUTSELL both Mustang and Camaro by wide margin is pretty amazing.

The Dodge Ram has become a serious contender for in the truck market with what is arguably the nicest interior package out there along with full size diesel engine options. It's still hard to beat that Cummins engine.

Ford, Chevy, GMC, Nissan and Toyota need to go and hire those folks from "Muscleville" to start their new marketing campaigns if they want to compete!
 

Cackalak Han

Explorer
The best new vehicle marketing by far by from ANY an OEM is from Dodge and Ram. To think Dodge can continue to rethink and sell in large numbers a Challenger body that was first offered in the 2008 model.

Dodge continues to PROMOTE AND MARKET different Dodge Challenger trim/appearance packages along with better and better engine/powertrain packages. To think that in 2019 the Dodge Challenger CONTINUE'S TO OUTSELL both Mustang and Camaro by wide margin is pretty amazing.

The Dodge Ram has become a serious contender for in the truck market with what is arguably the nicest interior package out there along with full size diesel engine options. It's still hard to beat that Cummins engine.

Ford, Chevy, GMC, Nissan and Toyota need to go and hire those folks from "Muscleville" to start their new marketing campaigns if they want to compete!
Both GM and Ford outsell Dodge in the full size category.

But I do like those challengers. Looks wise, better than Mustang and Camaro.
 

reaver

Active member
Your right the core of GM vehicles are very good, get a suburban or Tahoe with a drivetrain that’s the same pretty much as 20 years ago, it simply works. The rest of the vehicle will fail around the gm drivetrain. What really scares me about the Colorado is the bent rear frames and air bag disaster... those two huge issues steered me away from that truck.
If you want a midsize truck with a full size drive train, you could look for a 2009-2012 colorado. They were available with the 5.3L v8. Aftermarket support is... Well... Crap, but there are options for rear lockers, skids, and lifts.

The biggest issues are cv's, front differential seals, and occasional grounding issues. Other than that, they're a relatively solid truck. Yes, the interior feels relatively cheap, but mine with 185k on the clock doesn't rattle or squeak.

It also has a 6500lb tow rating (with the v8) and about 1400lb payload.

Not trying to sway you one way or another, just throwing it out there as an option.
 

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
Chevrolet electrical systems are junk. I have a first gen Colorado and have multiple electrical issues. The wiring they use is just too thin. The copper breaks from fatigue. If you plan to go 500K, get a Toyota,
 
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