Tacoma TRD vs. Colorado Z71 on Sand and Rock (video)

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When you step down from the headline act, which truck is better?

Sure, it’s fun to compare the big daddy models: Tacoma TRD Pro versus Colorado ZR2. We enjoy those videos too. But what about the little brother models? The one you can convince your significant other to let you buy. We’re talking about the Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road and the Chevrolet Colorado Z71. Both are billed as off-road worthy, and The Driver Seat really put them through their paces.

We’re used to what we’ll call “normal” vehicle comparison videos. An editor takes a capable rig to the equivalent of the bunny slope, and pronounces “it’s good off-road.” Our jaws dropped when we saw what these guys did. They take both trucks to Pismo Beach and promptly get them stuck in the sand. Not like “throw it in 4-low and drive out” stuck. Serious stuck. Like, 4-high, dig it in; 4-low dig it in.

This is way beyond the type of stuck we’ve ever managed but serves as a great “worst case scenario” for the Tacoma. The host sums it up, saying, “We’re stuck in 4-low, we’re stuck in 4-high. There’s no getting out of this. Now, we’re gonna put it in Crawl Control.”

In what must look like magic to those of us who haven’t done much wheeling in a modern Toyota, the Tacoma hunts for traction and shortly just drives right out of the hole. A few mechanical grunts, a little back-and-forth on the steering wheel, and the Tacoma goes from stuck to free.

The same can’t be said for the Colorado Z71. The Chevy lacks the sophisticated Crawl Control system found on the Tacoma and remains stuck until the crew pulls it out. With the Tacoma, of course.


After the sand dunes, they head to a trail in Big Bear, CA. Remember this isn’t the normal type of video? So, of course, it’s a trail designed for Jeeps. Before they even begin, the Z71 has to ditch a plastic front air dam so it’s even competitive with the Tacoma. (That’s two for Toyota).

They conquer a few obstacles in both trucks but eventually come to one the Tacoma has trouble with. Crawl Control comes to the rescue again, giving him a trouble-free ascent.


The Colorado Z71 is able to make it through the same terrain, though it almost gets stuck again.

They wrap up the comparison, noting, “We took these two stock trucks… right out of the box and we took em on this Jeep rated trail. They did amazing.” He gives the victory to the Tacoma, which was clearly the leader in the two tests they performed.

For our Tacoma owners on here, what kind of situations have you gotten your Taco into? Let us know in the Yotatech Forums.

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Austin Lott is a longtime professional automotive journalist who learned the ropes after landing a stint writing for the iconic magazine MotorTrend after earning a bachelor's degree in English from Vanguard University in Southern California.

Lott is a regular contributor to popular Internet Brands Auto Group websites, including Rennlist and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Austin is published regularly in Super Street and is a frequent contributor to Honda-Tech and 6SpeedOnline. Although he's partial to Japanese imports, he'll give anything cool a shot.

Austin can be reached at [email protected].

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