|7,700||Towing Capacity (lbs)||6,720|
|23||Fuel Economy (MPG combined)||20|
Can a fresh new start be triumphed by a proven legend? That was our question when we evaluated the fierce contest between the 2022 Chevy Colorado vs 2022 Nissan Frontier. However, it's not all that fierce. Nissan is marketing the 2022 Frontier as a new and fresh take on the Frontier, and all things considered, news like this managed to turn a few heads, including ours. We got to thinking if the newest Frontier could overtake the 2022 Colorado, a faithful continuation of a beloved pickup truck that hasn't seen a "generational" leap in a while. Does that matter? The first thing that any driver will seek when learning about a new vehicle is pricing, and in the case of these two, things have already begun to get interesting.
The latest Nissan Frontier has a starting MSRP of $27,840, which is higher than Chevy Colorado's MSRP of $25,200.* Already, this is a rather stark price difference between the two. Both trucks offer four trim levels. This year's Colorado model again offers WT as the base trim, and the rest of the trims will sound familiar to any Colorado enthusiast, these being the LT, Z71, and the powerful and off-roading capable ZR2. Two bed sizes are present, these being 5ft and 6ft options. The Frontier also offers up some recognizable trim levels with the S as the base trim again, followed by the SV, PRO-X, and the PRO-4X, the latter of which is Nissan's answer to the ZR2's off-roading excellence. There are two bed sizes for this truck as well, also measuring out at five and six feet.
For a vehicle with a higher starting price, we were generally hoping that the Frontier could have offered drivers more in regards to performance. Unfortunately, that isn't the case, but the Colorado picks up the slack with a wide array of performance options. Shoppers who buy the 2022 Frontier will be stuck with only one engine. If you're looking for a performance bump or any more efficient powertrain, you're flat out of luck. What about the Colorado? Going with Chevy's truck will allow you to select one of three available powertrains. A detriment to the Frontier's sole engine is the chance for Chevy to offer engines that are stronger or more efficient, and here we see both.
Let's start with the base Colorado engine. Here you'll find a 2.5L I-4 with a 6-speed automatic transmission. This engine provides 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, and the maximum towing capacity of this powertrain combo is 3,500 lbs. However, the following two engines drastically make up for this lower towing capacity. An advantage that this engine brings forth, however, is its fuel efficiency, and an example of this is the EPA-estimated ratings of 19 mpg city and 25 highway, which is better than the Frontier.
The only powertrain for the Frontier is a 3.8L V6 engine with its 9-speed automatic transmission. By itself, it's a decent and highly capable engine with its 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque, along with its maximum towing capacity of 6,720 lbs. However, this is to be expected with the Frontier's much higher MSRP than the Colorado. EPA-estimated ratings are great with 18 mpg city and 24 highway, but it doesn't match the Colorado's base engine. Spending more on the Colorado, putting the cost more in line with the Frontier, will then net you a far more powerful engine.
For the Colorado, the next choice is a V6 that is highly similar to the Frontier's V6, with this one producing 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. Along with this engine comes an 8-speed automatic transmission, and its maximum towing capacity of 7,000 lbs surpasses the Frontier's V6. Despite the slightly lower horsepower and torque output, this powertrain combo can handle heavier towing jobs than its competition. EPA-estimated ratings for Chevy's V6 also outpaces Nissan's with 18 mpg city and 25 highway.
Last but certainly not least, the Colorado offers a diesel option, which many drivers prefer. Pairing your Colorado with this turbo-diesel 2.8L I-4 gives 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The lower horsepower may not be as bad as you think because, like most diesel powertrains, the sheer amount of torque output makes up for it with a vastly greater towing capacity. In fact, this engine allows the Colorado to tow a best-in-class 7,700 lbs, which is nearly 1,000 lbs more than the Frontier. Additionally, the turbo-diesel engine is the most fuel-efficient of the bunch, with this engine earning EPA-estimated ratings of 20 mpg city and 30 highway.
Three things are worth talking about when discussing the interior of one or two pickup trucks. There's leg and headroom, tech, and spaciousness. Interestingly, all three of these things relate to comfortability. Starting with the seats themselves, the Colorado will offer four or five seats depending on which cab you've chosen, either Extended or Crew. The same configurations are found on the Frontier with its King and Crew cabs. However, in regards to the seats themselves, the Colorado comes standard with a 4-way power-adjustable driver's seat. Many will likely find this preferable to the manual seat that the Frontier comes standard with, as that has begun to feel quite outdated.
A more spacious cabin can never be a bad thing. The size of a cabin can immediately ruin your first initial experience if it feels too small. Because of this, the trucks that offer more appealing dimensions in regards to head and legroom tend to do better than their competitors in this regard. Starting with the 2022 Colorado, the front row will see 41.4-inches of headroom and 45-inches of legroom.
Moving over to the 2022 Nissan Frontier and we see 39.9-inches of headroom and 42.3-inches of legroom. This will become quite noticeable if you sit in the two consecutively, especially the lower amount of space for legroom. Next, the rear-row of the 2022 Colorado crew cab has 38.3-inches of headroom and 35.8-inches of legroom. Again, this is a better turn-out than the 38.6-inches and 33.2-inches of legroom in the rear row. Those missing three inches of legroom in the Frontier will be certainly unacceptable if you ever plan on having more than one passenger in your truck.
Tech is quite similar between the two. In fact, both offer up infotainment centers that make use of Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and more. One difference that is worth pointing out is that the Frontier comes standard with an 8-inch screen that can be upgraded to a 9-inch display. However, the Colorado comes standard with a 7-inch panel that can then be upgraded to an 8-inch screen. Not a dealbreaker by any means, and generally a small point of contention between the two. However, the Colorado comes standard with two USB ports, while the Frontier only comes with one, meaning those who want to charge their phones while you do will just have to wait their turn.
Both trucks fare rather well when it comes to safety features, although some of the more heavy-hitters that aren't present can be remedied through upgrades. One feature that the Frontier has that won't be a standard feature on the Colorado is a Forward-Collision Warning System. This will send the driver a signal including a beeping sound to regain their attention, which will allow them to hit the brakes with enough time to do so. Chevy's answer to this, the Forward Collision Alert, can be implemented on any trim after the base model.
What about the features that you won't find on the Frontier? Chevy's Teen Driver. If you will be lending your truck to a newly licensed driver in the household, then Teen Driver should be enough to warrant your decision to purchase the Colorado. How Teen Driver works is by allowing you to create a custom ruleset that your teenager should follow while driving. You can set limits for music volume, speed, and more. The vehicle also performs other safety measures when a teenage driver is behind the wheel, such as ensuring the seatbelts are fastened before allowing the vehicle to shift into drive.