Small/mid-size trucks, best all around

Chevy just released the EPA mileage for the Colorado zr2. 16mpg. They should have kept the baby duramax around.
 
One of my coworker buddies has a Colorado ZR2. It’s a cool little pickup and does great off road, but it’s already been a pain when it comes to maintenance so far. He just had to replace the fancy multimatic shocks in the rear at 36,000 miles, which was pricey.

The Colorado/Frontier/Tacoma size rigs would be fun for running around the mountains, but I always come back to the fact that they’re close enough in size to a half ton that I’d rather have a big V8 and the towing capability for campers, boats, or a horse or two.
 
Edited to add that I ended up with a 2023 Frontier for anyone new to this thread. Met all my requirements except price.

Every year when dad and I head out west we take my wife's 2018 F150. When we lived in FL we would leave my wife my dad's truck. Now that we're In TN I've left her my 2000 F250. Last year, the F250 misfired for her the whole time we were gone. Along with other factors (smaller roads, looser steering, etc) I've gotten increasingly uncomfortable with leaving that one behind for her and the kids so I'm looking to upgrade. I've been considering the current batch of small/mid-size pickups like the Maverick, Colorado, etc. What is y'alls opinion for the best all around bang for the buck considering the following?

  • Must fit 3 kids comfortably, no car seats, but one teenager.
  • 4wd not necessary, but preferred.
  • Sub $36K. I don't put enough miles in per year to justify spending too much.
  • Preferably newish, say 2019 or better.
  • No diesel.
  • Creature comforts not super important, but at least cruise control.
  • Yes, pickup preferred just for throwing stuff in the back without consideration, including a small Jon boat. And cause I like it lol.


Tell me about the Nissan.

I've owned 2 xterras, a Pathfinder, and now an Armada.

Thinking prox 4 frontier.
 
At the recommendation of a fellow member, I'm posting the following review/follow up for any others considering the Frontier.

Overall I'm really happy with it and have only minor complaints. It more than suits my needs and the interior size is sufficient that my wife and kids don't mind hopping in it instead of the crew cab F150. I personally find it really enjoyable to drive and have been satisfied with the off road features I've tried out.

My very minor complaints/thoughts are below, in no particular order. Some of these don't bother me at all, but are worth mentioning for your consideration.

  • The engine isn't super peppy. It doesn't feel underpowered or anything, but when used to driving my wife's twin turbo v6 EcoBoost it is definitely a step down. That being said, compared to my 2000 F250 V8 I got rid of, it's worlds apart. The gas pedal feels like it has a delay when you first start pressing it which takes a little bit to get used to. It'll throw you off if you're trying to quickly jump out at a light or something. But once you get used to the delay you almost forget about it because you naturally start pressing it sooner.
  • In spite of the above, the gas mileage isn't great. I'm averaging about 16 mpg around town, less if I'm driving more aggressively. I don't take it easy and could probably get those numbers up, but it's not a huge deal.
    • Also, the dash MPG is off by +/- 2 mpg for me consistently. It says north of 17 mpg but hand calculating puts me closer to 15-16.
    • This is also partly due to having the Pro-4x model which doesn't have the front chin spoiler which saves gas. And I brought brand new so it might still be breaking in a bit.
    • Plus, I think the gas tank is only like 18 gallons. If I was putting a bunch of miles on instead of working from home that might get annoying. That being said, only the highway using cruise control at reasonable speeds I get close to 20 mpg.
  • I'm a big guy and generally feel like I have plenty of room. However, the seats feel slightly narrow because the way the seat belt comes up the side. My wife isn't a huge fan because she feels like it digs into her hip a bit. Doesn't bother me at all.
  • The bed is definitely short, but I've hauled soil, furniture (with the tailgate down), etc. with it and hasn't been a problem with real world use for me. The max payload is a little limited on the Pro-4X. But, again, not enough to matter to me for day to day driving.
  • The intelligent cruise control is interesting. For the most part I really like it, especially if there are ebbs and flows in traffic as it automatically adjusts to the car in front of you. But, it has quirks, such as:
    • It down shifts really aggressively to get up/keep speed on hills and such, but doesn't down shift to slow speed going downhill. It will use brakes all the way down to a stop if traffic is slowing in front of you.
    • If you're behind someone and cruise control is matching, or even sensing them, and they merge into a turn lane (think a shared middle turn lane on a 3 lane road) it will sometimes slow down aggressively to keep space between the car, especially if the other car is a slow merger. This one is probably the most annoying and will have me reaching for the pedal to override it.
  • I've heard complaints about the shifting pattern with the 8 speed but it doesn't bother me. I have noticed that if I'm really trying to baby it for some reason it's a little weird because it'll run through the first 5 gears really quick, like by the time I'm at 30 mph, which leaves you feeling a little gutless. But like I said, doesn't bother me normally or if I'm trying aggressively.
    • Somewhat related, the "manual" shifting option is basically useless. I use it occasionally to slow down on steep hills and it helps. But the transmission has some built in "nanny" features that limit it's usability. If you're trying to downshift too far it simply won't. If you're coasting (like at the bottom of the hill) and try to upshift without pressing the gas, it won't. It'll wait until you start giving it gas to run through the gears.
  • I wish it had wireless android auto. It has a wireless charging pad but I have to use a cable for Android Auto.
  • Reaching some of the random buttons (rear locker (which is only available in 4low), limited slip on/off, etc.) are on the left side and can cumbersome if you're tall enough for your knees to get in the way. I'm 6'2" and it's a minor inconvenience whenever I rarely need to hit those.

Random things I like.

  • Cup holders are solid. I can fit my tall 32 oz Stanley in all of them, including the door one.
  • Comfort features (seat warmers, steering wheel warmer, mirror heaters, remote start, etc.) all work really well.
  • I don't feel small on the road. The overall footprint of the truck is sufficient that I still feel good about where I'm sitting in relation to other vehicles. Obviously I'm still shorter than a pile of full size or jacked up trucks. But I don't feel like a car either lol.
  • This could probably in either list, but I really like the stiffer steering. So much so that it makes me dislike the super smooth/light steering in the F150. It makes me feel more engaged with the road.
  • Love the bed tie down system and bed setup overall. The spray in liner is solid and held up to the soil (and shovel and rake used to get it out, even when hitting the wheel well directly on accident) really well.
  • The AC plug in the cab and bed are super convenient when you need them.
  • The cameras in the Pro-4x model. They aren't super high quality by any stretch in terms of picture quality, but I love the overhead feature when parking in tight spaces or trying to edge up close to a curb or something.
  • LED headlights/Intelligent high beam. Super useful and I leave it set up that way always. The system seems to err on the side of not blinding other drivers which is nice.
  • The fact that most features which might annoy you can be disabled in the dash menu if you don't find them useful or too intrusive. Lane departure warning might get that from me due to these narrow roads. However, if they are only annoying due to something specific happening at the moment (rear collision alert while back up with the tailgate down . . .) there is a button somewhere within reach to temporarily turn them off (will reset at start up).
  • This model refresh was really well done and I think the look will age well. I receive compliments on the truck regularly.
Tell me about the Nissan.

I've owned 2 xterras, a Pathfinder, and now an Armada.

Thinking prox 4 frontier.
 
I just read a review of the 2023 Chevy Colorado.
There is no way to manually turn on or off the headlights or the door locks.
So if the battery dies, how do you open the door, so you can open the hood, to recharge the battery?

Also only 4-cylinder engines...
the V-6 and the Duramax Diesel that were available in the previous Colorado are no longer offered in 2023.
Which is more likely to last over 250,000 miles, the 4-cylinder or the Duramax Diesel?
 
Last edited:
My money says just about zero people that buy a new vehicle keep it to 250K. mtmuley
I have 209k on my 09 chevy and plan on fixing it up for my boy to drive in a few year. Fully intend to get 300k outta my new truck.
I just read a review of the 2023 Chevy Colorado.
There is no way to manually turn on or off the headlights or the door locks.
So if the battery dies, how do you open the door, so you can open the hood, to recharge the battery?

Also only 4-cylinder engines...
the V-6 and the Duramax Diesel that were available in the previous Colorado are no longer offered in 2023.
Which is more likely to last over 250,000 miles, the 4-cylinder or the Duramax Diesel?
Toyota is switching the tacoma over to a 4 cylinder with a twin turbo option and getting rid of the v6 next year. Big reason I pulled the trigger on getting one this year.
 
The Taco started as a four-banger. Their durability is simply Legend.
My 1st was an 82 4x4 w/sr22 eng. and I sold it when it hit 565k for more than I paid for it.
That paid for my down on my 98 Tacoma...which is worth more than I paid for it, with 335k on it now. Some guy just offered me $16k for it at the gas station. LOL
My mechanic on the Toyotas for 20 years said you have to wait 2 years for Toyota to work the bugs out of new models. That was in 2000. He was trained in Japan.

I hope to go through my 98 someday.
 
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