2020 Nissan Frontier vs. 2020 Chevrolet Colorado

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/29

Both the Frontier and the Colorado have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available four-wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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The Frontier’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Colorado’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Frontier’s reliability 44 points higher than the Colorado.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Frontier second among midsize pickups in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Colorado isn’t in the top three.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 14 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

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The Frontier’s 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 110 more horsepower (310 vs. 200) and 90 lbs.-ft. more torque (281 vs. 191) than the Colorado’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Frontier’s 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 2 more horsepower (310 vs. 308) and 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (281 vs. 275) than the Colorado’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Nissan Frontier, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Colorado.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Frontier’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Colorado are solid, not vented.

The Frontier stops shorter than the Colorado:

Frontier

Colorado

70 to 0 MPH

199 feet

206 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

131 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Frontier has larger tires than the Colorado (265/70R16 vs. 255/65R17).

The Frontier has a standard full size spare so a flat doesn’t interrupt your work or a trip. A full size spare costs extra on the Colorado. Without the option you must depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

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The Frontier has a standard front stabilizer bar, which help keep the Frontier flat and controlled during cornering. The Colorado’s suspension doesn’t offer a stabilizer bar

The Frontier Crew Cab 4x4 handles at .74 G’s, while the Colorado Short Box ZR2 Crew Cab pulls only .68 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the Frontier has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Colorado Long Box Crew Cab (8.9 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the Frontier to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Frontier is shorter than the Colorado, making the Frontier easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces:

Frontier

Colorado

Extended Cab Standard Bed

205.5 inches

212.7 inches

Crew Cab Short Bed

205.5 inches

212.7 inches

Crew Cab Standard Bed

219.4 inches

224.9 inches

Passenger Space

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The Frontier King Cab has .8 inches more front hip room, .8 inches more front shoulder room and 2.8 inches more rear hip room than the Colorado Extended Cab.

The Frontier Crew Cab has .6 inches more front hip room, .8 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 4.7 inches more rear hip room and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Colorado Crew Cab.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over bed design makes loading and unloading the Frontier easier. The Frontier’s bed lift-over height is 31.5 inches, while the Colorado Extended Cab’s liftover is 34.2 inches. The Colorado Crew Cab’s liftover is 34.5 inches.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Frontier. The Colorado doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The Frontier’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Colorado’s (6250 vs. 3500 pounds).

Ergonomics

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The Push Button Start standard on the Frontier allows you to start the engine without removing a key from pocket or purse. The Chevrolet Colorado doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Frontier (except S)’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Colorado doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Frontier owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Frontier with a number “5” insurance rate while the Colorado is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Frontier is less expensive to operate than the Colorado because it costs $200 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Frontier than the Colorado, including $61 less for a water pump, $32 less for front brake pads, $3 less for fuel injection, $16 less for front struts and $245 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Frontier will be $789 to $4182 less than for the Chevrolet Colorado.

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