With their reputation commonly associated with prowess and capability, drivers expect quite a bit from their pickup trucks. As such, there’s always a fair amount of competition among the different manufacturers when it comes to giving their customers the very best. Two of these rivals are the iconic Nissan and Chevrolet brands, who battle it out each model year to dominate the competitive truck market.
The first of these is renowned for its ability to stay on the cutting edge of technology and innovation. At the same time, the other has been a cornerstone of American engineering for over a century. As both brands have forged their legacies and accomplishments over the years, today, we take a close look at offerings from each to figure out which offers more value to the truck-driving public. It’s the 2023 Nissan Frontier vs 2023 Chevy Colorado; both have been the recipients of recent redesigns and have their own unique advantages. Let’s not waste another moment; gentlemen, start your engines!
An aspect that many consumers take into account when comparing different vehicles is the up-front price. Naturally, this is where we start the examination of each, and when it comes to the starting MSRP, both vehicles are relatively close to one another. The 2023 Chevy Colorado sells for $29,200, and the Frontier sells for a slightly higher $29,370. Since both prices are very close to one another, we need to take a closer look at some of the other attributes that truck owners look for in their vehicle purchases.
Taking a Look Under the Hood
Any pickup truck has some high expectations to meet. While not everyone who drives a pickup is looking for towing capacity or payload ability, most will agree that a reliable pickup needs a powertrain that gets the job done and can adapt to any situation, either on the pavement or off the beaten path. In recent years, many manufacturers have limited their powertrain offerings to a single option. The 2023 Nissan Frontier follows this path and gives its drivers access to a beefy 3.8L V6 equipped with a 9-speed automatic transmission. This gives the Frontier an impressive 310 hp and the ability to generate an impressive 281 lb-ft of torque.
Like the Frontier, Colorado utilizes a single powertrain, which takes the form of a turbocharged 2.7L four-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. Each trim has its own specifications; the base offering, which offers 237 hp, is found in the first two trim levels. Going further up the ladder, this number increases to 310 hp on the upper trims with the turbocharged plus version. For those looking to maximize their experience behind the wheel of the Colorado, the off-road-ready ZR2 boasts an impressive 430 lb-ft of torque, courtesy of the turbocharged high-output engine. Both trucks offer their own set of pros and cons regarding performance. Chevy certainly offers an array of options; however, those looking to keep things simple may appreciate the Frontier’s simplicity when it comes to engine choices.
Design and Presentation
While many drivers look for performance and pricing in the trucks they purchase, making a memorable first impression is always necessary. Sure, you might be looking for a truck for the sole purpose of having a reliable workhorse to deliver the goods. But even the most capable thoroughbreds need to have their manes groomed occasionally. You might have an unshakable work ethic, but that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice looking good while doing it.
When it comes to making a first impression, the Nissan Frontier accomplishes this task with minimal effort. This is thanks to its intimidating front end that blends into the headlights yet stands out among the rest of the front. It’s the small details that allow it to stand apart from some of its most notable competitors. The Colorado makes use of a similar aesthetic and design, and while it is appealing to the eye, it doesn’t quite match the intimidation factor that Nissan has brought to the table.
And while the exterior design is one thing, the thrill and experience one gets when one sits behind the wheel is another. While the starting MSRPs and front-end designs of the Frontier and Colorado have plenty of similarities, the interior designs that both brands offer are about as different as night and day. For the Frontier, it offers practicality and an aesthetic that could simply be described as “old-school.” The vehicle’s infotainment screen is certainly a modern touch that places the Frontier into the current year, but so much of it looks and feels like a truck from decades past, which is not a bad thing. The design of the instrument cluster and steering wheel are very 1990s-esque in their appearance, which will appeal to those who have a fondness for nostalgia.
Those who have a taste for the modern amenities and presentation in their vehicles will certainly feel at home in the 2023 Chevy Colorado. Its infotainment screen and digital instrument cluster are perfectly adjacent to one another, simulating the feel of a control panel in a futuristic spacecraft. Along with its sectioned-off area for the gear shifter and circular HVAC vents, Chevy is certainly keen on giving the Colorado as futuristic a look as possible. Taste in presentation is subjective, and the interior of both vehicles features unique designs that will appeal to a variety of different drivers.
The leaps and bounds at which the various manufacturers develop new technologies to enhance the driving experience are nothing short of remarkable. And, as is to be expected, both Nissan and Chevy have brought their best efforts forward for the 2023 model year. For the Nissan Frontier, features such as turn-by-turn navigation and automated emergency braking are certainly impressive. Making a return for the 2023 model year is the brand’s intuitive driver alertness technology. By monitoring the driver’s steering patterns, Nissan provides a method of eliminating driver fatigue from the equation altogether.
Many of the same driving assistance and safety features are found on both vehicles, and the Chevy Colorado comes with various programs meant to enhance the driving experience and provide a platform for entertainment. Sirius XM provides music, news, and podcasts for those long road trips, and making its return is OnStar Connected Services. This has been a long-running relationship with GM and has long been praised for its effectiveness in theft recovery and security. Both vehicles certainly put the very best of modern technology at your fingertips. Much like life itself, the road ahead is known for being unpredictable, and both have put their best effort forward to keep you a little more prepared.
Some Final Thoughts on These Standout Trucks
So, which vehicle is the better choice? We’d have to say it’s a tough call to make, as both offer a variety of unique attributes and advantages. However, if the Nissan Frontier holds one advantage over the Chevy Colorado, it’s the brand’s willingness to make the same powertrain standard across all levels of trim. Even at its most inexpensive, the Frontier offers more power and capability than the Colorado, whose powertrains are indeed capable, but only for those willing to pay extra for the upper trim levels. If a more simplified truck driving experience is what you’re after, accented by some notable modern enhancements, the Nissan Frontier may be a more suitable workhorse.