Midsize pickup trucks are becoming increasingly popular with American consumers at the moment, and it's inevitably leading to more models coming onto the market. However, some very good midsize pickups were already available, such as the Chevrolet Colorado and the Nissan Frontier. If you’re shopping the Colorado against the Frontier, Smelterville Chevrolet will obviously insist the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado is a better choice than the 2019 Nissan Frontier. When they go head-to-head in a direct comparison like we have here, it's hard to disagree.
Both trucks are available in five trim levels and two-door and four-door crew cab formats, but as Chevrolet Smelterville will tell you, crew cab models are by far the most popular, so that's the version we'll be comparing here.
The 2019 Colorado is a global model for Chevrolet, and as midsize trucks are more popular outside North America, the styling of the Colorado is more European than full-size pickups. That means it still has a rugged and muscular look, but it has more curves than a full-size truck, with a sportier design. The 2019 Nissan Frontier looks pretty retro, but rather than being the result of a designer's vision, it's basically because it's an aging model. Even before the Colorado gets dressed up with accessories and special editions, it has a much more attractive and contemporary design.
Both models have a standard four-cylinder engine and a more powerful V6 option, but the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado has an immediate advantage over the Nissan because the Chevy also offers buyers a turbodiesel option, which boasts lots of torque for towing. On top of that, both of the Colorado's gas engines are more powerful than their Nissan equivalents.
Crew cab models are designed for transporting people as much as they are for towing and hauling, so space and comfort matters. Space is a little tight inside the Nissan Frontier, with just 33.6 inches of rear legroom and 42.4 inches in the front. The Colorado has much more room, with 35.8 inches of legroom for rear-seat passengers, while those in the front of the Chevy get a generous 45 inches.
How much a truck can tow and haul is always going to matter, even with midsize models like these two. The 2019 Nissan Frontier can tow a maximum of 6,720 pounds when properly equipped, and the maximum payload is 1,460 pounds. The 2019 Chevrolet Colorado beats the Nissan on both counts. The Chevy is rated to haul up to 1,574 pounds, and its maximum tow-rating is an impressive 7,700 pounds.
Infotainment systems are important in all new vehicles today, and the best way to keep buyers happy in this area is for them to be Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible. The Nissan and the Chevy both come with systems controlled by seven-inch touchscreens, but only the Colorado is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible.
The Last Word
The Nissan Frontier is a tried, tested, reliable and affordable pickup truck, but it's an aging model in every way and looks even older when it's put up against a truck as fresh and contemporary as the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado. If you're trying to decide between the two, the Colorado is an easy winner.