Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A black 2022 Chevy Colorado Z71 Trailboss is shown on a beach during a 2022 Chevy Colorado vs 2022 Nissan Frontier comparison.

Midsize Performance – The 2022 Colorado vs 2022 Frontier

When people think of trucks, they think of off-roading, heavy towing, and vehicles that are commonly used by contractors or businesses for work. A truck can fit all these niche roles, as well be used as a commuter vehicle. When it comes to the 2022 Chevy Colorado vs 2022 Nissan Frontier, which is the right truck that suits your needs? As with most comparisons between two amazing products, that decision is purely up to the consumer and what they value most. Both of these modern trucks vary in their own ways; each one comes with its strengths and weaknesses. Just as they are separated by some key differences (such as base MSRP and add-on features), there are also important shared features that have become standard in the automotive industry. Regardless, Chevy and Nissan offer customizable features that will impact your driving experience. No matter what decision you come to, it should be the vehicle that is tailored to your wants and needs.

Which Model is More Affordable?

The base model MSRP of the Chevy Colorado comes at about $25,200; this is undoubtedly less expensive than the Nissan Frontier. The Frontier’s base MSRP is $28,140. That is almost a $3,000 difference. This makes the Chevy Colorado a more appealing option based on cost alone. The base model Colorado is a little weaker in terms of engine performance, but is similar to the Nissan Frontier in other regards. With the price difference over the Frontier, the Colorado offers multiple customizable features that the saved money could be invested back into. This would ensure you get the exact sort of performance you want out of your truck, at around the cost of the Nissan Frontier.

The base MSRP of the Nissan Frontier (as mentioned earlier) is the more expensive of the two. However, keep in mind that the price of the Colorado will change if some of the multiple options are chosen. The Nissan Frontier only has one engine available across its lineup, but the engine is a good compromise relative to the Colorado. It makes up for the single engine option with some of its other features.

A grey 2022 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X is shown towing a trailer on an off-road trail.

Three Different Body Configurations

The bodies of these trucks have three distinct types. However, the Nissan Frontier actually provides more variants than the Chevy Colorado. For simplicity, however, we will only examine the three major body configurations. Keep in mind that some of the Frontier’s variations have very slight differences.

The first body type is Chevy Colorado’s Extended Cab, Long Box. The Nissan Frontier equivalent is the King Cab. This configuration reduces the space of the rear passenger area, but in return, it extends the size of the trunk bed. This model is great for those who do not plan on driving with many other people and would prefer extra cargo space.

The second Colorado model is the Crew Cab Short Box. The Frontier equivalent is the Crew Cab. This is the antithesis of the first model type. The second type sacrifices truck bed space for rear passenger space. It is a good model if you plan on driving more than two people and do not mind a smaller bed, as the rear passengers will have much-needed legroom.

If you do not like the idea of having to compromise between passengers and cargo, then the third and final model might be for you. The third model is Chevy Colorado’s Crew Cab, Long Box. The Nissan Frontier’s equivalent is the Crew Cab, Long Bed. It has extra rear passenger space, with extra truck bed space. No compromise! This is a good model for those who need as much space for their truck as they can get. It offers the most amount of cargo and passenger space out of any of the available configurations.

Available Engine Options

The Chevy Colorado offers multiple types of engines. Each engine provides a unique driving experience. This includes an available 2.8L Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine with an impressive 369 lb-ft of torque and a best-in-class towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds. This is a great option for those who are looking to use their truck for heavy towing, and something that the Nissan Frontier does not offer.

Secondly, there is the standard 2.5L I-4 engine with 200 hp. This engine may not be the most impressive, but it is more than sufficient for everyday driving and helps keep the cost of the truck low. While the 2.5L can haul up to 1,435 pounds, it has the lowest towing capability at just 3,500 pounds.

Lastly, there is the optional 3.6L V6 engine with 308 hp. This is the largest engine with the highest horsepower. With this mighty engine, you will definitely feel all that power on the road. It also has a towing capability of up to 7,000 pounds, which is only 700 pounds less than the Duramax diesel engine.

The Nissan Frontier does not have multiple engine options. The lone engine it has to offer is a 3.8L V6. It is slightly larger than the Chevy Colorado’s largest engine (3.6L) but has virtually the same output at 310 hp. Its towing capacity of 6,720 pounds also falls short of what both of the Colorado’s optional engines are capable of. While getting a V6 standard on every trim is not a bad thing, the Nissan Frontier simply doesn’t provide the options or capability you can get out of a Chevy Colorado.

A black 2022 Chevy Colorado LT is shown from the rear driving on an open road.

Fuel Economy Ratings

Each engine option has its own fuel economy rating, although that will change slightly depending on whether the truck has four-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. For the sake of brevity, the difference between rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive is usually around 1 MPG in the city and 1 MPG on the highway. That being said, the option is there for those who want to maximize either the traction or fuel-efficiency. The four-wheel drive option is good for off-roading, while rear-wheel drive is more fuel-efficient. This is true for both the Colorado and the Frontier.

Duramax diesel has by far the best fuel economy of any of the available engines. It is rated for 20 MPG city and 30 MPG highway, which makes a diesel Colorado one of the more fuel efficient trucks on the market. This is great for commuters who will be driving long distances since you will be using less fuel.

The Colorado base 2.5L engine gets the second-highest fuel economy rating, at 19 MPG city and 25 MPG highway. This is ever so slightly better than the Colorado’s V6 options, which comes in at 18 MPG city and 25 MPG highway. This is about average for trucks, so you are not sacrificing much fuel economy for horsepower and towing capability. With any other competitor, you will be getting around the same MPG.

The Nissan Frontier’s engine is less efficient than any of the Colorado’s three engines and is rated at 18 MPG city and 24 MPG highway. However, the difference is not far off from what Chevy has to offer. It pales in comparison to what the Duramax diesel engine offers, but then again, so do the other Chevy gasoline engines.

Which Midsize Truck is Better?

So which is better? Sadly, there is no objective answer to this question as it ultimately comes down to what you value more. On the one hand, an argument could be made that Nissan’s Frontier is the better truck as the base engine is the strongest in terms of horsepower. Additionally, the Frontier’s engine does not get outpaced by much in terms of specifications. On the other hand, with the multiple types of engines that the Chevy Colorado has, it could be seen as the better truck as you can make it suit your needs. Are you looking for a fuel-efficient truck for your daily commute? The Chevy Colorado has you covered. Need a big strong engine with similar specs to the Nissan Frontier? The Chevy Colorado offers that. Want the more affordable option? The Chevy Colorado has you covered!