Chevy Colorado Vs. Nissan Frontier: New Battles Old in Midsize Pickup Segment

By Justin Cupler | March 11th, 2019

The midsize pickup truck class is in a resurgence with the 2015 release of the redesigned Colorado, but it has long included stalwarts like the Nissan Frontier. Can the aging 2019 Nissan Frontier compete with the latest the 2019 Chevy Colorado offers our Linwood, Michigan area buyers? Continue reading to find out.

Exterior

When Chevy released the all-new Colorado in 2015, it revolutionized the midsize pickup segment. This new look ushered in a brand-new design the segment has never seen and an array of cab and body options to fit just about any buyer. Add to that its rugged-looking ZR2 model, and you have a truck that even suits off-road enthusiasts.

 

The Nissan Frontier hasn’t seen a redesign since 2005 and has seen nothing more than minor updates since. That’s right, the Frontier’s design and platform is effectively 14 model years old. Its looks have held up well, despite its age, but next to the Colorado, the Frontier looks ancient. Fortunately, there is the PRO-4X to help rugged things up.

The 2019 Chevy Colorado comes in three formats: extended cab with long bed, crew cab with long bed, and crew cab with short bed. It checks in at 212.7 to 224.9 inches long, 74.3 inches wide, and 70.3 to 70.7 inches tall. Its wheelbase ranges from 128.3 to 140.5 inches. Ground clearance checks in at 8.1 to 8.9 inches.

The 2019 Nissan Frontier is available in a three cab-and-bed options: Crew Cab long bed, Crew Cab short bed, and King Cab long bed. The Frontier is 205.5 to 219.4 inches long, 72.8 inches wide, and 68.7 to 70.1 inches high. It rides on a 125.9- to 139.9-inch wheelbase and has an 8.6- to 10.1-inch ride height.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Colorado

  • Rejuvenated looks in the midsize segment
  • Numerous cab and body options
  • Truly rugged ZR2 model

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Frontier

  • PRO-4X adds a little style
  • Higher ride height

Interior

Inside, the 2019 Chevy Colorado boasts a slick combination of trunk ruggedness and sedan comfort. It also boasts a little style for a pickup, like its rounded dash and four-spoke steering wheel. Loads of tech for its class is also present, including a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, and more.

The 2019 Nissan Frontier shows its age inside the cabin with its plain dash and cheaper-looking silver-painted accents. Its steering wheel with its three flat spokes is also very old looking. It has a standard 7-inch touchscreen, but it lacks any other advanced features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and in-car Wi-Fi.

Up front all 2019 Colorado models have 41.4 inches of headroom, 45 inches of legroom, 57.5 inches of shoulder room, and 55 inches of hip room. The Frontier beats the Colorado by 0.8 inches in shoulder room and hip room, but it comes up 1.7 inches short in headroom and 2.6 inches short in legroom.

 

In its front seats, all 2019 Nissan Frontier models have 42.4 inches of legroom and 58.3 inches of shoulder room, which gives it 2.6 inches less headroom and 0.8 inches more shoulder room. The Frontier King Cab has 39.7 inches of headroom and 55.8 inches of hip room, and the Frontier Crew Cab has 39.9 inches of headroom and 55.6 inches of hip room.

 

The Colorado extended cab’s rear seats have 36.7 inches of headroom, 28.6 inches of legroom, 57.3 inches of shoulder room, and 52.2 inches of hip room. The 2019 Nissan Frontier King Cab comes up short by 0.1 inches in headroom, 3.2 inches in legroom, and 2.4 inches in shoulder room, but it has an extra 2.8 inches of hip room.

 

The 2019 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab’s rear seats offer 38.3 inches of headroom, 35.8 inches of legroom, 56.2 inches of shoulder room, and 53.3 inches of hip room. The 2019 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab’s rear seats offer an extra 0.3 inches of headroom, 4.7 inches of hip room, and 2.1 inches of shoulder room, but they come up short in legroom by 2.2 inches.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Colorado

  • Roomier seating
  • Latest in in-cab technology
  • Upscale upholstery in higher trims

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Frontier

  • Simple interior meets some buyers’ needs
  • Large standard touchscreen
  • Wider rear seats

Performance

The 2019 Chevy Colorado comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard six-speed manual transmission, but there is an optional six-speed automatic transmission. This engine comes standard with rear-wheel drive and has optional four-wheel drive.

Those looking for more power can opt for the 3.6-liter V-6 engine that cranks out 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission that ships power to the rear wheels. This engine is also available with four-wheel drive.

 

Buyer seeking more pulling power and less fuel consumption, there is the optional 2.8-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that produces 186 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Optionally, buyers can get four-wheel drive.

 

The 2019 Nissan Frontier starts with a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but there is also optional four-wheel drive.

Optionally, buyers can get a 4.0-liter V-6 engine that produces 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission that ships power to the rear wheels. Four-wheel drive is available as an option.

 

Towing is not a huge deal in the midsize pickup segment, but it can play a role in a close competition. The 2019 Colorado can tow up to 3,500 pounds with its 2.5-liter engine, 7,000 pounds with its 3.6-liter V-6 engine, and 7,700 pounds with the 2.8-liter diesel engine. The 2019 Nissan Frontier comes up short in towing at up to 6,640 in its Crew Cab model and 6,720 in its King Cab format.

 

Payload capacity — the maximum weight the truck can carry — is also not as important with these smaller trucks, but it could play a big role in the buying decision for certain buyers. The Colorado can haul between 1,373 pounds with the 2.5-liter engine with two-wheel drive to 1,566 pounds with the 3.6-liter engine and two-wheel drive. The Frontier can haul up to 890 pounds in its S trim with two-wheel drive to 1,430 pounds in its SV V6 trim.

 

Fuel economy is far from the first concern on a truck buyer’s mind, but it can be important to those who use a pickup on their daily commute. The Colorado with the 2.5-liter engine gets up to 20 mpg city, 26 highway, and 22 combined. With its 3.6-liter V-6, the Colorado gets up to 18 mpg city, 25 highway, and 20 combined. With the 2.8-liter diesel engine, the Colorado’s fuel economy shoots as high as 20 mpg city, 30 highway, and 23 combined.

 

The 2019 Nissan Frontier with the 2.5-liter engine gets up to 19 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. With the V-6 engine, the Frontier’s fuel economy is up to 16 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Colorado

  • Huge power advantage across the board
  • Diesel option
  • Higher towing capacity

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Frontier

  • PRO-4X has some off-road chops

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Chevy Colorado has five trim levels available — base, WT, LT, Z71, and ZR2 — and their starting prices range from $21,495 to $41,895.

 

The 2019 Nissan Frontier lineup includes six features — S, SV, SV V6, Desert Runner, SV V6 4X4, PRO-4X — and its starting prices range from $18,990 to $33,430.

2019 Chevy Colorado Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Base: $21,495

  • 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • 16-inch Ultra Silver metallic steel wheels
  • Black beltline molding
  • Black door handles
  • Black mirrors
  • Black tailgate handle
  • Halogen headlights
  • Cargo box light
  • Cab-mounted cargo-area lights
  • Chrome rear bumper
  • CornerStep rear bumper
  • Daytime running lights
  • Locking tailgate
  • 3.5-inch monochromatic driver-information display
  • Four-way power driver’s seat
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Black interior door handles
  • Chevrolet MyLink Radio with 7-inch touchscreen
  • Power windows with one-touch up/down driver’s window
  • Power door locks
  • Rubberized vinyl floor covering
  • Single-zone climate control
  • Urethane steering wheel
  • Manual tilt steering
  • Two USB ports
  • Teen Driver
  • Rearview camera

 

WT: $24,995

  • All Base features, plus
  • Carpeted floors
  • Dual rear seats
  • Front and rear carpeted floor mats

 

LT: $28,495

  • All WT features, plus
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • 17-inch Blade Silver cast-aluminum wheels
  • Body-color door handles
  • Body-color power mirrors
  • Body-color rear bumper
  • Chrome beltline moldings
  • Blind-spot mirror
  • 4.2-inch color driver-information center
  • Six-way power driver’s seat
  • Built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi
  • Two charge-only USB ports in center console
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Chrome interior door handles
  • Cruise control
  • HD Radio
  • SiriusXM radio
  • HD rearview camera
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Overhead console
  • Keyless entry
  • Steering wheel-mounted controls
  • OnStar

 

Z71: $31,595

  • All LT features, plus
  • 17-inch Dark Argent cast-aluminum wheels
  • All-terrain tires
  • Automatic-locking rear differential
  • Black recovery hooks
  • Hill descent control
  • Off-road suspension
  • Black beltline moldings
  • Heated mirrors
  • EZ-Lift and Lower Tailgate
  • Fog lights
  • Manual-sliding rear window
  • Projector-beam headlights
  • Four-way power passenger seat
  • Automatic climate control
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Power driver and passenger’s seat lumbar
  • Rear park assist
  • Rear window defogger
  • Remote ignition
  • Wireless charger

 

ZR2: $41,895

  • All Z71 features, plus
  • 3.6-liter V-6 engine
  • Four-wheel drive
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Two-speed transfer case
  • Full-locking front differential
  • Trailer-brake controller
  • Body cladding
  • Tow/Haul mode
  • Trailering Package
  • Trailering assist guidelines
  • Transfer case shield
  • 17-inch aluminum wheels
  • Black rear bumper
  • Off-road appearance package
  • Spray-on bed liner
  • Jet Black leather seating

2019 Nissan Frontier Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $18,990

  • 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Five-speed manual transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • 15-inch styled steel wheels
  • Black side-view mirrors
  • Black front bumper
  • Body-color rear bumper
  • Body-color rear bumper
  • Chrome grille
  • Four in-bed tie-downs
  • Cloth seating
  • Four-speaker AM/FM/MP3 audio system
  • Auxiliary input jack
  • Bluetooth hands-free connectivity with audio streaming
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Urethane steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Cruise control
  • Sunglasses holder
  • USB connection port

 

SV: $23,860

  • All S features, plus
  • 16 aluminum wheels
  • Power mirrors
  • Body-color front bumper
  • Chrome rear bumper
  • Black door handles
  • Premium cloth seating
  • Power windows with driver-side one-touch up/down
  • Power door locks
  • Remote keyless entry

 

SV V6: $25,620

  • All SV features, plus
  • 4.0-liter V-6 engine
  • Five-speed automatic transmission

 

Desert Runner: $26,300

  • All SV V6 features, plus
  • 16-inch off-road machine-finish aluminum wheels
  • Dana rear axle
  • Bilstein shocks
  • Fog lights
  • Body-color rear bumper
  • Cloth seating with embossed “Frontier” logo
  • White-face gauges with gray letters

 

SV V6 4X4: $28,510

  • All SV V6 features, plus
  • Four-wheel drive
  • Hill-start assist
  • Hill-descent assist
  • Front tow hooks
  • Splash guards

 

PRO-4X: $33,430

  • All SV V6 4X4 features, plus
  • 16-inch off-road machine-finish aluminum-alloy
  • Electric locking rear differential
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Dana rear axle
  • Bilstein shocks
  • Oil pan, fuel tank, and transfer case skid plates
  • Auto-on/off headlights
  • Fog lights
  • Body-color bumpers
  • Satin-chrome grille
  • Spray-on bed lines
  • Ulitli-track C-channel system
  • Tie-down hooks
  • Two-tone cloth seating
  • Six-speaker AM/FM/CD/Aux/USB/MP3/WMA audio system
  • NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps
  • 5.8-inch touchscreen display
  • SiriusXM® Traffic
  • SiriusXM® Travel Link
  • White-face gauges with gray letters
  • First-aid kit

Who Should Buy the 2019 Chevy Colorado?

The 2019 Chevy Colorado delivers the latest and greatest in the midsize pickup segment, making it perfect for buyers who demand only the best. And with the diesel engine, the Colorado’s 7,700-pound towing capacity is perfect for buyers who do a decent amount of towing.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Nissan Frontier?

The 2019 Nissan Frontier does very little better than the Colorado. Where it succeeds, though, is in its low base price. This gives buyers with a smaller budget and less of a need for fancy features a good option at a low price.

Whether you have a daily commute to Linwood or heading to the jobsite in Bay City, the 2019 Chevy Colorado can do them both in style and comfort. It can even tow a trailer to Standish without issue. Ready to try the 2019 Colorado for yourself? Head to our new-car showroom serving Linwood, Michigan today to take it for a test drive. It won’t disappoint you. Can’t make it in today? Check out our online inventory to see what 2019 Colorado models we have in stock.