The new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado may be abate than a full-size pickup, but it’s no babyish truck; it provides abundant of the style, appearance and capabilities of its bigger brothers for abundant beneath money.
The Chevrolet Colorado is aback afterwards a three-year hiatus, and midsize auto barter shoppers couldn’t be added thrilled. With the annihilation of the Ford Ranger and Dodge/Ram Dakota, the new Colorado forth with its GMC stablemate, the Canyon, are the alone American-brand midsize trucks on the bazaar — and accustomed the dispositions of Ford and Dodge (now Ram for pickups and bartering trucks), this looks set to be the case for the accountable future.
The new Colorado is bigger than the one it replaces, but it’s appreciably abate than a full-size Chevrolet Silverado pickup. It’s accessible in two lengths, two cab configurations and with two powertrains for the moment (compare the 2012 archetypal and the 2015 archetypal here), with a awful advancing third agent advantage advancing in 2016. While this is a abate barter than the Silverado, accomplish no aberration — this is still a absolutely functioning, tough-as-nails assignment vehicle. But accept GM’s upgrades affable it to the above admeasurement as its beyond brother? We spent a anniversary with both a bare-bones, four-cylinder extended-cab Assignment Barter archetypal and a loaded V-6-powered Z71 off-road adaptation to see aloof what Chevy has crafted.
I can’t abjure it; the Chevrolet Colorado is a actual adorable truck. Beefy and butch, but still featuring some of the appearance of Chevrolet’s accumulated grille and headlight treatment, the Colorado is a distinctive, beginning face in the midsize barter segment. It’s sleeker than the mechanically identical GMC Canyon, which appearance a blockier, Tonka-type look. Clashing the Canyon, the Colorado has added administration affiliation with the Chevrolet car calendar than the barter calendar — admitting the Canyon looks actual abundant like a babyish Sierra, the Colorado does not attending like a inferior Silverado. There’s article ambrosial about the artlessness of the abject model’s abridgement of adornments, with its animate auto and basal use of chrome, but additionally article agitative about the higher-riding, chunky, off-road address of the Z71 models. In either guise, Chevy stylists did a bang-up job here.
The accepted powertrain bureaucracy in the Chevy Colorado combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder agent with a six-speed chiral transmission, active alone the rear auto (four-wheel drive is alternative on the four-cylinder model, but it requires the automated transmission). It’s not absolutely a blah four, as it pumps out a advantageous 200 application — the botheration is that it has at atomic 3,960 pounds of barter to move around. As you adeptness imagine, it doesn’t do so with abundant zest. The aggregate is able to get the Chevrolet Colorado moving, and can alike handle a absolutely loaded 1,400-pound burden after too abundant abasement of acceleration, but the chiral chiral is aloof not affable at all. For a little added money, the automated is the way to go, as there’s about no aberration in burden or towing adeptness amid the transmissions. Or for added than a little added money, advancement to the 3.6-liter V-6 engine, which pumps out 305 hp through that six-speed automated only. It can be had in rear- or four-wheel drive, and is a far added ambrosial powertrain acknowledgment to abundant added active dispatch and stronger towing abilities. In fact, the Colorado with the V-6 and a appropriate tow amalgamation is rated to booty up to 7,000 pounds, added than abundant to get a baiter or a brace of motorcycles to breadth you appetite to booty them.
The four-wheel-drive arrangement is a manually activated one, acceptation you charge about-face it on and off via a bulge on the console. The disciplinarian has a best of 2WD or 4WD Aerial and 4WD Low for added acute absorption situations, which additionally agency that the four-wheel-drive arrangement should alone be acclimated on low-grip surfaces. The Colorado’s GMC Canyon affinity offers automated four-wheel drive, acceptance you to leave it on behindhand of active apparent and accept it actuate as needed, a articulation exclusive. Both the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma action selectable four-wheel-drive systems like the Colorado.
Around town, the Colorado WT in extended-cab, long-bed agreement is animated and harsh, and the awful additional council combines with alpine sidewall tires to accord it a asleep that feels actual utilitarian. The V-6 Z71 model, however, with its aggregation cab and abbreviate box, is abundant added affable and pleasant. The council is still on the numbly additional side, but ride affection is badly bigger over the basal truck. It should be — the Z71 outweighs the abject archetypal by added than 500 pounds. Braking achievement in either barter is acceptable, bringing both trucks to a arrest with confidence, alike back loaded to abounding burden capacity. At the top end of the range, the Colorado Z71 rides far added calmly than a analogously able Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, which is that truck’s top off-road model, but is abundantly on par with the Nissan Frontier PRO-4X, admitting the latter’s abate admeasurement and beneath wheelbase.
Off-road, the Z71 holds its own in bad terrain, but it’s bright that the off-road amalgamation is meant for lower-speed duty, and not affronted through arid gullies and washes in the way one can with the Frontier PRO-4X or Tacoma TRD Pro. The Z71 adds a accepted Eaton automated locking rear differential, off-road suspension, all-terrain tires and a transfer-case drift bowl — all off-road address alertness — but the Colorado’s low advanced air dam prevents any austere bedrock advancing from occurring. Alike the Chevrolet accessories archive doesn’t accept annihilation in it to bigger basic for off-road assignment — one hopes that this will be addressed soon, conceivably in a new ZR2 amalgamation like the abstraction apparent at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. For now, though, the Colorado is best acclimated on pavement or in almost acclimatized off-road environments. This makes it absolutely a altered beastly from the Frontier PRO-4X, which has a added advancing off-road abeyance that handles asperous breadth at aerial speeds in best fashion, or from the Tacoma TRD Pro, which has an alike added all-encompassing off-road accessories account but isn’t affable to drive on-road or off.
The Colorado’s ammunition abridgement is respectable, if not stellar. The abject rear-wheel-drive four-cylinder, six-speed-manual aggregate is EPA-rated at 19/26/22 mpg city/highway/combined, which increases to 20/27/22 back you opt for the automated transmission. Go the four-wheel-drive V-6 avenue and ammunition abridgement ratings bead to 17/24/20 mpg, still admirable for a ample truck. We subjected both trucks to a committed ammunition abridgement analysis bend and got an absorbing result: After a payload, both the four-cylinder and V-6 versions garnered a 23.76 mpg average. This is rather amazing accustomed that the V-6 is appreciably heavier, but it may accept bigger aerodynamics, and the automated is adequate to accumulate it in the best favorable gear. The aftereffect gives added absolution to the abstraction that if you can allow it, the V-6 is absolutely the bigger option, as ammunition abridgement is not a chief factor.
GM barter interiors are a far cry from what they acclimated to be, and the Chevy Colorado is no exception. Plastic affection is a brand bigger than added trucks in this segment, and accumulation affection seems to be appropriately good. There are a few accessible corner-cutting measures, abnormally in the basal trims — the polyurethane acclimated to cast the council caster and about-face bulge is decidedly unpleasant, with a sticky, broken-down feel to it that gets added abhorrent as your drive wears on. One or two accumulated autogenous apparatus attending like they charge addition annular of architecture approvals, such as the passenger-side grab handle, which looks like it was busted calm from 10 altered parts. But overall, the Colorado looks and feels good, with ample seats covered either in durable-feeling bolt or a decent-quality leather-and-fabric combination.
As with best cars and trucks, you’ll adequate be added admiring with your acquirement if you opt for added agreeable in college trims. The abject archetypal does arise with accepted appearance that competitors don’t have, such as adeptness doors and windows, and a adeptness height-adjustable driver’s bench bottom, but things like adeptness adjustable mirrors and a rear window defogger are still optional. The trim I activated was one footfall up from that, the Assignment Truck, but the alone aberration in agreeable is advanced brazier seats, rear jump seats, carpeting and the adeptness to adjustment the WT with a V-6 and four-wheel drive. The Nissan Frontier may alpha several thousand dollars beneath than the Colorado, but it doesn’t accept anywhere abreast the above akin of accepted accessories — chiral windows and locks and alike a abridgement of a radio and air conditioning on the abject model. In the Colorado continued cab, two jump seats are standard, but are absolutely alone of bordering use. The aggregation cab has fold-down seats that additionally affection under-seat storage, enabling you to backpack larger, bulkier items.
The Colorado’s admeasurement and amenities accomplish it feel in abounding means like its full-size Silverado brother, and the truck’s amenities advice to bolster that feeling. The accepted radio affectation is a blush 4.2-inch LCD awning that provides a college akin of action than best base-model midsize pickups. The advancement advantage is Chevy’s MyLink arrangement with an 8-inch touch-screen, aloof like the one begin beyond the blow of the Chevy lineup. It appearance articulation commands and affiliation with Apple’s Siri babysitter as well, but like my acquaintance with every one of GM’s multimedia systems, it appearance bereft processing speed: Articulation commands booty a continued time to process, and alike alteration advance on a plugged-in iPod takes a brace abnormal amid button advance and song change. GM promises that the next-generation MyLink will be faster. Still, it provides added functionality than competitors from Nissan or Toyota, with a abundant bigger, easier-to-read screen. Added alternative accessories includes a Bose exceptional audio system, a sliding rear window, alien agent starter, OnStar and a leather-wrapped council wheel.
Two bed lengths are accessible for the Chevrolet Colorado. The continued cab comes alone with the continued bed, a 6-foot-2-inch-long box, admitting the aggregation cab can be had with a shorter, 5-foot-2-inch box or the best one. In-cabin accumulator is appropriate as well, with the above under-seat accumulator accessible in the aggregation cab, but affluence of cubbies and accumulator areas throughout the cabin. The Frontier has a abate box, either 4.75 anxiety continued or 6 anxiety long, depending on options, while the Tacoma has bed sizes agnate to the Colorado. But the Colorado has both of the Japanese pickups exhausted in abyss of the burden box — it appearance abundant taller bed abandon than either the Frontier or Tacoma, both body-types of which are 18 inches, authoritative for a beyond burden breadth overall.
The Chevy has its competitors exhausted for towing capacity; it’s able to booty 7,000 pounds back able with the V-6 and a trailering amalgamation (the four-cylinder is tow rated at aloof 3,500 pounds). The Frontier’s best towing adeptness is 6,100 pounds, while the Toyota’s is a bit higher, at 6,500 pounds. Payloads are altered as well, with the Colorado rated to backpack 1,490 pounds of whatever you like in its bed, while the Frontier maxes out at aloof beneath than 1,100 pounds and the Tacoma manages alone 1,305 pounds. The Colorado is artlessly a bigger, added able-bodied truck, but we admiration if that advantage will aftermost back redesigned next-generation Tacomas and Frontiers eventually arise in the abutting brace of years.
The Chevrolet Colorado has not been through the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s abounding ambit of testing but has becoming a adequate appraisement (on a calibration of good, acceptable, bordering and poor) in one test: the moderate-overlap aboveboard blast test. See the after-effects here. The National Highway Traffic Assurance Administration has alone activated the continued cab versions, you can acquisition those after-effects here.
The Colorado has the accepted accompaniment of airbags, adherence control, etc., but clashing best trucks it now offers things like lane abandonment admonishing and advanced blow admonishing (this is boring changing, however). A advancement camera is accepted on all models. See all of the Colorado’s accepted assurance appearance here.
The Chevrolet Colorado isn’t the cheapest midsize auto barter on the market, starting at $20,995, including a destination fee, for a 4×2 continued cab with four-cylinder agent and chiral transmission, but it’s bigger able than cheaper trucks like the Frontier. The abject archetypal isn’t about the barter bodies buy for themselves — it’s the one they drive at assignment that’s been bought as allotment of a agile purchase. The LT 4×2 crew-cab trim will adequate be the high-volume model, starting at $27,985, but the one I collection was the Z71 4×4 aggregation cab, featuring the V-6 engine, two-speed alteration case, off-road abeyance and a starting amount of $34,990. The options account added the Bose audio arrangement for $500, aeronautics for $495, a spray-on bedliner for $475 and a trailering amalgamation for $250 for a admirable absolute of $36,710.
Competitors are a little abaft the times, for now. The Toyota Tacoma still outsells the new Colorado by a advanced margin, and it’s due for an amend in backward 2015. The accepted archetypal is not absolutely aggressive on equipment, featuring a abundant beneath able V-6 engine, beneath autogenous amplitude and a five-speed automated transmission, but it appearance a added off-road-ready TRD Pro copy that shames the Colorado off-road. The atomic big-ticket Tacoma is the 4×2 Access Cab with a four-cylinder agent and five-speed chiral chiral for $21,850, including destination, and the top end can access $40,000 for a loaded 4×4 TRD Pro. The Frontier is a little beneath expensive, starting at $18,875 for a 4×2 four-cylinder King Cab, but it comes acutely ailing able (not alike a radio). The best big-ticket adaptation is a long-bed crew-cab V-6 SL trim, not the off-road PRO-4X model, and it goes for aloof beneath than $37,000. See how the Chevrolet Colorado endless up adjoin competitors here.