Find everything you need to know about the Chevrolet Colorado here, along with expert reviews, specs, photos, videos and more
The Colorado is Chevrolet’s entrant in the midsize-pickup segment. Smaller and more manageable than the bow-tie brand’s half-ton Silverado, this product squares off with rivals like the Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger.
When it’s time to spec out a Colorado, you might be surprised to learn it offers quite a bit of choice, in some areas much more than competing models. Two body styles, bed lengths and transmissions are available; three engines are on the menu, as are, depending on how you count, five trim levels.
This truck can be had in a wide array of variants. Value-minded drivers can get an entry-level Base model with a four-cylinder engine. Mainstream customers are able to build one with a peppy V6 and crew-cab body. Even hard-core off-road enthusiasts are well taken care of by the rough-and-ready ZR2 Bison model.
Chevy’s Colorado is maneuverable thanks to its trim dimensions. If you have trouble parking a full-size pickup, consider this midsizer. It’s also quite refined. Even the available diesel engine is silky and nearly silent in its operation, a rarity for compression ignition. While the Colorado’s cabin won’t win any awards, being constructed mostly of hard plastic, this truck’s interior is at least well built and rich enough for this relatively rough-and-tumble class of vehicle.
Speaking of diesel, properly equipped trucks with that powerplant can return a segment-best 30 miles per gallon on the highway, an impressive figure to be certain. But nothing stops the unending march of progress, and Chevrolet’s brand-new diesel-powered Silverado does even better than that, up to 33 mpg on interstate drives, a ground-breaking figure for a full-size truck.
Not only does the compression-ignition Colorado offer incredible efficiency, it’s also impressively capable. Again, diesel-powered examples can tow up to 7,700 pounds, another best-in-class figure.
The Chevrolet Colorado and its corporate twin, the GMC Canyon, are bolted together in General Motors’ Wentzville Assembly plant located northwest of St. Louis in the U.S. state of Missouri.
Pros/ Nice powertrain lineup, decent interior quality, handsome styling, solid dynamics, efficient diesel
Cons/Driver-assistance tech is lacking, hard and flat front seats, gritty-feeling V6
Bottom Line/Not the segment's freshest offering, the Chevrolet Colorado is still absolutely worth your consideration
Table of contents
Chevrolet Colorado Specs
Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder with direct injection
Torque: 191 pound-feet
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Engine: 3.6-liter V6 with direct injection
Torque: 275 pound-feet
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Engine: 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel
Torque: 369 pound-feet
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Drivetrain: Standard rear-wheel drive, optional four-wheel drive
Transmission: Six-speed automatic (2.5- and 2.8-liter engines), eight-speed automatic (V6)
Seating Capacity: Up to 5
Cab and Bed Configurations: Extended cab with 6-foot-2-inch bed, crew cab with 5-foot-1-inch bed or crew cab with 6-foot-2-inch bed
Maximum Towing Capacity: 7,700 pounds (WT trim, extended-cab body, 2.8-liter engine, rear- or four-wheel drive)
Maximum Payload Capacity: 1,574 pounds (WT trim, crew-cab body, V6, rear-wheel drive)
Chevrolet Colorado Fuel Economy
As for efficiency, a rear-wheel-drive Colorado fitted with the base four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission is rated at 20 miles per gallon in the city, 26 on highway drives and 22 mpg combined. A four-wheel-drive version with the V6 and eight-ratio gearbox should return 17 around town and 24 on interstate trips, figures that result in a claimed average of 19 mpg.
All versions of the Colorado are reasonably efficient, but if you really want to avoid refueling stops you’re going to want to get a rear-drive example with the available diesel engine. They return 20 miles per gallon around town and a whopping 30 mpg on the highway! Combined, they should average 23 miles to a gallon of diesel.
Chevrolet Colorado Safety
How safe is the Chevrolet Colorado? The answer? It depends. In rigorous Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing the crew-cab version of this midsize rig earned mostly “Good” scores, the highest handed out by this organization. It was rated “Good” in the small-overlap driver-side, moderate-overlap, side and roof-strength tests as well as in the head restraints and seats category. In the small-overlap passenger-side crash it only earned a “Marginal” score, the second-worst one available. The Colorado’s LATCH ease of use was also rated “Marginal.” According to the IIHS, this truck’s headlights are “Poor,” the worst score offered. Its optional crash-prevention technology is also rated “Basic.”
As for the extended-cab model, it’s a different story. It was rated “Acceptable,” the IIHS’s second-best score in the small-overlap driver-side and side-impact tests, and “Good” in the moderate overlap front, roof-strength, and head restraints and seats categories.
Chevrolet Colorado Features
The Chevrolet Colorado is by no means an old product, but it is starting to show its age in some areas. This truck’s lack of driver-assistance technology is a major sore spot. Unlike some rivals, you cannot get push-button start, adaptive cruise control or lane-departure assist. At least forward-collision and lane-departure warning and bundled in the optional safety package.
Offsetting this deficit, GM offers some other helpful amenities. Higher-end models can be fitted with a 4G LTE in-vehicle modem for on-the-go internet connectivity, which can be a godsend in certain situations. Two USB data ports as well as an SD card reader and auxiliary input jack are available on the center console. A Bose seven-speaker premium sound system is also optional.
An available infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen and integrated navigation is on the options list, ditto for a lower-cost unit with a 7-inch display and no navigation. A six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat is standard on LT, Z71 and ZR2 models. Rear parking assist, which sounds an audible alarm as you get closer to an obstacle, is included in the available safety package.
For drivers that didn’t mind rowing their own, Colorados fitted with the base four-cylinder engine could be had, yes, past tense, with a six-speed manual gearbox, but GM recently discontinued this transmission due to low demand, an unfortunate but inevitable loss.
One of this truck’s most interesting “features” is the available Bison package, an upgrade to the already off-road-ready ZR2 model. This options group makes the truck even more capable in the dirt, gracing it with unique wheel moldings; 17-inch AEV wheels; skid plates for the transfer case, fuel tank, front end and rear differential; a special rear bumper; contoured floor liners both front and rear; and more, all for an rather modest upcharge of $5,750.
Chevrolet Colorado Pricing
How much does a new Chevrolet Colorado cost? Well, how much have you got? A stripped-down Base model (yes, Base is what they call the most entry-level version) starts at roughly $22,395, a figure that includes $1,095 in destination charges. That gets you the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, an extended-cab body and a 6-foot-2-inch bed.
If you want more features and performance, you can always step up to a midrange Z71 model. With the larger crew-cab body, V6 engine, upgraded paint, premium interior package and a few other options will set you back around $39,740. Again, that figure includes delivery fees.
Grab a crew-cab, diesel-powered, ZR2 example with the off road-focused Bison package and you can pretty easily push the Colorado past the $53,000 mark, a healthy chunk of change for a midsize pickup.
Chevrolet Colorado Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper: 3 years or 36,000 miles
Powertrain: 5 years or 60,000 miles
Courtesy transportation: 5 years or 60,000 miles
24-hour roadside assistance: 5 years or 60,000 miles
Rust-through: 6 years or 100,000 miles
Chevrolet Colorado Competitors
Given its dimensions and powertrain offerings, it’s no surprise the Chevrolet Colorado competes with other midsize trucks. This field has been getting more crowded in recent years. Not only does this bow-tie rig have to contend with the esteemed Toyota Tacoma and antiquated Nissan Frontier, but Ford’s reborn Ranger as well. Dearborn brought this venerable nameplate back to the North American market after a multi-year hiatus. Other tangential rivals include the car-based Honda Ridgeline and off road-ready Jeep Gladiator. Of course, GMC’s Canyon, the Colorado’s fraternal twin, is another prime contender, though Chevrolet dealers and sales-folks would probably prefer you didn’t know it existed if you’re seriously considering a Colorado!
Chevrolet Colorado Future Plans
Today’s Chevrolet Colorado dates back to about the 2015 model year, meaning this rig is roughly in the middle of its lifecycle. No, it’s not the freshest midsize truck around, but neither is it the most geriatric. Despite being a few years old, the Colorado is still plenty competitive, more than able to hold its own against both domestic and foreign rivals. As it has been for years, this Chevy is still a smart buy.
But what does the future hold? That’s a tough question to answer. It’s reported GM was developing an updated architecture to underpin the next-generation Colorado and Canyon pickup trucks, but rumor has it this work has since been shelved due to a reshuffling of resources and other factors. It’s highly unlikely an all-new Colorado will be introduced anytime soon, but a heavily updated version of the current model could hit the market in a couple years. Should this prevent you from buying one right now? No, the current model is still plenty competitive.
|Engine: /||2.5-liter four-cylinder with direct injection|
|Torque: /||191 pound-feet|
|Transmission: /||Six-speed automatic|
|Engine: /||3.6-liter V6 with direct injection|
|Torque: /||275 pound-feet|
|Transmission: /||Eight-speed automatic|
|Engine: /||2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel|
|Torque: /||369 pound-feet|
|Transmission: /||Six-speed automatic|
|Model Range: /||Base, WT, LT, Z71, ZR2|
|Drivetrain: /||Standard rear-wheel drive, optional four-wheel drive|
|Seating Capacity: /||Up to 5|
|Cab and Bed Configurations: /||Extended cab with 6-foot-2-inch bed, crew cab with 5-foot-1-inch bed or crew cab with 6-foot-2-inch bed|
|Maximum Towing Capacity: /||7,700 pounds (WT trim, extended-cab body, 2.8-liter engine, rear- or four-wheel drive)|
|Maximum Payload Capacity: /||1,574 pounds (WT trim, crew-cab body, V6, rear-wheel drive)|
Our Final Verdict
The Chevrolet Colorado isn’t the freshest midsize truck, but neither is the the oldest. Roughly in the middle of its lifecycle, this rig is still plenty competitive, even with much-newer rivals4.2