A roomier cab was a key design goal when the Chevrolet Colorado was launched last year. Designed from the ground up to replace the S10 compact pickup, Colorado brings a fresh name and perspective to GM's line of trucks. That perspective includes more space for humans. Colorado is bigger than the old S10, and that's the trend: Compact pickups are no longer compact. They're growing in size, so much so that the term "compact pickup" may be obsolete. Colorado is an inch wider and a couple of inches longer than the S10, and its wheelbase is three inches longer. The new Dodge Dakota is even bigger. The new Toyota Tacoma is even bigger yet. Meanwhile, Nissan is coming out with a new Frontier that's dramatically larger than the old one. Left behind is the aging Ford Ranger. Ranger is five inches shorter than a comparable Colorado. The EPA still calls this segment "compact," but manufacturers are beginning to call it "mid-size." Whatever you call them, these new pickups are bigger than the trucks they replace. Yet they're still substantially smaller than full-size pickups such as the Chevy Silverado. The reason for this increase in size is comfort. Pickup buyers want roomier cabs. Often, these trucks are often alternatives to cars, and their owners want more hip room, leg room and head room. Most are willing to sacrifice bed length for cab room. That's why regular cab trucks, which typically offered the longest beds, are all but extinct. The extended cab has replaced the regular cab as the truck for serious haulers, many of whom like being able to stash gear, tools, luggage, groceries behind the seats. Crew cabs have taken off in popularity because they offer the convenience of comfortable back seats for family and friends. Their short bed lengths are an acceptable compromise for many buyers. With this in mind, the Chevy Colorado gave up a little bed length for a roomier cab. The cab is about four inches longer than a comparable S10 cab. Still, it has a six-foot bed with regular and extended cabs, and a five-foot bed on crew cabs. Colorado also gives up a little towing capability for a smoother ride. That's not to say it's lost the capability that makes a truck useful. A properly equipped Colorado is rated to tow 4,000 pounds, enough for transporting ATVs, dirt bikes, personal watercraft, light boats or small camping trailers. And in most configurations, the Colorado can carry more weight in the bed than could a similarly equipped S10. So it'll get the job done. Indeed, we think the trade-offs have paid off. Colorado is much smoother and feels more refined than the old S10, which bounced around on rough roads. And it's a bit more stylish. Order the five-cylinder engine and it accelerates smartly. (That's right: five-cylinder.) The Crew Cab features a roomy back seat that's surprisingly comfortable and not bolt-upright. Yet Colorado fits into tight parking spaces, something that can't be said of full-size pickups. Though introduced as a 2004 model, the Colorado is still new to the street and we found the 2005 models continue to turn heads. The Chevrolet Colorado is mechanically identical to the GMC Canyon, but trim and packaging differ. For 2005, Colorado offers a new exterior color (Superior Blue Metallic) and some equipment upgrades. About a hundred permutations are available, giving buyers lots of choices to fit their needs.