While Ford, Chevrolet and RAM continue to out-do each other year after year with their latest full-size pickup offerings, it is the Japanese automakers who dominate the smaller, more-efficient compact truck segment. Chevrolet seeks to change all that with the re-introduction of its Colorado, a “right-sized” compact pickup that last left the market in 2012. All-new along with its stablemate the GMC Canyon, the Colorado features many of the same enhancements of the recently redesigned Silverado, only in a smaller, easier-to-live-with package. Will Chevy succeed in a segment where the Toyota Tacoma has dominated? Let’s take a look at what this new truck has to offer.
Design and Body Styles
The Colorado’s design is all-new, and clearly pulls elements from the larger Silverado, though angles have been softened a bit over the smaller frame, giving a friendlier if less rough-and-tumble look. Around 900 pounds lighter than the Silverado, the Colorado will be available in an Extended Cab with a 6-foot box, or a Crew Cab with your choice of a 5- or 6-foot box. Chevy makes note of the fact that the new Colorado is around 17 inches shorter and 6 inches narrower than the typical full-size, meaning it can fit in garages and parking spaces where larger trucks cannot.
A value-priced Work Truck package features an available rear seat delete for extra locked cargo space, and buyers of the special Z71 off-road package will find an upgraded suspension to go along with exclusive 17-inch wheels and a sportier interior. Chevy’s innovative EZ Lift and Lower tailgate features shock absorbers to keep it from slamming down suddenly, and for one-touch lifting operation.
Interior and Features
With a modern interior design frankly far outclassing what you can now order from Toyota and Nissan, the Colorado gets many of the same enhancements as its full-size brother in the Silverado, including triple-sealed doors for better sound isolation.
The latest in Chevy MyLink navigation and infotainment with Siri Eyes Free tech runs on an 8-inch color touchscreen, and for the first time GM will offer a 4G in-vehicle internet connection with WiFi hotspot for all your devices. Buttons and dials have been designed to be easy to use with gloves on, and leather will be available at the higher trim levels.
As for the bed area, a spray-on bedliner will keep things protected, while Chevy’s CornerStep indents on the rear bumper make loading objects easier. There’s 13 tie-down locations to be found, a two-tier loading system, and objects up to 8 feet in length can be accommodated with the tailgate in the down position.
At launch you’ll have two choices: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V6. The 2.5-liter makes an estimated 193 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque, and will come with your choice of a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission (M/T is with Extended Cab 2WD Work Truck models only). As for the V6, power ratings ring in at a generous 302 horsepower and 270 lb-ft. of torque, coming paired exclusively with a 6-speed automatic featuring a button-activated Tow/Haul Mode. 4WD will be an option with either engine choice. Fuel efficiency estimates have not yet been released, but Chevy promises they will lead all pickups on the road.
Chevy has also confirmed an available 2.8-liter four-cylinder Duramax turbodiesel engine with in the neighborhood of 200 horsepower and 368 lb-ft. of torque, the only diesel in the small truck segment and already offered in other world markets, though this engine choice will be delayed until calendar-year 2015.
Pricing and Release Date
The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado will hit Chevy dealers nationwide with a release date this October. Pricing is as yet unreleased, though is expected to start at well under $20,000 to remain competitive in the segment and give some breathing room under Chevy’s own Silverado ($25,575 to start). The segment-leading Toyota Tacoma carries a base MSRP of $17,585, so expect the Colorado to be about the same.