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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2017 Chevrolet Colorado
  • Grille  2017 Chevrolet Colorado
  • 3/4 Rear Glamour  2017 Chevrolet Colorado
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MPG

18 City / 24 Highway
James FlammangJames Flammang, Contributing Editor -

Chevrolet's best attempt so far at a midsize pickup, the Colorado gained quite a following in 2015, its debut season. Chevrolet sold the Colorado up until model year 2013, skipping 2014 and emerging in markedly different form for 2015. With subsequently increased production capacity, even more buyers seem likely to slip behind a Colorado’s wheel.

What's New for 2017

A turbodiesel four-cylinder joined the engine roster last year. A new version of Chevrolet’s 3.6-liter gasoline V6 is available for the 2017 model year. Producing 308 horsepower, it mates with what Chevrolet says is a “class-exclusive” eight-speed automatic transmission. The new V6 is equipped with cylinder deactivation, which can disable two cylinders when under light load. In spring 2017, a ZR2 off-road performance variant of the Colorado goes on sale, with either the 3.6-liter V6 or the Duramax turbodiesel engine.

Chevrolet Colorado

Choosing Your Chevrolet Colorado

The Colorado bears more than a passing resemblance to the full-size Silverado. The blocky front end, wide-open grille, and beefy fenders are clearly adapted from the larger truck with pleasing results. You choose from two body configurations: an Extended Cab with narrow rear-hinged back doors and a six-foot bed, or a four-door Crew Cab with a five- or six-foot bed.

The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 200 horsepower, enough for everyday driving and very light hauling. A revised version of the available 3.6-liter V6, with direct injection and cylinder deactivation, provides a boost to 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Blessed with a new eight-speed automatic transmission, a V6 Colorado can tow up to 7,000 pounds.

Your third option is the 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel four-cylinder, which puts out 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. A Colorado so equipped can pull up to 7,700 pounds. An integrated brake controller for towing and an automatic locking rear differential for extra grip are also standard on Duramax-equipped trucks. Four-cylinder and turbodiesel engines work with a six-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is on all but the most basic Colorado.

Fuel economy with the two-wheel drive and automatic transmission is estimated at 20 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg highway with the four-cylinder engine, 18 and 25 mpg with the gasoline V6, and 22/30 mpg with the turbodiesel.

Four trim levels are offered, with a fifth one (ZR2) coming in spring 2017.

Base

Available only in rear-drive, Extended Cab form with the 2.5-liter engine and a six-speed manual transmission, and priced at $20,995 (destination charge included). The seats and floor are covered in vinyl, but you do get some welcome perks like a rearview camera, a power driver’s seat, and a six-speaker sound system with a color display. Steel wheels hold 16-inch tires.

WT

Gets the automatic transmission and four-cylinder engine as standard, plus full carpeting. Both cab styles, engine upgrades, and four-wheel drive are available. Pricing starts at $24,020 with rear-drive and Extended Cab. The optional WT Convenience package includes remote keyless entry, cruise control and Chevrolet's EZ-Lift and Lower tailgate system. For a more finished look, the WT Appearance package adds silver alloy wheels and body-color door handles, power mirrors, and rear bumper.

LT

Starting at $27,575, the LT comes standard with the contents of the WT's option packages, except for the EZ-Lift and Lower tailgate. For that, you need to add the LT Convenience package, which includes a sliding rear window with defogger, foglamps, MyLink radio with eight-inch touchscreen, keyless entry, and remote start. The LT Luxury package spruces up the Colorado with heated front seats (passenger’s powered), automatic climate control, an auto-dimming mirror, and generous exterior chrome trim. Models so equipped can also get the Safety Package, which adds forward collision alert and lane departure warning.

Z71

Designed for duty in the wild, the Z71 gets an off-road suspension, automatic locking rear differential, hill descent control, and special ornamentation. Heated front seats with driver and passenger power also are included. Option packages are aimed at cargo organization and exterior protection rather than luxury (as in the case of the LT). Prices start at $30,100. A Midnight Edition of the Z71 is available, as is a GearOn Divider Package with tie-downs for easier cargo storage.

Choosing the turbodiesel engine adds $3,730 to the V6 Colorado’s price. The LT and Z71 can get a Bose 7-speaker sound system and navigation as standalone options.

ZR2

Scheduled to reach dealerships in spring 2017, the ZR2 promises to blend the maneuverability of a midsize pickup with a batch of off-road technology. Compared to the Z71, the ZR2 flaunts a more aggressive profile, with its suspension raised by two inches.

Engineers widened the front and rear track by 3.5 inches, flared the front and rear wheel arches, and modified the bumpers to improve clearance over obstacles – the front bumper gets tapered ends for even more aggressive approaches. Chevy will include electronically locking front and rear differentials, steel-tube rocker protectors, and a thick aluminum skid plate to protect the radiator and oil pan as standard on the ZR2. A bed-mounted spare-tire carrier will be available.

CarsDirect Tip

Making a choice really does depend on your needs. In addition to picking a trim level, you need to consider the desired engine, drive configuration, and cab type, as well as either a short or long bed size for Crew Cabs. If your Colorado is strictly for work, and a four-cylinder engine with manual shift suffices, the Base model may be all you need. Moving up to WT trim commands an additional $3,000 or so, but brings an automatic transmission. LT trim, especially in Crew Cab form, has been the most popular version.

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