The revitalized mid-size truck market can thank the Chevrolet Colorado (and it's twin, the GMC Canyon) for returning it to relevance back in 2015. Now, with a flurry of fresh competition from both domestic and Japanese rivals, Chevy can't afford to let their mid-size success stagnate.
To that end, the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado sees a few small updates and a reshuffling of packages and options. The base WT models now offer a remote a locking tailgate, and the LT gets the EZ-Lift tailgate as standard. Tire Fill Alert has been made standard across all models.
Choosing Your Chevrolet Colorado
The Colorado is offered in five distinct trims: Base, WT, LT, Z71, and ZR2. The fleet-spec Base model is priced at $22,395 including destination, while the range-topping ZR2 starts at $42,495.
Colorado models are motivated by one of three different powertrains. The parsimonious choice is the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The volume powertrain here is the 3.6-liter V6 with its best-in-class horsepower. There's also a 2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder with best-in-class torque.
|Fuel Economy (Combined)
|Std: Base, WT, LT
|Std: Z71, ZR2
|2.8L turbodiesel four-cylinder
Avail: LT, Z71, ZR2
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder and the turbodiesel get a six-speed automatic transmission, while the V6 is paired with an eight-speed unit.
Just like in the big heavy-duty trucks, the diesel is the engine to get if you want to tow at or near the Colorado's 7,700-pound maximum capacity. Also like the big trucks, it isn't a cheap upgrade: expect to pay somewhere between $3,000 and $6,000 over a comparable V6 model.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The Chevy Colorado is available in two different cab configurations: the four-seat Extended Cab and the five-seat Crew Cab. Despite there being only a single seat difference between the two on paper, the gulf is much larger in the real word, as the Extended Cab's rear seats are essentially jump seats meant to be used in a jiff rather than with any regularity. If you plan on carrying more than one passenger even somewhat often, you'll want the Crew Cab and its traditional rear bench seat.
All Extended Cabs come exclusively with the 6-foot-2-inch Long Box. Crew Cabs come standard with a 5-foot Short Box but offer the larger box as a $2,300 upgrade. Maximum payload of 1,578 pounds is realized with the Short Box, though the Long Box can hold another 9 cubic feet of cargo.
There's not much safety stuff standard besides the usual airbags and traction control, and only the LT offers any active safety features. These too are rather limited in scope; the list begins and ends with forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and rear parking sensors, which come together in the $690 Safety Package. The Z71 gets standard rear parking sensors.
To be fair, a lack of active safety features isn't out of line with the rest of the mid-size truck class. But it would be a welcome sight to see Chevy – or any of the manufacturers, for that matter – start offering their small trucks with all the safety technology so dispersed across their other car lines.
The Colorado earned a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. The IIHS deemed the Chevy "Good" across all tested parameters save the small overlap front test on the passenger side, in which the organization rated the truck's performance as "Marginal."
Chevy isn't skimping out when it comes to infotainment. Even base models get a 7-inch color touchscreen to fill the dash, and it includes Bluetooth, voice command, and smartphone compatibility.
Move higher up on the Colorado food chain to the LT and an 8-inch touchscreen with HD and SiriusXM radio as well as voice recognition and in-vehicle app compatibility becomes standard. The Z71 gets standard wireless charging, while navigation is optional on most trims.
The base truck won't be a common sight outside of commercial fleets, thanks to its being limited to rear-wheel drive and the Extended Cab/Long Box combination. It's powered exclusively by the 2.5-liter four.
Besides the 7-inch touchscreen noted above, standard features include a four-way power driver's seat, a six speaker audio system, and two USB ports. There's power windows and door locks as well – welcome standard features which still aren't found on most base full-size trucks. Single-zone climate control and rubber floors remind you this is still the base model, however.
One step up from the base is the WT. Unlike its cheaper brother, the WT can be equipped with four-wheel drive – you'll just need to pay $3,900 for it. With either drivetrain configuration, the 2.5-liter four is standard while the 3.6-liter V6 is optional. The Crew Cab/Short Box combo also becomes available here.
There's not much extra which comes standard on the WT over the base model; the big upgrades are the carpeted floors and, on the Extended Cab trucks, rear seats. But what you do get with this trim is options. Lots and lots of options.
Most of these are aesthetic in nature, such as polished 16-inch wheels, polished exhaust tips, running boards, and so forth. The one major equipment package available is the $530 WT Convenience Package, which bundles cruise control, a locking tailgate with EZ-lift assist, and keyless entry.
This is the volume trim of the lineup, and for good reason. For starters, there's a larger 4.2-inch driver information center, cruise control, wi-fi capability, a six-way power driver seat, and the 8-inch touchscreen. Keyless entry, an alarm, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are also standard.
The LT Convenience Package costs $685 and includes remote start, a sliding and defogging rear window, and fog lights. You'll need to get this package if you want the optional heated seats; the total cost in that case would be $1,385. Other notable options include a $495 navigation system and a $500 Bose audio system.
The Z71, a name which should be familiar to any longtime Chevy fan, can be thought of as the entry point to the Colorado's off-roading capability. It's only available with the V6, and also includes an off-road suspension, fog lights, and a manual sliding rear window. Convenience-wise, there's a four-way power passenger seat, automatic climate control, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel, and rear park assist.
Fans of the color black will be interested in the Z71 Midnight Edition, which adds 31-inch all-terrain tires, blacked-out Bowtie emblems, and more for $2,995.
Serious off-roaders will want to start their shopping here. The ZR2 justifies its price hike over the Z71 with a two-speed transfer case, fully-locking front and rear differentials, and multimatic dampers. Rear park assist is deleted from the ZR2's standard features list due to its exclusive bumper design, but otherwise is as well equipped as a Z71.
The most noteworthy upgrade is the Colorado ZR2 Bison package. Costing $5,750, the Bison brings its own bumpers, numerous skid plates, contoured floor liners, and wheel moldings. The parts are supplied by the noted off-road upfitting company AEV.
For an everyday truck, the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado LT makes the most sense. If you're looking to balance work and play, the Z71 is worth consideration. The pricey but capable ZR2 is best only if you're into serious off-roading.