The Colorado is Chevrolet’s midsize truck offering. In a segment full of competitive rivals, the Colorado is easily the Jack of all trades. It may not be the best in everything, but it gets a top 3 spot in all measurable ways. With a pickup, versatility is key, and that’s exactly what the Colorado offers. Full-size trucks may be the most popular choice, but the Colorado proves you don’t need to spend more or sacrifice comfort for the sake of more space. It offers agility no other full-size truck can, with 95% of the same characteristics, such as towing, the big rigs have to offer.
For 2017, the Colorado receives a slightly revised V6 engine along with a brand-new eight-speed auto transmission. The V6, which we’ll discuss later on in the article, gets more power, but economy ratings are not affected.
This is a handsome truck, that much is immediately apparent. It’s got the Chevrolet DNA flowing through it, embodied in a traditional pickup package. It’s instantly recognizable as a Chevy, from every angle. The front’s got the well-known Chevy headlights, fitted to most other models (styling wise), but the grille is the standout feature here. It’s a large, V-shaped grille, separated into two sections thanks to a horizontal styling line and the Chevrolet badge. The foglights are nested in each corner of the lower bumper, and there’s a large opening at the center to let clean air come in. The hood line is high, and the front overhand area is short, emphasizing the truck’s off-roading potential. If you look at it head-on, it’s got a square, boxy kind of shape, which gives it character and presence. This is a truck which is better in the flesh than it is on photos, and that’s saying something, considering how much we praised its looks.
The Chevrolet Colorado comes in two and four-seat extended-cab and five-seat crew cab body styles. Two bed lengths are available to choose from and there are four different trims: Base, Work Truck (WT), LT and Z71. If it’s purely going to be a workhorse, we suggest going for the Base or WT. The LT and Z71 offer loads more toys and features, making them better at daily-driving and off-roading.
The Base trim is basically a pure-blooded workhorse, with no extra electronics or gadgets to worry about. It gets decent equipment in the form of A/C, floor covering, front bucket seats, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with a 4.1 inch display, but that’s the extent of your luxuries. Mind you, the WT trim doesn’t add a whole lot either. It comes in extended-cab and crew-cab body styles, featuring fold-up rear jump seats, cloth upholstery and carpeting with floor mats. The biggest difference between the Base and WT trim is in the amount of available options you can go for: the Base gets next to no options, but you can spec the WT to LT levels if you really want to.
Then there’s the actual LT, the trim which basically offers you a WT trim with all options ticked. Stuff like 17-inch alloys, a larger 8-inch touchscreen, satellite radio and two additional USB ports become standard. Optional on the LT are the heated front seats, automatic climate control, lane departure warning and forward collision warning systems.
The flagship Z71 offers everything Chevrolet could fit into the Colorado. It upgrades on top of the LT trim with dark-tinted 17-inch allots, all-terrain tires, off-road oriented suspension, simulated leather upholstery, a Bose premium audio system with seven speakers and even a locking rear differential with hill descent control.
Although it’s mostly utilitarian, the Colorado’s interior is by no means spartan. It’s comfortable and quiet, with no wind or road noise. The interior is well built, with lots of quality materials scattered around the cabin. Even the plastics feel premium. There’s no question about it, Chevrolet hasn’t held back when it came to designing the interior, despite the fact that this is primarily a truck built to work.
The seats are well-bolstered to hold you in place, but they don’t compromise comfort. They’re ideal for most people, although larger-framed occupants might find them just a bit confining. The crew cab version gets decent rear seats which can accommodate adult passengers, but they’ don’t get the same comfort levels as the ones in the front seat. That said, they’re not far off.
Under the hood you’ll find GM’s brand-new V6, codenamed LGZ. It’s a variant of the engine found in the Chevrolet Camaro, with a different oil pan and lack of auto stop/start. It’s light years away of the old LFX V6 it replaces, with lots more power, usability and reliability. Despite sharing the same engine capacity, 3.6 liter, we can assure you, it’s an entirely new unit.
It develops 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, 3 hp and 6 lb-ft of torque more than the previous year Colorado. It now leads the segment in terms of power, offering 28 hp more than the second most powerful car in the class, the Honda Ridgeline. With cylinder deactivation and a much smarter profile, it’s much more fuel efficient than ever.
The Colorado is absurdly quick in a straight line, even for a midsize truck, but it’s its agility and lightness which really surprises most people. You wouldn’t expect a pickup to corner in the same manner the Colorado does, and you’re left feeling shocked and amazed after experiencing first-hand what it can do. It won’t win any awards, but it’s definitely the midsize truck with the best handling characteristics.
A two-speed transfer case is standard on all 4WD Colorados, so you can say they’re more than decent when it comes to off-roading. Hill descent control and automatic locking rear diff help it significantly, but the Colorado is naturally made to be a great off-roader with its short overhang and torquey engine.
The Colorado then, is a great all-rounder. It’s the perfect work horse, an amazing daily, and even a great off-roader. With affordable prices as well, there really isn’t anything wrong with it. We couldn’t find any faults with the Colorado, except for the fact that we now want one.