For the latest model year, Chevrolet has added a new off-road trim to the Colorado above the existing Z71: the ZR2. Chevrolet also updated some feature and trim offerings, including the introduction of a new eight-speed automatic transmission on V6 models.
The Colorado's front end is characterized by a tall hood, elongated headlamps and Chevrolet's familiar single bar radiator grille. Pronounced wheel arches emphasize the truck's rugged looks, while a standard Cornerstep rear bumper gleaned from the Silverado facilitates the task of climbing into the bed.
An available EZ Lift-and-Lower function uses built-in struts to allow the tailgate to be opened and closed with just one hand. For more practicality, the bed can be split into upper and lower sections thanks to a standard two-tier loading system.
Colorado buyers can choose from three different body styles: An extended cab model with a six-foot bed, a crew cab with a five-foot bed and a crew cab with a six-foot bed. The extended cab and the smaller crew cab model both stretch 212 inches long, while the crew cab with the long bed is 224 inches from bumper to bumper.
Inside, the Colorado's ruggedness is toned down in favor of a more elegant cockpit largely inspired by the world of crossovers. The truck is equipped with a full center console that houses the shifter and two generously-sized cupholders, an upright dashboard and an easy-to-read instrument cluster that integrates a configurable 3.4-inch driver information display.
Most Colorados can be fitted with an eight-inch touch screen that runs Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system, which integrates entertainment and navigation functions (when equipped) and also offers access to smartphone-based apps like Pandora radio and Stitcher radio. The system can be controlled through dashboard knobs, steering wheel buttons or the aforementioned touch screen, and there is also a voice recognition system for hands-free calls, destination entering, song selection and more.
Additionally, MyLink is compatible with Apple CarPlay.
The Colorado comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline-burning engine that generates 193 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque. A standard six-speed automatic transmission sends power either to the rear wheels or to all four wheels, and a six-speed manual unit is available exclusively on base models ordered with an extended cab and two-wheel drive.
Buyers after more power can order an optional 3.6-liter V6 that churns out 302 horsepower and 270 lb-ft. of torque. The six-cylinder is only available with an eight-speed automatic transmission that comes with a built-in Tow/Haul mode.
The V6 returns 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with two-wheel-drive, and 17/24 mpg when four-wheel drive is selected.
The Colorado is also available with a 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel four-cylinder engine that makes 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm and a generous 369 lb-ft. of torque at 2,000 rpm. The oil-burner is bolted to a six-speed automatic transmission, and buyers can choose either two- or four-wheel drive.
Trim Level Breakdown
The Colorado is available in five trim levels: Base, Work Truck, LT, Z71 and ZR2.
Base models come standard with manual A/C, a 4.2-inch color display, a six-speaker audio system, a USB port on the dash, black door handles, a rear-view camera, a four-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a compact spare tire and 16-inch steel wheels.
Stepping up to the Work Truck trim brings full carpeting. Work Truck buyers can also select the Work Truck Convenience Package that adds remote keyless entry, cruise control and an EZ-lift tailgate.
LT models feature an eight-inch touch screen that runs Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system, a rear charging port, Sirius XM Satellite radio, cruise control, an overhead console, chromed interior door handles, OnStar, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Finally, Z71 models add automatic A/C, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a four-way power-adjustable passenger's seat, heated front seats as well as a full-size spare tire.
ZR2 ups the Colorado's off-road credentials. Its killer app is a set of Dynamic Spool Valve shocks from Multimatic—the same supplier responsible for the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1's dampers.
These DSSV dampers allow for both supple on-road manners and sharp handling without any significant compromises, making the ZR2 both very comfortable and confidence-inspiring in daily driving and very capable off-road.
Further boons to the ZR2's off-road capability come from electronic locking front and rear differentials, additional skid plates, and additional off-road modes for fine-tuning the ZR2's performance.
The ZR2 package is available with both the gasoline V6 and the Duramax four-cylinder diesel.
All Colorados regardless of trim level come with six airbags, a rear-view camera as well as stability and traction control systems.
Electronic driving aids like forward collision alert and a lane departure warning system are available at an extra cost.
The mid-size pickup segment in the United States has been shrinking for years and the Chevrolet Colorado's only direct competitors are the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma . Well-equipped models also face competition from GMC's own Canyon.