|7,700||Max Trailering (lbs)||7,700|
One of the most versatile trucks you’ll find in the Chevy lineup is the midsize Colorado. Although it’s the smallest truck in the Chevy fleet, the Colorado is a capable hauler and uses its size to its advantage by offering exceptional handling and a comfortable ride. The truck’s many tech features and its safety and driver-assist tools only add to its popularity. But trucks change with every model year, so how does the 2021 Chevy Colorado vs 2020 Chevy Colorado compare?
At first glance, the 2021 Colorado and the 2020 Colorado are extremely similar in terms of capability. Both models offer a maximum towing capacity of 7,700 pounds, a horsepower range between 181 and 308 hp, and anywhere between 181 to 369 lb-ft of torque. There’s a slight increase in price, which is the result of the facelift the Colorado received both inside and out.
However, there are a few noticeable details that set the 2021 Colorado apart from the 2020 model. Chevy redesigned the Colorado’s front grille for 2021 to give the truck a bolder front fascia with a redesigned center bar and lower bumper. The Colorado’s tailgate also sees an upgrade with the Chevrolet name now emblazoned across its front. Other noticeable differences include three new exterior colors - Bright Blue Metallic, Cherry Red Tintcoat, and Sand Dune Metallic - as well as a new 17-inch wheel design that comes standard on both the WT and Z71.
How do the models compare? From performance and capability to technology and safety, the competition is subtle between the 2021 Colorado and the 2020 Colorado. Here’s a closer look at the main differences and why the 2021 model might be worth the splurge!
The 2021 and 2020 Colorado start off evenly matched when comparing powertrains since Chevy offers the same engines on both year models. Both the 2021 and 2020 Colorado come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 200 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque. This power gives the Colorado a maximum towing capability of 3,500 pounds, which makes even the base model Colorado a capable workhorse. Like the other engines on the Colorado, the 2.5-liter is offered with both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, allowing the truck to be customized to meet your needs.
If you’re looking for more power, Chevy has the answer with the available 3.6-liter V6 engine. This mid-level engine delivers 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque to bring the Colorado’s maximum towing capability up to 7,000 pounds. This increase in power doesn’t drastically affect the Colorado’s average fuel economy, which hovers around 18 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway with either gas-powered engine.
To maximize the Colorado’s capability requires equipping the midsize truck with the available Duramax 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine. Delivering 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, the Duramax pushes the Colorado’s towing capability to a best-in-class 7,700 pounds. What’s even more impressive is the diesel gets the best fuel economy in the fleet, with the four-wheel-drive model getting up to 20 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway. The Colorado ZR2, which is designed for off-road adventures, is the least efficient, with an average of 18 MPG in the city and 22 MPG on the highway.
The 2021 and the 2020 Colorado are extremely capable, whether you’re towing a heavy load or venturing off the pavement. This capability comes from the three powertrains that you’ll find under the hood, as well as various features that make towing, trailering, and off-roading easy. When you’re heading off the highway and down the trail, you’ll want to get behind the wheel of the Colorado ZR2. Designed with off-roading in mind, the ZR2 sits higher than the other Colorados in the lineup, thanks to its factory lift. It’s also equipped with skid plates, rock sliders, Multimatic shocks, and front and rear electronic locking differentials. For 2021, the ZR2 looks even more rugged with standard red tow hooks and a wider front grille that sits lower.
As far as trailering and towing features, the 2021 and the 2020 Colorado also offer a Hitch Guidance tool that makes hitching up to a trailer easy. The tool works in reverse and helps you align the vehicle with the trailer. When it comes to hauling equipment in the truck bed itself, you’ll have quick access to the bed courtesy of the CornerStep rear bumper design that features an integrated rear step in the corner that’s large enough to fit a work boot comfortably.
You’ll find plenty of connectivity and infotainment features on both the 2021 and the 2020 Colorado trucks. Both year models offer similar features, but the 2021 model comes with an updated version of the Chevrolet infotainment system. This system is included on a standard center touchscreen display that measures 7 inches on the Colorado WT trim and 8 inches on the LT, Z71, and ZR2 trims. You can upgrade the screen to a high-definition display with navigation on the LT, Z71, and ZR2 for both 2021 and 2020 models.
With the infotainment system, you can seamlessly sync your smartphone using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration. You’ll also have access to the built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and can easily keep your devices charged using the USB ports, two of which come standard on the WT and four of which are standard on the LT, Z71, and ZR2. The Z71 and ZR2 also offer a wireless charging station, which means you can leave your charging cords at home.
Both the 2021 and the 2020 Colorado trucks also give you access to Chevrolet’s Connected Services. This suite seamlessly integrates your everyday life with the truck by giving you all the tools you need at your fingertips. You can turn your smartphone into a mobile command center with the MyChevrolet app that allows you to start the Colorado’s engine and remotely lock and unlock the doors. You’ll also have access to Amazon Alexa and a variety of in-vehicle apps that make it easy for you to stream music, catch up on the news, or make reservations at your favorite restaurant.
Chevy wants you to have peace of mind the moment you get in the driver’s seat of the Colorado. This is why you’ll find an extensive selection of safety and driver awareness tools at your disposal on both the 2021 and the 2020 Colorado. Both models come standard with a rear vision camera, six airbags, StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control, hill start assist, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Those features lay the foundation of the Colorado’s available safety suite and driver-assist tools. For example, you can upgrade that standard rear vision camera to a high-definition version and add advanced driver-assist tools like Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and Rear Park Assist. Forward Collision Alert keeps an eye on the front of the truck and alerts you to potential collisions, while the Lane Departure Warning can let you know when the truck unintentionally drifts out of its lane. The available Rear Park Assist warns you about objects behind the truck, which is great when parking or maneuvering the truck in reverse at low speeds.
Other available driver-assist features include Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, and a Following Distance Indicator. Automatic Emergency Braking works with Forward Collision Alert and Front Pedestrian Braking to bring the truck to an immediate stop when a collision is imminent. Lane Keep Assist enhances the Lane Departure Warning tool by using mild steering wheel inputs to bring the truck back into its lane. The Following Distance Indicator is also a great tool since it can alert you when you’re tailgating or following too close.