Since the design was a main reason it won Motor Trend’s truck of the year award for two years running, it’s no surprise that this mid-size truck is sitting at the front of the pack. The signature split-grille design and two traditional rectangular truck headlights let you know it’s a Chevy — even if you don’t notice the badging sitting in the center of the grille. The front-fascia is rectangular like the headlights, and it sits underneath a large and wide hood. The windshield and roofline favor a more aerodynamic design rather than a stylized one, and the muscular front and rear quarter panels provide the side with some definition. It’s a simple design, and while it might seem aesthetically bland to some, it’s a truck. Which means the design itself is built with quality in mind.
The engineering of the design is above average when compared to other trucks in the class, which means it has excellent handling and ride quality. The fully-boxed frame and shear-style mounts provide a smooth ride on any type of terrain, and the tires are set up to help reduce road noise as well. Duralife brake rotors help reduce wheel shudder, which also promotes the smooth ride quality experienced. It’s also the first mid-size truck to have inlaid triple sealed doors installed with a thick windshield/side glass, and liquid applied sound deadener to help keep the noise on the outside.
The Colorado has three excellent engine choices to choose from: the 2.5-liter, 3.6-liter V6, and 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel.
The 2.5-liter engine is an inline four cylinder that puts out 200 horsepower and 191 pound feet of torque. This modest power is matched to a six-speed manual transmission, which allows the Colorado to return up to 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. It has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, and while this all seems average compared to other mid-size trucks on the market, that doesn’t mean it’s incapable of performing well.
The available gas engine is the 3.6-liter V6, and it cranks out a huge 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. This is a massive increase compared to the 2.5-liter engine, and it generates up to 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. On four-wheel drive models, the fuel economy is naturally decreased a bit, but it gets the ability to tow an impressive 7,000 pounds. Besides, returning that type of fuel economy is impressive for a V6 engine.
The Duramax 2.8-liter turbo-diesel engine puts out 181 horsepower, and lands best-in-class torque at 269 lb-ft. With this engine equipped, the Colorado also lands best-in-class fuel economy of 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway, and a best-in-class towing capacity of 7,700 pounds. With three best-in-class ratings, it’s easy to see why the Colorado equipped with this engine dominates the competition.
Chevy designs all their vehicles with their three-part approach to safety in mind: prevent, protect, and respond. While the protecting part of that is taken care of thanks to the size and weight of the Colorado (and, obviously, the airbags and high-strength safety cage), the response to a collision comes from OnStar Automatic Crash Response. This system will automatically alert emergency services if it detects a collision, and send help your way.
Even more impressive are the preventive safety measures found on the Colorado, such as Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. Forward Collision Alert uses radar to sense if a vehicle in the front of the Colorado is getting too close. If it is, then it will provide the driver with a warning to let them know they are getting to close to the vehicle — potentially snapping them out of a daydream. Lane Departure Warning works in a similar way, but uses cameras to detect if the Colorado is unintentionally drifting out of an intended lane. If it is, then it will also provide a warning and let you steer the Colorado safely back into its intended path.