Lacey Elliott: The exterior of the Colorado hasn’t changed. It’s under the hood that sees some updates this year, but I will touch on that later.
It’s a nice looking truck that is not flashy or overly aggressive looking.
Some people have commented the interior is lackluster, but I like the how uncomplicated it is. Sizeable, easy to access knobs and large buttons that can be used while wearing gloves. This Z71 comes standard with an 8-inch diagonal color touch screen. Yes, some of the other trucks have a more fancy looking interior but it does what you need it to do and a lot of people will appreciate it.
Comfort and ease of every day use is always at the front of my mind when I drive trucks. The top of the line Z71 for just over $31,000 has some standard features that I wouldn’t choose to live with out. Heated seats for driver and passenger, a tilt and telescopic steering column, remote vehicle starter, a tailgate that has EZ-lift and lower are just a few things that make day to day driving a bit more enjoyable.
Dan Heyman: While I agree with Lacey that the truck’s not aggressively flashy, I have to say that Chevrolet’s take on the small pickup is a refreshing one.
Indeed, with all the rounded corners and angular details it displays, I actually get a bit of a crossover vibe, especially when looking at the truck dead-on. That stands to reason, as the Colorado is a truck aimed at prying sales away from crossover buyers that may want a little more practicality to go with their fuel economy and ease-of-use around town.
Inside, though, there’s no mistaking the Colorado for, well, a truck. There are round edges here and there, but what you mainly have is a combination of broad, flat surfaces and right angles. Nothing wrong with that; it does well to mimic the exterior lines, which themselves actually make the Colorado easier to place on the road. The way the hood tapers is a big help, here.
What I do wish, however, is that there was at least the option to select a column-mounted gear lever. As it stands right now, what you’re stuck with is a pretty traditional t-shaped number that looks as fit for a Malibu sedan as it does for a pickup. Then again, you can always opt for a manual transmission, which actually comes as standard on the base model. I’ve sampled Colorados with this set-up and I have to say, it’s an interesting take and way to add a little sportiness to the proceedings. You can only have it with the four-cylinder engine, though.
The big knobs and buttons used to control the 4WD system and infotainment, meanwhile, are nice and big enough to be used with work gloves on.
Perhaps even more work crew-friendly are the rear seats in the crew cab. They are as roomy as they would be in compact sedans, or even some smaller midsizes. While the seatbacks fold flat, they don’t flip up so you’re going to have a tough time using the cabin floor for gear storage.
I wouldn’t subject said crew to the rear seats of the smaller extended cab, though. These are little more than shelves. Better you leave them flipped up, as additional storage bins can be found underneath the seat cushions.
ON THE ROAD:
LE: The 2016 Colorado won Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year Award. It is the first 4-cylinder diesel available in a compact pick up truck.
The 2.8L Duramax with 181hp has an impressive 369 lb-ft of torque available at 2000rpm. Truck buyers know that torque rules.
The towing capacity has increased on both the 2WD and 4WD models. Now the 2WD has a max towing capacity of 3,492kg and 3,447kg on the 4WD. The other most important quality when looking at your future truck purchase.
Everything that makes the Silverado a great truck is here in its smaller sibling; just in a smaller package.
I am a bit disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to drive the diesel this time. It would be nice to know first hand what all the fuss is about. Hopefully I will get my hands on it in the months to come.
There are still two great gas powered engines to choose from. The base 2.5L 4-cylinder has 200hp and the 3.6L V6 puts out 305 horses.
I have been incredibly happy with this V6 and impressed with the smooth shifting 6-speed automatic.
It’s the size that puts the biggest smile on my face. I don’t feel so overwhelmed driving it every day for groceries or parking in crowded lots.
DH: While I haven’t sampled a Colorado with a diesel engine, I have had the opportunity to drive its GMC Canyon cousin equipped with the four-cylinder diesel. Let me tell you that the figures that Lacey mentioned don’t lie; this thing hauls, providing as much pull as you’ll likely ever need from your small pickup.
That being said, diesel power isn’t for everybody, and so the option of either the four or six-cylinder gas engine in the Colorado is a welcome one to have. I’ve sampled both, and the V6 is properly grunty, providing 3,175 kg of tow capacity. Just enough to help all those young, adventurous crossover buyers lug their dirt bikes and Sea-Doos to the country.
While the four-cylinder option is peppy, you really need the manual transmission to get the most out of it. I’d say it’s a powertrain best reserved for work truck duty, considering that the manual can’t be had if you want 4WD. The sweet spot is probably the truck you see right here: 4WD, automatic and six cylinders.
LE: The 2016 Colorado has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to integrate your cell phone into the infotainment system by displaying apps on the large screen.
4G LTE connectivity is available on all but the base model, which means that the vehicle has a LTE connection, not your cellphone. A useful feature for work projects or long road trips with the family. It provides connectivity for up to seven different people.
This truck has the technology to prevent, protect and respond in all emergency situations. Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning are available and a rear vision camera is standard on all models.
Body on frame with a reinforced safety cage and a strong durable high-strength steel frame keep occupants safe inside.
If you happen to get in a collision, the truck automatically unlocks the doors, shuts off the fuel pump and turns on lights for maximum visibility.
I have never given OnStar much of a thought; I have never needed it. This week however, my new little puppy got out of his kennel and some how managed to lock the door with my keys inside. Very random, one of a kind situation… but thank the stars above for OnStar. With one simple phone call and a password, they were able to unlock my doors.
OnStar is not available on the base model that starts at just over $21,000 and is optional on the WT. It comes standard on the LT and the top trim Z71.
DH: Is it possible to love a technology? I’d say that with tech trends becoming world trends these days, it’s entirely possible. In that light, I’m comfortable in saying that I do love Apple CarPlay. It really is as plug-and-play as I’ve ever seen – not just in cars, but in general – and oh-so-simple to use. It’s refreshing when tech works as it’s supposed to, and CarPlay does. The fact that you can get it in a pickup is, in itself, an interesting look at the buyers the Colorado is aimed at.
Tech is one thing, but this being a pickup, we’d be remiss to not comment on the practicality it offers. We mentioned the rear seats, but we also should note that as genius as CarPlay is when it comes to loading your apps, Chevrolet’s CornerStep bed system is equally so when it comes to loading your wares.
Basically, steel toe boot-sized chunks get cut out of the bumper corners, meaning you don’t have to rely solely on the possibly slippery bumper to reach the pickup bed. Being a somewhat entry-level vehicle to the pickup market, there are no fancy self-lowering rear suspension systems offered for the Colorado, but CornerStep helps in its own analogue way, while at the same time not causing the worry that some expensive hydraulic system could fail.
LE: The Colorado has the same level of sophistication and performance that is found in a full size truck, just in a smaller package. With impressive torque and improved towing, I can see what the fuss is all about.
DH: You have to admire GM for even attempting to take the fight to Nissan and Toyota, the current kings of the small truck game. Ford and Ram haven’t even bothered, both steadfast in the belief that their more fuel-efficient light-duty trucks would be just what the doctor ordered for new pickup converts.
The Colorado, however, does a good job of showing that it’s not just about fuel economy. That’s a big part to be sure, but the smaller dimensions and the way you feel like you’re sitting a little closer to the ground, for some, are benefits that can’t be replicated if fuel is your only focus. Chev has done well with this truck, and the small pickup landscape is all the better for it.