The Chevrolet Colorado shares the same design and underpinnings with the GMC Canyon. The actual generation Colorado is around since 2004 but the company has announced that it will be completely replaced in 2013.
Chevrolet’s decision to replace its aged Colorado is a smart one, as the vehicle was a half step behind most of its rivals lacking the safety features, engines and other useful equipments found at pickups like the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger or Nissan Frontier.
The vehicle is available in three body styles including regular cab, extended cab and Crew cab. Chevrolet offers a choice of three engines in the Colorado namely 2.9, 3.7 and 5.3 liter units which develop 185, 242 and 300 hp, respectively.
The front style of the Chevrolet Colorado isn’t as aggressive as the new Ranger, nor as pissed off as the Tacoma. Instead, Colorado treats you with a pretty dull expression that hasn’t much to say. The honey comb grille is traversed by a chromed horizontal bar which also splits the big headlights in two sections creating a pretty unique and interesting design pattern.
The front bumper is offered with a chromed treatment and comes with a set of rectangular headlights which gel well with the rest of the body.
The side view reveals a set of asymmetrical wheel arches which look almost identical with the ones from the Toyota Tacoma.
The truck sits pretty high form the road with a ground clearance of 10.2 inch. To protect the truck bed from scratches and dents, Chevy offers a standard drop-in bed liner. Talking about the load bed it measures 72.8 inch long and 57.2 inch wide (42.6 inch between wheel arches), offering a maximum cargo volume of 44 cubic foots.
The interior design isn’t something to rave about, as in this department the Colorado is certainly showing its age. The dashboard looks basic, without any fancy lines to break up the monotony. It’s true that Chevrolet tried to add a touch of sportiness by giving the center console a metallic look, but the result isn’t impressive and the entire dash still looks pretty cheap.
On the other hand, the overall ergonomy is pretty good and all controls are placed within easy reach. The instrument panel looks fairly modern and it’s fitted with all the necessary displays to keep you well informed on all vital vehicle stats.
Every Chevrolet Colorado is fitted as standard with the Driver Information Center which provides detailed information on a variety of vehicle functions, including oil life and the Tire Pressure Monitor System.
The seats are big and comfortable, offering great support for both long and short journeys. There are also enough adjustments to help you find your favorite driving position. You seat very high from the ground, so you have a commanding view of the road which gives you a great all around visibility. Moreover, the plate sized mirrors are also doing their job just fain and keep you well informed of what it’s going on behind at any time.
There are also offered an array of standard convenience features like cruise control, and adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Engines and performance
The entry level engines develop 175 and 220 hp. These units come with double overhead cams, aluminium blocks, four valves per cylinder and variable exhaust timing. Both engines offer decent performances, being able to deal satisfactory with big loads, but they are pretty weak compared to most of the rival units.
There is also available the top of the range 5.3 liter V8 unit which delivers a maximum output of 300 hp which is more than enough to reward you with crisp accelerations and sporty performances. The fuel consumption however, isn’t exactly stellar, the V8 requiring 20 mpg for the highway driving.
There is a choice of two transmissions including a five-speed manual and a Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic. The Chevrolet Colorado offers a maximum towing capacity of 6000 lbs.
Chevrolet Colorado Engines Specifications
| Engine || hp @ rpm || lb-ft @ rpm |
| 2.9 liter || 185 @ 5600 || 190 @ 2800 |
| 3.7 liter || 242 @ 5600 || 242 @ 4600 |
| 5.0 liter V8 || 300 @ 5200 || 320 @ 4000 |
Ride and handling
The Chevrolet Canyon has a solid drive with a strong torsional rigidity and minimal bed shaking. The truck sits well planted on its wheels and the cabin feels also fairly well isolated keeping you safe from road vibrations or various noises.
The gas-charged monotube shocks will soak every road bump even when you are driving on a ravaged road. All body motions are perfectly kept under control and the truck never feels goofy and tall like other vehicles in its class.
The overall handling abilities are also among the best you’ll find in this segment and the vehicle feels great on difficult terrains too, thanks to its capable all wheel drive system.
The steering is at par with what you’ll usually find in this segment and offers a good compromise between road feedback and lightness.
The Chevrolet Colorado is without a doubt a decent small pickup truck which comes with great ride and handling abilities being a true basic work horse. On the other hand, it’s also true that it’s outperformed by its rivals in almost any way.
The smaller engines aren’t as powerful as other units found in this segment, while the top of the range V8 lacks the fuel efficiency expected from a modern unit. The cabin is dull and dated while the plastics and build quality aren’t exactly first class being a step behind models like the Toyota Tacoma or Ford Ranger.