Posted by Mark Williams | September 25, 2014
When was the aftermost time that a new agent entering a articulation outperformed, outshone and outdistanced the antagonism so absolutely that it was about embarrassing? At the accident of overstating the point, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is not alone a awfully bigger backup for the previous-generation Colorado (which, at best, was dismal), but it additionally beats the absolute antagonism easily down. That said, let’s be honest and accede that in a articulation that hasn’t apparent any cogent improvements in a continued time, the bar wasn’t all that high.
You accept to accord GM acclaim for its perseverance. Back all added the truckmakers were alive abroad or absolutely bottomward abate pickups (pickups beneath able than half-ton trucks), GM charted a advance with a three-truck activity (midsize, bisected ton and abundant duty) that had bodies in and out of the auto industry abrading their heads.
What did GM apperceive about this segment, about this abeyant small-truck client no one abroad could see? The abbreviate acknowledgment is that GM accepted that aggregate its engineers abstruse back redesigning the half-ton Chevy Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 for 2014 was anon applicative to this new pickup. And so GM blimp aggregate from the bigger auto (excluding the concrete size) into a abate pickup. And we can now say, afterwards active aloof about every adaptation of the Colorado, that the acquaint abstruse from the bisected bags were not ashen on this pickup.
We collection a acceptable array of Chevy Colorados a the Southern California bank towns of Solana Bank and Torrey Pines arctic of San Diego. We took the pickups on ambagious anchorage through littoral mountains, densely busy burghal streets and wide-open accelerated freeways. We alike attempt a video; bang actuality to see it.
Our bigger abruptness was the adequacy of the new 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine. In the extended-cab 4×2, the four-cylinder agent was added than able (even snappy) for around-town active and amalgamation into traffic. There was a bit of wheeziness on startup, and there’s no ambuscade the college rpm complete of the baby agent back alfresco the truck. However, from central the heavily cloistral cab there is about no agent complete at all, due in ample allotment to a massive assimilation resonator that takes up about all of the accessible agent alcove space.
We accept to accept that, on paper, the application and torque numbers of the I-4 draft abroad its Toyota and Nissan counterparts. The all-aluminum 2.5-liter 16-valve direct-injection agent generates 200 application and 191 pounds-feet of torque. We academic best four-cylinder engines will be akin with either the Base or Work Barter continued cab, but it is offered beyond the calendar with the barring of the Z71 trim level.
We had the adventitious to drive both the six-speed automated and six-speed manual, and we’re added afflicted with the awfully able automated chiral (the aforementioned one in the Chevy Camaro), which has some solid ammunition abridgement numbers. The acute automated chiral is able to bland out burke acknowledgment and selectively lock up the torque advocate at absolutely the moment you charge it to. The automated gets about 4 percent bigger breadth than the six-speed manual’s EPA ammunition abridgement ratings. The automated I-4 (4×2) gets EPA ratings of 20/27/22 mpg city/highway/combined and the chiral (4×2) gets 19/26/22.
Most Colorado buyers will accept the 3.6-liter agent and for acceptable acumen – this agent is arranged with technology: all-aluminum block and heads, dual-overhead cams, continuously capricious valve timing, high-pressure absolute bang and coil-on-plug ignition. The agent is rated at 305 hp and 269 pounds-feet of torque, neither of which assault abroad the antagonism (as continued as you accommodate some full-size V-6 options) but in this amalgamation it works actual well. Ammunition abridgement numbers for the V-6 are 18/26/21 (4×2, automatic).
Although both engines are able-bodied complete and aftermath solid ability numbers, it seems like the primary powertrain technology amenable for the absorbing alley feel lies in the composure of the computer controls in the transmission. The V-6 Hydra-Matic 6L50 (typically akin to 3.42:1 arbor gears, but 3.73:1 apparatus ability be an advantage for the V-6 at a afterwards date; 4.10:1 apparatus are accepted for the I-4.) is able of analysis back to bland out accessory accouterment and takeoffs, as able-bodied as back it’s best to lock up the torque advocate to accommodate as little ability blooper as possible. The end aftereffect is both driveline ability and burning ability delivery, depending on how you are active or what affectionate of bulk you are pulling.
If there’s any aspect of the Colorado’s exoteric that says this is a new and altered pickup, it’s the rather aero-biased, Euro-looking advanced end with its attenuated grille and sports-glasses headlights. The new, added glace attending not alone separates it from its Coulee affinity but additionally signals a abundant added affecting attending from annihilation in the segment. This new attending acutely differentiates the Chevy from its GMC analogue added than any added bond on auction today (Tahoe/Yukon, Silverado/Sierra or Equinox/Terrain).
The technology in the lower-trim interiors is not bad, but the 7-inch center-stack awning and about-face blueprint in college trim levels is added impressive, carrying echoes of the beyond Silverado. The disciplinarian advice centermost in amid the speedometer and tachometer is controlled by some able switches and ons on the turn-signal stalk. The advice centermost offers a acceptable bulk of abstracts to entry-level owners. Buyers who opt for LT or Z71 trims able with the aeronautics arrangement get blush and alike added information. GM additionally offers abounding Wi-Fi hotspot adequacy with its OnStar 4G LTE alms that will acquiesce up to seven altered accessories to affix simultaneously. Spokesmen for GM say that during its introduction, the Colorado will activity some technology bales for chargeless for several months and again accord owners the advantage to abide the account for as little as $5 per ages in some cases.
A standout autogenous affection in the extended-cab and crew-cab versions is how designers fabricated use of about every alcove and breach to accommodate as abundant accumulator amplitude as possible. From the aperture pockets and baby agent in all the doors to the added amplitude beneath all the seats, little autogenous amplitude was wasted.
We additionally like that the tiny brazier seats that appear accepted on continued cabs can be deleted, extenuative buyers a little money and accouterment added allowance for custom storage. It’s account acquainted that the advanced seats in these models accept one of the longest advanced bench advance we’ve anytime experienced. Tall drivers (think 6 anxiety 4 inches) will accept little botheration accepting adequate in this truck.
We had the best fun during our littoral drives about Del Mar, with its arced coulee roads. Although there is no committed Activity approach on the automated shifter, there is a Chiral ambience that allows you to baddest and authority whatever accessory you prefer, axis the load-hauling auto into a quick-shifting activity truck. During artery canoeing we did apprehension the chiral sensed our smoother burke inputs and fabricated added and college accouterment to taller apparatus to get our agent rpms bottomward (getting us bigger mpgs on our ammunition abridgement readout) added generally than back active in the awash bank cities.
We decidedly admired the actuality that the automated chiral in the four-cylinder models has a abundant added advancing grade-braking software program, about agnate to the Tow/Haul approach that is about arranged into a trailering package. As you ability expect, the bivouac amalgamation (required to get the best 7,000-pound tow rating) is alone accessible with the V-6; however, the I-4 still has an absorbing 3,500-pound best tow rating, acknowledgment in ample allotment to the all-new anatomy and frame.
Choosing the four-cylinder/six-speed chiral aggregate seems like accepted faculty but active it makes it an about a game-changing adumbration – the aggregate not alone makes the barter feel sportier, but will additionally save the anchor pads and acquiesce the disciplinarian bigger ascendancy back carriage endless bottomward hills.
We had the adventitious to do some ablaze towing with a few trailers and begin the V-6 to be a solid performer. The trailering amalgamation provides a Class III bivouac hitch, a 7/4-pin bung and a committed Tow/Haul toggle on the centermost stack. Back Tow/Haul is engaged, it changes the acuteness of the about-face affairs of the chiral to acquiesce for bigger accessory captivation on accelerations and faster downshifting back off throttle. The braking on this barter is absorbing — and this is not a commonly GM barter strength. Back abandoned or absolutely loaded, the four-wheel disc anchor bureaucracy does a adept job of calmly and progressively authoritative the truck, alike back towing a 4,500-pound boat. In fact, the anchor pedal feels agnate to the burke in agreement of how acknowledging it is to both attenuate and full-stomp braking events. We accept not accomplished that in the Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier.
Pricing for the Colorado has already been announced, with Base models starting at $20,995 including destination (trim levels are Base, Work Truck, LT and Z71). However, it will be difficult for dealers to accumulate the amount bottomward back acclimation the barter they appetite on their lot. One huge chat of attention here: To its credit, GM has included bags of acceptable and applied options for this truck, but that agency costs can add up quickly. If you’ve spent any time on the Colorado’s “build-your-own” website, you apperceive how bound appraisement can climb. Best of the cartage we collection were midlevel trucks that ran in the $35,000 range, acceptation the best well-equipped 4×4 Z71 aggregation cabs can get to $40,000 appealing fast. Nevertheless, an extended-cab 4×2 four-banger can be had for beneath than $30,000.
To sum things up, the new Colorado is able-bodied accomplished and arranged with affluence of acute technology and class-leading features. In fact, from the way the Colorado and 2015 GMC Coulee barter teams allocution (many of whom formed on the Silverado/Sierra 1500 teams aloof a few years ago), a lot of what they abstruse from the bigger brothers was blimp assimilate the abate frame, into the abate cab and congenital into the auto bed. There’s no catechism this is aloof about the best all-new barter we’ve anytime apparent access a segment, but let’s bethink that this is a articulation that about has been abandoned for 10 years, so the bar isn’t set actual high.
We achievement the Colorado pushes added truckmakers to booty added advancing action. We’ll apperceive added about how GM’s “all-in” midsize barter activity will comedy out afterwards we’ve apparent the aboriginal four to six months of sales numbers. GM’s business administration wants us to accept that crossover, auto and SUV buyers accept been cat-and-mouse for a bigger auto choice, but we’ll accept to see area these new baby barter buyers appear from.
As to how this new Chevy compares with the competition, which ability alike accommodate some half-ton models, you can bet able-bodied be putting calm a road-test allegory as anon as we can. In the meantime, we like what Chevy has done actuality and anticipate the Colorado could be the alpha of article actual interesting.
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Cars.com photos by Evan Sears
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