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2015 Chevy Colorado Review

Thursday, March 12th 2015. | Chevrolet

2015 Chevy Colorado Review – While a lot of people like having the utility that comes with driving a pickup, not everyone needs or wants a full-size truck. That’s typically been where compact trucks have fulfilled a need. In recent years, though, there hasn’t been a whole lot to choose from. Chevrolet even stopped producing its compact Colorado for a few years. But this year is different, as Chevy’s back in the game with an all-new 2015 Colorado.

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The new Colorado (and its GMC sibling, the Canyon) is larger than the version Chevrolet discontinued three years ago, and that’s made it more or less the same size as its Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier rivals. That means the Colorado’s real advantages over those older competitors lie in its more fuel-efficient powertrains, a noticeably nicer interior and the addition of what many buyers will consider to be the latest “must-have” features. We think these upgrades should go a long way toward stirring things up in what has been a largely stagnant vehicle segment.

While the Colorado’s regular cab model has been dropped, Chevy is now offering an extended-cab body style with a 6-foot, 2-inch “long” bed and a crew cab with four proper doors and a choice of a 5-foot, 2-inch short bed or the aforementioned long bed. A fuel-efficient 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is standard in extended-cab models, while most crew cab models come with the more powerful 3.6-liter V6 that bumps towing capacity to a class-leading 7,000 pounds.

For now, then, this Colorado has the advantage of being the newest player in a tired field. This shows up in the Colorado’s modern-looking cabin full of the latest technology, its polished road manners, and its array of electronic safety aids. Its 3.6-liter V-6, which features direct injection and variable valve timing, makes 305 horsepower, a respective 69 and 44 more than the 4.0-liter V-6s from Toyota and Nissan. The engine is quiet and somewhat refined and mates to a six-speed automatic where the others still rely on five-speed units.

The Chevrolet Colorado does have a few minor shortcomings. Its newness is paired with a price premium, certainly, and chances are you’ll pay a little more to get a Colorado. Also, the minimal price difference and fuel economy savings between this new midsize model and many light-duty full-size trucks — once the two chief arguments for buying a smaller pickup — may also turn out to make it less attractive than in previous years.

Those intent on doing “real work” with their truck might worry that the Chevy’s more carlike, higher-revving engine is less suitable. But with the tow package fitted to our test truck, it’s rated to pull 7000 pounds. You’d find more torque but less power-as well as similar overall performance-in the Silverado V-6 we tested, which is certified to tow 7600 pounds, but that full-size crew cab cost $8200 more than this Colorado. Fuel economy? We saw 18 mpg in this mid-size compared with 16 mpg from the full-size V-6 Chevy and 17 mpg in the Tacoma TRD Pro Series.

By other track measures, the Colorado lands midpack, braking from 70 mph in 174 feet and cornering at 0.78 g, numbers on the “good” end of the truck spectrum but not special. There was no fade from the four-wheel disc brakes, and understeer on the skidpad was only moderate. Steering feel and weight are good on the open road and light in parking situations.

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