A LONG TIME COMING
2015 Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab tested
Published on Mon, May 25, 2015
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
It’s been a long time since an American car company offered a competitive small (midsize) pickup truck, having pretty much handed the market on a silver platter to Toyota and Nissan. Aside from the first generation Colorado, Chevy last introduced an all new pickup back in model year 1993. For Ford, it’s been since January of 1992. At long last, Chevrolet is taking the market seriously, with the 2015 Colorado. Senior Contributing Editor Harold Osmer reports.
By Harold Osmer
Chevrolet's reentry to the midsize truck market comes via its fully redesigned 2015 Colorado.
This particular market segment is occupied largely by import labels. The Colorado is built in Wentzville, Missouri with 66 percent domestic (U.S. and Canada) parts. Leading the charge for American manufacturers, Chevrolet has a good, solid midsize truck on their hands.
Our test vehicle includes the 4WD Z71 performance suspension package. In previous years this would translate to some mean, on-road handling characteristics. Not so with the Colorado. We were delightfully surprised at how well this truck managed a spirited drive or two along Old Topanga Canyon Road. Turning, braking, and simple cruising resulted in nothing but a desire to do it again. So we did.
Chevy's venerable 3.6L V-6 generates 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. You'll have to wind 'er up to 6800 rpm and 4000 rpm, respectively, to get that kind of output. We didn't get to test the rated 7000 pound towing capacity, but that would certainly place the Colorado at the top of its class. So while you may not whoop up on a Camaro any time soon, you can easily pull it out of a ditch.
Mashing the throttle brings about plenty of get-up-and-go, but when we went easy on it, this quick shift tendency proves annoying. We can be in high gear by the end of the block. Accordingly, downshifts in the six-speed Hydra-Matic are slow in coming on even the slightest inclines, often dragging the engine down to 1000 rpm before responding. Switching to manual mode solves this issue, illustrating the Colorado's unleashed capabilities.
Fuel economy is rated at 17 city and 24 highway. We managed a respectable 17.5 mile per gallon overall during our (mostly city) test.
Chevrolet has gone with a new rounded look for Colorado's exterior. Its aggressive new styling caught a lot of admiring eyes. We actually park our cars inside and the midsize Colorado passes our home garage test fit. A full-sized Silverado will have to sleep outside.
The interior is what surprises us the most. Expecting yet another entry from designed with afterthought, Colorado steps up big. Everything is where our logical layout book tells us it should be. Switches make sense, are within reach, and have solid tactile feedback. Nothing loose, hidden, or cheap feeling. Face it, folks, we spend most of our time inside our vehicles, so this kind of thing is more important than we sometimes allow. Hats off to Chevy for getting this right.
The Colorado's looks and handling make us want to drive more than we did. But extending seat time resulted in minor bruising/tenderness along our upper thighs. The seats are made of durable, washable, comfortable material with decent side bolsters. But the supports along our thigh line are too narrow. Some quick research reveals that the average American male (whom we believe to be the target buyer) age 30-45 stands 5'9" and has a 39-inch waist. We fit within that waist parameter and came away wondering who these seats are designed for.
The Crew Cab itself is roomy enough for four decent-size guys to ride in relative comfort. Well-appointed with great head/shoulder room and easy entry/exit, we are impressed with the Colorado's interior size. We can well-imagine getting a few friends together, throwing our gear in the short bed, hooking up our loaded toy hauler and heading off to get dirty at Fun Points Ridge.
On the whole, we get a lot from the 2015 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab. Aside from a narrow seat and questionable transmission tuning, we are hard-pressed to fault this midsize pickup.
Those in the market for a midsize owe themselves a look at the new Chevy Colorado.
- Harold O.
You’ll want to take this Chevy to the levee.
For more information about Chevrolet products, go to chevy.com
2015 Colorado 4WD Z71 Crew Short Box
Base $34,115; As tested $36,710
Premium Bose Audio System ($500)
Chevrolet MYLINK System w/8" Color Touch Navigation ($405)
Bed Liner, Spray On ($475)
Trailering Package ($250)
EPA mileage estimates (miles per gallon):
17 city/24 highway
3.6L V6, DOHC, Direct Injection, Variable Valve Timing
305 @ 6800 rpm
269 lb.-ft @ 4000 rpm
0-60 mph: 7.4 seconds
Four Wheel Drive, Locking Rear Differential, Hill Start/Descent Control
Independent coil over front, solid axle rear
Z71 G80 Automatic Locking Axle
Wheels and tires:
17" Dark Argent Aluminum Wheels
StabiliTrak stability control system, trailer sway control
Overall length/wheelbase: 212.7 inches/128.3 inches
Overall width: 74.3 inches
Overall height: 70.6 inches
Weight: 4380 pounds
3 Years/36,000 miles Bumper to Bumper
5 Year/100,000 miles Powertrain
2 Years/24,000 miles Premium Care Maintenance
5 Years/100,000 miles Roadside Assistance