Small trucks may have long ago been overshadowed by their full-size counterparts, but some prefer the more compact shape of pickups like the Chevrolet Colorado. Now in its second generation, the Chevy Colorado aims to provide much of what the Silverado offers, but in a more compact and less expensive package.
2015 to Present: Chevrolet Colorado
The Chevrolet Colorado was redesigned for the 2015 model year after a three-year hiatus. Again a “midsize” pickup, the Colorado added more comfort and performance features than the first-generation model, as well as features that are uncommon among pickups in its class.
Base and WT (Work Truck) models are sparsely equipped, with standard features that include automatic headlights, a rearview camera and a USB port, but LT and Z71 trims are more consumer-oriented. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower is standard on most trims, but many will have the optional 3.6-liter V6 with 305 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, while a six-speed automatic and four-wheel drive are optional. Extended and crew cab models are available, most in two bed lengths. The Colorado Z71 is off-road oriented, with beefier tires and shocks. Options include leather upholstery, alloy wheels, navigation and blind-spot monitoring.
Earlier Chevrolet Colorado Models
The Colorado was introduced in 2003 as a 2004 model year truck. Replacing the aged Chevrolet S-10, the Colorado was marketed as a midsize pickup, to emphasize its advances in space and power over its predecessor. Built in Louisiana, the Colorado was available in regular, extended or four-door crew cab body styles with various bed lengths. Base versions were powered by a 2.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 175 horsepower, while a more popular 220-horsepower, 3.5-liter five-cylinder engine was available. Rear and four-wheel drive systems were offered, too, as well as a four-speed automatic and various suspension, appearance and off-road packages. Side curtain air bags were also optional.
In 2007, engines were enlarged for more power. The four-cylinder engine grew to 2.9 liters and added 10 horsepower, while the five-cylinder displaced 3.7 liters and added 22 horsepower. Nothing else changed until 2009, when the Colorado got another power upgrade in the form of a long-awaited V8 engine. A 300-horsepower, 5.3-liter V8 was introduced, along with enhancements to the ZQ8 and Z71 Off-Road packages.
Side curtain air bags became standard equipment on 2010 Colorado models, which is the last significant change the model would receive before it ended production after the 2012 model year.