New & Used Chevrolet Colorado: In Depth
The Chevrolet Colorado is a mid-size pickup truck introduced by General Motors back in 2004 as a replacement for the Chevrolet S-10. It's also sold by GMC as the "Canyon" mid-size pickup, which replaced the GMC Sonoma. To complicate matters further, the Chevy Colorado and Canyon were developed together with Isuzu, which also sold a version of the pickup truck called the i-series.
Underpinning all three vehicles is the GMT355 platform, a variation of which was used for the HUMMER H3 SUV. The platform offers standard, extended and four-door crew cab bodystyles for the Chevrolet Colorado as well as rear- and four-wheel-drive configurations. With a starting price in the teens, the Chevrolet mid-size pickup truck offers great value in this segment and is relatively unique in that a V-8 engine option is available. Its closest rivals, such as the Ford Ranger and Dodge Dakota, have been cancelled for the 2012 model year, but its twin the GMC Canyon sticks around, as do the bigger mid-size trucks like the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma.
The original 2004 model came with a 2.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 175 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. For 2005 a new 3.5-liter five-cylinder engine with 220 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque was added to the lineup. The 2007 model saw the base 2.8-liter four-cylinder engine upgraded to a 2.9-liter unit and the 3.5-liter five-cylinder growing to a 3.7-liter unit. Power and torque levels increased accordingly, rising to 185 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque for the four-cylinder and 242 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque for the five-cylinder. The biggest change came in the 2009 model year with the introduction of a new V-8 option and a minor facelift. The new Vortec V-8 engine displaced 5.3 liters and developed a peak output of 300 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque.
The current Chevrolet Colorado continues to offer the same wide variety of engines, including four- and five-cylinder mills, plus the range-topping V-8. This latter model understandably offers the best performance, achieving a maximum towing capacity of 6,000 pounds and a sub-seven-second 0-60 mph acceleration time. At the other end of the spectrum, the four-cylinder variant offers the best fuel economy, returning an EPA-rated 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
Today's Chevrolet Colorado is built in Shreveport, Louisiana. However, Chevy announced a new Colorado will be built at a plant in Missouri, as the Louisiana plant is earmarked for closure. The new truck will be a global vehicle, and will spawn a new TrailBlazer SUV, but that vehicle hasn't yet been confirmed for the U.S. market.
As for details on the new Colorado, it's possible it won't arrive on the U.S. market until the 2015 model year, at the latest. Power could come from GM's new 2.5-liter four-cylinder, with its 3.6-liter V-6 an option. The new truck is based on a new global pickup, seen in concept form at auto shows around the world this year.