2010 Chevrolet Colorado Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
January 18, 2010

The 2010 Chevrolet Colorado is impressive with the V-8 engine and offers a good alternative to people who don't really need a big truck.

TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven the latest 2010 Chevrolet Colorado in order to give you an expert opinion. And to help you make the most of reputable review sources on the Web, TheCarConnection.com has brought some of the most useful information together here.

The 2010 Chevrolet Colorado continues to be offered with a wide variety of engines, including four- and five-cylinder mills, plus a range-topping V-8 engine producing 300 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. The Colorado achieves a maximum towing capacity of 6,000 pounds and a sub-seven-second 0-60 acceleration time.

Reviewers generally find that the base 185-horsepower, 2.9-liter four-cylinder engine and the optional 242-hp, 3.7-liter five in the 2010 Colorado are not up to the mark, and the latter is especially disappointing as a step-up engine. It’s rough and noisy, and it doesn’t have the refined performance that some of the Colorado’s rivals offer. On the other hand, the V-8 engine gives the Colorado a completely different character, and the reviewers at TheCarConnection.com recommend it for drivers in need of towing ability. The 2010 Chevrolet Colorado is also available in either rear- or four-wheel drive.

Matching the variety of powertrain options are several different body styles for the 2010 Chevrolet Colorado. These include a regular Cab, Extended Cab (with short reverse-opening doors), and Crew Cab (with four regular forward-swinging doors). Crew cabs come with a five-foot cargo box, while other Colorados feature a six-foot bed. For those who need rear space, the six-foot "long" bed won't carry a 4x8 sheet of plywood, and four-door Colorados have only a five-foot, one-inch bed anyway. On four-door versions, the rear seat stands uncomfortably upright and is just roomy enough for two adults. However, the four-door crew-cab version can seat up to six passengers.

Review continues below

The interior for all Colorados is nowhere close to impressive, with cheap, hard plastic as the theme. It must be noted, however, that inside the ZQ8-equipped models, unique seats unavailable in other Colorado models are rather nice.

All 2010 Chevrolet Colorado models receive StabiliTrak electronic stability control, as well as a new braking system, first introduced last year, which features better braking feel and improved stopping power. The four-door Chevrolet Colorado receives a mix of crash-test scores, with straight four-star ratings from the federal government (except for some higher five-star ratings on the Crew Cab), matched with lackluster side and rear test scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Standard equipment is decent with air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, and folding exterior mirrors all included. Options include traction control, XM Satellite Radio, fog lamps, leather seats, a sunroof, a six-CD changer, and a sliding rear window. OnStar is offered but without a navigation feature—which would enhance the desirability of this work truck. A new ZQ8 sport suspension package for the Extended and Crew Cab models features revised suspension tuning that’s 30 percent stiffer and a ride height that’s one inch lower than previous years. Eighteen-inch, split six-spoke aluminum wheels, and low-profile performance tires are also part of the package that pairs with the V-8 engine option.

7

2010 Chevrolet Colorado

Styling

The 2010 Chevrolet Colorado’s interior is great on the aesthetics, but the cheap materials are tremendously disappointing.

The exterior styling of the 2010 Colorado remains unchanged aside from some trim revisions. There are plenty of styling differences from which to choose in all of the Colorado’s varied configurations, such as rear- or four-wheel drive, in short-wheelbase regular-cab and long-wheelbase extended- and four-door crew-cab versions.

Edmunds claims “the Colorado's aggressive, angular styling makes big promises of power, ruggedness and capability.” Cars.com is a fan, calling it "aerodynamic, angular and athletic." Automedia likes the Colorado’s styling, deeming it “terrific” and remarking it “resembles a scaled-down Silverado with a rugged and sporting stance.” Truck Trend points out that the Colorado comes in three different cab styles: “regular cab, extended cab, crew cab (with four full-size front-hinged doors)” and that “regular and extended cabs get a 6-foot-1-inch-long bed and crew cabs feature a 5-foot-1-inch-long bed.” Kelley Blue Book lauds the trim in the base 2010 Chevrolet Colorado, declaring it "an attractive alternative for those whose truck use tends to be recreational." The exterior has a "look that says 'Chevy,' [with] bulging fender flares and bright alloy wheels [that] punctuate tall slab sides."

The 2010 Chevrolet Colorado is a matter of huge debate; most reviewers love the aesthetics but hate the materials. Edmunds starts off by saying “recent upgrades to the Colorado's interior make today's version more hospitable than in previous model years. However, plenty of evidence of cost-cutting remains in the form of hard plastics, inconsistent build quality and a near absence of style.” Car and Driver derides the "rental-car interior decor." On the other hand, Automedia finds that “inside, the Colorado looks and feels more like a spacious, well-appointed full-size pickup,” and Kelley Blue Book reports that the 2010 Chevrolet Colorado interior layout is described as "highly functional, with all the gauges and controls in clear sight and easy reach of the driver." However, they also mention an "over-abundance of gray throughout the cab" that only differs "in the pricier trim levels." ConsumerGuide is a fan of "the audio and climate controls [that] are simple to use and are clearly marked" and gauges that "are easy to read," though "some digital readouts wash out in direct sunlight."

7

2010 Chevrolet Colorado

Performance

The 2010 Chevrolet Colorado scores a lot of points with the V-8 engine and ZQ8 suspension, but that may not be enough to overcome the competition.

Reviewers generally find that the base 185-horsepower, 2.9-liter four-cylinder engine and the optional 242-hp, 3.7-liter five in the 2010 Colorado are not up to the mark, and the latter is especially disappointing as a step-up engine. It’s rough and noisy, and it doesn’t have the refined performance that some of the Colorado’s rivals offer. On the other hand, the 300-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 engine gives the Colorado a completely different character, and the reviewers at TheCarConnection.com recommend it for drivers in need of towing ability. The 2010 Chevrolet Colorado is also available in either rear- or four-wheel drive.

The V-8 engine is heralded not only for the additional power but also for its smoothness, though one may wonder whether the premium is worth it, especially considering it doesn't add much towing power. Car and Driver says “the new V-8 is a good remedy for the thrashy 242-horse, 3.7-liter inline five-cylinder engine found in lesser Colorados,” noting that the engine “can tug a maximum of 6,000 pounds, just 500 more than the 242-hp five-cylinder and the I-5 gets a coupla more miles per gallon.” Automobile Magazine is a little more innovative, putting the V-8 to good use and finding reason to like the new engine when towing, ultimately saying “hitched to a 5,150-pound boat and trailer, the mighty V-8 hustled this pickup to 60 mph in 15.9 seconds and averaged a decent 11 mpg during suburban cruising.”

ConsumerGuide, after reviewing the other engines, remarks that the Colorado has only "adequate power for around town driving," while still "lack[ing] reserve for passing or hauling heavy loads." Car and Driver slams the four-cylinder as a “thrashy engine.” Truck Trend counters that, with both engines, “there's a pleasing amount of reserve power left at higher engine speeds for merging onto the Interstate or overtaking another vehicle on a winding two-lane.” Edmunds points out, “you can get a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission with either engine.” Kelley Blue Book claims consumers will appreciate the Chevrolet Colorado's "good power and excellent fuel economy...EPA-rated at 24 miles per gallon on the highway."

Automobile Magazine is a big fan of the Colorado’s retuned ZQ8 suspension, saying, “thanks to fine-tuning by GM's Performance Division personnel, the ZQ8 package is well suited to anyone whose preferences lean in the car direction. Quicker steering, a one-inch lower ride height, stiffer spring and antiroll-bar rates, and Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires—size 235/50WR-18—on eight-inch-wide aluminum wheels do an excellent job obliterating this truck's sordid past.” Car and Driver is not so forgiving of the new suspension, griping that “the suspension is definitely stiff," with a sort of “classic (read old-feeling) ride quality, bouncing you and your cargo around over every imperfection in the road. The quicker steering is nicely tightened up over that of the loosey-goosey normal Colorado, but it still lacks feel." Edmunds praises the 2010 Chevrolet Colorado for "affordable, composed handling on- and off-road,” and notes the "standard suspension is softly tuned for a comfortable ride."

6

2010 Chevrolet Colorado

Comfort & Quality

The competitiveness of the 2010 Chevrolet Colorado is hindered by its cheap interior materials and limited load capacity.

The interior for all Colorados is nowhere close to impressive, with cheap, hard plastic as the theme. It must be noted, however, that inside the ZQ8-equipped models, unique seats unavailable in other Colorado models are rather nice.

Body styles of the 2010 Colorado include a regular Cab, Extended Cab (with short reverse-opening doors), and Crew Cab (with four regular forward-swinging doors). Crew cabs come with a five-foot cargo box, while other Colorados feature a six-foot bed. For those who need rear space, the six-foot "long" bed won't carry a 4x8 sheet of plywood, and four-door Colorados have only a five-foot, one-inch bed anyway.

Car and Driver says, “In its latest comparison test appearance, the Colorado finished last out of five trucks and was flayed for its rental-car interior, unrefined engine, and upright rear backrest.” Edmunds isn’t a fan of the Colorado’s interior either, explaining that "seating comfort and cabin materials still leave much to be desired." Chevrolet loses marks for giving "the impression of being cheap," with Edmunds also noting "sub par materials, an abundance of hard plastic and mediocre seat comfort."

Automobile Magazine finds that “the front bucket upgrade (a 60/40 split bench is standard) brings seats that feel convex instead of concave,” explaining that “driving stints longer than two hours will have you speed-dialing your chiropractor for relief.” ConsumerGuide is pleased with the front part of the 2010 Chevrolet Colorado cab's interior, pointing the "lots of legroom and headroom" and seats that are "adequately comfortable for long drives." Kelley Blue Book agrees, claiming the "seats offer firm bottoms and good lumbar support" and that "the cloth fabric is both durable and comfortable."

ConsumerGuide faults the Colorado’s rear seats for being hard, undersized, and uncomfortably upright. Getting to them is also a challenge, as "entry and exit is difficult through small door openings." As with legroom, storage is limited, although this is less of a problem on the Extended and Crew Cab models. TheCarConnection.com also finds adequate space in the Crew Cab’s backseats for two adults, although the cushions are a bit flat.

It can be said that build quality is commendable despite the use of cheap materials, with Kelley Blue Book reporting that "even over washboard roads, the Colorado exhibited no sign of dash-rattling or squeaks." Edmunds finds that the Colorado remains "relatively quiet around town," with "wind noise around the doors picking up at highway speeds."

7

2010 Chevrolet Colorado

Safety

The 2010 Chevrolet Colorado isn't top-notch, but it has a good list of safety features, powerful brakes, and an advanced electronic stability control system.

All 2010 Chevrolet Colorado models receive StabiliTrak electronic stability control, as well as a new braking system, first introduced last year, which features better braking feel and improved stopping power.

The reviewers at Edmunds are pleased with the inclusion of “OnStar emergency communications” as a standard feature. Other standard items include anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control, and side curtain airbags.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests show that the four-door 2010 Chevrolet Colorado gets five-star frontal crash scores, along with four-star ratings in side impacts and in nearly all other distinctions. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ranks the Colorado as “good” for all front impacts but “marginal" in its seat-based rear-impact test.

7

2010 Chevrolet Colorado

Features

The 2010 Chevrolet Colorado offers enough as a work truck, though those in need of all the nifty extras will be a little disappointed.

The 2010 Chevrolet Colorado offers most of the basics for a compact pickup truck, but the options are rather limited.

Standard equipment is decent with air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, and folding exterior mirrors all included. Options include traction control, XM Satellite Radio, fog lamps, leather seats, a sunroof, a six-CD changer, and a sliding rear window. OnStar is offered but without a navigation feature—which would enhance the desirability of this work truck.

Car and Driver moans over the lack of “some truck-specific options” on the 2010 Chevrolet Colorado, such as "no protective coating or tie-down rails in the bed."

Cars.com points out the Colorado’s optional "heated leather seating and XM Satellite Radio," as well as the optional "locking differential." Edmunds is a fan of the Chevrolet Colorado's "grille guards, bed extender and 18-inch wheels [that] are also available." While most options are bundled or offered as stand-alone items, including bucket seats, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, and a self-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth and navigation are two options conspicuously missing from the list.

Edmunds claims that the interior of the base Colorado is "pretty Spartan aside from air-conditioning and an AM/FM stereo.” However, it should be noted that the base Colorado also includes features like air conditioning, tilt steering, an AM/FM stereo, cruise control, and two 12-volt power outlets. Moving up to the LT adds reclining seats, more stereo speakers, and aluminum wheels, which Edmunds believes “is a better choice for most folks.”

A new ZQ8 sport suspension package for the Extended and Crew Cab models features revised suspension tuning that’s 30 percent stiffer and a ride height that’s one inch lower than previous years. Eighteen-inch, split six-spoke aluminum wheels and low-profile performance tires are also part of the package that pairs with the V-8 engine option.

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October 25, 2015
2010 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Ext Cab 125.9" LT w/1LT

Best truck I've ever owned

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My 2010 Colorado has been a great truck in the 18 months that I've owned it. The only problems that I've had are 2 broken wires in the ext cab rear doors (design defect) and a HVAC switch on the air... + More »
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Styling 7.0
Performance 7.0
Comfort & Quality 6.0
Safety 7.0
Features 7.0
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