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PERFORMANCE | 6 out of 10
Car and Driver
slow to react to steering inputs
fairly potent for such a small engine
Kelley Blue Book
High gas prices have given the 2008 Chevrolet Colorado a new appeal. Base models are powered by a 2.9-liter four-cylinder engine offering 185 horsepower, while the optional inline five-cylinder engine measures in at 3.9 liters and delivers 242 horsepower. Drivers can see as much as 18/24 mpg with the four-cylinder, and can even manage 15/20 mpg with the five-cylinder engine and automatic transmission.
However, neither combination is very enjoyable to pilot or to listen to; they're noisy engines that sound unrefined next to the silkier sounds coming from a four-cylinder Toyota Tacoma. ConsumerGuide remarks the Colorado has only "adequate power for around town driving," while still "lack[ing] reserve for passing or hauling heavy loads." Car and Driver criticizes the four-cylinder as a “thrashy engine.” Edmunds points out, “Most of the Colorado's competition, both import and domestic, offer powerful optional V6 engines.” 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.”
“You can get a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission with either engine,” Edmunds points out, adding, “Like its peers, the Colorado can be equipped with either two-wheel drive or a four-wheel-drive system with a dual-range transfer case.”
Kelley Blue Book predicts consumers will appreciate the Chevrolet Colorado's "good power and excellent fuel economy...EPA-rated at 24 miles per gallon on the highway."
The Colorado comes in a wide range of suspension settings, from base to off-road. Edmunds applauds 2008 Chevrolet Colorado for "affordable, composed handling on- and off-road,” and says the "standard suspension is softly tuned for a comfortable ride."
Car and Driver remarks the "steering is high-effort" and turns "with a numb feel." MyRide.com thinks the ride is "comfortable and controlled," and says the Colorado has a "light on-road feel, suitable for a light-duty truck" on the Colorado. Kelley Blue Book observes that the "turning radius [that] is uncommonly wide" but find the Colorado’s suspension "much more rigid than previous Chevrolet compact pickups," contributing to stability.
MyRide takes Chevrolet to task, however, for "brakes [that] require too much pressure before offering an adequate response."
Car and Driver concludes by writing, “these trucks trail the competition in every way.”
The 2008 Chevrolet Colorado has disappointing power, but many suspension and drivetrain choices make for a decent ride.