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.”