Shopping for a new Chevrolet Colorado?
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
“the new V-8 is a good remedy for the thrashy 242-horse, 3.7-liter inline five-cylinder”
Car and Driver
fairly potent for such a small engine
Kelley Blue Book
the ZQ8 package is well suited to anyone whose preferences lean in the car direction
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."
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.