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2015 Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab Z71
Review By John Heilig

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2015 Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab Z71


REVIEWED MODEL: 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab Z71
ENGINE: 3.6-liter V6
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic with shift mode
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 305 hp @ 6,800 rpm/269 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
WHEELBASE: 140.5 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 224.9 x 74.3 x 70.4 in.
TIRES: P255/65R17
PAYLOAD: 1,520 lbs.
ECONOMY: 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway/17.5 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 21.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 4,450 lbs.
STICKER: $36,535 (includes $875 destination, $1,248 options)

BOTTOM LINE: The Chevrolet Colorado may be classified as a small pickup, but it has all the capabilities of a larger truck, especially with the crew cab and the 6-2 bed. The bad news is that there is a significant learning curve to park the 19-foor long beast.          

The GMC Canyon was introduced at the Philadelphia Auto Show in 2014; the Chevrolet Colorado is its twin. Both are designed to compete with the midsize/small pickups sold by Japanese manufacturers, and both (the Colorado is the vehicle in question today) should give them a run for their money.          

Colorado is a very capable truck with enough little touches to make it stand out. To wit, multi-level door pockets that will accept almost anything, keeping these items from cluttering up the cabin; notched rear bumpers to make access to the bed easier; and loads of interior room, especially with the crew cab.          

Besides the door pockets, the center console is deep and voluminous. In addition there is a cubby at the base of the center stack with USB and AUX outlets. There’s also a cubby ahead of the center console that is great for phones.          

Colorado does ride like a truck – surprise – in that it is hard sprung. This is needed to accommodate the 1,520-pound payload, so it’s a good thing. After a while riding in the Colorado, however, the firmness of the suspension seems less obvious. The comfortable (and heated) seats ameliorate the perceived harshness.          

During our test week it was fortunate we had a pickup truck so we could carry the 8-10 inches of snow that fell in the bed (and all around). We used the snow to test the 4-wheel drive. Most of the time we kept the Colorado in 2WD, but in the snow, 4WD gave me more confidence, especially when the roads were bad. Handling is good in 2WD, but I found the long Colorado a bear to park. For one, it takes up more than one spot in shopping center lots. And whenever I pulled into a slot, I couldn’t do it straight the first time, I always had to back up and re-align it.          

There is good power from the 3.6-liter V6, rated at 305 horsepower. A 200 hp 2.5-liter four is the base engine. We had good acceleration with the 3.6. You can shift the 6-speed automatic with a lever button on the T-shaped shifter n the console. I confess to being reluctant to play with manually shifting, considering the weather we had. I’m certain I would have been even more reluctant if I had been in Boston.          

I liked the instrument cluster, with a tachometer on the left, information panel in the middle, and speedometer on the right. Fuel and water were in a nacelle at the top of the instrument cluster. Audio and HVAC were standard GM design.          

Getting in and out of the Colorado is a challenge, but not as big a challenge as with a full-size pickup. There is an assist handle for the front passenger on the A pillar. The driver has to grab the steering wheel for help. Rear passengers have roof mounted assist handles.          

Rear seat legroom is tight, but there is excellent head room and a fairly flat floor for a center passenger. Rear passengers have the same multi-tiered door pockets as the front passengers.          

One nice feature about the tailgate is that it lowers softly. When you unlatch it you can let go and it slowly drops to horizontal.          

While Chevrolet has been absent from the small/mid-size truck market for a while, the Colorado announces its re-entry in a big way, especially after being named Truck of the Year.