But win the Colorado did, beating not only the new Ford, but two other brutish Blue Ovals in the F-450 and Transit. The midsize pickup also bested its brethren from General Motors, beating the heavy-duty Chevy Silverado 3500, GMC Sierra Denali 2500 and the GMC Canyon, the Colorado's fraternal twin. After an unprecedented two-year stint with the Golden Calipers, Ram sat this year's awards out.
Most impressive about the Colorado's victory isn't that it simply beat the US market's other trucks, it did so with a unanimous vote. Praise from MT's editors focused on the trucklet's price, spacious interior, fit and finish and performance. Former Autoblog staffer Jonny Lieberman called the Colorado's steering the best he'd "ever experienced on any truck, full stop," in MT's awards article.
"After days of testing, hundreds of miles on the road, and our most rigorous truck testing program to date, our editors unanimously selected the Chevy Colorado as our 2015 Truck of the Year," said MT boss Edward Loh. "Colorado is a smart, capable, and refreshingly honest truck that makes a strong value and efficiency statement. It's perfectly sized and suited for the needs of many of today's truck users."
The Colorado joins the 2015 Volkswagen Golf and 2015 Honda CR-V among Motor Trend 2015 award winners. Scroll down for video commentary from General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Loh and a clip of the Golden Calipers being handed over. Also, check out GM's full press release on its big win.
Midsize pickup outclasses competition in design, engineering, efficiency, safety and more
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – After its most comprehensive truck evaluation program in history, MOTOR TREND has selected the Chevy Colorado as its 2015 Truck of the Year®.
MOTOR TREND's Truck of the Year program is only open to all-new or significantly updated trucks and vans for the upcoming model year. For 2015, seven contenders were invited to compete; three competitors were asked to bring a powertrain and/or body style variant for a total of 10 vehicles overall:
Chevrolet Colorado WT and Colorado Z71
Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD
Ford F150 2.7L EcoBoost and 3.5L EcoBoost
Ford Transit 350 HR and Transit 150 MR
GMC Canyon SLT
GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD
The 2015 Colorado emerged as MOTOR TREND's 2015 Truck of the Year by a rare unanimous vote. The editors were particularly impressed with Colorado's handsome, clean-sheet design, "right-sized" package, excellent handling and overall capability. Colorado's potent-yet-efficient powertrains also returned best-in-class fuel economy according to Real MPG and EPA testing.
"After days of testing, hundreds of miles on the road, and our most rigorous truck testing program to date, our editors unanimously selected the Chevy Colorado as our 2015 Truck of the Year," said Edward Loh, MOTOR TREND's editor-in-chief. "Colorado is a smart, capable, and refreshingly honest truck that makes a strong value and efficiency statement. It's perfectly sized and suited for the needs of many of today's truck users."
Said Sandor Piszar, Chevy Trucks marketing director: "The Chevrolet Colorado offers customers the versatility of a pickup in a powerful, refined, fuel-efficient midsize package, with up to 27 mpg EPA highway. For Colorado to emerge from MOTOR TREND's thorough evaluation as the 2015 Truck of the Year shows how Colorado is changing the game by offering truck customers fresh new choices."
To determine which truck deserved top honors, the MOTOR TREND test team subjected all of the contenders to numerous instrumented and real-world road tests. First up was standard MOTOR TREND testing, which included: 0-60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip - all without payload or trailered loads.
A specific payload was then added to each truck and van, and the vehicles were then driven more than 250 miles to the Arizona/Nevada border to evaluate ride quality and loaded fuel economy. The vehicles were driven up and down the famed Davis Dam in Bullhead City, Ariz., for further assessment, including an instrumented test designed to simulate a passing situation while carrying a load.
The team then moved to a world-class automotive proving grounds for instrumented acceleration tests with nominal weight trailers. Truck and trailer were also driven through a short handling course to evaluate acceleration, braking, maneuverability and outward visibility. The final phase of evaluation involved a 21-mile road loop through hills of Arizona's Hualapai Mountains.
Following the team's intensive evaluation, the trucks were shipped to MOTOR TREND headquarters in El Segundo to undergo proprietary "Real MPG" fuel-economy testing. Using advanced exhaust gas and flow-rate analyzers, Real MPG measures tailpipe emissions every second during a three-hour, 88-mile drive around the Los Angeles area to record accurate real-world fuel economy.
Once testing was completed, select MOTOR TREND editors convened to determine which truck would be crowned Truck of the Year. The winner is not chosen from a direct comparison against the other contenders, but rather as a result of how each contender performed in testing and against the award's six criteria: Design Advancement, Engineering Excellence, Efficiency, Safety, Value, and Performance of Intended Function.
About MOTOR TREND:
MOTOR TREND®, a media brand of TEN: The Enthusiast Network, was founded in 1949 and is internationally recognized as one of the leading brands in the automotive category. The MOTOR TREND brand is comprised of Motor Trend Magazine; the award-winning website MOTORTREND.com; MOTOR TREND Auto Shows; MOTOR TREND Audio; MOTOR TREND en Espanol; MOTOR TREND India; and the renowned MOTOR TREND Car of the Year, SUV of the Year, Truck of the Year, and Best Driver's Car awards programs.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
About TEN: The Enthusiast Network
TEN: The Enthusiast Network is the world's premier network of enthusiast brands, such as MOTOR TREND, AUTOMOBILE, HOT ROD, SURFER, TRANSWORLD, and GRINDTV. With more than 50 publications, 60 websites, 50 events, 1,000 branded products, the world's largest automotive VOD channel, and the world's largest action/adventure sports media platform, TEN inspires enthusiasts to pursue their passions. For more information, visit www.enthusiastnetwork.com.