For starters, the 2015 Colorado was designed and engineered to the same standard as General Motors' fullsize trucks. In fact, Jeff Luke, Executive Engineer of GM Trucks, told Autoblog that the US-spec Colorado's underpinnings are actually more closely related to the larger Silverado than to its global counterpart. What's more, depending on trim, the Colorado is some 900 pounds lighter than a comparable Silverado.
In its second year on the market, Chevy will offer the Colorado with a 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder diesel engine.
It's a rugged, handsome thing, this Colorado – and to our eyes, it's far more attractive than the boxy, all-dat-chrome-up-in-mah-grille Silverado, or the overseas Colorado, for that matter. Chevrolet will only offer the Colorado in Extended Cab and Crew Cab bodystyles, with six-foot and five-foot boxes, respectively. Work Truck (WT), LT and Z71 trims will be available, and we're told that the base WT model will be available with a rear-seat delete option for folks who need as much storage space as possible. High-end Z71 models will ride on 17-inch alloy wheels, and all models get pickup-friendly features like standard corner steps, a two-tier loading system and 13 tie-down locations. Optional goodies include a spray-in bed liner and Chevy's nifty EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate.
At launch, two gasoline engines will be offered – a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V6, both mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission. Official SAE power ratings are still pending, but Chevy tells us that the 2.5-liter engine is expected to produce 193 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, while the larger V6 should put out 302 hp and 270 lb-ft. With the V6, the Colorado should be able to tow some 6,700 pounds. In its second year on the market (2016 model year), Chevy will offer the Colorado with a 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder diesel engine, similar to the one currently used in its global versions. Power ratings have not been divulged as of this writing, but Luke reminded us that the current Thai-spec diesel puts out 200 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. Chevy expects class-leading fuel economy from the Colorado, which, considering the aging competition (Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma), shouldn't be hard to achieve.
There's more good stuff inside the new Colorado, with an upscale interior that is far more premium than what's offered in the Frontier or Tacoma. We had a chance to poke around a pre-production unit during an event in Detroit recently, and found ingress/egress to be easy, with comfortable, supportive seats and plenty of space in the back (of the Crew Cab model, anyway). LT and Z71 models will get an eight-inch color touchscreen infotainment system, as well as a 3.4-inch driver information screen in the instrument cluster. Chevy's MyLink system is available, as is the latest OnStar suite of helpful telematic goodies. Chevy says the latest safety features will also be available, including optional forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and standard StabiliTrak with rollover mitigation, trailer sway control, hill start assist and hill descent control (on the Z71).
Pricing has not been announced at this time, but Maria Rohrer, Chevy Trucks' director of marketing, told us that it will be very important to keep pricing at a "three-truck, three-tier" strategy. Considering the Silverado starts at $25,575, we would expect the Colorado to fall somewhere under the $20,000 mark. (A 2014 Tacoma starts at $17,875, for reference.) Official numbers, as well as final specifications, should be released closer to the truck's on-sale date next fall.
- Midsize truck with the DNA of Chevy's full-size trucks
- Expected to deliver class-leading horsepower, payload and trailering
- Rounds out the industry's only three-truck portfolio to give customers more choices
LOS ANGELES – Chevrolet today unveiled the all-new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, which will redefine the midsize truck and offer real truck capability and versatility to customers who don't require a full-size truck.
The new Colorado is built with the DNA of a true Chevy truck, expected to deliver class-leading power, payload and trailering ratings. Colorado goes on sale in fall 2014 as a 2015 model.
"Our strategy is simple: meet the needs of the broadest possible customer base, and let them choose precisely the right truck to meet their needs," said Mark Reuss, GM president of North America. "The all-new Colorado benefits from the solid foundation established by the Silverado, and it reinvents the midsize truck, while reinvigorating the segment at the same time."
The new Colorado was developed for the North American truck customer, with distinctive design, comfort and connectivity features, including segment firsts such as available forward collision alert and lane departure warning.
Chevrolet expects Colorado to be the most powerful truck in the segment, allowing owners to haul and tow more. A 2.5L I-4 is standard, and a 3.6L V-6 is available. Each engine is tuned, tested and validated for truck use, and each features direct injection and variable valve timing to optimize power and efficiency. Each is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission.
When properly equipped, the Colorado is expected to offer class leading payload capacity and trailering capacity of more than 6,700 pounds (3,039 kg). That's more than enough capability to throw a weekend's worth of camping gear in the bed and tow a boat to a favorite lake.
Colorado will also offer the segment's only diesel engine in its second year – a DURAMAX 2.8L I-4 turbodiesel that's already been proven in tough global markets. The diesel engine will expand Colorado's powertrain lineup to cover the broadest range of needs, taking Colorado's capability and efficiency to higher levels.
"We designed the Colorado to be the most versatile and most capable in its segment, bar none," said Jeff Luke, executive engineer, GM Trucks. "Not everyone needs full-size capability, but they still deserve the strength and true-truck attributes that come in larger models. The Colorado delivers capability with confidence – and a fun-to-drive spirit that complements active lifestyles."
Designed with a zeal for adventure
The Colorado's North American design is unique, with a confident stance and a sporty demeanor. Taller bedsides, for example, are exclusive to North America and match the aggressive, raked belt line of the cab, creating a distinctive proportion that reinforces the truck's athleticism, while also offering greater security to items stored in the bed.
Three configurations of the 2015 Colorado are offered – an extended cab model with a 6-foot bed, a crew cab with a 5-foot bed and a crew cab with a 6-foot bed. With the tailgate down, the 6-foot bed allows 8-foot-long items to be hauled within the vehicle.
"The new Colorado's design brings a youthful breath of fresh air to the midsize truck segment and puts a progressive spin on Chevrolet's true-truck styling," said Ken Parkinson, executive director of Chevrolet Design. "It's like the younger, more eager brother of the Silverado – a Chevy truck through and through, with great zeal and a spirit of adventure."
WT, LT and Z71 trims are available, all in 2WD or 4WD. The off-road-inspired Z71 is the brawniest of the bunch. It also features a gunmetal grille surround – a change from the chrome standard on the other models – projector headlamps and unique 17-inch aluminum wheels.
The Colorado features triple-sealed doors inlaid in the body sides, like the 2014 Silverado, for improved aerodynamic performance and a quieter interior.
To help keep overall mass down and improve the front-to-rear weight balance, the Colorado features a segment-first aluminum hood. It also features the segment's only active aero grille shutters, which close at certain highway speeds to enhance aerodynamics.
And because it's a true Chevy truck, the Colorado leaves nothing on the table when it comes to innovative solutions for hauling and accessing cargo:
- Standard CornerStep rear bumper design pioneered on the 2014 Silverado
- Available EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate that uses an internal torsion bar to make raising the tailgate easier with one hand, and a damper for more-controlled lowering
- Standard two-tier loading that allows a platform to effectively split the bed into upper and lower sections, making it easier to haul, store and conceal items such as tools
- Thirteen standard tie-down locations throughout the bed for use with available, movable cargo tie-down rings
- Standard bed rail and tailgate protectors
- Available factory-installed spray-in bed liner.
An interior for work, recreation and everyday comfort
Blending cues from its bigger brother Silverado with a style all its own, the interior of the 2015 Colorado is comfortable, cleverly equipped and well connected. A bold, upright instrument panel with large instruments and a central driver information center is similar to Silverado, while features including a center console with a floor- mounted shifter are similar to those found in midsize cars and crossovers.
The Colorado's cabin is also distinguished with exceptional attention to detail and premium appointments, including a sculpted headliner that enhances headroom, halo lighting on key controls for easier view and an open area at the front of the center console for easier phone charging. The Z71 model features exclusive color and trim details, including embossed seatbacks and contrast stitching.
"We took the best attributes of full-size trucks and midsize cars to develop a passenger space that delivers a balance of functionality and comfort that's unmatched," said Parkinson. "It's also designed to be as useful as possible, with storage compartments and clever features throughout, for owners who will use the Colorado as their daily driver and for weekend getaways."
Interior details include:
- Sculpted door panels that make it easier to enter/exit the vehicle
- Upper-instrument panel storage bin (when not equipped with the up level audio system) and large glove box volume
- Standard center console with room to store a tablet
- Rear under-seat storage.
Colorado's seats are designed for long-haul comfort and wear, too, with dual- firmness foam, for greater comfort on long drives, and high-wear, stain-resistant cloth seating trim. Leather appointed seating is available.
Connectivity, control and safety technologies enhance Colorado's driving experience
The new Colorado's technologies are aimed at complementing owners' lifestyles with connectivity and other features that support their daily and recreational lives – and help keep them safe, including:
- Eight-inch diagonal color touch screen (LT, Z71) and multiple USB drives
- 3.4-inch diagonal driver information screen in the instrument cluster
- Available next-generation OnStar and MyLink enhancements with gesture recognition and natural language voice recognition
- Available navigation.
Standard and available features designed to keep the Colorado's occupants safe before, during and after a crash, including:
- Six standard air bags, including head side curtain air bags designed for occupant ejection mitigation
- Large rearview mirrors and standard rear-vision camera system for greater visibility
- Segment-first application of forward collision alert (available)
- Segment-first application of lane departure warning (available)
- Standard StabiliTrak stability control system with rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control, hill start assist and hill descent control (Z71).
Chevy truck DNA supports leading capabilities
The Colorado delivers the capability expected of a Chevy truck – including segment- leading payload and trailering. Like the Silverado, the Colorado is built on a fully boxed perimeter frame, which provides the strength to support its capabilities, as well as a confident, smooth and quiet ride.
A coil-over-type front suspension features aluminum knuckles that are low in mass and high in strength, contributing to a more responsive, immediate feel to driver inputs, as well as efficiency. It also features the segment's first application of electric power steering, which enhances efficiency by eliminating the consumption of a feature conventionally driven by the engine.
And speaking of steering, the Colorado has a short turning radius of only about 41 feet (12.5 meters), enabling it to turn around easier in tighter areas such as on city streets or backing a trailer into a camping spot.
Four-wheel disc brakes, with four-piston front calipers, are standard and feature DuralifeTM brake rotors – also pioneered on the 2014 Silverado. They offer up to double the service life, which can save money on maintenance.
Another Chevy truck feature offered on the Colorado is the G80 automatic locking rear differential. Introduced by Chevy more than 40 years ago, it gives drivers a traction advantage when it's needed. It is standard on Z71 and available on WT and LT.
Truck-tuned powertrains are designed for work, efficiency
The 2.5L and 3.6L engines offered in the Colorado are based on proven designs found in other Chevrolet vehicles, but tuned uniquely for truck duty – including more torque at lower rpm – for a more confident feeling of power when the Colorado is loaded or pulling a trailer.
The 2.5L four is estimated at 193 horsepower (146 kW) and 184 lb.-ft. of torque (253 Nm), with approximately 90 percent of the peak torque available from 2,000 rpm to 6,200 rpm. The 3.6L engine is estimated at 302 horsepower (224 kW) and 270 lb.-ft. of torque (366 Nm). SAE certification of the power ratings is pending.
Aluminum blocks and forged-steel crankshafts, along with dual-overhead camshafts with variable valve timing, direct injection and jet-spray piston cooling are features shared on both engines. A number of extended-life components are designed to reduce maintenance intervals, which can help reduce the cost of ownership.
All models are matched with a six-speed automatic that complements the truck- tuned engines with features that make hauling and trailering easier and more comfortable, including auto grade braking and a tow/haul mode.
Colorado's powertrain options will expand in 2016 with an all-new diesel engine that will offer exceptional levels of torque and efficiency for the segment – greatly expanding the capabilities of Chevy's all-new midsize truck.
Chevrolet will continue to work on and develop the Colorado until the start of production in 2014. The content of this release is based on current GM testing and is subject to change.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 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.