2020 Colorado New Car Test Drive
The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado has undergone many changes. In fact, Chevy hasn't changed the contemporary midsize pickup truck much since its 2015 introduction. Meanwhile, a batch of new smaller trucks has entered the U.S. marketplace. The Colorado is a capable rendition that spans a broad gap from a fleet model to an off-roader and offers a sizable selection of powertrains.
For the 2020 model year, a new tire-fill alert system honks the horn when the tire reaches appropriate pressure. A remote-locking tailgate is newly optional for the Work Truck (WT) trim level, and standard on step-up versions.
Colorados come in five trim levels and three body configurations, with a choice of three engines, three transmissions, and two drivetrains.
Base Colorado models use a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine that makes 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission works with rear-wheel drive, although four-wheel drive is available on all but the base model.
Next in line is a 3.6-liter V-6 with 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque paired with an 8-speed automatic. This engine is found in most Colorodo models, as it's standard on the Z71 and ZR2 trims and available on the WT and LT.
Chevy also offers a 2.8-liter turbodiesel that develops 181 hp and a whopping 369 lb-ft mated with a 6-speed automatic. The Colorado and its near-twin, the GMC Canyon, are the only pickups in their class with a diesel alternative. It's available on the top three trims.
Towing capacity is up to 7,700 pounds with the diesel engine, or 7,000 pounds with the V-6. Gas mileage with the popular V-6 isn't too bad, but the diesel takes the prize for thrifty operation.
The inline-4 is EPA-rated at 20 mpg city, 26 highway, and 22 combined. Four-wheel drive lowers the figures to 19/24/21 mpg. Stepping up to the V-6 brings fuel economy of 18/25/20 mpg with RWD, or 17/24/19 mpg with 4WD. The turbodiesel achieves 20/30/23 mpg with RWD, or 19/28/22 mpg with 4WD. The off-roading ZR2 only gets 16/18/17 mpg with the V-6, or 18/22/19 mpg with diesel power.
In both crash testing and active safety features, the Colorado disappoints, but so do many other pickups.
The NHTSA gave the Colorado a four-star overall safety rating, but only three stars for rollover prevention. Taller vehicles tend to get lower ratings, but not necessarily three stars. The Colorado failed to earn an IIHS award.
Meanwhile, only the LT trim gets any active safety features, but even there they're limited and cost extra. A $690 package brings forward-collision warnings, lane-departure warnings, and rear parking sensors. No Colorado has automatic emergency braking.
The Chevy Colorado is available in five trim levels: base, WT, LT, Z71, and ZR2. Each trim is available with an extended cab and a 6-foot-2-inch bed. All but the base model also come as a crew cab with either the 6-foot-2-inch bed or a 5-foot-1-inch bed. Prices include $1,095 destination charge.
The base model Colorado costs $22,395 and is intended mainly for fleet use. It comes only with rear-wheel drive and the 2.5-liter inline-4, and includes vinyl seat upholstery, air conditioning, a locking tailgate, a six-speaker audio system, a four-way power driver's seat, 16-inch steel wheels, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A rear seat isn't included.
The $25,895 WT opens up the availability of the V-6, four-wheel drive, the crew cab, and several options. The only extra standard equipment buyers get is carpet and a rear seat.
Moving up to the LT trim, which is priced from $28,795, brings an 8.0-inch touchscreen, HD radio, satellite radio, a wi-fi hot spot, a 4.2-inch gauge cluster, a six-way power driver's seat, remote keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 17-inch alloy wheels.
The $34,995 Z71 includes a stiffened suspension, a limited-slip rear differential, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a four-way power passenger seat, fog lights, and styling touch-ups.
For the adventurous, the off-road-oriented ZR2 starts at $42,495. It brings standard four-wheel drive, wild body trim, a raised suspension, a wider track, locking differentials, multimatic dampers, skid plates, chopped front bumper, a two-speed transfer case, a built-in light bar, and 21-inch all-terrain tires.