2020 Colorado New Car Test Drive
The 2019 Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pickup runs the gamut from basic work truck to plain, yet comfortable urban cargo carrier. Pick the right version, and it can even turn into an off-road achiever. Launched in its current form as a 2015 model, the Colorado blends smart dimensions with efficient operation.
A 100th Anniversary Edition painted Centennial Blue is available for the 2019 model year, offered on extended-cab Z71 trucks. Centennial features include “heritage bowtie” emblems, chrome tow hooks, and distinctive 18-inch wheels.
Active Tow is newly standard with the 3.6-liter V-6 or turbodiesel engine. Heated mirrors are now available, and a pair of new body colors are offered: Kinetic Blue and Steel Gray Metallic.
The Colorado shares its platform, body styles, and powertrains with the GMC Canyon. Although the Canyon is styled a bit more businesslike, its configurations are less versatile than Chevrolet offers.
Colorados come in either extended-cab or Crew Cab form, the latter with four conventional doors. Depending on cab type, three cargo bed lengths are available.
A 200-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard, but most Colorados contain the 3.6-liter V-6, yielding 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. A 2.8-liter turbodiesel inline-4 also is available, delivering immense torque and impressive highway mileage. Those 4-cylinder models may have a manual or automatic transmission, but the V-6 pairs only with an 8-speed automatic.
With the turbodiesel, a Colorado can haul up to 7,700 pounds, versus 7,000 pounds for V-6 versions.
Rear-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive optional. With its wider stance, raised suspension, and big all-terrain tires, the ZR2 qualifies as a serious off-road trekker.
Such active-safety features as forward-collision and lane-departure warnings are available only for LT trim and above. No Colorado is fitted with automatic emergency braking. That's a notable demerit.
Safety scores fall short. Crash-testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration resulted in four-star ratings overall and for frontal impact, though the side-impact test resulted in five stars. The rollover score (a calculated figure) was only three stars.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the extended-cab Colorado only an “Acceptable” rating for its small front-overlap and side-impact tests. Crew Cab models earned “Good” ratings, though no score was given for the passenger-side small-overlap test. Headlights were deemed “Poor.”.
Prices do not include $995 destination charge.
Base Extended Cab ($20,500) has rear-wheel drive and a 4-cylinder engine, with a long bed and 128.3-inch wheelbase. Included are power windows/locks, a power driver's seat, air conditioning, and 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Extended Cab Work Truck ($24,000 with rear-drive, $28,600 with four-wheel drive) has rear-drive, 4-cylinder engine, and 128.3-inch wheelbase. Carpeting substitutes for base model's vinyl flooring. Painted bumpers and alloy wheels are standard.
LT Extended Cab ($27,500 with rear-drive, $31,200 with four-wheel drive) has the 4-cylinder engine and 128.3-inch wheelbase, along with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, cruise control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Z71 Extended Cab ($30,600 with rear-drive, $34,200 with four-wheel drive) gets the 4-cylinder engine and 128.3-inch wheelbase, adding a toughened suspension, limited-slip differential, and off-road styling touches.
Z71 Extended Cab V-6 ($40,900; four-wheel-drive only) replaces the 4-cylinder engine with V-6 power.
ZR2 Extended Cab V-6 ($40,900; four-wheel-drive only), the serious off-roader, includes a raised suspension, widened track, off-road tires, and built-in light bar.
Crew Cab Work Truck ($26,600) has a 128.3-inch wheelbase and rear-wheel drive, with the 4-cylinder gas engine.
Crew Cab Long-wheelbase V-6 Work Truck ($28,300 with rear-drive, $31,900 with four-wheel drive) is built on a 140.5-inch wheelbase.
Crew Cab V-6 Work Truck ($31,600) has a 128.3-inch wheelbase and four-wheel drive
LT Crew Cab ($29,500) has the gas 4-cylinder engine and 128.3-inch wheelbase, with rear-drive.
LT V-6 Crew Cab ($34,200) offers V-6 engine with four-wheel drive.
LT V-6 Long-wheelbase Crew Cab ($31,100 with rear-drive, $34,500 with four-wheel drive) is built on the 140.5-inch wheelbase.
Z71 Crew Cab ($32,500) has rear-drive and a 4-cylinder engine and the 128.3-inch wheelbase.
Z71 V-6 Crew Cab ($36,900) has four-wheel drive and the 128.3-inch wheelbase.
Z71 V-6 Long-wheelbase Crew Cab ($33,900 with rear-drive, $37,200 with four-wheel drive) has the V-6 engine and 140.5-inch wheelbase.
ZR2 V-6 Crew Cab ($42,500; only four-wheel drive) has the 128.3-inch wheelbase..