The midsize pickup segment has become a lot more interesting since the arrival of the second-gen Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon last year. Buyers coast to coast snapped up the modern truck which offers near half-ton ability in a smaller, more nimble package.
Having just been introduced, there are only a handful of changes to note for 2016. Models equipped with the MyLink infotainment system receive upgrades that allow for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. There’s also a new colour multi-function display on LT and Z71 trims that sits between the speedometer and tachometer in the instrument cluster.
The big news for 2016 is the availability of a new turbodiesel engine on LT and Z71 trims. The 2.8-litre four-cylinder Duramax engine produces 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, and comes paired to a six-speed automatic as standard. It also gets a standard integrated trailer brake controller, a handy bonus given that it can tow up to 7,700 lbs – more than some versions of the Silverado 1500, and 700 lbs more than top configuration of the Colorado V6. This engine helped the Colorado secure a second, back-to-back Motor Trend Truck of the Year award.
It joins the Colorado’s two other powertrains, a 2.5-litre four-cylinder, and a 3.6-litre V6. The former produces 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, and can be had with 2WD in six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions, or with 4WD and automatic. Both gas and diesel four-cylinder variants have a fuel-economy rating of 7.7 L/100 km highway, making them the most fuel-efficient trucks on the market. The V6, shared in common with the Chevy Impala, produces 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque; it too is available in 2WD or 4WD configurations, but is automatic only. Payload ranges from 640-717 kg (1410-1580 lbs), while towing ranges from 1588-3493 kg (3500-7700 lbs).
Unlike the half-ton Silverado, the Colorado’s trim packages are comparatively limited. The base trim level has a limited level of equipment, though a reverse camera and touchscreen audio display with USB ports is standard. More interesting is the LT trim that has available forward collision warning and lane-departure warning, or the Z71 which adds beefed up suspension, skid-plates, auto-locking differential, and Kevlar-reinforced all-terrain tires. Options such as a factory-installed spray-in bedliner and the GearOn accessories system with mounting points for bikes, kayaks, skis, and even a bed tent allow buyers to get the most out of the Colorado’s 5’2” or 6’2” bed.
The base Colorado Extended Cab with 2WD starts at $21,320, and tops out at $39,625 for the 4WD Z71 Crew Cab.