Chevrolet's second-generation Colorado pickup was introduced for 2015, so by truck standards, it's still nearly new. The introduction of the 2.8L Duramax diesel for 2017 was a huge step forward for the truck, so there aren't many changes for 2018. Expect a few new colours to make the list, and the 4.2-inch base radio is gone in favour of a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Chevrolet MyLink and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Models with tow/haul mode will get trailer assist with guidelines.
The Colorado is available with three engines. There are four and six-cylinder gas engines, as well as a four-cylinder diesel. The diesel is a class exclusive, shared with its sibling the GMC Canyon, and makes for a surprisingly capable tow vehicle. The 3,493 kg towing capacity matches some full-size trucks. With a rating of 10.8 L/100 km city, 7.9 highway for rear-drive models, it beats out anything in the segment for fuel economy.
That wouldn't matter if it wasn't a good truck, but the Colorado delivers. It has a large, comfortable cab, that has easy to use controls and excellent infotainment choices. It feels much more modern and roomy compared to competitors like the ageing Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma. The crew cab has plenty of room for rear-seat passengers or cargo.
The Colorado is available in extended or crew cab models only. Extended cab trucks come in two or four-wheel drive, with a 6'2" box. Crew cabs have both drive choices and get either the 6'2" box or a shorter 5'1" bed.
The extended cab is available in base, WT, LT, and Z71 trims, and crew cab is available on WT, LT, and Z71.
The base engine is the 2.5L four that delivers 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. That engine is standard on base, WT, LT, and ZR1. Next up is the 3.6L V6 that delivers 308 hp and 275 lb-ft, and is optional on WT, LT, and Z72. Finally, the 2.8L Duramax diesel is available on LT and ZR1, and comes with a six-speed automatic. V6 and diesel models get a tow/haul function in the transmission that will downshift to maintain speed and hold gears longer on ascents. Diesel models are equipped with an exhaust brake and an integrated trailer brake controller.
The base trim has a standard six-speed manual as the only transmission choice. It has 16-inch steel wheels, a chrome rear bumper, driver information display, air conditioning, and power windows and locks. The seats and floor covering are vinyl, but the seats have power adjustment.
Colorado WT adds an optional six-speed automatic, but picking the crew-cab in 4x4 or long-bed rear-wheel drive adds the V6 and an eight-speed automatic. The V6 trucks also have a full-size spare tire. WT models have cloth seats and carpeting.
Colorado LT adds an electronic transfer case to 4x4 trucks. It also gets 17-inch alloys, active grille shutters, and power exterior mirrors. Inside, there is a multi-colour driver info display, overhead console, leather steering wheel on a tilt and telescoping column. Cruise control is added, along with an 8.0-inch infotainment system that has three USB ports. OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot is standard. An optional Safety package on LT adds forward emergency braking and lane departure warnings.
Colorado Z71 adds an off-road suspension package with locking rear differential. It has hill descent control and underbody shields for better off-road capability. The tailgate has a mechanism to make it easier to open and close. The rear window adds an electric defogger and now opens. There is also remote start, automatic climate control, and leatherette seats with heated front buckets.
Finally, the ZR2 model is designed for serious off-trail use. It has trick Multimatic shocks that cushion even the harshest impacts. The V6 is standard, but the Duramax and 369 lb-ft of torque is optional. The ZR2 is 90 mm wider and 50mm taller to help improve off-road capability. Underneath there are tubular rockers and skid plates to help protect the undercarriage. Finally, to let you know it's a ZR2, there is a huge hood scoop along with massive wheel flares.
The Colorado is rated to tow between 1,588 and 3,447 kg depending on equipment, with payloads ranging from 635 to 714 kg. Fuel economy is rated at 12.2 L/100 km city, 9.6 highway for the 2.5L four and the manual transmission, 10.8/7.9 for a rear-drive diesel, and 13.4/9.6 for a rear-drive V6. Four-wheel drive models rate slightly worse, with 12.7/9.6, 14.0/9.9, and 12.1/8.4 respectively.