The Colorado is completely redesigned for 2015, and even grows from a compact truck into a midsize. Not everyone needs a full-size pickup truck, but for years there just haven’t been many small trucks that match the capability of the big rigs. General Motors hopes to reverse that trend with the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado. It’s a midsize pickup that stands tall next to the full-size competition, and even offers a modicum of car-like refinement.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado launches with two powertrains that provide capability that belies this Chevy’s relatively small size. Base models come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with standard rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive.
With rear-wheel drive, the four-cylinder Colorado gets an EPA-rated 22 mpg combined (20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway),* or 21 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway) with four-wheel drive.* There is a basic Work Truck version available as well, although it’s primarily aimed at fleet buyer. This stripped-down model gets a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. It gets the same combined and city fuel-economy ratings as the rear-wheel drive automatic, but loses 1 mpg in the highway category.
There’s also a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 305 hp and 269 lb-ft. Offered with the same six-speed automatic as the four-cylinder, V6 fuel economy is estimated at 21 mpg combined (18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway),* with rear-wheel drive, or 20 mpg combined (17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway) with four-wheel drive.* Equipped with the optional towing package, V6 models can also tow a maximum of 7,000 pounds.
Features and Trims
Priced from $20,120,** the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is available in either extended cab or four-door crew-cab body styles, with both long and short bed options.
Even at that attractive base price, the Colorado comes standard with a rearview camera, locking tailgate, 4.2-inch multi-information dashboard display, and front bucket seats. The base model is only available with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and manual transmission, but the V6 and automatic can be specified on the Work Truck (WT) model, but with a similar level of standard equipment.
The midlevel Colorado model is the LT, which adds a few more creature comforts to the applicable standard features of the base and WT models. That includes 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels, Bluetooth®, two USB ports, Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system, and OnStar 4G LTE with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.
The top Colorado model is the Z71, which adds some off-road capability to the standard features from all of the preceding models. The Z71 gets its unique suspension, a locking rear differential, Hill Descent Control, and front tow hooks, as well as projector-beam headlights, four-way power front seats, and automatic climate control.
The 2015 Chevy Colorado proves that small trucks can be a big thing, breathing some new life into a long-neglected segment. The exterior styling looks every bit as tough as the full-size Silverado’s, but the midsize Colorado is much easier to park.
Within that compact package, the Colorado mixes style and substance. A raked belt line gives it a more aggressive, sporty feel, while an optional 6’2” bed (a 5’2” bed is standard) can carry items up to eight feet long. There’s also a standard CornerStep rear-bumper step cribbed from the Silverado.
The interior also holds a few surprises. The door panels are sculpted like those in many cars to make ingress and egress easier, and there’s enough room in the center console to stow a tablet. A floor-mounted shifter and standard front bucket seats also help create a more car-like feel.
On the tech side, a 4.2-inch display is standard, while the optional MyLink infotainment system adds an eight-inch screen. With a separate-purchase data plan, GM’s OnStar 4G LTE can also support up to seven devices.
The 2015 Chevy Colorado’s list of standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, and front, side-impact, head-curtain, and seat-mounted side-impact airbags. An optional Safety package available on LT models includes forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning systems.