The wait is over as Chevrolet unveiled the all-new 2015 Colorado at the LA Auto Show. GM says it will redefine the midsize truck, and we couldn’t agree more. The new Colorado offers nearly as many capabilities as a full-size truck, but in a smaller package thanks to its new powertrain options. And the upgrade to the interior, electronics, and safety features removes much of the stigma of these pint-sized trucks.
“Our strategy is simple: meet the needs of the broadest possible customer base, and let them choose precisely the right truck to meet their needs,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president and president of GM North America. “The all-new Colorado benefits from the solid foundation established by the Silverado, and it reinvents the midsize truck while reinvigorating the segment at the same time.”
Speaking of needs, let’s talk about our needs. We have racecars to trailer, and thanks to a class leading 6,700-pound payload and trailering capacity, the 2015 Colorado can do just that. While long-haulers with big enclosed trailers would be better off with a Silverado 2500HD, the ’15 Colorado will certainly pull your open trailer down to the local track thanks to an available 302-horse, 3.6L V-6. Yes, that’s right V-6. The 5-cylinder is no more. The standard engine is a 193-horse Ecotec 2.5L 4-cylinder, and for the 2016 model year there will be a (wait for it…) diesel option–a proven Duramax turbocharged 2.8L 4-cylinder (currently offered in global markets). Both the V-6 and 4-banger, however, are state of the art direct injection engines with piston cooling jets, variable valve timing, forged steel crankshafts, dual overhead camshafts, and aluminum blocks to keep weight down. Both engines are paired with a 6-speed automatic with auto grade braking and a tow/haul mode.
The Colorado has a fully boxed perimeter frame, just like the Silverado, which is also responsible for its increased payload. And combines the practicality of a truck with the driving experience of a car by utilizing a coilover-type front suspension with aluminum knuckles. This reduces weight, increases strength, and makes for more responsive steering from the electric power steering system. Another reminder that this isn’t a full-size truck – the Colorado has a ridiculously short turning radius (41-feet). Four-wheel disc brakes are standard, with four-piston calipers up front and Duralife brake rotors (just like the Silverado) to reduce service life. And a G80 locking differential is yet another feature typically found in larger trucks, which is great for getting out of a tight spot.
The interior was clearly an area of particular attention starting with the sculpted door panels. The center console and other storage bins were reimagined for the modern man (or woman), and are capable of housing various electronic devices including tablets. Dual-firmness foam was used on the seat to make them comfortable on long trips, and resist wear. However, the real focus on the interior is the 3.4-inch driver information screen in the instrument cluster. LT and Z71 models also have an 8-inch color touchscreen, which has multiple USB inputs, navigation, and next-generation OnStar and MyLink with gesture and voice recognition. And the Colorado is also safer than ever with six air bags, rear-vision camera, large mirrors, available forward collision alert and lane departure warning, and standard StabiliTrak with rollover mitigation, trailer sway control, hill-start assist, and even hill descent control on the Z71 version.
The Colorado WT, LT, and Z71 models are available in 2WD and 4WD, and in both extended and crew cab (5’2” or 6’2” box). Curb weight ranges from 3,959 to 4,266-pounds (in 2WD versions), and the overall length is between 208.2 and 224.5-inches (Extended Cab with 6’2” box to Crew Cab with 6’2” box). The truck will be manufactured in the Wentzville, Missouri plant.