Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2015 Chevy Colorado 4WD Z71 Crew Cab: A Midsized Truck That Has Found Its Sweet Spot

Highlights: Maintenance is included for the first two years of ownership. The pint size Chevy Silverado also includes a WiFi hotspot system.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $39,555 (base price:$25,205)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbag; ABS; daytime running lights; stability control; traction control; a rear view camera; a tire pressure monitoring system; and OnStar

Standard Equipment (base model): 16-inch wheels; locking tailgate; a manual operated a/c system; power door locks; power windows; front bucket seats; rear folding bench seats; a tilt/telescopic steering wheel; and carpeted floor mats

Upgraded Standard Features On Test Model: 17-inch wheels; 3.6-liter, 6-cylinder engine; Z71 Off-road suspension package; a 2-speed electric transfer case; a hill descent control system; a remote keyless entry system; an easy lift and lower tailgate; dual power exterior mirrors; power driver’s seat with power lumbar support; automatic control a/c; illuminated visor mirrors; heated front seats; a leather wrapped steering wheel; sport/cloth pseudo seats; an 8-inch infotainment screen included with Chevy’s MyLink audio system; and a built in WiFi system

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: a premium Bose audio system; a trailering equipment package; and a trail boss edition, which includes a sprayed in bed liner, off road assist steps, a pick-up box cargo divider, an off road tire kit, cargo down tie rings and wheels

Other Trim Level:

Crew Cab Work Truck

Crew Cab LT

Extended Cab


Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6 speaker-AM/FM radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: depending upon trim

USB connectivity:  Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 100,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder/200-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 20-city/27-hwy

What’s New: After being away from the segment for a short stint, Chevy reentered the midsize truck segment with the all-new 2015 Colorado.

Pros: The brawnier and tech filled Colorado is no longer classified as a compact truck. For the 2015 model year, the Colorado has returned in a much larger package with the ability to carry up to 5 occupants in the cabin, depending upon if one opts for the extended cab or the crew cab. The midsize truck is available in a 4x2 or a 4x4 configuration with either a short box or a long box, depending upon one’s cargo needs.

The Colorado is currently available in two powertrains: a 4-cylinder or a 6-cylinder engine. Unlike the previous Colorado, the vehicle isn’t powered by-- shall we say -- an underpowered 5-cylinder engine. In fact, the 200-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine and the 6-cylinder engine offers the most horsepower, when pitted against the other non GM products in this segment. The midsize truck is capable of towing up to 7,000 lbs.

Besides the towing and the cargo carrying capabilities one would expect from a pick up, the Colorado offers a host of non traditional truck features, too. Some of those features include segment exclusive driving aids like a forward collision braking system and a lane departure warning system. Added to that, the easy-to-navigate Colorado also offers wireless cell phone charging, text messaging alerts and an in-truck hotspot system, too! Yes, this is a true work truck in every sense, meaning one can make money while out of the office.

Overall the fit and the finish of Chevy’s new durable midsize truck seem to be on par with a number of today’s luxury vehicles. Inside the cabin one will find a premium class interior, handcrafted stitching and an array of features. It’s quite obvious the interior designers paid just as close attention to the inside as they exterior designers did to the outside, making this a world class truck.

And to close, the 2016 model year Colorado awaits the arrival of a new diesel model, which means enhanced fuel economy.

Cons: While the new Colorado was outfitted with a number of segment exclusives, it lacked such features as a power moonroof and leather seats.

Also, while we realize this is a truck, the seats seemed to be firmer than we would have expected.  Furthermore, be mindful about tacking on options to the vehicle. Within a matter of a click of a button, the price of the option rich Colorado can easily zoom close to $40,000, overlapping and competing with its fullsize truck siblings.

Lastly, besides aesthetics, we’re not sure why these midsize trucks are outfitted with the non functional side steps. They are both a nuisance and a safety hazard.  We can understand why the feature should be available on fullsize pickups, but a midsize truck, really?

Verdict: General Motors have hit its stride with the revival of its two trucks, the Chevy Colorado and the GMC Canyon. Both are durable players in a segment that was as deaths door just a few years ago. This segment has become so competitive again that its rumored that Ford will make a return to the segment with a Ranger. And possibly Dodge will be a players again, too with another Dakota.

Buyers in the market for a new pick up that is easier to manage than a fullsize and doesn’t need the all of the towing or cargo carrying capabilities of a fullsize truck will find the Chevy Colorado and its sibling, the Canyon, to be worthy of taking for a spin, before signing the dotted line.

Competition: Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma

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