- Repair & Care
Both the Colorado and GMC’s new and closely rated Canyon are larger than the trucks they replace. The two pickups are domestically built models, but the joint project took cues from the Isuzu D-Max Rodeo pickup that was engineered in Japan.
The Colorado will come with two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and in regular-cab, extended-cab and crew-cab configurations. Three suspension packages will be available: standard, sport and off-road. Both a Z71 Performance Package and a ZR2 Package for serious off-roading will be available, as they were for the S-10. Available engines include a new all-aluminum, Vortec 2.8-liter inline-four-cylinder that generates 175 horsepower and a 220-hp, 3.5-liter inline-five-cylinder that hails from GM’s Atlas family. The 3.5-liter engine is derived from GM’s 4.2-liter inline-six, which was introduced in the 2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer. Dual balance shafts within each engine help eliminate vibrations, while variable valve timing promises improved idle smoothness, reduced emissions and better gas mileage.Chevrolet claims to be the first in its class with optional roof-rail side-impact airbags. “This is a personal-use truck for singles, couples or families who want more out of their midsize pickups but share one thing in common: Any truck they drive had better be a real truck,” said Marketing Director Janet Eckhoff. Production of the Colorado began late in 2003.
Performance with the five-cylinder engine is sufficiently energetic, and it’s helped by exceptionally good automatic-transmission behavior. The Colorado is enjoyable to drive, and it maneuvers handily around town. You can expect quite a bit of bouncing on rougher surfaces, but the suspension is otherwise well controlled.Drawbacks include a somewhat stiff ride and a slightly noisy engine, but the Colorado provides an appealing compromise between full-size and compact trucks. Some interior details are a bit rough, but the Colorado is solid overall. The seats are barely bolstered and have modest back support, but headroom is abundant and elbow space is ample. Legroom is minimal in the back of the Crew Cab version, and headroom is tight. The backseat headrests significantly impair rearward visibility.