- Repair & Care
When four of the five midsize truck manufacturers introduced new small pickups for 2004-05, GM introduced the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon. And in doing so, GM gave up two decades of equity in the popular S-10 brand to rename its compact truck.
Chevy also stepped away from the norm to offer a dual-overhead-camshaft and inline-five-cylinder engine rather than a traditional V-6. Then came new trucks from Dodge, Toyota and Nissan: all with more horsepower and towing capacity.
In 2009, Chevy finally offered a 300-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8 in the Colorado, just as a slowing economy started directing shoppers to smaller, lower-priced engines. The Colorado has always been a favorite among cross-shopping consumers because of its extensive lineup and numerous options. Chevy likes to promote the Colorado's three suspension setups to help differentiate its models. The Z85 is for normal operation; the Z71 is tuned for off-road use; and the ZQ8 is designed for sports car-style handling.
For businesses and contractors looking for a customized, small work truck, the Colorado can be ordered in a chassis cab configuration that can be upfitted with panel van-style or "midbox" storage solutions.
New for 2011
There are only marginal changes for the 2011 Colorado, including the availability of the latest generation of OnStar — GM's in-truck information and telecommunications service — Bluetooth phone integration and redesigned front-seat headrests.
When the Colorado debuted for 2004, it carried over the front-end styling from that generation's Chevy Silverado, including the familiar power bar grille and angular "bat wing" headlamps. It looked great on the Colorado then, but now the Silverado has been restyled, and the Colorado is looking a little long in the tooth. The Colorado has a little more muscle in its silhouette than some other compact trucks, which is great in four-wheel-drive and/or Z71 trims. Lowered with the ZQ8 suspension, though, the Colorado may have a little more meat than some would like. Changes in recent years added body-colored moldings, bezels and surrounds to add a more sporty appearance to some trim levels.
Exterior features include:
Though drenched in plastic, the Colorado's interior features an effective gauge layout and easy-to-reach audio and climate controls. There are some nice chrome accents to spice up the atmosphere, but this is mostly a utility-friendly cab with adequate storage and reasonably spacious surroundings for a compact pickup. The seats are wide and comfortable, and the crew cab offers decent headroom and legroom for people of most heights. The second row of the extended cab is for children only.
Interior features include:
Under the Hood
Mechanical features include:
GM has improved the Colorado's safety credentials with standard side curtain airbags. Stability and traction control are also standard. GM's electronic stability system uses electronic brake controls to help the driver maintain control of the vehicle in certain situations.
Safety features include:
Of Interest to Truck Owners