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2015 Chevrolet Colorado

$17,470 — $33,954 USED
Truck
2-5 Seats
20-22 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 4 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Attractive styling
  • Interior materials and quality
  • Connectivity and multimedia options
  • Rear seats of crew cab flip up and fold down
  • Appealing price

The Bad

  • Diesel doesn't arrive until 2016
  • Limited driver's seat adjustment
  • Sluggish acceleration (four-cylinder model)
Cars.com trophy.
2015 Cars.com Awards: Best Pickup of the Year
2015 Chevrolet Colorado exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado
  • Redesigned after three-year hiatus
  • Four-door crew- and extended-cab models
  • Two all-new engines
  • Redesigned interior and exterior
  • Crash avoidance and lane departure available

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

2015 Midsize PickupTruck Challenge - V-6 Acceleration, Empty

by Aaron Bragman -

The new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado may be smaller than a full-size pickup, but it's no small truck; it provides much of the style, features and capabilities of its bigger brothers for much less money.

The Chevrolet Colorado is back after a three-year hiatus, and midsize pickup truck shoppers couldn't be more thrilled. With the demise of the Ford Ranger and Dodge/Ram Dakota, the new Colorado along with its GMC stablemate, the Canyon, are the only American-brand midsize trucks on the market — and given the dispositions of Ford and Dodge (now Ram for pickups and commercial trucks), this looks set to be the case for the foreseeable future.

The new Colorado is bigger than the one it replaces, but it's considerably smaller than a full-size Chevrolet Silverado pickup. It's available in two lengths, two cab configurations and with two powertrains for the moment (compare the 2012 model and the 2015 model here), with a highly anticipated third engine option coming in 2016. While this is a smaller truck than the Silverado, make no mistake — this is still a fully functioning, tough-as-nails work vehicle. But have GM's upgrades civilized it to the same extent as its larger brother? We spent a week with both a bare-bones, four-cylinder extended-cab Work Truck model and a loaded V-6-powered Z71 off-road version to see just what Chevy has crafted.

Exterior & Styling
I can't deny it; the 
Chevrolet Colorado is a very attractive truck. Chunky and bu...

by Aaron Bragman -

The new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado may be smaller than a full-size pickup, but it's no small truck; it provides much of the style, features and capabilities of its bigger brothers for much less money.

The Chevrolet Colorado is back after a three-year hiatus, and midsize pickup truck shoppers couldn't be more thrilled. With the demise of the Ford Ranger and Dodge/Ram Dakota, the new Colorado along with its GMC stablemate, the Canyon, are the only American-brand midsize trucks on the market — and given the dispositions of Ford and Dodge (now Ram for pickups and commercial trucks), this looks set to be the case for the foreseeable future.

The new Colorado is bigger than the one it replaces, but it's considerably smaller than a full-size Chevrolet Silverado pickup. It's available in two lengths, two cab configurations and with two powertrains for the moment (compare the 2012 model and the 2015 model here), with a highly anticipated third engine option coming in 2016. While this is a smaller truck than the Silverado, make no mistake — this is still a fully functioning, tough-as-nails work vehicle. But have GM's upgrades civilized it to the same extent as its larger brother? We spent a week with both a bare-bones, four-cylinder extended-cab Work Truck model and a loaded V-6-powered Z71 off-road version to see just what Chevy has crafted.

Exterior & Styling
I can't deny it; the 
Chevrolet Colorado is a very attractive truck. Chunky and butch, but still featuring some of the sleekness of Chevrolet's corporate grille and headlight treatment, the Colorado is a distinctive, fresh face in the midsize truck segment. It's sleeker than the mechanically identical GMC Canyon, which features a blockier, Tonka-type look. Unlike the Canyon, the Colorado has more styling connection with the Chevrolet car lineup than the truck lineup — whereas the Canyon looks very much like a baby Sierra, the Colorado does not look like a junior Silverado. There's something appealing about the simplicity of the base model's lack of adornments, with its steel wheels and minimal use of chrome, but also something exciting about the higher-riding, chunky, off-road readiness of the Z71 models. In either guise, Chevy stylists did a bang-up job here.

How It Drives
The standard powertrain setup in the Chevy Colorado combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission, driving only the rear wheels (four-wheel drive is optional on the four-cylinder model, but it requires the automatic transmission). It's not exactly a wimpy four, as it pumps out a healthy 200 horsepower — the problem is that it has at least 3,960 pounds of truck to move around. As you might imagine, it doesn't do so with much zest. The combination is adequate to get the 
Chevrolet Colorado moving, and can even handle a fully loaded 1,400-pound payload without too much degradation of acceleration, but the manual transmission is just not pleasant at all. For a little more money, the automatic is the way to go, as there's nearly no difference in payload or towing ability between the transmissions. Or for more than a little more money, upgrade to the 3.6-liter V-6 engine, which pumps out 305 hp through that six-speed automatic only. It can be had in rear- or four-wheel drive, and is a far more appealing powertrain thanks to much more sprightly acceleration and stronger towing abilities. In fact, the Colorado with the V-6 and a special tow package is rated to haul up to 7,000 pounds, more than enough to get a boat or a pair of motorcycles to where you want to take them.

The four-wheel-drive system is a manually activated one, meaning you must switch it on and off via a knob on the console. The driver has a choice of 2WD or 4WD High and 4WD Low for more extreme traction situations, which also means that the four-wheel-drive system should only be used on low-grip surfaces. The Colorado's GMC Canyon sibling offers automatic four-wheel drive, allowing you to leave it on regardless of driving surface and have it activate as needed, a segment exclusive. Both the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma offer selectable four-wheel-drive systems like the Colorado.

Around town, the Colorado WT in extended-cab, long-bed configuration is bouncy and harsh, and the highly boosted steering combines with tall sidewall tires to give it a numbness that feels very utilitarian. The V-6 Z71 model, however, with its crew cab and short box, is much more civilized and pleasant. The steering is still on the numbly boosted side, but ride quality is dramatically improved over the basic truck. It should be — the Z71 outweighs the base model by more than 500 pounds. Braking performance in either truck is acceptable, bringing both trucks to a halt with confidence, even when loaded to full payload capacity. At the top end of the range, the Colorado Z71 rides far more comfortably than a comparably equipped Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, which is that truck's top off-road model, but is largely on par with the Nissan Frontier PRO-4X, despite the latter's smaller size and shorter wheelbase.

Off-road, the Z71 holds its own in bad terrain, but it's clear that the off-road package is meant for lower-speed duty, and not storming through desert gullies and washes in the way one can with the Frontier PRO-4X or Tacoma TRD Pro. The Z71 adds a standard Eaton mechanical locking rear differential, off-road suspension, all-terrain tires and a transfer-case skid plate — all off-road readiness preparation — but the Colorado's low front air dam prevents any serious rock climbing from occurring. Even the Chevrolet accessories catalog doesn't have anything in it to better prep for off-road duty — one hopes that this will be addressed soon, perhaps in a new ZR2 package like the concept shown at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. For now, though, the Colorado is best used on pavement or in relatively tame off-road environments. This makes it quite a different animal from the Frontier PRO-4X, which has a more aggressive off-road suspension that handles rough terrain at high speeds in champion fashion, or from the Tacoma TRD Pro, which has an even more extensive off-road equipment list but isn't pleasant to drive on-road or off.

The Colorado's fuel economy is respectable, if not stellar. The base rear-wheel-drive four-cylinder, six-speed-manual combination is EPA-rated at 19/26/22 mpg city/highway/combined, which increases to 20/27/22 when you opt for the automatic transmission. Go the four-wheel-drive V-6 route and fuel economy ratings drop to 17/24/20 mpg, still respectable for a decent-sized truck. We subjected both trucks to a dedicated fuel economy test loop and got an interesting result: Without a payload, both the four-cylinder and V-6 versions garnered a 23.76 mpg average. This is rather astonishing given that the V-6 is considerably heavier, but it may have better aerodynamics, and the automatic is likely to keep it in the most favorable gear. The result gives more justification to the idea that if you can afford it, the V-6 is definitely the better option, as fuel economy is not a deciding factor.

Interior
GM truck interiors are a far cry from what they used to be, and the Chevy Colorado is no exception. Plastic quality is a grade better than other trucks in this segment, and assembly quality seems to be equally good. There are a few obvious corner-cutting measures, especially in the lesser trims — the polyurethane used to mold the steering wheel and shift knob is particularly unpleasant, with a sticky, tacky feel to it that gets more unpleasant as your drive wears on. One or two assembled interior components look like they need another round of design approvals, such as the passenger-side grab handle, which looks like it was screwed together from 10 different parts. But overall, the Colorado looks and feels good, with large seats covered either in durable-feeling fabric or a decent-quality leather-and-fabric combination.

As with most cars and trucks, you'll likely be more pleased with your purchase if you opt for more content in higher trims. The base model does come with standard features that competitors don't have, such as power doors and windows, and a power height-adjustable driver's seat bottom, but things like power adjustable mirrors and a rear window defogger are still optional. The trim I tested was one step up from that, the Work Truck, but the only difference in content is front bucket seats, rear jump seats, carpet and the ability to order the WT with a V-6 and four-wheel drive. The Nissan Frontier may start several thousand dollars less than the Colorado, but it doesn't have anywhere near the same level of standard equipment — manual windows and locks and even a lack of a radio and air conditioning on the base model. In the Colorado extended cab, two jump seats are standard, but are really only of marginal use. The crew cab has fold-down seats that also feature under-seat storage, enabling you to carry larger, bulkier items.

Ergonomics & Electronics
The Colorado's size and amenities make it feel in many ways like its full-size Silverado brother, and the truck's amenities help to perpetuate that feeling. The standard radio display is a color 4.2-inch LCD screen that provides a higher level of function than most base-model midsize pickups. The upgrade option is Chevy's MyLink system with an 8-inch touch-screen, just like the one found across the rest of the Chevy lineup. It features voice commands and integration with Apple's Siri concierge as well, but like my experience with every one of GM's multimedia systems, it features insufficient processing speed: Voice commands take a long time to process, and even changing tracks on a plugged-in iPod takes a couple seconds between button push and song change. GM promises that the next-generation MyLink will be faster. Still, it provides more functionality than competitors from Nissan or Toyota, with a much bigger, easier-to-read screen. Other optional equipment includes a Bose premium audio system, a sliding rear window, remote vehicle starter, OnStar and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Cargo & Towing
Two bed lengths are available for the 
Chevrolet Colorado. The extended cab comes only with the long bed, a 6-foot-2-inch-long box, whereas the crew cab can be had with a shorter, 5-foot-2-inch box or the longer one. In-cabin storage is decent as well, with the aforementioned under-seat storage available in the crew cab, but plenty of cubbies and storage areas throughout the cabin. The Frontier has a smaller box, either 4.75 feet long or 6 feet long, depending on options, while the Tacoma has bed sizes similar to the Colorado. But the Colorado has both of the Japanese pickups beat in depth of the cargo box — it features much taller bed sides than either the Frontier or Tacoma, both body-types of which are 18 inches, making for a larger cargo area overall.

The Chevy has its competitors beat for towing capacity; it's able to haul 7,000 pounds when equipped with the V-6 and a trailering package (the four-cylinder is tow rated at just 3,500 pounds). The Frontier's maximum towing ability is 6,100 pounds, while the Toyota's is a bit higher, at 6,500 pounds. Payloads are different as well, with the Colorado rated to carry 1,490 pounds of whatever you like in its bed, while the Frontier maxes out at just less than 1,100 pounds and the Tacoma manages only 1,305 pounds. The Colorado is simply a bigger, more robust truck, but we wonder if that advantage will last when redesigned next-generation Tacomas and Frontiers eventually appear in the next couple of years.

Safety
The 
Chevrolet Colorado has not been through the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's full range of testing but has earned a good rating (on a scale of good, acceptable, marginal and poor) in one test: the moderate-overlap frontal crash test. See the results here. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has only tested the extended cab versions, you can find those results here.

The Colorado has the standard complement of airbags, stability control, etc., but unlike most trucks it now offers things like lane departure warning and forward collision warning (this is slowly changing, however). A backup camera is standard on all models. See all of the Colorado's standard safety features here.

Value in Its Class
The 
Chevrolet Colorado isn't the cheapest midsize pickup truck on the market, starting at $20,995, including a destination fee, for a 4x2 extended cab with four-cylinder engine and manual transmission, but it's better equipped than cheaper trucks like the Frontier. The base model isn't typically the truck people buy for themselves — it's the one they drive at work that's been bought as part of a fleet purchase. The LT 4x2 crew-cab trim will likely be the high-volume model, starting at $27,985, but the one I drove was the Z71 4x4 crew cab, featuring the V-6 engine, two-speed transfer case, off-road suspension and a starting price of $34,990. The options list added the Bose audio system for $500, navigation for $495, a spray-on bedliner for $475 and a trailering package for $250 for a grand total of $36,710.

Competitors are a little behind the times, for now. The Toyota Tacoma still outsells the new Colorado by a wide margin, and it's due for an update in late 2015. The current model is not quite competitive on equipment, featuring a much less powerful V-6 engine, less interior space and a five-speed automatic transmission, but it features a more off-road-ready TRD Pro edition that shames the Colorado off-road. The least expensive Tacoma is the 4x2 Access Cab with a four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission for $21,850, including destination, and the top end can approach $40,000 for a loaded 4x4 TRD Pro. The Frontier is a little less expensive, starting at $18,875 for a 4x2 four-cylinder King Cab, but it comes extremely poorly equipped (not even a radio). The most expensive version is a long-bed crew-cab V-6 SL trim, not the off-road PRO-4X model, and it goes for just less than $37,000. See how the Chevrolet Colorado stacks up against competitors here.

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Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.3
62 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.2)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.3)
Reliability
(4.2)
Value For The Money
(4.1)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Just bought 11/2018

by Lions fan from Linden on November 3, 2018

So far this car has met all my needs and I'm having fun driving it but I have only owned it for a week. It seems to be pretty decent on gas Read full review

(5.0)

Great small truck

by Chuck from Hot Springs on November 2, 2018

This truck rides great, gets great mileage, and haul most anything I want. It is fairly comfortable driving and looks good. After 50,000 miles of driving, it still smoothly with only routine ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado currently has 6 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Base

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Chevrolet

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 100,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)

  • Powertrain

    6 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    172-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2015 Colorado Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Colorado received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker