2017 Chevrolet Colorado

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$20,000–$41,625 MSRP range

Key Specs

of the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado base trim shown

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Off-road performance of ZR2
  • Strong, balanced power
  • Crew cab has adult-friendly backseat
  • Appealing base price
  • Front-seat headroom
  • Connectivity and multimedia options

The Bad

  • Sluggish acceleration of gasoline four-cylinder
  • Some cheap cabin materials
  • Tiny backseat in extended cab
  • Crash-test ratings for extended cab
  • No automatic emergency braking available
  • Mediocre fuel economy (gas engines)
2017 Chevrolet Colorado exterior side view

Notable Features of the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado

  • Three engines, including a four-cylinder diesel
  • Extended or crew cabs
  • 5-foot-2 or 6-foot-2 beds
  • New ZR2 off-road variant
  • Available in-car Wi-Fi, four USB ports
  • Towing capacity up to 7,700 pounds

2017 Chevrolet Colorado Road Test

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/64x64/14/-74959434-1425053042814.jpg
Kelsey Mays
The Verdict:

The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is an off-road beast with mid-size dimensions — a rarity among pickup trucks that’s ripe for a loyal following.

Versus The Competition:

The ZR2 is better off-road than its chief competitor, Toyota’s Tacoma TRD Pro. Shoppers will have to decide whether that’s enough to overcome a few pesky limitations.

We drove an extended-cab ZR2 at Cars.com's Chicago offices, and our sister site PickupTrucks.com tested the ZR2 in the Southern California desert against its archrival, the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. Our review focuses on the ZR2, but if you're looking for a broader take on all Colorado variants, read our soup-to-nuts review of the current Colorado here. The ZR2 is new for 2017; stack it up against other variants here, or compare the 2017 and 2016 Colorado here.

Exterior & Styling

With a 2-inch suspension lift, 3.5 inches' wider track and clipped bumpers below the headlights, the ZR2 bares its tires — 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac off-roaders — when viewed from the front. Gone is the lower air dam that shaves ground clearance in other Colorado variants, even with the milder Z71 off-road package. An aluminum skid plate protects the ZR2's radiator and oil pan; another shield protects the transfer case. Steel tubes guard the lower sides, while the rear bumpers ditch the regular Colorado's outboard steps. You can even relocate the full-size spare tire from underneath the truck to an optional bed-mounted carrier to improve departure angles. All told, it's an impressive visual display — the sort that looks like an aftermarket kit, or something in the vein of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' erstwhile Ram Runner conversion, more than a factory package.

Of note, the Colorado ZR2's dimensions give it a smaller footprint than serio...

We drove an extended-cab ZR2 at Cars.com's Chicago offices, and our sister site PickupTrucks.com tested the ZR2 in the Southern California desert against its archrival, the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. Our review focuses on the ZR2, but if you're looking for a broader take on all Colorado variants, read our soup-to-nuts review of the current Colorado here. The ZR2 is new for 2017; stack it up against other variants here, or compare the 2017 and 2016 Colorado here.

Exterior & Styling

With a 2-inch suspension lift, 3.5 inches' wider track and clipped bumpers below the headlights, the ZR2 bares its tires — 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac off-roaders — when viewed from the front. Gone is the lower air dam that shaves ground clearance in other Colorado variants, even with the milder Z71 off-road package. An aluminum skid plate protects the ZR2's radiator and oil pan; another shield protects the transfer case. Steel tubes guard the lower sides, while the rear bumpers ditch the regular Colorado's outboard steps. You can even relocate the full-size spare tire from underneath the truck to an optional bed-mounted carrier to improve departure angles. All told, it's an impressive visual display — the sort that looks like an aftermarket kit, or something in the vein of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' erstwhile Ram Runner conversion, more than a factory package.

Of note, the Colorado ZR2's dimensions give it a smaller footprint than serious off-road trucks, which are mostly full-sizers (think Ford F-150 Raptor or Ram 1500 Rebel). Though it's a few inches wider than lesser Colorado variants, the ZR2 is some 5 to 10 inches narrower than the full-size off-roaders. It's a bit wider than the Tacoma TRD Pro, however.

Off-Road

The form has function. Developed at parent company GM's Arizona proving grounds, the ZR2's suspension employs softer tuning, taller coil springs in front and longer leaf springs in back. The big news is the sophisticated shock absorbers, which have three spool valves apiece to control compression and rebound for on- and off-road situations. It's the same supercar technology that once did time in the track-focused Camaro Z/28, and it works well. Our editors observed impressive wheel travel off-road, with outstanding cabin isolation in everything from rock crawls to sand- and dirt-road runs. Electronic locking differentials on both axles help, too, forcing equal rotation for tractionless wheels — a key provision when one or more of them leaves the ground. You can even lock the rear axle in two-wheel drive.

GM pegs ground clearance in the ZR2 at 8.9 inches, up 0.5 to 0.8 inch versus other variants, including the Z71. A dual-range, locking transfer case includes a four-wheel-drive Auto mode alongside the traditional rear-drive and four-wheel-drive high and low speeds. You also get hill descent control and Off-Road mode; the latter calibrates various systems to allow more wheel slip, which suits many off-road situations. Still, the whole of it is less electronic than the rival Tacoma TRD Pro, whose crawl control system modulates throttle and brakes to one of five low-speed settings while you only work the wheel.

That's more important with the Tacoma's Atkinson-cycle V-6, which we found hard to modulate for appropriate power at low- and midrange rpm. By contrast, the ZR2 offers an optional 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel with 181 horsepower and 369 pounds-feet of low-end torque — the latter perfect for off-road situations. The standard 3.6-liter gasoline V-6 (308 hp, 275 pounds-feet of torque) is no torque slouch, either. Both engines are competent in the low-rpm, high-load situations typical of off-roading.

On-Road

Back on the pavement, the V-6 boasts excellent accelerator response. The ZR2 moves in lockstep to your right foot, and its powertrain has enough low-end oomph to add speed even below 2,000 rpm. That's often where the engine dwells, as its sole transmission — an eight-speed automatic — delays kickdown until you're well into the gas pedal. Torque saves the day.

Typical of diesels, the Colorado's 2.8-liter example packs all its heat at low rpm. Accelerator response is tepid, however, and the engine runs out of breath once you get past midrange rpm. GM pairs the diesel with a six-speed automatic — a shame, as the eight-speed's extra ratios might have kept revs lower to linger in the engine's sweet spot more often.

The suspension absorbs expansion joints and broken tarmac with aplomb, though those shocks stop short of carlike isolation. We still noticed plenty of rear-axle shimmy at lower speeds, but the ZR2 settles down at higher speeds with good highway composure. The slow-ratio steering makes corners a deliberate, high-effort process, with immediate understeer if you try to take them fast. But body roll is unexpectedly limited; the ZR2 corners impressively flat.

Maximum towing capacity for the ZR2 is 5,000 pounds, short of both the regular Colorado's 7,700-pound max and the Tacoma TRD Pro's 6,400 pounds with a trailer package. The ZR2's 1,100-pound payload is also short of other Colorados' 1,574-pound max, but it's in line with the TRD Pro.

Other Details

Like other Colorado trims, the ZR2's interior has low-gloss finishes but plenty of hard, cheap plastics in areas like the upper doors, where your arms and elbows land. The 8-inch dashboard touchscreen — an upgrade over lesser 7- or 4.2-inch units — includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; a backup camera is standard. Our test car's optional navigation system had swipe and pinch map functionality, though neither action seemed particularly fast.

The ZR2 comes as an extended cab with a 6-foot-2 box or a crew cab with a 5-foot-2 box. Get the latter if you ever want to carry rear passengers: Bereft of 7.2 inches' rear legroom versus the crew, the extended cab's backseat is a squeeze for children, let alone adults. The body style also has concerning results in two of the five crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The crew cab fared better, but both variants received poor marks on headlight performance. What's more, automatic emergency braking, a safety feature that's rare among mid-size pickup trucks but important, is unavailable in any Colorado.

In the Market

Chevrolet touts segment-leading off-road technology in the ZR2, whose price starts north of $40,000. It slots above the less hardcore Z71 to cap off the Colorado lineup, which starts in the low $20,000s for a rear-drive four-cylinder model. The ZR2 is unquestionably an off-road beast; it ultimately edged out the Tacoma TRD Pro in our off-road comparison. That should make the case for rock-crawling enthusiasts to consider this plucky Chevrolet, practicality and safety aside.


2017 Colorado Video

Pickuptrucks.com's Mark Williams takes a first look at the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.

Latest 2017 Colorado Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.6)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

Latest Reviews

(5.0)

Pleasure to drive

by Racer920 from Shalimar Florida on April 18, 2018

Worth every dollar i spent .the colorado was one of several trucks i drove and the size ,handling and price were the reasons i choose the colorado. Read full review

(3.0)

I loved my new Colorado at first..

by American926 from South Dakota on April 18, 2018

I loved my 2017 Colorado at first.. I have 8300 miles on it.The paint does not hold up well. Seems like it scratches just looking at it. It seems squirmy in high winds. The hood constantly bounces up ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado currently has 0 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Chevrolet

Program Benefits

Two Factory-Backed Warranties, CPO Scheduled Maintenance Program, Vehicle Inspection & Reconditioning, 3-Day/150-Mile Vehicle Exchange Program, 24/7 Roadside Assistance and Courtesy Transportation, OnStar & SiriusXM Satellite Radio Trial Offers, and a Carfax Vehicle History Report

  • Limited Warranty

    Two Factory-Backed Warranties

    6-Year/100,000-Mile, Powertrain Limited Warranty and a 12- Month/12,000-Miles, Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty, both with $0 deductible
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 75,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 172-Point Inspection & Reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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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