2018 Chevrolet Colorado Review

Colorado

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2018 Chevrolet Colorado Overview

Midsize trucks fill a much needed gap between mundane family cars and larger gas-guzzling pickups. Chief among them is the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado. This pickup is capable of carrying people and loads over various terrains and is available with the latest in-car technology and creature comforts of its full-size stable mates.

The Colorado shares underpinnings with the GMC Canyon, but unlike the Canyon’s styling, which looks like a downsized Sierra, the Colorado has a look all its own. It features a rakish split-bar grille and angled headlights, giving it an athletic appearance.

Buyers can choose from one of three bed-cab configurations. The most affordable configuration is the extended cab with the long bed. The extended cab features small clamshell doors, providing access to an adequately-sized rear seat. If your needs require four full doors, the Crew Cab model provides more rear seat space and is available with either bed size.

No matter which trim you select, the Colorado comes standard with the helpful CornerStep rear bumper, which features steps cut into both sides. It is a clever, low-tech solution to make climbing into the bed easier.

There are five trims for the Colorado: Base, WT (Work Truck), LT, Z71, and the ZR2. The Base truck comes with steel wheels, cab-mounted bed lighting, and a locking tailgate. The WT trim comes with all of the same exterior equipment as the Base model, but is available with a spray-on bed-liner, power adjustable side mirrors, LED bed lighting, and aluminum wheels.

Drivers that select the LT get 17-inch aluminum wheels and power adjustable body-color mirrors. Moving up to the Z71 adds functional gear like off-road suspension, a locking differential, added protection for the transfer case, and the EZ lift-and lower tailgate.

The ZR2 is a true off-road monster equipped with all-terrain tires, increased ground clearance, a bulging hood, and unique styling that improves approach and departure angles for off-roading.

The Colorado benefits from a very sensible controls layout. Radio and climate toggles feature large dials, with buttons for other subsystems. The large center console provides plenty of room for water bottles and work gear.

At the heart of the dash is the 7-inch or available 8-inch MyLink infotainment system. MyLink is an intuitive touchscreen system with sensible menu navigation and crisp, easy-to-read fonts and graphics. It is available with navigation and comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, ensuring enhanced smartphone connectivity.

There are three engines available on the Colorado, including a four-cylinder gas engine, a V6 gas engine and a 4-cylinder diesel engine. The base engine is a 2.5-liter gas inline-4. It makes 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. If you need more power than the competition, the available 3.6-liter V6 makes 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. That horsepower figure is a class-best for midsize trucks.

The best engine for torque is the available Duramax 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine. It makes 181 hp and an impressive 369 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, this engine can tow a best-in-class 7,700 pounds.

These engines deliver power through either a 6-speed or available 8-speed automatic transmission. The base rear-wheel drive work truck comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission paired with the four-cylinder gas engine. Chevy makes setting up for towing easier with the newly available Active Tow system, which helps drivers align the Colorado up to a trailer.

The ZR2 is an incredible off-road machine, with front and rear locking differentials, a wider wheel track, and unique off-road suspension with the Multimatic DSSV Damping system. These advanced shocks provide incredible absorption in hard off-road driving, but don’t have the awkward rolling sensation of some purpose-built dirt trucks.

The most fuel-efficient configuration of the Colorado is the Duramax turbodiesel with rear-wheel drive, returning 22 mpg city, 30 highway, and 25 combined. The most efficient gas setup is the inline-4 with the 6-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive, returning 20, 26, and 22. The 3.6-liter V6 with the 8-speed automatic and four-wheel drive has fuel economy numbers of 16, 18, and 17, making it the least efficient configuration of the Colorado.

Standard safety features include six airbags, traction control, daytime running lights, reversing camera, StabiliTrak electronic stability control, and the Teen Driver system, which allows you to set speed and volume limits for the younger drivers in your family.

Base MSRP for the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado with 2WD is $21,195 for a base, rear-wheel drive work truck. An LT starts at $28,070 and a Z71 starts at $30,665. The range topping ZR2 has a starting price of $41,355.

The Colorado offers many convenient creature comforts, an efficient diesel engine, and incredible off-road capabilities from the ZR2. In its many forms, the Colorado is an impressive midsize pickup.

Updated

From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

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