2021 Chevrolet Colorado Review

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2021 Chevrolet Colorado Overview

For many truck shoppers, a full-size pickup is overkill. Be it their massive size or thirsty engines, larger pickups do have downsides. Midsize pickups resolve them by offering plenty of versatility but in a more nimble package that's optimized for cities and tight spaces. For 2021, Chevrolet has updated its most rugged midsize truck for even more capability.

While the full-size Silverado has a more aggressive (and some say “polarizing”) appearance, the Colorado has a far more conventional look. For 2021, the Colorado does receive some design tweaks to bring it more in line with its larger sibling. In back, the rear bumper features helpful corner bed steps, allowing the user to easily step up into the bed without a more complicated (and potentially breakable) retracting bed-step system.

The Chevrolet Colorado is available with an extended cab, with a small second row and clamshell half-doors, and then there’s the full 4-door crew cab. The bed options are a 6-foot-2-inch-long bed or a 5-foot-2-inch-long bed. The extended cab gets paired with only the longer bed, while the crew cab can be had with either the short bed or the long bed.

The Colorado has a function-first cabin with easy-to-reach buttons and dials, plenty of trays and cubbies, and a simple controls layout. All your gear and personal items can fit into the large door bins and deep center console.

The 2021 Colorado comes standard with the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system, complete with a standard 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Like the rest of the interior, the Infotainment 3 system features a straightforward layout. It has large, easy-to-read fonts and icons and can be worked with gloves on. You can also customize the screen simply by “dragging” an icon with your finger. This system comes standard with two USB ports.

Trims for the 2021 Colorado are Base, Work Truck or WT, LT, Z71, and ZR2. The Base is available only with the extended cab, long bed, and rear-wheel drive (RWD), and it's pretty spartan. It even lacks second-row seats. It does have the Infotainment 3 system, as well as six speakers and Bluetooth hands-free calling.

The Work Truck adds rear seats to the extended cab as well as some under-seat storage. It also makes options available, including the V6 engine. If you want anything more than that, look up to the LT trim. It brings more creature comforts, such as a larger 8-inch touchscreen, more USB ports, satellite radio, HD Radio, and even a WiFi hotspot. The LT also comes with the EZ Lift & Lower tailgate, which slows the drop speed of the tailgate, thus preserving it over the long haul.

The Z71 trim comes standard with the largest engine, all-terrain tires, beefed-up shocks, and a locking rear differential. It also comes with remote start, wireless phone charging, automatic climate control, and a heated steering wheel.

The Colorado is also available in the rugged ZR2 trim, offering even more aggressive wheels and suspension as well as underbody skid plates and unique aggressive bodywork. All that talk about “conventional” design goes out the window with the ZR2, as it more closely emulates the brash grille styling of the Silverado. This look gets accentuated with black wheels and red tow hooks.

Chevrolet offers three engines for the 2021 Colorado. The base engine is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder making 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. The popular engine choice is the available gas V6, making 300 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can also select a Duramax 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine. It makes 181 horsepower and an impressive 369 pound-feet of torque.

Power gets sent to the rear wheels or available four-wheel drive (4WD). The V6 routes that power through an 8-speed automatic transmission, while the gas and diesel 4-cylinder engines route power through a 6-speed automatic transmission. When properly equipped, the diesel-equipped Colorado can tow up to 7,700 pounds, which is among the best capacities in the midsize truck class.

The Colorado comes with standard safety features such as a backup camera, traction control, tire pressure monitoring system, and a full array of front and side-impact airbags. Other standard safety features include the clever Tire Fill Alert and the Teen Driver system. The Colorado is available with forward-collision avoidance, lane-departure warning, and rear parking sensors. These features all make the Colorado as safe and sensible as it is rugged and capable.

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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