Chevrolet Colorado made an auspicious debut in 2015. The all-new, segment-busting midsize pickup was named the 2015 Motor Trend Truck of the Year and Cars.com’s Best Pickup Truck of 2015 – and was the fastest-selling truck in the industry, prompting a third shift to be added to the Wentzville, Mo., assembly facility.
For 2016, Colorado returns with the same award-winning combination of refinement, maneuverability and efficiency, while continuing to offer innovative features such as Chevy MyLink with a built-in available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert. They complement true truck elements such as the available G80 locking rear axle and a highly flexible bed with Chevy’s available GearOn™ system.
New phone integration technology on Colorado’s MyLink system displays content from Apple iPhone 5 or later models on the multicolor screen through the Apple CarPlay feature. Supported apps for the system include phone, messages, maps, music and compatible third-party apps.
Colorado also offers an all-new, 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel engine that takes its segment-leading capability to new heights, including a maximum trailering rating of 7,700 pounds (3,493 kg) for 2WD models.
The standard engine remains a 2.5L four-cylinder that’s rated at up to 27 mpg on the highway, while an available 3.6L V-6 tops competitors’ V-6 offerings with up to 1,590 pounds (721 kg) of payload and up to 7,000 pounds (3,175 kg) maximum trailering.
Colorado is available in four-door extended- or crew-cab models. Models and trim levels include Work Truck (WT), LT and Z71. The off-road-inspired Z71 features a gunmetal grille surround – a change from the standard chrome on the other models – projector headlamps and 17-inch aluminum wheels with all-terrain tires, automatic locking rear differential, and standard transfer case skid plate.
Duramax diesel details
The new 2.8L Duramax turboo-diesel expands the Colorado lineup to give customers more choices and the capability of exploring more possibilities on and off the road. It is offered in LT and Z71 Crew Cab models, with 2WD or 4WD.
The engine is part of GM’s global family of turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines and features a variable-geometry turbocharger for optimal power and efficiency across the rpm band and a balance shaft for smoothness. Power is SAE-certified at 181 horsepower (135 kW) at 3,400 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque (500 Nm) at 2,000 rpm.
A broad torque band makes the 2.8L Duramax very powerful at low rpm, while the turbocharged performance provides a confident feeling of immediate and smooth horsepower on demand. Additional engine features include:
- Iron cylinder block and aluminum DOHC cylinder head
- Forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods
- Oiling circuit that includes a dedicated feed for the turbocharger to provide increased pressure at the turbo and faster oil delivery
- Piston-cooling oil jets
- 16.5:1 compression ratio
- Common rail direct injection fuel system
- Ceramic glow plugs for shorter heat-up times and higher glow temperatures
- Balance shaft that contributes to smoothness and drives the oil pump
- Laminated steel oil pan with upper aluminum section that contributes to engine rigidity and quietness
- B20 bio-diesel capability.
The Duramax 2.8L is the cleanest diesel truck engine ever produced by General Motors, and meets some of the toughest U.S. emissions standards, thanks in part to a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system.
Additional features included with or exclusive to Colorado diesel models:
- Smart diesel exhaust brake system that enhances vehicle control and reduces brake wear on steep grades
- Standard Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission matched with a Centrifugal Pendulum Vibration Absorber (CPVA) in the torque converter, which reduces powertrain noise and vibration
- An all-new integrated trailer brake controller is standard and exclusive on diesel models
- A 3.42 rear axle ratio is standard.
The CPVA is an absorbing damper with a set of secondary spring masses, that — when energized — cancels out the engine’s torsional vibrations so the driver and passengers can’t feel them. In its unique design, the spring masses vibrate in the opposite direction of the torsional vibrations of the engine, balancing out undesirable torsional vibrations.
The Colorado’s integrated, driver-selectable exhaust brake system is based on the system introduced on the 2015 Silverado HD models and uses the compression power of the engine to improve vehicle control and reduce brake pad wear.
When the exhaust brake is engaged in cruise mode, exhaust cruise grade braking helps the cruise control system maintain vehicle speed when travelling downhill, keeping the driver from having to apply the brakes, thereby exiting cruise control.
In non-cruise mode, the transmission and the exhaust brake deliver the correct amount of braking to assist in vehicle control, regardless of vehicle load. It is a smart system that varies the amount of brakes needed for the vehicle, load and grade. The engagement of the system is smooth and quiet, while its performance enhances the driver’s feeling of control.
The Colorado’s North American design is unique, with a confident stance and a sporty demeanor. It features triple-sealed doors inlaid in the body sides, like the Silverado, for improved aerodynamic performance and a quieter interior.
To help keep overall mass down, lightweight materials such as a segment-first aluminum hood are used. It also offers the segment’s first active aero grille shutters, designed to enhance aerodynamics when closed.
Cab and bed configuration choices include an extended cab model with a 6’ 2” bed, a crew cab with a 5’ 2” bed and a crew cab with a 6’ 2” bed. With the tailgate down, the 6’ 2” bed allows hauling of 8-foot-long items.
Colorado’s innovative solutions for hauling and accessing cargo include:
- Standard CornerStep rear bumper design pioneered on the 2014 Silverado
- EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate that uses an internal torsion bar to make raising the tailgate easier with one hand, and a damper for more-controlled lowering; it is standard on Z71 and available on WT and LT models
- Standard locking tailgate
- Standard two-tier loading that allows a platform to effectively split the bed into upper and lower sections, making it easier to haul, store and conceal items such as tools
- Thirteen standard tie-down locations throughout the bed for use with available, movable cargo tie-down rings
- Standard bed rail and tailgate protectors
- Available factory-installed spray-in bed liner
- Sixteen-inch steel wheels are standard on WT and 16-inch aluminum wheels are available
- Seventeen-inch aluminum wheels are standard on LT and 18-inch aluminum wheels are available
- Seventeen-inch aluminum wheels are standard on Z71
- Exterior colors: Red Hot, Rainforest Green Metallic, Red Rock Metallic, Silver Ice Metallic, Summit White, Black, Cyber Gray Metallic and Brownstone Metallic.
A WT Appearance Package is available on WT models and includes 16-inch aluminum wheels, body-color outside mirrors, spotter mirror and body-color door handles. The EZ-Lift-and-Lower tailgate is included with the WT Convenience Package, which also includes remote keyless entry, theft-deterrent system and cruise control.
For LT models, an available convenience package includes a rear window defogger, rear sliding window, front fog lamps, remote vehicle starter and the EZ-Lift-and-Lower tailgate.
The GearOn™ accessory system complements Colorado’s cargo-carrying versatility. It is designed for easy configuration with a multitude of mounting accessories for everything from bikes, kayaks, skis and stand-up paddle boards to a bed-mounted tent. Many of the GearOn accessories allow the bikes, boards and other “tools” of adventure to be mounted on upper rails, leaving room in the bed below for complementing gear. (See section below for more details.)
An interior for work, recreation and everyday comfort
The Colorado’s interior is comfortable, thoughtfully equipped and well connected. A bold, upright instrument panel with large controls and a center console with a floor-mounted shifter similar to those found in midsize cars and crossovers.
Colorado cabin designers paid exceptional attention to detail and premium appointments, including a sculpted headliner that enhances headroom, halo lighting on key controls for easier view and an open area at the front of the center console for easier phone charging. The Z71 model features exclusive color and trim details, including embossed seatbacks and contrast stitching.
Additional interior details include:
- Sculpted door panels that make it easier to enter and exit the vehicle
- Upper-instrument panel storage bin – when not equipped with the uplevel audio system – and large glove box volume
- Standard center console with room to store a tablet
- A door-to-door rear under-seat storage offers additional concealed cargo management in the cabin.
Colorado’s seats are designed for long-haul comfort and wear, too. They use dual-firmness foam for greater comfort on long drives and high-wear, stain-resistant cloth seating trim. Leather-appointed seating is available.
Comfort is enhanced with technologies, connectivity and other features that support owners’ daily and recreational lives including a 3.5-inch-diagonal driver information screen in the instrument cluster.
Additional interior features include:
- New for 2016: Enhanced multicolor driver information center display in the gauge cluster on LT and Z71
- Standard 4.2-inch-diagonal color radio with a USB port on WT models
- Four standard USB ports on LT and Z71, including one on the dashboard, one inside the center console and two on the rear of the center console
- Eight-inch-diagonal color touch screen radio is standard on LT and Z71; navigation is available on LT and Z71
- Enhanced connectivity and convenience with MyLink includes text message support and Siri Eyes Free for compatible iPhones
- OnStar 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot is standard on LT and Z71 with a 3 month/3GB(whichever comes first) trial, and available on WT
- Bose® premium seven-speaker sound system is available on LT and Z71
- Cruise control is standard on LT and Z71, and available on WT
- Rear window defogger is standard on Z71 and available LT
- Standard rearview camera system
- Heated front seats are standard on Z71 and available on LT
- Standard power window with driver’s Express Up and Down
- Remote vehicle starter is standard on Z71 and available LT
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and tilting/telescoping steering column are standard on LT and Z71
- Sliding rear window is standard on Z71 and available on LT
- Interior colors: Jet Black, Jet Black/Dark Ash and Jet Black/Dark Galvanized on Z71.
A Luxury Package is available on LT models and includes leather appointed seating, four-way power front passenger seat adjuster, power driver lumbar control, power front passenger lumbar control, heated driver and front passenger seats, automatic climate control, projector-type headlamps, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, heated outside mirrors with chrome finish, chrome rear bumper and door handles.
MyLink with phone integration technology and OnStar 4G LTE
New for Colorado in 2016, Chevrolet’s new MyLink system with an 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen is compatible with Apple CarPlay, which puts iPhone features (iPhone 5 and later) on the display in a smart, simple manner, allowing drivers to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. That helps drivers spend more time with eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Apple CarPlay-supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third-party apps. A full list of those apps can be found at Apple.com/ios/carplay.
While development and testing is not yet complete, Android Auto compatibility may be available later in the 2016 model year.
Complementing MyLink to enhance Colorado’s connectivity is new OnStar with 4G LTE featuring a standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. It provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial, whichever comes first.
4G LTE is the most current and fastest mobile data network – 10 times faster than 3G and 100 times faster than the 2G network. And with OnStar, customers have a powerful antenna built right in to the vehicle’s electrical system.
Active from the time of purchase, six months of OnStar Guidance includes all of OnStar’s advisor-based safety and security features, including Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Assistance, as well as Turn-by-Turn navigation.
Five years of OnStar Basic Plan includes RemoteLink Key Fob Services, allowing owners to remotely start and lock/unlock a car (if properly equipped), and activate the horn and lights from anywhere with a data connection. It also includes OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics, which runs monthly checks of vehicle systems – including the engine, transmission and anti-lock brakes – and sends a diagnostic update to the owner via email; and Dealer Maintenance Notification, which sends a diagnostic report directly to a preferred dealer to simplify service scheduling. The Basic Plan does not include any emergency services.
Chevy truck DNA
The Colorado delivers the capability expected of a Chevy truck – engineered to offer better payload performance than any competitor and segment-leading trailering. Like the Silverado, the Colorado has a fully boxed perimeter frame, which provides the strength to support its capabilities, as well as a confident, smooth and quiet ride.
A coil-over-type front suspension features aluminum knuckles that are low in mass and high in strength, contributing to a more responsive feel and efficiency. Colorado also features the segment’s first application of electric power steering, which enhances efficiency by avoiding the energy used by what conventionally is an engine-driven feature.
The Colorado has a short turning radius of 41.3 feet (12.6 meters), enabling easier turning in tight areas such as city streets or backing a trailer into a camping spot.
Four-wheel disc brakes, with four-piston front calipers, are standard and feature Duralife™ brake rotors – also pioneered on the Silverado. They can offer up to double the service life, which can save money on maintenance.
Another Chevy truck feature offered on the Colorado is the G80 automatic locking rear differential. Introduced by Chevy more than 40 years ago, it gives drivers a traction advantage when needed. It is standard on Z71 and available on WT and LT.
The four-wheel drive system employs an electronically controlled transfer case that allows the driver to shift from 2WD to 4WD. The driver can select from three modes, 2WD, 4WD HI or 4WD Lo.
Gas powertrains designed for work, efficiency
The 2.5L and 3.6L gas engines offered in the Colorado are based on proven designs found in other Chevrolet vehicles, but tuned uniquely for truck duty – including more torque at lower- and mid-range rpm levels – for a more confident feeling of power when the Colorado is loaded or pulling a trailer.
They’re also the most efficient in the segment, with up to 27 mpg EPA-estimated highway mileage with 2.5L 2WD models and 26 mpg with 3.6L 2WD models, when properly equipped.
The 2.5L four is rated at 200 horsepower (149 kW) and 191 lb-ft of torque (259 Nm), with approximately 90 percent of the peak torque available from 2,000 rpm to 6,200 rpm. The 3.6L engine is rated at 305 horsepower (227 kW) and 269 lb-ft of torque (365 Nm).
Aluminum blocks and forged-steel crankshafts, along with dual-overhead camshafts with variable valve timing, direct injection and jet-spray piston cooling, are features shared on both engines. A number of extended-life components can help reduce maintenance intervals and reduce the cost of ownership.
All models are matched with a six-speed automatic that complements the truck-tuned engines with features that make hauling and trailering easier and more comfortable, including auto grade braking and a tow/haul mode. Extended cab 2WD WT models equipped with the 2.5L engine are also available with a six-speed manual transmission.
Customer focused safety features
Colorado is designed to help keep occupants safe on the road, employing a number of active and passive safety features. Standard features include:
- Six air bags, including head curtain side air bags
- Large rearview mirrors and standard rear-vision camera system for greater visibility and safety
- StabiliTrak stability control system with rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control, hill start assist and hill descent control (Z71).
A Safety Package is available on LT models and includes segment-first Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning, which use camera-based technology to warn drivers of potential crash threats.
Accessories add versatility
Work and lifestyle accessories were developed in tandem with the Colorado to match the truck’s capabilities with integrated functionality and designs that complement its distinctive styling.
The lineup includes the all-new, patent-pending GearOn™ system and a variety of accessories designed to make cargo hauling easier and more convenient, as well as exterior styling enhancement and interior items.
Colorado’s GearOn™ system is designed to fit perfectly within the bed, for significant storage and hauling flexibility. It is upgradable, with modular cargo dividers and tiered storage to accommodate 4 x 8-foot sheets of plywood above the wheelhouses. It also uses the box’s four permanent and 13 tie-down provisions to allow for a variety of secure and convenient cargo stowage options.
Customers can have accessories installed when they purchase their new truck, so they are ready at the time of vehicle delivery. In fact, they can even roll the cost of the accessories into the monthly payments for the Colorado, and include them in the vehicle’s warranty.
Recommended retail price (MSRP) starts from $20,100