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2015 Chevrolet Colorado Debut

Will the Colorado be the key to reviving the midsize pickup segment?

Chevrolet Research Click to hide

What's New

After ending production for the 2012 model year, the Colorado small pickup is back in the U.S. market. But it competes in a shrinking segment, and it will be interesting to see how consumers respond. GM says that the next-generation Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups are "designed to be capable, versatile and fuel-efficient alternatives to full-size pickups."

By looking at the exterior of the car, it is clear that the Colorado shares some styling elements with its older brother, the Silverado. However, it features a more sedate, blacked-out grille that is better fitted to its small size. Along with five-foot and six-foot bed configurations, two powertrain options are also available. These include a 2.5-liter inline-four engine that produces 193 horsepower, or a much more robust 3.6-liter V-6 delivering 302 ponies. A diesel option will be available later in the Colorado's run.

Who It's For

GM has an interesting target audience for the new Colorado. Although trucks are often associated with rural America, GM President Mark Reuss has said in the past that this midsize truck will appeal to a West Coast active lifestyle. Whether it is surfing, boating, or camping, we see how this vehicle would be useful. We aren't sure, however, if there is a large market among this group, which may instead prefer midsize crossovers for the job.

There are only a few competitors in the segment, most notably the Toyota Tacoma. Both offer four-and six-cylinder configurations, but the Colorado has a superior towing capacity of 6,700 pounds. Other competitors include the Nissan Frontier and Honda Ridgeline. However, all these models are significantly outdated, giving the Colorado a major advantage. One place this is evident is in the safety features; the Colorado will be the first to offer forward collision and lane departure warnings.

Key Features

Expect the next Colorado to offer more utility and sophistication than previous versions.
  • Standard CornerStep rear bumpers for easier access to cargo
  • 13 standard tie-down locations (up to 17)
  • Available EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate
  • Two-tier loading that splits the bed into upper and lower segments
  • Chevrolet MyLink infotainment with touchscreen

What We Think

Sometimes, it is best to look at the past to see the future. Automakers generally abandoned the midsize pickup segment because full-size trucks offered better value: more space and utility for just a small increase in price. On top of this, small pickups were plagued by quality problems, cheap interiors, and poor fuel economy. If GM can challenge these patterns, there is no reason why the Colorado would not be successful among pickup fans when it debuts next fall.

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