2016 Chevrolet Colorado | CarGurus Test Drive Review
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2016 Chevrolet Colorado | CarGurus Test Drive Review


Midsize trucks have some advantages over their full-size counterparts. Like being able to actually park in a city. But the caveat will always be price. A fully loaded 2016 Chevy Colorado like the one we have here costs as much as a decently equipped Chevy Silverado. So is it worth it to pay more for a smaller truck? Hi, I’m George Kennedy for CarGurus, and today we’re going to see if it’s worth paying that premium for a midsize truck, and if the Colorado is the one to go for or its more proven competition, the Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier. After a brief hiatus, the Colorado came back to the market last year. Chevy set its sights on delivering a more refined truck, inside and out. That starts with a really sharp-looking front end. With its split grille and big bow-tie logo, the Colorado is instantly recognizable as a Chevy. Chevy offers the Colorado in three body styles. There’s the Extended-cab Long-bed, 4-door Crew-cab Short-bed, and 4-door Crew-cab Long- bed. Today we’re reviewing the 4-door Crew-cab Short-bed, and for a midsize, it’s a pretty big truck. Thankfully, Chevy has some smart features to help you manage that size. Mainly, you’ve got these steps built into the rear bumper. They’re much more elegant than the complex “man steps” you find on the Ford F-Series pickup. It’s a great low-tech solution that won’t break. Trims for the Colorado are base, WT, LT, and Z71, like our test model. The Z71 features all the best truck gear, including power-locking tailgate, heavy-duty suspension, all-terrain tires, and remote start. No matter which trim you choose, the cabin of the Colorado is really sharp. It looks a lot like the cabin of its big brother, the Silverado. The controls are flat-out great. You’ve got these no-nonsense dials and buttons, and even the base trim comes with a digital color screen for the radio. Move up to the LT trim and you get a larger 8-inch color touchscreen, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power driver’s seat, and remote keyless entry. The power driver’s seat is a bit of a letdown. It’s got only one cantilever, and it actually tilts forward as you try to raise the seat height. That hurts the driving position, especially for a tall guy like myself. But folks as tall as 6 feet will be fine with the second row. It’s a close shave on headroom, but there’s decent legroom for shorter trips around town. Our Z71 has all the features of the LT, plus heated seats, remote start, and navigation. The touchscreen features Chevy MyLink apps, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For CarPlay, you can plug in a smartphone into the USB cable, and you can access apps like Spotify and Pandora. You can make calls and send and receive text message all by voice control. One feature I really like about CarPlay is that if you stop to search for directions and you’re ready to navigate, simply press Directions. It’ll go from your phone to the Colorado’s digital screen using Apple Maps. And to get to that destination you’ve got three engine options, including a new one. The base engine is a 200-horsepower 2.5-liter inline four. And there’s a 305-horsepower 3.6- liter V6 also available. The 4-cylinder is a total wimp, and even the V6 is kind of under-powered. Power is sent to the rear wheels or 4-wheel drive through a 6-speed automatic transmission. A manual model is available, but unfortunately, it’s only on the Extended-cab 4-cylinder rear-wheel drive version. But there’s a new engine option, and that’s what we’re driving here today. It’s a diesel 4-cylinder that makes 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It may only be a 4-cylinder, but pin that throttle and it feels livelier than the V6. Plus it’s got a great sound that you’ll either love or hate. The diesel engine gets the best fuel economy of the bunch, too. 22 miles per gallon city, 31 highway, and 25 combined with rear- wheel drive. Our 4-wheel-drive model got 20 city, 29 highway, and 23 combined. The 3.6-liter V6 with 4-wheel drive is probably going to be the most popular combination. It gets 17 miles per gallon city, 24 highway, and 20 combined. Truck steering can be a bit floaty. And you’ll need to be careful in corners, but compared to other trucks, the Colorado has pretty solid cornering. We wouldn’t be tearing around these mountain roads unless we were pretty confident in the way it turned. So what’s all this going to cost? Chevy advertises the Colorado at $20,995, and that’s for a base model with a 4-cylinder and 2-wheel drive. Most folks are going to want a V6 with 4-wheel drive, and that puts the price up to 28 grand. And that’s before you even go for the LT trim. Our Crew-cab diesel Z71 test model features options like Bose stereo, bedliner, and side steps, and it costs almost $42,000. For that kind of money you could get a pretty well- equipped full-size Silverado. Unlike the jobsite-ready Silverado, the Colorado is definitely a personal truck. It’s great for loading up lawn supplies and camping equipment, and it competes on price with the Frontier and Tacoma. And it’s the only one of those midsize trucks that has a diesel engine. Besides, truck buyers are loyal. If you have your heart set on an American midsize truck, the Chevy Colorado is a great tool for commuting and weekend adventures. It might fetch a high price, but with a top-notch interior loaded with features, the Colorado is going to give you miles of fun on and off the road for years to come. Thanks for watching. Be sure to go to CarGurus.com to read my full review on this truck, and to see more video reviews, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

30 Comments

  • Justin Bouche

    even loaded up it still under cuts the tacoma in price, you could get a GMC canyon with a nicer interior softer ride for the price of a tacoma.

  • pininfarina575

    Great "American" truck? CarGrus must be paid by GM… Tacoma is more "American" than the Colorado, and if CarGrus don't know that as journalists, then they are hopeless…

  • Dennis Gionet

    I bought the exactly same truck but the v6 gas engine,Z71 loaded with bose,navigation, sprayed bed liner, black fender flare, black bow tie option in lazer blue. Best buy i've ever made. Bigger is not alway better. This truck is more than i need. Best looking truck i've seen so far. A 2016 Tacoma owner told last weekend that he paid 5k more for a less equip truck.

  • Joel Borden

    What’s wrong with a smaller truck costing more? A ton of coal is $40 while a much smaller 1 carat diamond is about $ 4000. Sometimes smaller is just more expensive.

  • PATRICK MCKOWEN

    I test drove the diesel Z71- looking for truck with a better towing capability then my Pathfinder. The ride felt good and power more then enough – the little 2 things I did not like about it was no keyless start and the steering wheel blocked the upper part of the gauges. I put the set all the way up, I like to sit high, and then tilted steering all the way up and found I was having to drop my head to see the full view of the gauges and I am only 5'9". Other than those two minor issues I thought the truck was nice — but I am still not liking the pricing – but apparently they are selling faster then pancakes on a Sunday.
    Nice review – cheers, Patrick

  • B T

    Love watching those rock finders scrape the dirt at 5:07

    Considering this is supposed to be competition (however laughable) for the Tacoma and Frontier, you did a hell of a job convincing us the Colorado drives like a car by taking everywhere except off road (unpaved well maintained dirt roads don't count here).

  • opjoipopikopp[pl[p[

    The Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon are about $5K more than a comparably equipped Toyota Tacoma. I think this is the very key reason the Tacoma remains the best selling mid size pickup in the US.

  • Jason Carpp

    It's unforgivable that you have to pay more to buy a smaller diesel powered truck than you would to buy a full-sized truck. Why is that? That doesn't make any sense. I like the idea of a 2.8 litre Duramax turbo diesel, but seriously?! I like trucks like the Toyota Tacoma, except for its lack of a turbo diesel engine.

  • Claude Chiasson

    I bought this exact model and I'm thrilled with it. paid 40900 CDN with identical options (they threw in a bed extender as well). Didn't need a fullsize and the truck drives like a dream.

  • DreadlockDrummer

    i think its funny that people always say these mid size trucks feel under powered, 309 hp shouldn't feel under powered. although i guess it depends what youre comparing it to. compared to a v8, yes, compared to a 4 cyl, no. ive never had a problem with how the v6 engines performed, and i've worked at many dealerships and driven all sorts of vehicles. Trust me when i say 300 HP is more than enough to give you good passing power on the road

  • LJ

    Mine was 2015 Z71 Colorado V6 4X4 Crewcab, paid 37 grand, its way cheaper than a TRD Sport Tacoma. I had 30K kilometers and its rock solid.

  • Bruno TaTa

    It does not cost as much with similar equipment. The full size with a decent enough engine to move the weight will be $6000-$8000 more unless it's a leftover model with huge rebates, which doesn't really count, does it?

  • Bruno TaTa

    It'd be nice to get reviews on trucks from people who actually use them to do more than move a TV home from the store now and then.

  • da0908

    I love how all the reviews have the most expensive package and complain about price. The WT with the V6 and a decent amount of extras cost a little more than 25K brand new from the factory.

  • Zach Novosad

    I definitely want to step away from my full size Ford F-150 7700, reg cab, 8 foot bed, triton v8. Way too much and too big. I'll give it some time and when I have the money I may just jump on the Colorado

  • Will Exantus

    3 years from now this truck will be in the scrap yard. American trucks and cars are all junk. Every year they built them with new engine because their are crap especially the ecoboost engine nothing but problems. Please don't waste your hard earned money on American junk. Get a Toyota Tacoma and 30 years from now it will still be on the road and it will worth than that crap.

  • Joey Cape

    I bought a 2016 v6 midnight edition I paid 50k tax in. It was a lot higher then I wanted to pay, but I live in the city. Its an awesome truck to be taking into under ground parking and even a regular parking lot as you have a few extra inches (compared to a full sized truck) on ether side of the truck which is actually a big deal… I've since put 25K on the truck and haven't ad a single hiccup with it. Unless you're using your truck for work and hauling everyday you really don't need a full sized truck. It doesn't actually make you're thing bigger… lol

  • TFlorida1

    They said this truck neatly costs as much as the larger Silverado. What a ridiculous statement. The price of your truck includes all of the options purchased. Yeah, purchase the Bose speakers (more than $500) and all the other options and you will pay a lot for this truck. So what? Want a cheaper truck, then don’t buy very option.

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