Coming soon: Right-sized 2015 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck

Chevrolet aims at the suburban set with a modern, midsized truck

Published: November 21, 2013 04:30 PM
Photo: Chevrolet

At the L.A. Auto Show this week, Chevrolet finally rolled out its new, long-teased small pickup. Originally developed in Brazil, it has been on sale overseas for three years, but the version we saw this week is decidedly updated for the U.S. market.

The Colorado is certainly much fresher than its 10-year-old competitors, the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma, and it looks quite modern in contrast. As expected, General Motors will sell a GMC Canyon twin to this truck.

The new Colorado and Canyon are a little taller and longer, but narrower, than the segment’s best-selling competitor, the Tacoma in the popular Crew Cab short-bed configuration. The trucks will initially come with a choice of a 193-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or GM’s excellent 3.6-liter V6, putting out 302 hp. Both will be backed by a standard six-speed automatic transmission and a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive. The V6 versions will offer a tow-haul mode, though GM has not released towing capacities yet.

Buyers can choose three body configurations: an extended cab model, with a 6-ft. 2-in bed; a Crew Cab, with a 5-ft. 2-in. bed, and a Crew Cab, with the long bed.

The Colorado will come with many big-truck features found in the high-scoring, redesigned Chevrolet Silverado: a spring-loaded tailgate for stress-free lifting, bumper steps to make it easy to climb in back, moveable tie-down rings, and standard bedside and tailgate protectors.

Photo: Chevrolet

Inside, the new trucks will offer all the latest connectivity systems, including Chevrolet’s MyLink Bluetooth audio system with Internet applications and an available navigation system.

While it won’t be available at first, GM says that it will bring over the 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel that has been popular overseas in 2015, making this the first 21st century small truck to offer such an efficient engine choice here. The Colorado and Canyon will also be the first small trucks to offer advanced collision mitigation systems, including forward-collision and lane-departure warnings. And a backup camera will be standard.

Since the original Colorado and Canyon went out of production, there's been no domestic automaker selling a so-called "midsized" pickup. We think that leaves a void in the market at least big enough to drive this little trucklet through. The old Colorado was a low-scoring perennial also-ran in our tests, and it proved not very reliable and distinctly unloved in our annual reader survey. This one just about can't help being an improvement.

The company says the trucks will go into production "later in 2014."

Eric Evarts

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