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2012 Chevrolet Colorado Regular Cab

Overview
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2012 Chevrolet Colorado Regular Cab Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 6.1

Mid-size pickup trucks make a lot of sense, especially if you use your vehicle for work and play rather than shuttling to the office and running weekend errands. But, with budgets tight and fuel expensive a full-size pickup is probably overkill for most needs, which is why the 2012 Chevrolet Colorado is the right-size pickup for today's light-duty chores. Although its aging platform isn't as fresh as the Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier, the Colorado still has a rugged charm about it. And its price point certainly can't be argued with, offering one of the most affordable entry-level trucks on the market. With the temporary demise of the Ford Ranger for 2012 (an all-new model is set to debut in 2013) and Ram not offering a Regular Cab Dakota, the Colorado has the domestic market all to itself. With a broad range of models, cab and bed configurations and engine choices, not to mention rear-wheel or 4-wheel drive, the Colorado is an attractive prospect for budget-conscious working folk and truck junkies in general.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your pickup's capabilities are more important to you than its fancy styling or cushy interior, the 2012 Chevrolet Colorado is a truck that should be in your driveway. Those worried about the cost associated with driving a pickup will appreciate the base model's impressive fuel economy and surprisingly strong 4-cylinder engine.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2012 Chevrolet Colorado is more compact than mid-size when compared to its competition. It is not as wide or long as Tacoma or Dakota, and Crew Cab models aren't big on rear-seat legroom, either. Those who need to tow heavy loads should note the Colorado's 3.7-liter in-line 5-cylinder engine cannot equal the torque output of the V6 engines from Toyota and Nissan.

What's New for 2012

For 2012, Chevrolet makes a number of equipment changes to the Colorado line. The Power Convenience Package is added to 1LT trims, while 2LT trims gain standard front bucket seats. LT models no longer offer a manual transmission, and the 5.3-liter V8 engine is no longer offered on the 1LT. A locking rear differential is made standard on 2LT, 3LT and 1LT 4x4 models.

Driving the Colorado Regular Cab

Driving Impressions Among the 2012 Chevrolet Colorado's greatest strengths are its solid chassis and potent yet fuel-efficient powertrains. The Colorado's rigid body-on-frame architecture renders rattles and vibrations nearly nonexistent, even on washboard...

roads and rough pavement. Thanks to Chevy's off-road and performance packages, the Colorado can step up its off-road game, as well as its around-town image. If there is one fly in the Colorado's ointment, it's the unusually wide turning circle, which can prove problematic when trying to maneuver in tight quarters. We think the standard 2.9-liter engine is quite robust for its size and offers exceptionally good fuel economy.

Tailgate
The Colorado's tailgate can be set at a 55-degree angle so that items can rest flat on the tops of the wheel wells and align with the tailgate.

Side Curtain Airbags
Standard side-curtain airbags are an important safety feature worth having.

2012 Chevrolet Colorado Regular Cab Details
Interior

The 2012 Chevrolet Colorado offers a no-frills interior that is highly functional and easy to maintain. Seating is comfortable for front-seat passengers, with good thigh support from the firm cushions. However, the Extended Cabs tiny jump seats are not fit for human occupancy over any great length of time, and while the Crew Cab offers true 2-person seating, rear-seat legroom is tight. Base models have an overabundance of gray plastic and gray cloth seats, neither of which is very inviting. Higher-level models can be equipped with cloth or leather cashmere colored seating and feature a bit more dash and door-panel embellishment to brighten the interior.

Exterior

While the Colorado's look is not exactly ground-breaking, it is unmistakably Chevrolet. Like its Silverado big brother, the 2012 Chevy Colorado displays its strength through bulging fender flares, slab-sided doors and bright machine-finished alloy wheels. Regular and Extended Cab models feature a 6-foot bed, while the Crew Cab offers a slightly shorter 5-foot, 1-inch bed. Thanks to the tall side walls, the Colorado's bed offers best-in-class volume, and the clever tailgate has a 2-position setting that allows it to either lay flat or be propped at a 55-degree angle. When in the propped position, the top of the tailgate is parallel with the tops of the rear wheel wells inside the bed making it easier to load and carry, for example, sheets of plywood or dry wall. Regular Cab models ride on a 111.3-inch wheelbase while Extended and Crew Cab models are on a 126.0-inch wheelbase.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Chevrolet Colorado WT features a 5-speed manual transmission, 2.9-liter 4-cylinder engine, air conditioning, cruise control, anti-lock brakes (ABS), side-curtain airbags, stability control, Bluetooth, tilt steering wheel, dual outside mirrors, automatic headlights, carpeting, AM/FM stereo, XM Satellite Radio, tachometer and forward-facing jump seats in the Extended Cab. The LT trim adds an automatic transmission, chrome front and rear bumpers, Deluxe Cloth upholstery, CD player, power mirrors and leather-wrapped steering wheel. To that the Z71 adds the Z71 off-road suspension, auto-dimming mirror, rear sliding window and the 3.7-liter 5-cylinder engine.

Optional Equipment

Options for the 2012 Chevy Colorado include 4-wheel drive, 4-speed automatic transmission, power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, heated leather seats, automatic locking rear differential, tow package;, 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheel options; 6-disc CD changer, traction control, Z71 off-road package, the ZQ8 performance package (18-inch wheels, sport suspension and 5.3-liter V8 engine) available on the Sport trim.

Under the Hood

Engine choices for the 2012 Chevy Colorado include 4- and 5-cylinder powerplants, as well as a V8 engine on the LT trim. The standard 2.9-liter 4- and the optional 3.7-liter 5-cylinder engines might seem small, but they are both big on power. The 2.9-liter 4-cylinder produces an impressive 185 horsepower and offers up most of its 190 pound-feet of torque between the ranges of 1,200 and 5,600 rpm. That's enough power to muscle any lightly-equipped 4-wheel-drive vehicle through the toughest terrain. The optional 3.7-liter engine makes 242 horsepower. Both of these engines produce class-leading horsepower while returning good fuel economy. The big 5.3-liter V8 is powerful but not easy on gas and is best ordered only when towing is a priority.

2.9-liter in-line 4
185 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
190 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 (2WD), 18/24 (4WD, manual), 17/23 (4WD, automatic)

3.7-liter in-line 5
242 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
242 lb-ft of torque @ 4,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 (2WD), 17/23 (4WD), 16/21 (4WD, Crew Cab)

5.3-liter V8
300 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
320 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD), 14/19 (4WD)}

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2012 Chevrolet Colorado Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 984 Ratings for the 2004 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.1/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

Very Good Truck Overall

By on Wednesday, July 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 177,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Very dependable and tough"

Cons: "Interior comfort and electrical system"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought this truck used in 2007 with 54,000 miles on it as a sole vehicle for my family of 3 while my wife and I finished school. We have taken this truck to many different places and all kinds of roads and terrain throughout the west and it has handled it all very well with no problems. Our family has since grown to 5 people and the truck now has 177,000 miles on it and is still running great. I take this truck on small/narrow, rough mountain and desert roads fairly frequently as well as on snow and it does everything I need it to with no drama. I use it to go camping, hunting, fishing and haul my mountain bike to the trails as well as hauling dirt, rocks and other large loads and it does it all. I have moved twice with it and it has hauled a lot of our stuff including a good sized trailer with no issues. This truck has the 3.5L 5 cylinder engine and has gotten decent mileage over the years (18-20 mpg city/rural and 23 mpg highway @ 60 mph). I still get 20 mpg at 80 mph on the interstate. I have had some minor issues with the electrical system, Colorados are notorious for this I guess, all of which I have been able to fix myself thanks to the internet. Everything else has been awesome. All of the repairs that it has needed have all been pretty minor and I have been able to repair myself (U-joints, fuel pump, thermostat, serpentine belt, spark plugs). The only things I don't really like about it is the interior space particularly the leg room in the driver's seat. The seat is too low to the floor. But then again it's a small truck. Overall, this has been the best vehicle I have ever owned so far. It has been super reliable it has never let me down."

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Love my colorado ! Runs grear-good gas milage

By on Thursday, June 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Got my moneys worth and more."

Cons: "Whish I'd bought the long bed for hauling."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My truck has never let me down on the highway or city streets! My 95 year od Dad can get in and out easily so I don't have to help him. I drive every day and all ways go out of the way just to enjoy driving it!"

10 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Love my Colorado

By on Monday, May 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had very good luck with my Colorado Better on gas than a full sized pickup very good on the snow comfortable ride Great for hauling mulch or leaves"

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Good daily driver

By on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I get 19 mpg with it with 99% city driving. The inside is pretty bare-bones with the LS models. Overall, good truck for people with no need for loads of power."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

One of the best vehicles I have ever owned.

By on Friday, April 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great value for the price and size"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The body is great, the engine is strong for a 5 cylinder and the usefulness of the truck is outstanding. Only had minor repairs like brakes, water pump and thermostat."

13 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Love this truck!

By on Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Very fun to drive. Excellent 4X4 operation."

Cons: "The factory "skid" plate it has is just plastic"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought a 2005 Colorado Crew Cab 4X4 used in 2012. Not had any trouble with it since. I like the way the truck looks and drives. Some people warn of a head issue with the '04 - '06 Atlas i5 engines, but in reality this issue affected just a small number of the trucks that were sold. Truck is now 10 years old and still looks and drives like new . . . not to mention it's holding its value very well - still lists for more than I paid for it."

13 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?