2016 Chevrolet Colorado Long-Term Introduction

By Allyson Harwood on October 27, 2015 5:23 AM

With the introduction of the midsize Chevrolet Colorado, GM's largest division infused some badly needed life into what had a stagnant segment. But it isn't just a new generation of the Colorado that was on the market a couple years ago. Instead, this one is larger, has better engine choices, and truly is all-new -- the only thing it really has in common with the previous Colorado is the name.

What's more, with the Colorado, Chevy is aiming squarely at buyers who may have owned a midsize truck in the past but had moved on to a compact SUV or crossover. The company designed everything from the interior to ride and handling and acceleration to have the refinement and feel of a small crossover, without sacrificing towing or payload capacity.

When we first drove the Colorado, the editorial team was impressed, and was eager to find out what it was like to live with the Colorado for an extended period of time. We opted for a popular combination of features and equipment that would make it easy to test out the truck's capability while enjoying the driving experience that many Colorado buyers will have.

Crew Cab Short Bed specified

Our truck is a crew cab with the 5-foot-2-inch short bed. We opted for the 4WD Z71 trim and the 305-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6. This combination gives our truck a payload capacity of 1,580 pounds and, because we added the $250 trailering package, a towing capacity of 7,000 pounds. The Z71 truck also has the CornerStep bumper (inset steps on both sides of the rear bumper), EZ Lift-and-lower tailgate, special off-road suspension and an automatic locking rear differential.

This trim level also gives the Colorado a lot of cool interior goodies, such as a rear-view camera, durable cloth/leatherette seats, front power seats with power lumbar adjustment for the driver, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability. We added a few more items, specifically Chevy's MyLink connectivity system with navigation, which uses an 8-inch touch screen, Bose premium audio system off-road side steps and a spray-in bed liner. With all the bells and whistles accounted for, the as-tested price for this Colorado came to $38,000 even, including destination.

With best-in-class towing capacity and fuel economy, and small enough to fit in most garages, the Colorado is an appealing truck for those who are looking for a smaller pickup that is comfortable enough for the daily drive yet capable enough to haul and tow. Follow along as we see how it does in all of those arenas in the coming months.

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