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2018 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab

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2018 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab Expert Review

By Ron Moorhead -- Contributing Editor

KBB Expert Rating: 8.4

The 2018 Chevrolet Colorado celebrates Chevy trucks’ 100 years with a special Anniversary Edition that includes a unique Blue exterior color with color-keyed grille and rear bumper. Bringing a smaller-than-full-size and larger-than-compact platform makes the Colorado a popular choice. With engine choices of gasoline inline-4 and V-6 and 4-cylinder turbodiesel, plus a maximum tow capacity of 7,700 pounds, the Colorado attracts a wide selection of drivers. The Colorado ZR2 continues to offer plenty of off-road gear that die-hard adventurers will love. New exterior paint colors and heated outside mirrors add to the 2018 Colorado feature list.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2018 Colorado is perfect for those looking to haul or tow, but don't want the hassle of parking and maneuvering a full-size truck. A major advantage to the 2018 Colorado: It is garage-able. The diesel engine’s fuel economy is remarkably good, and the ZR2 may just be the off-road enthusiast's dream.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Colorado is nearly 3/4-scale of a full-size pickup, so if you tow more than 7,700 pounds, need larger interior accommodations, want more capability than a small truck can offer or don’t mind parking outside the garage, you're better off with a full-sized one.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.4
  • 8.2
  • 7.9
  • 8.2
  • 7.8
  • N/A
2018 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

The special-edition truck features special paint, color-matching grille and rear bumper plus heritage graphics. Unique chrome accents such as two hooks, door handles and outside mirrors plus a spray-in bedliner complete with “100th“ logo. The new Colorado also receives an available Active Tow system to align the truck with a trailer.

Driving the Colorado Extended Cab
2018 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

We love the 2.8-liter Duramax diesel available for the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado. It is quiet, smooth and refined, with excellent power delivery, and there's just enough diesel soundtrack to remind...

... that you have something under the hood that you can't get in a Toyota. However, the gas V-6 matched to the 8-speed automatic transmission is just as satisfying. The 2018 Colorado is responsive with either engine and easily maneuverable in parking lots and through city streets. The addition of the reworked off-roader, ZR2, raises the bar on capabilities to run back-country trails strewn with rocks and gutted washes.

DURAMAX DIESEL
The Chevrolet Colorado (and its sibling, the GMC Canyon) is the only midsize truck available with a diesel engine, and the 2.8-liter Duramax is a prize. Smooth and powerful, it offers a first-rate driving experience along with superior fuel economy. A Smart diesel exhaust brake enhances control while reducing brake wear.

COLORADO ZR2
Chevrolet pulled no punches with the 2018 Colorado ZR2, adding serious off-road equipment including Multimatic shocks, independently lockable front and rear differentials, and additional skidplates under valuable components.

2018 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab Details
2018 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The 2018 Colorado balances between its needs to appeal to those who might otherwise be interested in an SUV, so it's comfortable and quiet. Crew Cab models have a rear seat that is comfortable, too, albeit tighter than a full-size pickup. The Colorado even comes with premium features like heated seats, Apple CarPlay, and an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system. Yet it maintains the expected ruggedness of a truck, with tough-feeling plastics, durable seat upholstery, and touches like the foldable rear seat.

Exterior
2018 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab photo

Chevy’s 2018 Colorado does everything to attract positive remarks on its midsize-pickup style, but holds back from rubbing your nose in faux-ruggedness, with curves and lines that are softened compared to the Toyota Tacoma. Even the new ZR2's visual modifications are for function rather than form, so the increased wheel arches, modified bumpers and hood scoop are all functional components. The standard CornerStep rear bumper makes it easy to get into the bed, and we suggest getting the EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate, which lets you open and close the tailgate with one hand.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Sure, you can buy the base model 2018 Colorado with its 2.5-liter gasoline-burning 4-cylinder engine, and still get the utility-enhancing CornerStep rear bumper, locking tailgate and cargo-box lighting, air conditioning, a 4.2-inch touch-screen audio system with USB, and power windows. Those with young drivers will appreciate the standard Teen Driver. Most will no doubt look toward starting at the LT model, which includes an 8-inch touch-screen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an enhanced multicolor information display between the gauges, nicer wheels and interior trim, three months of Sirius satellite radio, cruise control and OnStar.

Optional Equipment

There are two optional engines available for the 2018 Chevy Colorado: the 3.6-liter V6 or the Duramax diesel. Also available is 4-wheel drive with a low-speed transfer case. Like many trucks, there's your choice of extended- or crew-cab body, plus a standard-length or long bed. Available features include a spray-on bedliner, fog lights, cross rails for the cargo-box storage system and a locking rear differential. The Z71 model offers specialized suspension, differential and underbody shields for off-road capability. If that's not enough, the ZR2 exponentially expands the off-road experience.

Under the Hood
2018 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab Engine photo

The 2018 Colorado engine choices begin with the 200-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, which is fine, but you'll most likely want to spring for the 308-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, or if diesel is your flavor the 2.8-liter Duramax 4-cylinder with its 369 lb-ft of torque. The V6 also comes with the 8-speed automatic transmission. The other two engines come with a 6-speed automatic, or a 6-speed manual in the case of the base-model Colorado. Two-wheel drive (2WD) is standard, and 4-wheel drive (4WD) is optional with all engines. Fuel economy reaches up to the segment’s best 30 mpg with the diesel.

2.5-liter inline-4
200 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
191 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg (manual, 2WD), 20/26 mpg (automatic, 2WD), 19/24 mpg (4WD)

3.6-liter V6
308 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
275 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (2WD), 17/24 mpg (4WD), 16/18 mpg (ZR2)

2.8-liter turbodiesel inline-4
186 horsepower @ 3,400 rpm
369 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg (2WD), 20/28 mpg (4WD), 19/22 mpg (ZR2)

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a 2018 Chevrolet Colorado starts at about $21,000 for a base model with extended cab and 4-cylinder gasoline engine. Most buyers will skip the base model and instead start at the LT model level, about $28,000 for an extended-cab and long-bed 2WD version. At the northern end of the pricing spectrum, a 4WD long-bed Z71 Crew Cab with the Duramax diesel can top out well over $45,000, but you can get a diesel for about $30,000 if you mind your options. If the ZR2 captures your off-road attention, it starts just above $41,000. These prices are in line with the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma. Check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying in your area. The Colorado offers better resale than the Frontier, but both get whomped by the Tacoma.

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