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2016 Chevy Colorado: New Diesel for Midsize Pickup

By Arv Voss, January 30th, 2016

Just a year after its debut in 2015, the Chevy truck team adds an all-new 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel to the award-winning midsize Colorado pickup lineup in the LT and SLE trim levels.

Manufacturer photo: The Chevy truck team adds an all-new 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel to the award-winning midsize Colorado pickup lineup
Manufacturer photo: The Chevy truck team adds an all-new 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel to the award-winning midsize Colorado pickup lineup

The Chevrolet Colorado diesel pickup comes with a choice of two cab configurations with a choice of two bed lengths: a 5-foot, 2-inch box for the Crew Cab; or a 6-foot, 2-inch box for both the Extended and Crew Cab models.

The 2.8-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, inline four-cylinder Duramax turbodiesel with direct injection and high-pressure common rail delivers 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm along with a whopping 369 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,000 rpm. Energy reaches the driving wheels via a Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission.

Trim levels for the gasoline-fueled Chevrolet Colorado will consist of a Base WT (Work Truck) model, an LT trim, a Z71 level, and a tricked out LTZ Trail Boss model. Two- or four-wheel drive configurations are available across the lineup.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and GM's midsize truck offerings are no exception to this rule. Some will no doubt prefer the bolder, "in your face" demeanor delivered by the GMC Canyon stable, while others will likely prefer the cleaner, simpler look the Chevy Colorado camp serves. My personal preference happens to be the Colorado for its attractive and uncluttered look: It displays a confident and sporty stance with taller bedsides for greater payloads, and the Crew Cab exhibits an upward raked belt line. The proportions are balanced from virtually every viewing angle.

Manufacturer photo: The Chevy truck team adds an all-new 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel to the award-winning midsize Colorado pickup lineup

The Chevy Colorado provides several innovative solutions for cargo hauling and access including a standard CornerStep rear bumper design for easier access to the bed, as well as a standard locking EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate that makes raising the tailgate easier with one hand, and employs a damper for more-controlled lowering; a factory-installed spray-in bed liner is available.

The interior provides a comfortable atmosphere for both work and recreation. The cabin has been thoughtfully designed to deliver not only comfortable surroundings, but comes well equipped and provides modern connectivity. The instrument panel is bold and upright, with large controls and a center console with a floor-mounted shifter similar to those found in midsize cars and crossovers.

The Colorado has a short turning radius of 41.3 feet, enabling easier turning in tight areas. Four-wheel disc brakes, with four-piston front calipers as standard, with Duralife brake rotors that can offer up to double the service life, saving on maintenance.

I tested a Colorado Diesel 4x4 Crew Cab with a short bed and a starting price of $33,250. EPA ratings are 20 miles per gallon city and 29 mpg highway. For consumers who don't want or need a full-size truck, this latest midsize Chevy Colorado Diesel offers an ideal alternative, that actually drives, handles, and feels more like a family sedan, while providing added functionality and versatility, both on and off-road.

Bottom line, if you can only have one vehicle, the new Chevrolet Colorado is capable of satisfactorily fulfilling a variety of roles from fetching groceries to trailer towing, with work duties and recreation thrown in for good measure. It is good looking, fuel efficient, and practical, with plenty of torque. All that's needed is to pick your body style, powertrain, drive configuration, options, and your favorite color.

Manufacturer photo: The Chevy truck team adds an all-new 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel to the award-winning midsize Colorado pickup lineup

Specifications

Base price $33,250 (as tested: $36,980)
Curb weight 4,691 lbs.
Displacement 2.8-liter
Engine type 16-valve 4-cyl. turbodiesel w/DI
Epa mileage rating 20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 21.0 gal.
Horsepower (net) 181 at 3400 rpm
Overall length 212.7 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 369 at 2000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Vehicle type 4/5-passenger 4x4 midsize pickup
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