The Colorado bears more than a passing resemblance to the full-size Silverado. The blocky front end, wide-open grille, and beefy fenders are clearly adapted from the larger truck with pleasing results. You choose from two body configurations: an Extended Cab with narrow rear-hinged back doors and a six-foot bed, or a four-door Crew Cab with a five- or six-foot bed.
The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 200 horsepower, enough for everyday driving and very light hauling. A revised version of the available 3.6-liter V6, with direct injection and cylinder deactivation, provides a boost to 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Blessed with a new eight-speed automatic transmission, a V6 Colorado can tow up to 7,000 pounds.
Your third option is the 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel four-cylinder, which puts out 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. A Colorado so equipped can pull up to 7,700 pounds. An integrated brake controller for towing and an automatic locking rear differential for extra grip are also standard on Duramax-equipped trucks. Four-cylinder and turbodiesel engines work with a six-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is on all but the most basic Colorado.
Fuel economy with the two-wheel drive and automatic transmission is estimated at 20 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg highway with the four-cylinder engine, 18 and 25 mpg with the gasoline V6, and 22/30 mpg with the turbodiesel.
Available only in rear-drive, Extended Cab form with the 2.5-liter engine and a six-speed manual transmission, and priced at $20,995 (destination charge included). The seats and floor are covered in vinyl, but you do get some welcome perks like a rearview camera, a power driver’s seat, and a six-speaker sound system with a color display. Steel wheels hold 16-inch tires.