Reviews

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Driving Impressions


GM’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder is smooth but runs out of steam over 75 mph. It’s fine everywhere else. It comes with a manual transmission, while the V6 doesn’t, so if your truck must have a manual transmission, you take the smaller engine with it. The 6-speed automatic gets the most out of that engine, working with the 191 foot-pounds of torque. It has acceptable acceleration with an EPA-estimated 22 mpg Combined, same as Tacoma and Frontier.

The 3.6-liter V6 brings strong acceleration, while being more refined than some of the other sixes in the segment. Being a Cadillac engine, it’s smooth, although it makes more noise than the four-cylinder. Its Tow/Haul mode and automatic grade braking make towing bass boats and other light trailers a breeze.

The Colorado’s four-wheel-drive system is simpler than the automatic system used by the GMC Canyon. It’s an electrically switched part-time system with low-range.

The Colorado’s ride and handling are by far superior to the Tacoma and Frontier. The electric power steering is weighted well, has no dead zones, mostly tracks true, and adds effort quickly so you’re aware of cornering forces. The Colorado changes directions well for a truck. The body is stiff and doesn’t roll much. We thought 2WD four-cylinder models offered the best handling.

The suspension deftly deals with bumps, using its coil-over front shocks and a live rear axle and leaf springs. An empty bed might kick over railroad tracks, but remember it’s not a crossover, with unibody construction; it’s a body on a boxed frame. The ride might be less comfortable than a crossover, but it’s not like riding in a Wrangler. We found the Z71’s suspension setup gave the best comfort/handling compromise.

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