What's New for 2007
A much-needed boost in power comes to the 2007 Chevrolet Colorado as both the inline 4 and the inline 5 are slightly upsized. The 4-cylinder engine gets a 10-horsepower boost, and the inline 5-cylinder boasts 242 hp -- a 22-hp gain. A tire-pressure monitor is now standard on all Colorados.
It is a sad, vicious cycle. In certain vehicle segments, the imports seem to always lead the way in functional design, overall performance and build quality while many of the domestics try to play catch up. The latest example of this industry frustration is the 2007 Chevrolet Colorado. Sure, it's a better truck than the antiquated S-10 it replaced back in 2004, but that isn't necessarily saying a lot.
On paper, the Colorado offers all the necessary ingredients to satisfy the majority of compact truck buyers. The engines promise both efficiency and power, and with three body styles to choose from, finding a configuration that meets your needs isn't too difficult. Plus, styling is a strong point for the Chevy Colorado, as its distinctive front fascia mimics the look of Chevy's full-size trucks and SUVs. Some versions of the Colorado also sport aggressive wheel flares and monochromatic exterior paint schemes.
But hop inside and that's where the attraction ends. Low-grade materials pepper the cabin and seat comfort is below average. It's a similar story dynamically, especially if one chooses a crew cab (the heaviest body style), which has proven to be the most popular choice among truck buyers. The Colorado's acceleration, even with the increased power of this year's engines, doesn't approach the performance of the bigger V6s available in the Chevrolet's rivals. In its favor, the Colorado offers a choice of several well-sorted suspension setups that provide impressive capability off-road or sporty handling dynamics on twisty blacktop.
The main problem is that the Colorado feels cheap, even in a class of vehicles where functionality and value come before upscale accommodations. And out on the road, the Colorado's performance is lacking compared to the stronger, more polished pickups offered by Toyota, Nissan and Dodge. If you're shopping for a smaller pickup, make sure you explore all the options before settling on the 2007 Chevrolet Colorado.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Chevrolet Colorado is a compact pickup that's available in three body styles: a regular cab, an extended cab with small reverse-opening doors and a crew cab with 4 normal doors and the lineup's largest rear seating area. To keep the truck's overall size manageable, crew cabs come with a 5-foot bed while the other two have a 6-footer. There are three main trim levels for regular- and extended-cab Colorados: base ("Work Truck"), LS and LT. The crew cab comes in LT trim only. Base Chevy Colorados come with air-conditioning and an AM/FM stereo but not much else. The LS adds upgraded seating and trim and access to a few more optional features.
The LT trim actually consists of three subsets: 1LT, 2LT and 3LT. The 1LT adds a CD player, titanium-colored trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel and alloy wheels. The 2LT comes with full power accessories, keyless entry and a 5-cylinder engine (versus the inline 4 standard on lower trims). The 3LT adds color-keyed bumpers and grille, auto-dimming rearview mirror (with compass and outside temp display) and sliding rear window.
Several packages are available to tailor the Chevy Colorado to specific duties. Both the Z85 heavy-duty and Z71 off-road packages add a torsion-bar front suspension with heavier-duty shocks. The Z71 offers the tallest ride height, along with a locking rear differential, oversize tires and skid plates on 4WD models. The Xtreme package is geared toward street performance with a lowered suspension, quicker-ratio steering, 18-inch alloy wheels with 235/50 performance tires, and color-keyed wheel flares, grille and bumpers. Other available options, depending on trim level and body style, include leather seating, a CD changer, OnStar, satellite radio and a sunroof.
Powertrains and Performance
For the 2007 Colorado, both engines are slightly larger and more powerful. The 2.9-liter inline 4 makes 185 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque -- the most of any 4-cylinder engine offered in a pickup. The 3.7-liter inline 5 produces 242 hp and 242 lb-ft. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard on all 4-cylinder Colorados (except the 2WD crew cab), while a 4-speed automatic is optional. The automatic comes standard on 5-cylinder trucks. Although their outputs are respectable, neither engine provides acceleration on par with the V6 and V8 engines offered on the Colorado's competition. Four-wheel-drive models feature a dual-range transfer case with push-button controls and offer an optional locking rear differential. Maximum towing capacity, at 4000 pounds, is meager for this class of truck.
Antilock brakes are standard, while side curtain airbags are optional. Stability control is not available. Traction control is also optional, but only on 2WD automatic trucks. In government crash tests, the 2007 Chevrolet Colorado crew cab earned five stars (out of five) for the driver and front passenger in frontal impact testing. The other body styles earned four stars in those tests. Side-impact testing resulted in four stars for front-passenger protection and five stars for rear passengers. In IIHS frontal-offset crash testing, the Colorado rated "Good," the highest score possible.
Interior Design and Special Features
While most pickup trucks have gotten more luxurious in recent years, that is not the case with the Chevy Colorado, where mediocre materials, an abundance of hard plastic and so-so seat comfort are the norm. On the plus side, simple climate and audio controls make the interior seem instantly familiar as soon as you get in. The gauges are similarly basic, but functional in their design.
The inline engines are reasonably smooth, but their lack of off-the-line punch and odd exhaust notes are disappointing compared to the larger V6s offered in competitors. Shifts from the 4-speed automatic are firm and well-timed, and the 5-speed manual gearbox is about as good as you're going to find in a compact truck. The stock suspension tuning is on the soft side, but the 2007 Colorado handles well for its class. If you're intent on going fast around corners or bashing boulders, the Xtreme and various off-road packages provide noticeable performance benefits in these areas.