2004 Chevrolet Colorado Review

Pros & Cons

  • Versatile size, strong engine lineup, available side curtain airbags and locking differential, standard ABS.
  • Still not as big as a Dakota, no V8 option, can't tow as much as the competition.
List Price Estimate
$1,873 - $3,494

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Edmunds' Expert Review

It has the size, the features and the looks necessary to become the dominant truck in the compact class -- just don't mistake it for a midsize.

Vehicle overview

This replacement for the aged S-10 compact pickup will have a larger overall size and a new range of four- and five-cylinder engines derived from the 4.2-liter in-line six-cylinder currently sold in the TrailBlazer SUV. Expect standard, extended, and crew cab bodystyles and an interior that draws heavily from the General Motors corporate parts bin.

2004 Highlights

The Colorado is an all-new compact pickup from Chevrolet.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2004 Chevrolet Colorado.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

great truck
I recomend the 3.5L. The 4 cylinder not enough power.I'm getting 20 miles per gallon local driving.Great handling, tight suspension. In my opinion, after looking at fords and Chevys, this is the best truck in its class for the money.
Great Truck
I bought my Chevy Colorado in 2004 with 3 miles on it and now 7 years later have 116XXX and climbing, I have driven my truck like I stole it since the day I bought it. I have added a few performance things to the engine but have never done any major overhauls yet. Main thing with these trucks is to do the maintenance as scheduled, and they do have problems with the blower motors but that is an easy fix.
You get what you pay for.
Besides the archaic styling, I really love the truck (113k miles). For those that complain about the power/interior space; buy a full size. Plenty of pep for a compact truck. I've hauled a lot of weight in this girl and she doesn't mind it much. I bought the CO because the Dakota had a hungry V8, the Ranger is tiny and the Taco and Frontier were about 2k more, plain and simple. It drives like a small SUV; smooth and easy on the blacktop. With a decent pair of shoes it takes the KS mud and CO snow with ease. The mpgs are great for most pre gas hike vehicles, not just trucks, about 18 city at 6500 ft. If you need a layman's truck for the occasional moving day or trash haul, the Colorado is it
376,000 miles and still running perfect
My '04 Colorado Z71 crew cab has 376,000 as of yesterday and looks like it did when I got it except for the cracks in the windshield. The rear end wore out and had all the stuff inside it replaced at 360,000 for $1800.00. Engine does not use any oil I use Amsoil in the engine transmission and rear end. I am going to replace the tires soon this will be the 3rd set this set of tires has almost 160,000 miles on them. If you want to stop cupping on the inside of your front tires have them align the front tires straight up and down and keep air pressure about 40-42 pounds.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2004 Chevrolet Colorado features & specs


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2004 Chevrolet Colorado
More About This Model

If you've been in this country for more than, say, a day or two, you probably already know about GM's full-size trucks. With advertising campaigns equal in size to the GDP of small countries, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra enjoy almost endless exposure on billboards and television in a quest to assure that every American is well aware of their powerful engines and sturdy construction.

While those full-sizers have become national celebrities, General Motors' compact pickups haven't enjoyed quite the same level of attention. With smaller sales numbers, less powerful engines and limited ability to tear a tree stump out of the ground, the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC Sonoma soldiered on for a nearly a decade under substantially smaller spotlights.

For 2004, those spotlights will get just a little bit brighter with the introduction of the all-new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon compact trucks. Larger in most dimensions than their predecessors, the Colorado and the Canyon were designed to be as comfortable as they are tough. New engines and class-exclusive features are also part of the mix to help give both trucks the edge they need to compete in a category filled with strong domestic and foreign competition.

Drive either truck and the improvements over their predecessors are obvious. They're stiffer and smoother on the road and more spacious inside. It doesn't quite feel like 10 years' worth of development work went on, but there's at least a good three or four years of solid engineering under each skin. It's not the kind of overwhelming goodness that will vault Chevrolet and GMC directly to the head of the line, but as compact trucks go, the Colorado and Canyon are two of the best currently available.

Prominent on the list of improvements is a significantly stiffer frame that allows for more precise suspension tuning and less flex under stressful conditions. Unlike the previous trucks that flopped and wobbled over rough terrain, the Colorado and Canyon maintain their composure without compromising ride quality. In fact, on smooth pavement the overall feel is softer than you might expect for a pickup. A revised rack-and-pinion steering system further contributes to the more refined feel of the new trucks, but numbness on center keeps them from feeling truly connected to the road.

Three different suspensions are offered: the standard heavy-duty setup, an elevated Z71 off-road package and a lowered street performance design. Despite its rough-sounding name, the standard heavy-duty setup is quite forgiving, making it ideal for everyday driving. Four-wheel-drive models sit 2 inches higher than their two-wheel counterparts but otherwise use the same basic design.

If you plan on having your truck dirty as often as it's clean, the Z71 option is worth considering. Available on both two- and four-wheel-drive models, the Z71 suspension raises ride height three inches over a stock two-wheel-drive model. Also included in the package are larger tires, an underbody skid plate, heavy-duty shocks and a locking rear differential. The ride is slightly soggier than the standard suspension mostly due to the larger, more heavily treaded tires, but it's still better than previous GM compacts.

For those looking for the ultimate in street performance, the Colorado offers a ZQ8 sport suspension on two-wheel-drive models designed to deliver sharper handling and a slammed custom truck look. Reduced height springs drop the ride height two inches lower than stock, while Bilstein shocks, a quick-ratio steering system and 17-inch wheels and tires provide added control. The stiffer setup is instantly noticeable behind the wheel, but it's not so harsh that you curse it over every bump in the street. Not only will it give Toyota's Tacoma S-Runner a run for its money in the handling department, it has well-defined looks to complement its performance.

As well sorted out as both trucks are when it comes to their suspensions, the two available engines might leave power-hungry drivers wishing for more. The base engine is a 2.8-liter inline four-cylinder rated at 175 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque, while the optional power plant is a 3.5-liter inline five-cylinder that generates 220 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are scaled-down versions of the 4.2-liter six-cylinder engine found in the TrailBlazer and Envoy SUVs. A five-speed manual is standard on all models; a four-speed automatic is available as an option.

With 220 hp, the optional 3.5-liter engine gives the Colorado and Canyon the highest horsepower rating in the class, but like its six-cylinder cousin, the power is situated higher in the power band than on most truck engines. Off-the-line grunt is just average as the engine fails to deliver much of a pull until nearly 4,000 rpm — a far cry from the old 4.3-liter V6 that delivered plenty of power down low but ran out of breath quickly thereafter. A unique growl at full roar and a smoother power delivery give the new five-cylinder an overall edge, but those looking for the trucklike feel of a large-displacement V6 may find the 3.5 a bit lacking.

Such a drawback might seem inexcusable on a pickup truck, but GM designed the Colorado and Canyon to appeal to a wider range of buyers than the typical work truck market. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the cabin where larger dimensions and additional amenities add more passenger comfort and convenience. The truck's overall length remains virtually unchanged, but a longer wheelbase stretches the cabin for added legroom front and rear, while a wider body adds slightly more hip- and shoulder room. The dimensional differences are slight, but anyone who has ever spent much time in the previous GM compacts will notice the added room.

Less impressive is the overall design and quality of the interior, as it still wears the drab gray plastic panels of its predecessors. The gauge cluster is slightly better but not great, and the build quality still isn't very impressive as most of the trim pieces flex and move when pressed upon. The flat seats lack much contour, and even the upgraded leather upholstery fails to elicit an upscale look and feel. In all fairness, there are few compact trucks on the market that could be called plush, but if GM really wants to court personal-use buyers, a more stylish and higher-quality interior would have helped.

That said, there are some areas in which these trucks excel. They are the first compact trucks to offer side airbag protection as well as OnStar and factory-installed satellite radio. The optional 3.5-liter engine may not have the torque all buyers are looking for but with EPA fuel ratings of 17 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, it's a more efficient power plant than most of its competitors' V6s. Then there's the styling, a subjective matter for sure but one in which both trucks seem to garner the same positive results.

Pushing the new Colorado and Canyon as personal-use trucks rather than true workhorse pickups may prove to be a smart move for GM. Most buyers fall into that category and are more likely to appreciate a more refined ride and extra passenger space than big-time tow ratings. However, doing so with such bland and unimpressive interiors and smaller displacement engines may threaten the automaker's ability to attract new customers. With all-new compact trucks coming next year from Dodge, Nissan and Toyota, the Colorado and Canyon are going to have their hands full. Both GM trucks offer levels of refinement and comfort that are as good as anything currently on the market, but if you were hoping for serious power or a modern cabin design, these trucks come up a little short.

Used 2004 Chevrolet Colorado Overview

The Used 2004 Chevrolet Colorado is offered in the following submodels: Colorado Crew Cab, Colorado Regular Cab, Colorado Extended Cab. Available styles include 4dr Extended Cab Z85 4WD SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Extended Cab ZQ8 Rwd SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Regular Cab ZQ8 Rwd SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Extended Cab Z85 LS 4WD SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Extended Cab Z85 Rwd SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Extended Cab ZQ8 LS Rwd SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Crew Cab ZQ8 LS Base Rwd SB (3.5L 5cyl 4A), 4dr Extended Cab Z71 Rwd SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Extended Cab Z85 LS Rwd SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Extended Cab Z71 4WD SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Regular Cab Z85 Rwd SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Crew Cab ZQ8 LS Rwd SB (3.5L 5cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab Z85 LS Rwd SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Regular Cab Z71 Rwd SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Extended Cab Z71 LS 4WD SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Extended Cab Z71 LS Rwd SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Regular Cab Z71 LS Rwd SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Regular Cab Z85 LS 4WD SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Regular Cab Z71 LS 4WD SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Regular Cab Z71 4WD SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Crew Cab Z71 LS Base Rwd SB (3.5L 5cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab ZQ8 LS Rwd SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Crew Cab Z85 LS Base 4WD SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Crew Cab Z85 LS Base Rwd SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Crew Cab Z71 LS Rwd SB (3.5L 5cyl 4A), 2dr Regular Cab Z85 4WD SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Crew Cab Z85 LS Rwd SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Crew Cab Z71 LS Base 4WD SB (3.5L 5cyl 4A), 4dr Crew Cab Z85 LS 4WD SB (2.8L 4cyl 5M), and 4dr Crew Cab Z71 LS 4WD SB (3.5L 5cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2004 Chevrolet Colorado?

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Which used 2004 Chevrolet Colorados are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2004 Chevrolet Colorado for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2004 Chevrolet Colorado.

Can't find a used 2004 Chevrolet Colorados you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Colorado for sale - 2 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $24,850.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 4 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $20,822.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Colorado for sale - 3 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $20,495.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 3 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $9,919.

Should I lease or buy a 2004 Chevrolet Colorado?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Chevrolet lease specials
Check out Chevrolet Colorado lease specials