Used 2008 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab

2008 Chevrolet Colorado
List price range

Pros

  • Affordable, composed handling on- and off-road, high crash test scores.

Cons

  • Engines lack power compared to rivals, mediocre towing capacity, subpar fit and finish inside.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2008 Chevrolet Colorado is an attractively styled, light-duty pickup that appears competitive on paper. But out in the real world where performance, passenger comfort and overall build quality really count, it doesn't quite measure up to its rivals from Dodge, Nissan and Toyota.

vehicle overview

The carryover 2008 Chevrolet Colorado is one of GM's entries in the compact truck segment. While certainly an improvement over the aging S-10 pickup it replaced in 2004, the latest Colorado unfortunately remains handicapped by a lack of power and mediocre fit and finish when compared with stronger, more refined foreign and domestic rivals. As it is, it's not really competitive, though it does at least compensate for its faults somewhat via relative affordability and slightly above-average fuel economy.

At first glance, Chevy's Colorado would seem to offer much of what a compact truck shopper is looking for: distinctively rugged styling, efficient and capable power, available extended-cab and crew cab body configurations, and a choice of two- or four-wheel-drive configurations plus a popular off-road package. Unfortunately, the attraction ends when you open the door and start the engine. Despite improvements over the years, seating comfort and cabin materials still leave much to be desired. Same with the driving experience -- even with the optional five-cylinder engine, the Colorado's performance simply can't match that of the bigger V6s or V8s available in most of its rivals. If you're more concerned about ride and handling dynamics than brute power, the good news is that the 2008 Chevrolet Colorado offers a choice of well-calibrated suspension setups that provide composed moves whether on pavement or off.

The Colorado's biggest drawback, however, is that it gives the impression of being cheap -- which is all the more apparent in a segment filled with more polished rivals that have moved beyond mere value and simple functionality. The Dodge Dakota, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma are simply better trucks in almost every regard. If you're a budget-minded shopper with light-duty usage in mind, you might investigate further. But if you've set your sights on a refined and thoroughly capable small pickup, we suggest looking elsewhere or waiting for a much-needed makeover.

trim levels & features

The 2008 Chevrolet Colorado is a compact truck available with two- or four-wheel drive in three body-style configurations: regular cab, extended cab (with short reverse-opening doors) or crew cab with four regular forward-swinging doors. Crew cabs come with a 5-foot cargo box, while other Colorados feature a 6-footer.

There are three primary trim levels to choose from on regular- and extended-cab models -- the base "Work Truck," midlevel LS and top-of-the-line LT. The crew cab is offered in LT trim only. Inside, base vehicles are pretty spartan aside from air-conditioning and an AM/FM stereo; the LS is a better choice for most folks with upgraded seating and trim, and the opportunity to add more optional features. The LT trim is offered in three increasingly well-equipped flavors: 1LT, 2LT and 3LT. Depending on your selection, you'll end up with features like an in-dash CD changer, a larger five-cylinder engine, full power accessories and remote keyless entry.

Two suspension packages are offered to tailor ride and handling to specific assignments: the standard Z85 setup or an available Z71 off-road package. Depending on trim level and body style, other major Colorado options include heated leather seats, a six-disc CD changer, satellite radio and a sunroof. A wide range of Chevrolet accessories such as grille guards, a bed extender and 18-inch wheels are also available.

2008 Highlights

Following a modest power boost last year, the 2008 Chevrolet Colorado compact pickup truck enters its fifth season unchanged.

performance & mpg

After a power boost last year, both Colorado engines carry over in 2008. The standard 2.9-liter four-cylinder makes 185 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque, and an optional 3.7-liter inline five-cylinder produces 242 hp and 242 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on most four-cylinder Colorados, while a four-speed automatic is standard on five-cylinder trucks and optional with the smaller engine.

Although their outputs are more than adequate, the Colorado's engines can't match the power and performance of the V6s and V8s offered by the competition. The news is better on the fuel economy front, ranging from 18 mpg/city and 24 mpg/highway on four-cylinder regular cabs down to 15 mpg/city and 20 mpg/highway on 4WD crew cabs. Four-wheel-drive models feature a two-speed InstaTrac transfer case with push-button controls and an optional locking rear differential. Maximum towing capacity is limited to 4,000 pounds, which is below average for this type of truck.

safety

The 2008 Chevrolet Colorado features standard antilock brakes and OnStar emergency communications, with optional head curtain side-impact airbags and traction control (on 2WD vehicles with automatic transmissions). In government frontal impact crash tests, the Chevrolet Colorado crew cab earned a perfect five stars for the protection of the driver and front passenger. Other Colorados earned four stars in those tests. Side-impact testing resulted in four stars out of five for front occupant protection, and five stars for rear passengers in crew cab models. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset crash testing, the Colorado garnered a highest-possible "Good" rating.

driving

The 2008 Chevrolet Colorado's inline four- and five-cylinder engines are reasonably smooth, though acceleration and hauling performance is lackluster compared to the larger V6s of its competitors. The four-speed automatic transmission doesn't offer as many gears as its rivals, but its shifts are smooth and well-timed. The Colorado's standard suspension is softly tuned for a comfortable ride, and when fitted with the available Z71 off-road suspension package, the Colorado performs well off the highway. Chevy's small truck is relatively quiet around town, though wind noise around the doors picks up at highway speeds.

interior

While its competitors have gotten more luxurious and refined in recent years, the Chevy Colorado remains saddled with subpar materials, an abundance of hard plastic and mediocre seat comfort. The layout of controls and gauges gets high marks, however, for their simple and straightforward design. There's lots of room up front, though rear legroom is tight in both extended-cab and crew cab models; rear entry/exit can also be awkward due to small rear door openings. A nice feature is a dual-position tailgate that can be secured partially open to better support building materials resting on top of the wheelwells.


Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Chevrolet Colorado.

loving it!!
dirty_mike, 9/17/2012
Bought my 2008 colorado used , have not looked back, the 4 cylinder has enough power to pull a 14ft boat or load of wood in the back well.(I don't haul large loads/thats why I bought the 4 popper) the extended cab has enough room for me and my two children in the back 6 and 4. only complain I have is GET a spray in bedliner along the bottom of the panels, for some reason the tires stick out just enough to kick stones at the truck. So outside that con, if you want 4x4 light towing payload/fun to drive/and not bad gas mielage(20 city 25-26 highway)this is hands down a good buy.
Very pleased
Herb, 3/21/2009
Have had truck for 4 months. I love the thing. All reviews by "experts" are poor, but owner reviews tend to be very positive. I am glad I got it. Left over 08 listed for $28,600, I paid $21,000 with all discounts. On-Star is kind of cool. I just use the cell phone part which works very well ($.15 per minute is very high).Truck is great in snow with good ground clearance. 5 yr 100,000 mile drive train warranty is great. GM quality has come a long way. I hope they can stay in business.
truck awful
marty, 8/4/2010
As far as I'm concerned the thing is an underpowered piece of overpriced plastic junk. I have always been a Chevy guy, but this is the end of my Chevy days. My last one was a 2000 sonoma and I thought the plastic was too much. Now I go to open the console and it's like lifting a piece of plastic milk jug, flimsy crap! For sale not driving it junk, junk, junk.
Great small pickup
New vehicle, 6/30/2008
I bought a 2.9 automatic, extented LT cab with door locks and upgraded seats. I debated between buying a Tacoma and the Colorado. I favored the Tacoma, but the seat in the Tacoma convinced me to buy the Colorado with an elec seat. The 2.9 engine is not underpowered as Consumers Reports and other want to tell you. The 2'9 downshifts less frequently than the 3.5 Terrazo and 4.2 F150 I drove previously. On a 400 mile trip, at 60 mph, on state highways through some small towns, I averaged 27 mpg. It is solid and fun to drive. it is attracting compliments regarding its appearance. It is free-wheeling and coasts a lot around town. That saves on gas. The bed-liner came standard with the pickup.
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Features & Specs

MPG
18 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
185 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
18 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
185 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
185 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
17 city / 22 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
185 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 2008 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
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
    Marginal
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2008 Chevrolet Colorado
Used 2008 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab Overview

The Used 2008 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab is offered in the following styles: LT 4dr Extended Cab SB (2.9L 4cyl 4A), LS 4dr Extended Cab SB (2.9L 4cyl 5M), LS 4dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (2.9L 4cyl 5M), LT 4dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (2.9L 4cyl 4A), Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (2.9L 4cyl 5M), and Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab SB (2.9L 4cyl 5M).

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