2015 Chevrolet Colorado: All Work and No Play
June 17, 2015
Generally, I like our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado. The interior's nice (minus the frustration of Chevy's MyLink), the ride is surprisingly good, and it looks great.
But it's not really any fun. And why am I parked on this loading ramp?
The fun thing is hard to quantify, but there are a few contributing factors.
Starting with the heart of the beast, the 305-horsepower V6 simply isn't very refined. Truck motors don't necessarily have to be refined, though I'd like them to be pleasant. This one's not. It hates revs. It'll gain revs quick — it just doesn't like to let go of them once things are-a-rotatin' — and rewards that tach climb with noise and vibration. The Toyota Tacoma's 4.0-liter V6 (236 hp), by comparison, is super smooth and returns acceleration numbers on par with our Colorado.
Then there's the transmission, which also isn't any fun. With relatively quick, smooth shifts during casual driving, this whole "fun" thing is subjective. Floor it and the 6-speed automatic takes a while to figure out how low to go, then it's more than happy to dump you into that gear, shocking the system. Manual controls are for towing/grades only. There's no "Sport" or "Sand" or "Hey Ya'll, Watch This!" setting. Frustrating.
Finally, and this one's the hardest to quantify, there's not as much ride control with the Colorado as there is in the Tacoma. No track numbers or suspension specifics can explain this, there's just less float and bounce from the Toyota. The Tacoma front end bites a little stronger and it gives off a general playfulness that makes you want to hit the off-road park, the sand pits or that big puddle two blocks away. The Colorado makes you want to go to Home Depot.
Again, I need to stress that this isn't a bad thing. There are plenty of truck people who want a truck to do work. I just want a truck for play, and until Chevy makes a serious effort at the Toy Truck category (better suspension, better motor), I'm still in Camp Toyota (even if the Colorado's interior is better).
Right, about that photo.
This weekend I had to park in a public lot in Silver Lake. It was one of those tight, no-white-lines lots where they squeeze in as many suckers as possible. I pulled in the truck and the lot attendant gave me the thumbs up. He then asked if I was comfortable backing it up into the loading ramp because "it's a nice safe spot and nobody will ding or scratch this beautiful truck."
Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 10,840 miles