2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Powertrain First Impressions
November 20, 2014
Our long-term 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is equipped with the larger of the two engines available, a 3.6-liter V6, that's backed by a six-speed automatic. The V6, known as LFX, and the 6L50 transmission are straight out of GM's parts bin.
Somehow, both of them seem less refined in the Colorado than I recall from other applications.
Mainly, the transmission tends to favor higher gears too readily in the Colorado. This is a fuel economy strategy that can leave the Colorado feeling down on power. Shifts are unhurried, syrupy and torque converter-y. Manual mode, too, serves up gears in a leisurely manner.
Also, the transmission can be indecisive. At one point (in auto mode), the transmission upshifted when it was in the middle of a downshift. For real, it was kicking down in response to a throttle squeeze, and before the downshift could be completed it decided to upshift instead. It's not a terrible gearbox, but it could be better.
The engine has a decent spread of torque that is, as mentioned above, sabotaged by the transmission calibration. That, and it sounds pretty coarse, subjectively speaking, during even moderate acceleration events. At a cruise the truck is fairly serene.
Again, I don't think its powertrain is bad based on these initial impressions, just not outstanding. I look forward to evaluating its tow/haul calibration.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 315 miles