2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Track Support Part Deux, Sans Trailer
June 29, 2015
The foundation to a successful track day is a dependable track support vehicle, one that'll get you to and from your destination with as little hassle as possible. As much as I adore cargo vans for their low loading heights and protection from bad weather and kleptomaniacs, pick-up trucks, like our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, are by far the more popular and socially-acceptable choice for the average track enthusiast.
Unlike my colleague Mark Takahashi, I tend to avoid renting a trailer at all costs. It isn't so much about saving money and the hassle of coordinating the pick-up/drop-off, as much as it is being legally-bound to a 55-mph maximum speed limit. I also might suck at backing these things up, so not having one saves me some shame and headache.
If you have two decent-sized bed ramps as I do, loading a bike into the Colorado's 5-foot short box isn't all that difficult. From what I've read, the Z71 off- road package doesn't increase the vehicle's static height. This is good news for anyone escorting 400 pounds of teetering mass, up a narrow incline.
The short bed, as you might infer, is quite short. I'd be surprised if anything bigger than a 150cc dirt bike could fit the length of the bed with the tailgate closed. There's a small chance my 600cc sport bike could squeeze in diagonally, but without the optional movable tie-down rings, we lack solid anchor points. Running with the tailgate down means having to secure everything else you transport in the bed. Not a deal breaker, but a bed extender would make our lives easier.
Ingress to the bed is aided somewhat by the step integrated with the rear bumper. There's a grab handle built into the bed rail, but neither of these are very ergonomic. Exiting the bed is even trickier because the step is completely hidden as you look down on the bumper. I don't require "man step" convenience, but there has to be a better approach to this aspect.
When it comes to actually driving the Colorado, I don't necessarily share the same sentiments as other editors like on staff. Yes, the powertrain isn't the most refined compared to many other daily driver options. But it wasn't ever a point of contention during my seven-hour highway blast through the desert (with temperature peaking at 112 degrees) or idling through morning traffic on my way into the Edmunds offices. It's not really a standout, good or bad.
We never wanted for cabin comfort despite the long journey through a raging inferno.
In order to squeeze a toolbox in the rear cab, you need to raise the seat to access all of the footwell space. The underseat storage here is limited as you can see. We'd prefer just a flat-loading area in lieu of this.
As a track support vehicle, I give the Colorado a B+. If you're looking to ride solo, it's the perfect size for one bed-loaded bike, space for gear, tools and refreshments in the cabin, and even an empty passenger seat for a track-day companion.
If Mark and I ever want to do a track day together, however, we'll most definitely have to spring for a U-Haul trailer — which he'll be responsible for parking.
Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor @ 11,460 miles