2015 Chevrolet Colorado Long-Term Road Test: Introduction
November 18, 2014
What Did We Get?
It's strange to think that for the last few years, the only midsize trucks for sale in the U.S. were a pair of Japanese pickups, the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. General Motors axed the old Chevrolet Colorado in 2012, the Ford Ranger was discontinued after 2011 and the Dodge Dakota was left for dead in 2010.
While the boys from Detroit poured their money into full-size trucks, Toyota and Nissan quietly scooped up customers who preferred pickups with a smaller footprint. So nonexistent was the competition that neither has been significantly updated since 2004.
This year is a different story. The all-new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is a small workhorse with attractive sheet metal, a welcoming cockpit and engines that are more powerful and efficient than its predecessors. We just had the all-new Silverado in our fleet, so we added a Colorado to our long-term fleet to see how the smaller Chevy stacks up against its bigger brother in terms of utility and comfort.
What Options Does It Have?
The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is still a truck, so choosing the right one for you will require some familiarization with the options list. This midsize truck is available in two cab styles, two bed lengths, four trim levels, three wheel sizes, four upholstery options, two engines, two transmissions and 10 colors. Still, there are fewer choices to make here than in the full-size Silverado 1500. After consulting the seemingly endless list, we made our decisions.
The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado starts at $21,870 for the base Extended Cab. The least expensive 4x4 is the same configuration in Work Truck trim, which rings in at $28,635.
As noted in our road test, we expect the 4x4 short bed with the extended cab and V6 to be the strongest seller, so we started there. During that test, we found that we liked the Z71 trim level and its off-road capability. Standard features that are optional or not available on other trims include an automatic locking rear diff, hill descent control, foglamps, heated front seats and remote start. With destination charges, our Cyber Gray Metallic truck carries an MSRP of $34,990.
We're going to be spending a lot of time in our Colorado, so the navigation system ($495) and seven-speaker Bose audio were musts ($500). We'd like to test the Colorado's 7,000-pound towing capacity, so we opted for the $250 Trailer package that includes a hitch and four- and seven-pin connectors. Lastly, we ordered floor mats ($160) and a rubber bed mat ($140).
Total MSRP on our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is $36,535. Because we have repeatedly purchased cars at Selman Chevrolet in Orange, California, they offered it to us at the invoice price of $35,357.
Why We Bought It
The midsize truck segment was left for dead a few years ago, but not because no one wanted them. Much of it came down to pricing. As full-size trucks became less expensive and started to overlap more with midsize trucks, most buyers chose to go for the bigger truck.
But owning and driving a full-size truck has its disadvantages over the long run. It's harder to park, uses more gas and doesn't always fit in a garage. So if you don't need the extra interior space and towing capacity, is a midsize truck a better choice?
We'll find out in the next year along with the answers to plenty of other questions. How does the Colorado perform when the pavement turns to dirt? And will its Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure tires and off-road suspension prove too uncomfortable in day-to-day driving?
We have 12 months and 20,000 miles to evaluate the first new midsize truck in a decade. Frequent our Long-Term Updates page as we chronicle our adventures in our pickup.
Best MPG: 19.2
Worst MPG: 17.3
Average MPG over 652 miles: 18.2
Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purpose of evaluation.