2017 Chevrolet Colorado Long-Term Road Test - New Updates

2017 Chevrolet Colorado Long-Term Road Test

New Updates


2017 Chevrolet Colorado: Wrap-Up

by Kurt Niebuhr, Vehicle Test Editor

2017 Chevrolet Colorado

What We Got

October of 2017 doesn't seem like that long ago, but that's when we took delivery of our then brand-new 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. Our purchase was influenced by how much we liked our previous 2015 Colorado long-termer, as well as the allure of the ZR2's Raptor-esque off-road capability in a midsize truck. And since we already had a year's worth of experience with the V6 engine from the previous long-term truck, we went for the new 2.8-liter Duramax diesel offering.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado: Monthly Update for September 2019

by Kurt Niebuhr, Vehicle Test Editor

2017 Chevrolet Colorado

Where Did We Drive It?
For a relatively quiet month, we still rolled another 1,400 miles onto our diesel-powered 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. This truck's been with us for so long that it's getting harder to find new things to talk about. But the consistently excellent fuel economy deserves mentioning since this capable off-roader is returning numbers more typical of a midsize sedan.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for August 2019

by Kurt Niebuhr, Vehicle Test Editor

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
After nearly two years and 40,000 miles on the clock, there's not much left to discover about our Colorado ZR2. But that's not to say we don't continue to be impressed by its reliability, fuel economy, and just the way it makes us feel when we climb aboard and think about hitting the trail and locking the diffs — even if we usually just go and pick up groceries. Hey, it's the thought that counts.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for July 2019

by Calvin Kim, Vehicle Test Engineer

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
After a mild first half in July, our trusty 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 got pressed into road-trip duty by Director of Content Strategy Josh Sadlier. You'd think a lifted truck meant for off-roading wouldn't be a willing companion over the open road. While not perfect, the ZR2 surprises with its civility.

It tracks well down the highway even with its large all-terrain tires, thanks to its independent front suspension. And though the diesel gives you long-range capability, you might find the Multimatic shocks to be somewhat disagreeable over harsh, broken-up pavement.

And then there are the issues in the cab. The infotainment system is buggy, and the interior hasn't aged well. Both of these factors are important when spending long hours in the otherwise comfortable seats.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for June 2019

by Calvin Kim, Vehicle Test Engineer

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
After a busy spring with numerous photo and video shoots and lots of early summer travels, our 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 pretty much sat out the month of June. What few miles we accrued during the month were all basically in the city, which says a lot about the ZR2's on-road comfort and livability.

Yes, the ride height is high, and there aren't enough handholds inside the cabin to facilitate entry and exit for children or height-challenged adults. But the ride over Los Angeles' many pothole-ridden streets is comfortable. In fact, we haven't had any negative comments regarding the Multimatic DSSV shocks.

We did have many comments, both positive and negative, regarding the ZR2's onboard technology and now-outdated infotainment system.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for May 2019

by Calvin Kim, Vehicle Test Engineer

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
If you've been following along, our 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 was involved in an accident toward the end of April. It was a minor accident, at least it was for our plucky truck, and that meant we weren't in any terrible rush to get it fixed. All it needed was a new bumper and paint, and though the trailer hitch looked OK, we got a new one installed since it took the brunt of the accident. You can never be too careful.

Once back in our possession, we immediately put a thousand miles on the odometer with a quick trip to Flagstaff, Arizona, to take in the off-roading and camping spectacle that is Overland Expo. We then drafted it into family duty and discovered some issues with using car seats in a midsize truck. Of course, our ZR2 isn't just any midsize truck. It's nearly 2 inches taller than a standard Colorado, but it doesn't have the rear legroom of a full-size truck. Our verdict is that we found using the ZR2 for child-seat duty was challenging but doable.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for April 2019

by Calvin Kim, Vehicle Test Engineer

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
Thanks to the combination of rough weather and photo/video work, our ZR2 has been getting regular exercise. But our 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2's month was unexpectedly cut short due to being rear-ended on the highway. The initial prognosis is good, with our insurance adjuster recommending a new bumper and trailer hitch. While the need to replace the bumper was obvious, we inspected the trailer hitch and discovered no wrinkles or bends in the hardware or displaced bracketry. We're chalking it up to a case of being overly cautious.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Two New Tires

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

We have not been shy about taking our 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 out into the dirt, rocks and mud. We've put more than 30,000 miles on it so far, and we're still on the original tires. Well, mostly.

Midway through March, we used the ZR2 to support the production of yet another off-road video, and in the process it tackled all sorts of terrain. It went back into normal commuting duty afterward. And toward the end of the month, I drove it home for the weekend.

At some point during my drive home, the right front tire read 5 psi lower than the others on the tire pressure display. Later, when the low-speed freeway crush started to clear up and traffic started to run free, I noticed a severe vibration at speeds above 55 mph.

Low tire pressure? A case of the wobblies? I don't believe in coincidences.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for March 2019

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

March stats: 20.2 mpg, 1,526 miles
Lifetime stats:             21.1 mpg, 31,282 miles
EPA rating: 20 mpg combined (19 city/22 highway)

Best tank: 27.7 mpg (no change)
Best range: 513.3 miles (no change)

March got off to a damp, muddy start for our Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, which was drafted yet again to serve as a support vehicle for a video production of an off-road comparison test. The rain that fell in record amounts persisted into early March, and even our normally arid deserts got more than a fair share.

The ZR2 shrugged it all off, of course, but somewhere along the way one of the front tires suffered damage that caused leaking and a severe vibration that required attention. On the last day of March, the digital oil-life monitor dropped to 0%, and the digital monitor on the fuel filter life fell to 1%. We'll take care of both in April.

All of the off-road driving pushed the monthly fuel economy average fuel below the lifetime average, but this was offset somewhat by long steady highway runs to and from the video shoot location.

The March average came in at 20.2 mpg, which is bang-on with the EPA combined mpg rating for the diesel ZR2. That result is less than our truck's impressive lifetime average, but it didn't exert enough downward influence to change it. The month began and ended at 21.1 mpg.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for February 2019

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

February consumption: 21.3 mpg
Average lifetime consumption: 21.2 mpg (unchanged)
EPA rating: 20 mpg combined (19 city/22 highway)

Best tank: 27.7 mpg (no change)
Best range: 513.3 miles (no change)

February miles: 2,374
Current odometer: 29,741 miles

Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) added this month: 2.5 gallons
Average lifetime DEF consumption: 1,104 mpg

February was a busy month for our Colorado ZR2 despite uncharacteristically rainy, and even snowy, local weather. The ZR2 continues to be both a staff favorite and a workhorse, and our merry band of drivers added a healthy 2,374 miles during a month that included at least three different trips out into the desert.

One trip was for pure fun. The other two trips amounted to video support for an off-road film we made: first to scout the area, then to shadow the subject vehicles and carry equipment during the actual filming.

Despite a fair bit of off-road driving and an occasionally heavy load of staff and equipment, the ZR2 averaged 21.3 mpg for the month, which is slightly better than the truck's lifetime average (21.2 mpg).

This diesel-powered machine continues to impress us with measured fuel economy that runs steadily above its 20 mpg EPA combined rating with little apparent effort. In this part of the country, a gallon of Diesel #2 fuel only costs about a dime more than premium unleaded, so the diesel's low fuel consumption is translating into real cost-per-mile savings at the pump.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for January 2019

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

To look at it, you would not think our 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 would be a popular pick for an extended road trip. You'd instantly get the ZR2's off-road ability, but its smooth, settled ride and admirable open-road fuel economy do not explain themselves on looks alone. The reality is that many on our staff find themselves drawn to its pleasant on-road ride, and the 3.0-liter Duramax diesel has demonstrated repeatedly that it can cover a lot of ground between fill-ups. It's no surprise that the ZR2 was picked for three out-of-town trips since the last update.

Before the holiday break, John Adolph drove it on a scouting trip in support of a three-way truck video you'll soon see. He hauled a motorcycle and explored a fair number of off-road miles, but he also covered a lot of ground on the freeway getting there and back.

During the holidays, Travis drove it more than a thousand miles to Northern California and back to spend time with family. Shortly after his return, Scott Jacobs grabbed the keys and added more than 600 miles over a short weekend before things quieted down in late January.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for November 2018

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Miles added this month: 1,044.6 miles
Current odometer: 24,372 miles

November consumption: 20.7 mpg
Average lifetime consumption: 21.1 mpg — no change
EPA rating: 20 mpg combined (19 city/22 highway)

Best tank: 26.4 mpg — no change
Best range: 513.3 miles — no change

Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) added this month: None
Average lifetime DEF consumption: 1,104 mpg

Where Did We Drive It?
No one drove our ZR2 on any long road trips this month. It stayed pretty close to home, and so the driving mix included a bit more in-town mileage than recent months. Commuting, errand-running, trips to the mall. It was mostly a ho-hum month.

But not entirely. One of those tanks did include an off-road adventure, but even this was on a trail close to home. The lights of the L.A. basin were still visible from high up on the mountainside.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for October 2018

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

October diesel consumption: 21.6 mpg
Average lifetime diesel consumption: 21.1 mpg — no change
EPA rating: 20 mpg combined (19 city/22 highway)

Best tank: 26.4 mpg — new this month, displaces 25.7 mpg
Best range: 513.3 miles — no change

Miles added this month: 2,126.5 miles
Current odometer: 23,328 miles

Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) added this month: 4.9 gallons
Average lifetime DEF consumption: 1,104 mpg

Where Did We Drive It?
Our ZR2 diesel demonstrated its full range of capabilities this month. It was a daily driver on commute duty much of the time, but it was also pressed into service as the support and recovery vehicle for a fairly gnarly off-road video we shot. Near the end of the month, I took it on an impromptu same-day run to Phoenix and back to pick up some freebie off-road wheels and tires. When someone on a forum says, "You can have them. I just want them out of my garage," you've got to act fast.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for September 2018

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
That sound you hear is the Edmunds staff applauding because our long-term 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 hit its 20,000-mile target last month. Not only that, but the end of September also marked a full year of ownership. Usually these milestones would mean it's time to say goodbye, but we own this one outright. We're free to keep it as long as we want.

Our ZR2 is not going anywhere just yet because it's still a popular choice. And it's not as if everyone is off-roading all the time either. It's certainly being used for that, but it's also comfortable enough to get picked for road trips that any car, truck or SUV could handle. September's tally of 2,110 miles is a prime example of that.

The Colorado spent more than a week in the hands of our remote operative in California's Central Valley, which means he drove it more than 400 miles on a there-and-back road trip, plus a like number of miles of local commuting and errand-running. Another staffer took it to a remote undisclosed location in Kern County to maintain a duck blind, while a third drove it north to Monterey, California, to attend the Porsche Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca Raceway. Others may have even driven it to work and back in between.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for August 2018

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
We drove our 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 some 1,306 miles in August, a figure that brings its odometer up to 19,091 miles overall. With just one month left of service, the Chevrolet ZR2 looks set to reach our typical 20,000-mile target in the allotted 12 months.

Those August miles were fairly evenly split between commuting, home-improvement store runs and a weekend camping trip to Sequoia National Park. August had it all, in other words: arterial city streets, urban freeways, interstates, winding mountain roads, traffic, wide-open spaces, grades and a smattering of altitude. And heat. August was sweltering around here.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for July 2018

by Will Kaufman, Staff Writer

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
After getting to do all sorts of stuff in June, our 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 didn't tackle anything more onerous than a speed bump in July. As a nice change of pace, this month the ZR2 also received a little love as a daily driver (hey, we can take a break from complaining about the ride quality for a few weeks). Of course, there are always some issues for us to ... reflect on.

You'll get that when you read the comments.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for June 2018

by Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing Operations

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
June was a month of variety for our 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. We drove to Disneyland, one hour in each direction on the freeway. The truck spent an afternoon as a sawhorse. On one particular night, though, it wasn't even good enough for the dog to ride in. It sat parked for four days in a dealership service center.

Thankfully, it spent the end of the month in its element as a support vehicle for an off-road comparison test in the Inyo National Forest. It was an eventful month.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for May 2018

by Travis Langness, Staff Writer

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
In one of its busiest months to date, our long-term 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 drove through four states, traveled through three national parks, visited two national monuments, and did several hundred miles of real honest-to-goodness off-roading. We also set a new range record and finally engineered a high-tech fix for the shiny chrome interior bits that flash sunlight in our eyes on a daily basis.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for April 2018

by Calvin Kim, Road Test Engineer

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
Our long-term 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is a good multipurpose vehicle: It's been used for off-roading, city commuting and, in April, long-distance touring. Diesel engines like this sort of thing, so it was a good chance to hunker into the driver's seat and really stretch the ZR2's legs as editor Dan Frio drove up to Reno, Nevada, and back. How are the trick shocks on long highway stints? Any issues with the infotainment system? How is the road noise with those knobby tires?

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for February 2018

by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
For such an abundantly capable off-road rig, we enjoy driving our long-term 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 on the highway quite a bit. February wasn't its most mileage-heavy month, but the ZR2 did clock more than 1,000 miles, primarily on the open road. We're fond of how it smooths out road imperfections and remains relatively silent over most surfaces despite its knobby tires. The tall tire sidewalls seem to help in the city, too, with no pothole or speed bump too large to go crashing over at speed.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for January 2018

by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 has only been in our fleet a few months, but it's seen off-road action in nearly every month that's passed. It begs to be driven where the pavement ends, and when you get it there, it takes on a much more entertaining character. This month, our ZR2 did all the regular commuting duties along with a few freeway journeys. I took it upon myself to cover the truck in mud and climb up a few questionable hillsides.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for December 2017

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
We added another 1,951 miles to our 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 this month, and a good chunk of it came from a road trip I took to drive a Jeep. The all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler was introduced just outside of Tucson, Arizona, and I decided to drive instead of fly. I'll always make that call if the destination is within 500 miles or so. I'd rather deal with mpg than TSA. To get in the spirit of the whole off-road thing, I selected the ZR2.

I took the long way, so the trip represented about 1,100 miles of this month's total accumulation. The remainder came from errand-running and local driving during the holidays. The end result is a decent mix of driving, skewing a bit toward highway.

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2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2: Monthly Update for November 2017

by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Where Did We Drive It?
Our first full month with the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 was busy. We bought the ZR2 in October (so technically we've had it in the fleet for about seven weeks), and since then it's seen a lot of action both on- and off-road. That included a trip to Death Valley alongside our long-term Tacoma (more on that soon) plus all the regular commuting miles and a few freeway jaunts.

It's seen so much action, in fact, that the odometer has already clocked nearly 6,000 miles. We've been getting very familiar with the beefed-up ZR2's dimensions and learning firsthand what it's like driving such a dirt-friendly rig on a daily basis.

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