2017 Chevrolet Colorado

2017 Chevrolet Colorado Review

It's an easy-to-drive midsize truck with plenty of towing capability.
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor

The smooth-riding and well-equipped 2017 Chevrolet Colorado is a solid offering in the midsize truck segment. It's not the best choice for heading off-road or for ultimate comfort, but it's easy to drive and has plenty of towing capability.

Although full-size trucks are some of the most popular vehicles in America, trucks such as the Colorado make a great case for themselves as mini-me versions of the big haulers. Available with three different engines and an array of cab and bed configurations, the 2017 Colorado is a midsize truck that can get all sorts of jobs done.

A plus for midsize trucks such as the Colorado is their maneuverability. Though they may seem only marginally smaller than full-size trucks (such as Chevy's Silverado), they're much more nimble and versatile in the city. Plus, the Colorado can tow up to 7,700 pounds — that's more than enough for the typical trailer.



what's new

For 2017, the Chevrolet Colorado receives a revised V6 engine that comes paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The V6 is a bit more powerful, though fuel economy ratings do not change significantly. Also noteworthy this year is the new ZR2, which comes with special suspension hardware for vastly improved off-road capability.

we recommend

Other than deciding which engine and cab configuration to go with, picking a Colorado will depend largely on the number of creature comforts you need. With that in mind, the LT strikes a good balance between equipment levels and price while providing a few desirable option packages and a pretty modern vibe. The Z71 comes with the most features but gives you less flexibility to pick and choose. Its off-road capabilities aren't best-in-class, but if you want to hit the dirt in a Colorado, the new ZR2 is your best choice.




trim levels & features

The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado is a midsize pickup offered in two- and four-seat extended-cab and five-seat crew-cab body styles. There are two bed lengths and five four trim levels: Base, Work Truck (WT), LT, Z71 and ZR2. For a no-nonsense truck, the Base and Work Truck models will likely hit the spot. The better-equipped LT offers extras such as Apple CarPlay and 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot-spot connectivity, while the top-of-the-range Z71 combines some basic off-road prowess with top equipment. Lastly, the ZR2 has significant suspension and body modifications that give it significantly greater off-road capability.

The entry-level model, known simply as Base, covers the truck basics without much in the way of extra fluff, but it still has a decent amount of equipment. It's offered only as an extended cab, and standard features include a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine (200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque), a six-speed manual transmission, air-conditioning, vinyl upholstery and floor covering, a four-way power driver seat with manual recline, front bucket seats, a tilt-only adjustable steering wheel, power windows, a rearview camera, and a six-speaker sound system with a 4.2-inch display.

There aren't too many changes when you step up to the Work Truck (WT) model, but it does come in both extended-cab and crew-cab body styles and adds fold-up rear jump seats (extended-cab models only), cloth upholstery, carpeting and floor mats.

The major difference between the Base and Work Truck trims is the latter's exclusive list of desirable options. Essentially you can equip the Work Truck with a few tech items, optional engines and exterior trim that makes it feel less basic. From the WT level on up, you can get a six-speed automatic transmission for the base four-cylinder or one of the Colorado's two optional engines: a 3.6-liter V6 (308 hp and 275 lb-ft) paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission or a 2.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine (181 hp and 369 lb-ft) paired to a six-speed automatic.

Notable options that are part of packages for the WT include remote keyless entry, cruise control, and an audio system upgrade package that includes a version of Chevrolet's app-based MyLink system with Bluetooth connectivity, a 7-inch display screen, voice controls, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, OnStar telematics and 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot-spot connectivity.

If you don't want to sort through all the WT's options sheets, you can simply spring for the LT, which gets you most of the above items, plus 17-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an 8-inch touchscreen, satellite radio and two additional USB ports.

More options are available for the LT, with the most notable ones being heated front seats, automatic climate control, and forward collision and lane departure warning systems.

For more luxury accoutrements and mild off-road ability, the Z71 is the next step up. It comes standard with most of the LT's optional equipment, plus it adds dark-tinted 17-inch alloy wheels, all-terrain tires (instead of all-season tires), an off-road-oriented suspension, a locking rear differential, hill descent control, unique cloth and simulated leather upholstery, and other model-specific trim pieces. And as a final touch, the LT and Z71 also offer a seven-speaker premium Bose audio system and a navigation system (an enhancement of the standard 8-inch MyLink interface).

Even with the off-road-oriented suspension, the Z71 is still more oriented toward street use. For more ability off the beaten path, the ZR2 is your truck. The ZR2 has a raised suspension with special dampers, bigger all-terrain tires, fender flares, special bodywork for improved approach and departure angles and an electronically locking rear differential. Chevy offers the V6 or the diesel engine for the ZR2.

For more detailed information about the ZR2, please read our 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 First Drive.



Driving

The Colorado drives well in almost all scenarios. Its tow ratings lead the class, steering and handling allow the truck to maneuver well around town, and the highway ride is smooth. We'd happily take the Colorado on a long road trip and drive it on a daily basis.

Acceleration

Fitted with the available V6 engine, the Colorado has plenty of oomph. The potent yet efficient turbodiesel four-cylinder is a compelling alternative, especially if you plan to do a lot of towing.

Braking

During Edmunds performance testing, a four-wheel-drive Colorado came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet. That's average for the segment. Brake pedal feel is soft, though, with a long travel, and the brakes exhibited some fade at the test track.

Steering

The big, chunky steering wheel feels good in the driver's hands. The truck's steering response is a little slow, but overall the Colorado feels predictable and well mannered.

Handling

Though this Colorado is less responsive than some other trucks in the segment, it is still confident, even with four-wheel drive. During performance testing and out on the road, it produced decent numbers and offered suitable stability when driving around turns.

Drivability

We've driven both long- and short-bed crew-cab Colorados, and the two differ significantly in maneuverability. The short bed is more manageable in tight spaces. Compared to full-size trucks, however, pretty much any Colorado will be a better choice for crowded cities.

Off-road

A two-speed transfer case is standard on 4WD Colorados. Hill descent control and an automatic locking rear differential are optional. The low nose on the Colorado compromises approach angle significantly, but the ZR2's revised front fascia and increased ground clearance should solve that problem.

Comfort

Though it's broadly utilitarian, the Colorado has a comfortable ride while being quiet and easy to drive — especially on long trips. It's not soft, but it's livable for anybody who knows trucks.

Seat comfort

The well-bolstered front seats are supportive, comfortable and attractive. They offer all-day livability, but larger-framed occupants could find them a bit confining. The crew cab's rear seats are a bit flat, but they can handle adult passengers, offering adequate support.

Ride comfort

Though the Colorado's ride is busy on uneven terrain when the bed is empty, it's still quite tolerable in everyday driving. A small load or a light trailer smooths things out quite a bit.

Noise & vibration

Road and wind noise is impressively absent, and the Colorado's cockpit is a quiet place to spend time. We could easily spend all day in this truck and never get tired.

Climate control

Chevy pulls off a cool trick with its heated front seats, allowing the lower and upper portions to be heated together, or just the back portion — great for back pain. Also the climate control knobs are big, tactile and easy to use. No problems here.

Interior

Though there are some plastics that aren't exactly class-leading, the Colorado has a likable, well-organized and utilitarian cabin overall. There's sufficient room for four adults, and the build quality stands up over time.

Ease of use

The Colorado's cabin is full of large, logically arranged buttons that improve usability. Four-way power front seats are standard, and power lumbar controls are available as an option. LT and ZL1 trims offer a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, but base trims have a tilt-only wheel.

Getting in/getting out

Though the Colorado isn't as wide or long as the Silverado, its seats are similar in height. Plan on some effort to get in and out. The doors open wide enough, but they are heavy.

Roominess

The front seat space is abundant. Even tall drivers will have ample head- and legroom. Hauling adult passengers in the rear seats requires the crew cab if you want them to be comfortable. Rear headroom is plentiful, but legroom is tight.

Visibility

It's easy to see out the front of the Colorado. The large side mirrors can hide vehicles or pedestrians, but they pay off in good rear visibility, especially when towing a trailer. A rearview camera is standard across the lineup.

Quality

The overall interior quality is respectable. Large swaths of plastic on the dash and the doors are obvious, but they're well-textured and don't look cheap. The assembly quality on and around the dashboard and seats looks and feels high-quality.

Utility

The Colorado manages a good balance of abundant small item storage and rear-seat cargo space. Buyers looking to maximize hauling capability should go for the long-bed Colorado.

Small-item storage

Small item storage in the Colorado is excellent. Cupholders, cubbies and pockets are everywhere. Under the rear seats are large storage areas that can be used to stow tools out of sight. The door pockets and the center console are a bit shallow.

Cargo space

Though this midsize truck doesn't have an overabundance of room inside, it does use space efficiently. A modest center console is supplemented with two bins in and under the center stack.

Child safety seat accommodation

If you need the space for a child seat, you'll want to go with the crew-cab Colorado. Larger child seats will require moving the front seat forward, though, so there may not be room for a front passenger.

Towing

The max tow rating with the diesel is 7,700 pounds, which is at the top of the class. The V6 tops out at 7,000 pounds, and the base four-cylinder is good for 3,500 pounds. The tow-haul mode is effective in tailoring transmission responses to your towing needs.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.