2018 Chevrolet Colorado

2018 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab Review

The 2018 Chevy Colorado is a versatile, modern midsize truck with lots of desirable equipment.
7.3 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

If you don't need all the capability that a full-size pickup provides, a truck like the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado might be right up your alley. Midsize trucks such as the Colorado are appealing thanks to virtues such as carlike maneuverability and fuel economy. The Colorado certainly has some of that appeal, along with plenty of available options and good all-around pickup-truck competency.

The Colorado has several tough competitors, though, namely the Toyota Tacoma and the Honda Ridgeline. The Tacoma has strong resale value and excellent off-road capabilities, while the Honda Ridgeline has excellent on-road performance and interior refinement. The Colorado offers long-distance comfort, a simple cabin layout and a range of desirable engines. Picking a winner in this segment will largely come down to what attributes you value most, but the 2018 Colorado is definitely worth a test drive.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado as one of Edmunds' Best Pickup Trucks for this year.



What's new for 2018

The 2018 Chevy Colorado gets a few small upgrades to the standard equipment list including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and a 7-inch infotainment screen replacing last year's smaller 4.2-inch version.

We recommend

If you're looking for a good balance between equipment level and pricing, we recommend the LT trim level. There are several options packages to choose from, so you can customize your truck with varying levels of features. We also recommend the optional 3.6-liter V6 or the 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine, both of which are available on the LT.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Chevrolet Colorado is a midsize pickup offered in extended-cab and crew-cab body styles. There are two bed lengths and five trim levels: Base, Work Truck (WT), LT, Z71 and ZR2. For a no-frills truck, the Base and Work Truck models have limited features and low prices. The midrange LT offers extras such as a larger touchscreen and a standard 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, while the top-of-the-line Z71 combines some basic off-road prowess with top equipment. The ZR2 model features significant suspension and body changes that give it improved off-road capability.

The entry-level model, known simply as Base, covers the truck basics without a lot of extras, 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, 16-inch steel wheels, 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 Chevrolet's app-based MyLink system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice controls, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 7-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 biggest difference between the Base Colorado and the Work Truck trim is the latter's list of available options. Essentially you can equip the Work Truck with a few tech items, optional engines and exterior trim that make 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 for the WT include remote keyless entry, cruise control, an EZ-Lift tailgate, and OnStar telematics (roadside assistance, turn-by-turn navigation, automatic crash response) and 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot 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, in-car 4G LTE Wi-Fi, and two additional USB ports.

More options are available for the LT, with the most notable ones being heated front seats, automatic climate control, heated exterior mirrors, and forward collision and lane departure warning systems. For LT models and above, there's an available seven-speaker premium Bose audio system and a navigation system (an enhancement of the standard 8-inch MyLink interface).

For more luxury items and some mild off-road ability, you'll want to check out the Z71. 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.

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, a spray-in bedliner (optional on other trims) and an electronically locking rear differential. Chevy offers the V6 or the diesel engine for the ZR2.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado LT (3.6L V6 | 8-speed automatic | 4WD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.3 / 10

Driving

7.5 / 10

Acceleration8.5 / 10
Braking7.5 / 10
Steering7.0 / 10
Handling7.5 / 10
Drivability8.0 / 10

Comfort

7.5 / 10

Seat comfort7.5 / 10
Ride comfort7.5 / 10
Noise & vibration7.0 / 10
Climate control7.5 / 10

Interior

7.5 / 10

Ease of use8.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out7.0 / 10
Driving position8.5 / 10
Roominess7.5 / 10
Visibility7.0 / 10
Quality7.5 / 10

Utility

7.0 / 10

Small-item storage7.5 / 10
Cargo space6.0 / 10

Technology

8.0 / 10

Audio & navigation8.0 / 10
Smartphone integration9.0 / 10
Driver aids7.0 / 10
Voice control8.0 / 10

Driving7.5

The V6 engine is lively, and the eight-speed automatic well-behaved. Other than the praiseworthy powertrain, the Colorado also handles well for a truck, even if the steering lacks feedback.

Acceleration8.5

The V6 makes the truck feel light in straightaways and never breathless at full tilt, even if its 6.7-second zero-to-60 time is barely faster than the Honda Ridgeline's. There's a lack of grunt low in the rev range that's only revealed when the transmission hesitates to downshift.

Braking7.5

The pedal is firm and numb under moderately hard braking, but it's otherwise easy to modulate in regular driving conditions. We recorded a stopping distance from 60 mph of 124 feet, which is good for the class. Nosedive is noticeable under hard braking, not out of character for a truck.

Steering7.0

The steering offers good on-center feel for highway driving and precise control. Steering effort is appropriately weighted even if the assistance feels a bit artificial. Feedback is nearly nonexistent.

Handling7.5

Body roll is tamed by the firm suspension, so the Colorado corners quite well for a truck. With an unloaded bed, the light rear end will easily break traction, but stability control always keeps that manageable. As carlike as the Colorado feels, it's ultimately still a truck.

Drivability8.0

The eight-speed transmission is well-matched to this engine, and acceleration is intuitive, with smooth throttle tip-in. There's no real issue of the transmission hunting for gears, and it holds speed easily on hills — although it is occasionally reluctant to downshift on flat roads.

Off-road6.0

The low air dam hanging from the front bumper is good for mileage but bad for clearance. The Colorado (in all but ZR2 trim) isn't a good choice for tackling rocks or deep ruts or dips, but it does have locking differentials and hill descent control.

Comfort7.5

The Colorado offers a better ride than most full-size pickups, but it is more stiff-legged than some midsize competition. Noise isolation, climate control and seat adjustability are rudimentary, but the Colorado is designed well enough that drivers with pickup-truck expectations will be comfortable.

Seat comfort7.5

The front seats are nicely molded, if a little firm, and offer an upright but comfortable position. There's not a ton of adjustability, so opinions are sometimes divided, but most drivers will be comfortable even on longer drives. The rear bench is harder, and the backrest is expectedly upright.

Ride comfort7.5

The ride is much less rough than most full-size trucks, likely thanks in part to the more limited hauling capacity, but it's definitely still firm. The more generous sidewalls on the tires help keep bigger bumps from feeling harsh.

Noise & vibration7.0

There's considerable road, wind and tire noise, especially at freeway speeds. The transmission helps to avoid engine noise, and wind noise is the biggest factor at speed. We didn't find the noise levels ever rising to the point where they impede conversation, though.

Climate control7.5

The climate controls are easy and intuitive to use, and the system is more than a match for most weather conditions. But it's only a single-zone setup. The heated seats and steering wheel work well and are easy to operate.

Interior7.5

As befits a small truck, the driving position is upright and the controls are simple. Even as a crew cab, the Colorado favors the front seat, with a cramped and difficult-to-access rear seat, especially since side steps are optional extras. Large door pillars create some problematic sight lines.

Ease of use8.0

Everything is easy to reach, and there's plenty of well-labeled and generously sized switchgear, including oversize toggles in the center console that are easy to operate even when wearing heavy gloves.

Getting in/getting out7.0

This is a relatively high vehicle, and steps are optional extras. The big front door opening helps, and step-up isn't too high for adults of average height. The rear door is much narrower and has a slightly shorter opening, so getting in and out of the back seat is noticeably more difficult.

Driving position8.5

The driving position in the Colorado is upright and commanding yet remains comfortable. None of the controls are out of reach, and everything is accessible and visible. There's also generous adjustment range in the seat and steering column to suit all types of drivers.

Roominess7.5

The front seat offers lots of room all around. There's enough adjustability for most drivers, and taller drivers won't run out of headroom. The crew cab's rear seat is tight; legroom is limited, and there's insufficient headroom for taller passengers.

Visibility7.0

Forward visibility is quite good, but the very wide door pillars can cause problems, especially when pulling out of a driveway at an angle. The side mirrors are sized properly, making them useful during lane changes.

Quality7.5

The cabin is full of hard plastics and generally cheap-feeling surfaces. That said, it's solidly put together, and it feels more modern than the Tacoma or Frontier. Still, it can't match the Ridgeline.

Utility7.0

The Colorado offers high towing and hauling ratings, but it can't match the Ridgeline for usability. The bed is narrower, even if it boasts a higher total volume. The rear seats don't fold flat, and there are no clever compartments for larger items, reducing enclosed storage options.

Small-item storage7.5

There are plenty of places to stash things in the cabin, including a cellphone tray next to the USB port. Door pockets are cleverly tiered to help organize small items, and the cupholders are generously sized. Rear passengers only get seatback pockets and cupholders if there's no middle passenger.

Cargo space6.0

Even though the Colorado is available with the longest in-class cargo box, it isn't wide enough for a 4-by-8 sheet of plywood to lie flat. The bed also requires a bedliner and lacks the clever storage compartments or electrical outlets seen in competitors. The floor height is also higher than competitors'.

Child safety seat accommodation6.5

The outboard rear seats both offer LATCH points, although the tether anchors are difficult to access. Larger rear-facing seats will impinge on front-seat travel. The rear-seat height means getting seats and infants into the back requires lifting, which may be troublesome for shorter drivers.

Towing9.0

The Colorado offers best-in-class performance thanks to a maximum tow rating of up to 7,700 pounds with the diesel and 7,000 pounds with the V6. A seven-way electrical connector, integrated trailer-brake controller, exhaust brake, and a number of hitch styles are available as optional extras.

Hauling7.0

Our 4,529-pound test truck had a maximum payload of 1,548 pounds, which is good, but trails the Ridgeline slightly. The bed sides and tailgate lip are high, but numerous tie-down locations aid functionality. The Tacoma and Ridgeline have power outlets, composite beds and more tie-downs.

Technology8.0

Chevrolet offers solid in-car technology thanks largely to its MyLink system, which is easy to use and feature-rich. Unfortunately, the Colorado lags behind in terms of useful on-road active safety technology.

Audio & navigation8.0

The sound quality from the premium Bose system is acceptable but nothing special. It does reach higher volumes without causing distortion. Chevy's MyLink navigation remains a good system. It's responsive with sharp graphics and a straightforward interface.

Smartphone integration9.0

Chevy does a good job offering charging options, with two USB ports up front and two optional ports in back, as well as 110-volt outlets front and back. Bluetooth is easy to set up, and it works well. The MyLink system also features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Driver aids7.0

Our tester was optioned with forward collision alert and lane departure warning. Both work as advertised, though the forward collision system can be overly sensitive. But it doesn't return completely false positives the way some systems occasionally do.

Voice control8.0

It has one of the less frustrating mainstream systems, even though it requires relatively specific phrasing. Commands are displayed on the touchscreen, which is helpful, and the system does its best to help you along when things go wrong rather than furthering misunderstandings.

Mobile web9.0

Chevrolet's hotspot setup is one of the easier systems to use. It offers a 4G LTE connection and can handle up to seven devices.

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.