The Chevrolet Colorado is known as the midsize truck that replaced the Chevy S-10, which was a standard in compact pickup trucks for over twenty years. It is also known for having a strong engine but not being a leader in crash safety.
The Chevrolet Colorado was first produced in 2004 to take the place of the Chevy S-10 compact pickup truck. The Colorado is a midsize truck produced by General Motors whose GMC twin is the Canyon, which replaced the GMC Sonoma. Isuzu also had a version of this truck, known as the i-Series. The Colorado was based on the GMT355 platform, which features an A-arm independent suspension and was also the basis for the Hummer H3 and the Holden Rodeo.
The 2012 Chevy Colorado, like the 2004 Chevy S-10 it replaced, is about ready for refreshing. While it was a highly impressive and innovative midsize truck when it made the scene eight years earlier, by 2012 some of the more aggressive pickups in this market space have passed it by. The interior materials look dated and the design is clearly due for an overhaul.
That being said, the Colorado has carried over many positives over the years, the biggest of which may be its variety of configurations. With a wide range of body styles, trims and engines, you can make a lot of different 2012 Chevrolet Colorados to find one that will suit your needs.
Colorado buyers can choose from among the regular cab, extended cab and four-door crew cab. The regular and extended cabs come with a six-foot cargo box, while the crew cab comes with a five-foot box. Once you've chosen your cab, you can go with the base Work Truck or update to one of three LT trims, LT1, LT2, or LT3. The LT1 adds a variety of luxury features and more stylized exterior options, while the LT2 is more suitable for off-road action and the LT3 is the sporty model. You can also choose all-wheel drive over the standard rear-wheel drive, in all trims except the LT3.
Finally, 2012 Chevy Colorado owners could opt to stick with the base 2.9-liter four-cylinder, 185 horsepower, 190 lb-ft torque engine, or upgrade to one of the two optional engines. The engine upgrade replaces the standard engine with either a 3.7-liter, five-cylinder engine that cranks out 242 horsepower with 242 lb-ft of torque or, optional on the LT2 and standard on the LT3, a 5.3-liter V-8 capable of generating 300 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. This V-8 engine allows a properly equipped 2012 Chevrolet Colorado to tow up to 6000 lbs. The four-cylinder engine is linked to a five-speed manual transmission, while the other two engines are linked to a four-speed automatic, which is an option on the standard engine.
Safety ratings on the 2012 Chevy Colorado are mixed, with a top level "Good" rating from the International Institute of Highway Safety on frontal offset crash testing, but a "Marginal" rating on rear crash protection. Safety features include front head airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, ventilated front disc brakes, and rear drum brakes, with stability and traction control and tire pressure monitoring.
There was only one version of the Colorado from 2004-2012, although a new version is planned for future Colorado models. From its inception, the Colorado came as a regular cab, extended cab or crew cab. Trim levels have varied over the years; the original Colorado came with only the base Work Truck, LS, and premium LT trims. In 2009, the LS trim became the VL trim, with some minor tweaks, and in 2010, only the Work Truck and LT trims were available. The 2012 model features four trim levels; the standard Work Truck and three levels of LT trim.
While the variety in engine options is a major part of the Chevrolet Colorado's appeal, the initial Colorado offered only two engine options, neither of which was overly impressive. The first was a 2.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that could push out 175 horsepower, while the upgraded option was a 3.5-liter five-cylinder that could crank out a few more horses, providing 220 hp for Colorado drivers. 2007 happily saw the base engine upgraded to the existing 2.9-liter four-cylinder while the new Colorado engine upgrade bumped it up to the 3.7-liter five-cylinder. 2007 also saw updated exterior styling, with new colors, tires, and wheels and an updated front grille. Finally in 2009, along with more updated exterior styling, the serious 5.3-liter V-8 muscled its way into the lineup of Colorado engines.
A new version of the Chevrolet Colorado is planned for 2013 and beyond. This version is diesel powered, with either a 2.5-liter, Duramax Diesel four-cylinder or a 2.8-liter Duramax Diesel TD four-cylinder, linked to a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.