Slapping A Bow Tie Back On The Midsize Truck Market
Chevrolet has just pulled the covers off its latest attempt at the Midsize truck segment and this time, it looks like they’ve hit the nail right on the head – with a sledgehammer! After having to stare at the same relatively unchanged Midsize truck market for the past 8 years, this latest rendition of the Chevy Colorado brings a new breath of fresh air to an otherwise stagnant market. With Ford pulling the plug on their Midsize truck segment back in 2012, the competition really didn’t come up with anything significantly new but now the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, which is set to hit showrooms next fall, will offer up a new alternative for drivers who don’t want to deal with the hassle of a Fullsize truck but want enough power to haul a moderate size cargo as well as safely tow a small trailer, all while achieving car like fuel economy. It also features auto grade braking and a tow/haul mode.
One of the goals that Chevrolet had with the new 2015 Colorado is that it be the most powerful truck in its class. Not surprisingly, a 2.5-liter inline four with an estimated 193 horsepower and 184 pound feet of torque is standard and produces 90 percent of the peak torque from 2,000 rpm to 6,200 rpm. For those that want a little more kick in the pants, a 3.6-liter V-6 that pumps out an estimated 302 horsepower and 270 pound feet of torque is also an option. Both of these engines have been rigorously tuned and put to the test to perform under typical harsh conditions. Both engines feature aluminum blocks with forged-steel crankshafts along with dual-overhead camshafts and are designed with direct injection as well as variable valve timing to optimize power and efficiency. A six-speed automatic transmission backs up all that power to ensure nothing is left on the table.
“Our strategy is simple: meet the needs of the broadest possible customer base, and let them choose precisely the right truck to meet their needs,” said Mark Reuss, GM president of North America. “The all-new Colorado benefits from the solid foundation established by the Silverado, and it reinvents the midsize truck, while reinvigorating the segment at the same time.”
Unfortunately if you want the Diesel model, you’ll have to wait for the 2016 Chevy Colorado which will offer the only diesel engine in its class. A 2.8-liter Duramax inline-four turbodiesel engine is set to make its debut in the new Colorado’s second year. This engine has already been proven in tough global markets so we can expect to see a significant improvement in power output as well as fuel economy.
Speaking of fuel economy, the 2015 Chevy Colorado features a segment-first aluminum hood as well as active aero grille shutters, which close at certain highway speeds to improve the aerodynamics which gives it a lower mass and improves the front-to-rear weight balance.
The 2015 Chevy Colorado is expected to offer a class leading payload capacity as well as a trailering capacity of more than 6,700 pounds. Perfect for those that like to load up the truck with gear for the weekend and head into the great outdoors with a small trailer in tow.
Even though Chevy is marketing this truck towards young buyers with an active outdoor lifestyle, they haven’t skimped on safety gear and have included a few segment firsts such as available forward collision alert and lane departure warning. On top of that, a CornerStep rear bumper design is also standard as is the two-tier loading that allows a platform to effectively split the bed into upper and lower sections making it easier to haul, store and conceal items such as tools. The 2015 Chevy Colorado also feature a standard bed rail and tailgate protectors as well as thirteen standard tie-down locations throughout the bed for use with available, movable cargo tie-down rings. Of course the EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate is also available in the 2015 Chevy Colorado, heck, you can even order it with a factory-installed spray-in bed liner.
The 2015 Chevy Colorado is built with a coil-over-type front suspension that features strong lightweight aluminum knuckles, which help deliver a more responsive, immediate feel to steering inputs, as well as efficiency. Another class first for the new Colorado is the use of electric power steering, which enhances efficiency by eliminating the parasitic power loss that comes with using an engine driven hydraulic power steering pump. Speaking of steering, the 2015 Chevy Colorado also has a turning radius of only 41 feet which is great for backing a trailer into a tight campground.
Since the Colorado is aimed at active outdoor buyers, one of the features offered in the Colorado is the G80 automatic locking rear differential to make sure you’ve got enough traction to get to where you want to go off the beaten path. The G80 locking differential is standard on Z71 models.
The 2015 Chevy Colorado will be available in three configurations; an extended cab model with a 6-foot bed, a crew cab with a 5-foot bed and a crew cab with a 6-foot bed. With the tailgate down, the 6-foot bed allows 8-foot-long items to be hauled within the vehicle. The WT, LT and Z71 trims are available in either 2WD or 4WD. That being said, if you want the top of the line, the Z71 is the only way to go since it features a gunmetal grille surround and projector headlamps as well as unique 17-inch aluminum wheels.