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- Highs Poised handling for a pickup truck, driver's seat is comfortably positioned, lifted and widened ZR2 excels off-road.
- Lows Noisy and weak four-cylinder engine, mediocre cabin materials, short selection of active safety features.
- Verdict The Colorado pickup is nimble and capable, but it's not as desirable or polished as top rivals.
The 2022 Chevrolet Colorado satisfies shoppers who want the versatility of a traditional pickup without the compromise of a full-size truck. While the half-ton Chevy Silverado 1500 offers a family-sized back seat and higher towing capacity, the mid-size Colorado is easier to maneuver and still boasts a notable maximum tow rating of 7700 pounds. Despite its uncouth base engine, the available 308-hp V-6 is responsive and speedy, and the diesel option is thrifty and torquey, producing a sizable 369 pound-feet. The Chevy's oil-burning mill is no match for the diesel Jeep Gladiator, but the bow tie is better to drive and matches the Jeep's ruggedness with the hugely capable ZR2 model. The 2022 Colorado's comfy driving position and robust infotainment system are offset by a dearth of driver-assistance tech and its cheap-looking cabin, but those shortcomings should be less offensive to anyone seeking a more conventional truck experience.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What's New for 2022?
For 2022, the only change to the Colorado lineup is the new dealer-installed Trail Boss package. While it's not as aggressive as the setup found on the ZR2, it enhances the off-road abilities of the LT and Z71. The package adds a leveling kit that gives the suspension a 1.0-inch lift and bolts skid plates to the front and middle of its underbelly. It also turns the exterior badges black, brings red tow hooks, eliminates the front air dam, and includes a set of black 17-inch rims derived from the ZR2.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
While the Colorado is a popular truck, its lack of modern driver assists and its subpar interior quality diminish its desirability. For that reason, we'd recommend the model that makes the Chevy unique among mid-size pickups. That's the jacked-up wide-bodied ZR2. Sure, it's the most expensive trim level, but it has a host of exclusive equipment that includes exotic spool-valve shocks, electronic locking differentials on both axles, and one of the wilder front ends we've seen on a modern truck. We'd choose the crew cab for its bigger back seat and stick with the standard V-6 versus the pricier diesel option.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Colorado offers a powertrain for just about everyone: a base four-cylinder with a six-speed automatic transmission, a speedy 308-hp 3.6-liter V-6 with an eight-speed automatic, and a 2.8-liter diesel four-cylinder that makes an impressive 369 pound-feet of torque. While the V-6 and diesel are excellent dance partners for Colorado, the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder is weak and grumpy. We've tested the diesel and the gasoline V-6, and although vastly different in character, either will serve its owner well. At 9.1 seconds to 60 mph, the diesel-powered ZR2 crew cab can't keep up with the V-6-powered LT model, which hit that metric in 6.1 seconds. (Oddly, the crew-cab ZR2 with the V-6 was significantly slower than its standard V-6-powered counterpart.) The diesel's true forte is its maximum towing capability, backcountry trekking, and fuel economy.
Towing and Payload Capacity
Unlocking the Colorado's maximum towing capabilities (7000 pounds with the V-6 and 7700 with the diesel) requires the Trailering Equipment package. The base Colorado with the four-cylinder can tug 3500 pounds. Trailer-sway control—which applies the brakes of both the truck and the trailer if the system senses the latter is swaying excessively—comes standard on all Colorados.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Colorado's forgettable four-cylinder earns EPA ratings of up to 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The V-6 is rated at up to 18 mpg city and 25 highway. When subjected to our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, the six-cylinder Colorado crew cab returned 23 mpg. The rear-drive diesel is the segment's most efficient powertrain, with estimates of 20 mpg city and 30 highway. For more information about the Colorado's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Those familiar with the front seats of full-size trucks will feel right at home in the Colorado, which boasts a spacious cockpit. Stuffing more than two people in the available crew cab's back seat will be tight, however, and interior materials seem as though they came straight out of a '94 Chevy S-10 pickup—that is to say, they look cheap. A deep center-console bin and a massive compartment under the crew cab's rear seat provide a fair amount of cabin storage. Based on our testing, the interior of the Colorado doesn't hold as many carry-on suitcases as the Honda Ridgeline (11 versus 18), but it will carry more stuff in either of its two voluminous cargo beds. Both the Colorado's 41-cubic-foot short box and the 50-cubic-foot long box dwarf the Ridgeline's maximum of 34 cubes. The Toyota Tacoma does slightly better than the Honda, offering 38 cubic feet in its short-bed model and 47 in the long, but the cargo-bed crown belongs to the Colorado.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Featuring a Wi-Fi hotspot, two intuitive touchscreens, and the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Premium system, the Colorado remains near the top of the segment in terms of infotainment features. The base truck now offers a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth audio streaming for two devices and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability; all other models have an 8.0-inch display, featuring attractive menus and responsive touch functions. The only way Chevy could improve the MyLink interaction experience would be by incorporating telepathy.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
Chevy's mid-size pickup lacks many choices when it comes to driver-assistance technology. For more information about the Colorado's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Available forward-collision warning
- Available lane-departure warning
- Available rear parking sensors
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Chevrolet provides a competitive limited and powertrain warranty for the Colorado. While Toyota has better complimentary maintenance, General Motors covers the first visit for free.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit
2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison Crew Cab 4WD
front-engine, rear-/all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup
PRICE AS TESTED
$51,199 (base price: $49,745)
DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
218 cu in, 3564 cc
308 hp @ 6800 rpm
275 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Suspension (F/R): control arms/rigid axle
Brakes (F/R): 12.2-in vented disc/12.8-in vented disc
Tires: Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac, 265/65R-17 112S M+S
Wheelbase: 128.5 in
Length: 212.4 in
Width: 74.3 in
Height: 72.2 in
Passenger volume: 107 cu ft
Curb weight: 4955 lb
Zero to 60 mph: 7.0 sec
Zero to 90 mph: 15.5 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.4 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.6 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.1 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.5 sec @ 90 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 99 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 206 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.69 g
Observed: 17 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 17/16/18 mpg