Chevrolet just re-entered the mid-size pickup truck market with the unveiling of the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado. We desperately want to see mid-size pickups take off again. Perhaps the need for cheaper, more fuel-efficient pickups for work crews will kick off a renaissance of small trucks, but before all that happens, there are ten things about the new 2015 Chevy Colorado that you need to know:
This is How Trucks SHOULD Be Styled:
Don’t get me wrong– I’m a truck guy to the end. But I have a problem when just about every full-size truck available looks like it was styled in a Tonka design studio. The bulging fenders and hood extend much farther than the actual mechanicals within. What are you overcompensating for?
The Colorado, on the other hand, is a svelte, mid-size pickup. It doesn’t go for the squared off headlights and fenders that save space. The swept design actually makes decent use of the real estate its been given. This is the way that pickup truck styling should have evolved since the 1990s.
It Will Blow the Doors Off the Old Colorado:
The previous generation Colorado was developed and sold at one of Chevrolet’s low points, when cars were designed by “brand managers” that didn’t know squat about cars. Not only is the new Colorado going to be more powerful and efficient than its predecessor, but also you can actually put up with more than 15 minutes behind the wheel. Chevrolet has gone to great efforts to make the new Colorado fetching inside and out.
Your American Pickup is Australian:
In an effort to cut costs, every automaker is adopting global platform-sharing systems. Following this model, the Colorado that we will be getting next year is a revised version of the pickup that has been on sale internationally since 2012. It is sold as the GMC Canyon in some markets, the Chevrolet S10 in Brazil, and the Holden Colorado in Australia.
Ford Should Take Notice:
Ford loves to make a big deal about the One Ford program, in which many of its cars, including the Fiesta, Focus and Fusion, are sold globally. Despite waving the “Global Platform” banner, the excellent international Ford Ranger (seen here) has never made it over here. Ford– GM just beat you at your own game.
Pricing Is Crucial:
We’ll have to wait until next year before we know what the Colorado will cost, but there will be one of two possible outcomes. Either the Colorado will be priced high, with GM expecting to be as profitable with its mid-size trucks as it is with its full-size pickups. The other possibility is that GM recognizes mid-size trucks can’t be as profitable as the full-sizers, and actually price the Colorado competitively.
Finally, Decent Engines:
The engine selection from the previous Colorado was not stellar. The basic engine was a four-cylinder, and there was also the worst five-cylinder engine of all time as an option. Sure, you could get an available V8, but it was a pig on gas and only made 300 horsepower.
The new base 2.5-liter I4 makes 193 horsepower– eight more than the larger 2.9-liter I4 in the previous base engine. Opt for the 3.6-liter V6, and you’ll get 302 horsepower on tap– more power than the aforementioned V8.
With features like variable valve timing, direct injection, and a new, more advanced six-speed automatic transmission, the Colorado should put up some surprising fuel economy numbers as well.
Diesel is Coming:
If those numbers turn out not to be as impressive as we expected, you can always hold out for the 2.8-liter Duramax I4 diesel engine, coming after the inaugural model year.
Diesel engines can be expensive, but the fact that this particular Duramax is found on the international version already, it should keep the cost down. Fingers crossed.
Americans Will Buy it…Because America:
Sales of the now-defunct Ford Ranger were strong, even into its last year. While the mid-size import pickups may be costly, the real price some buyers are not willing to pay is ridicule from your full-size, American, truck-owning friends. There are many buyers in certain parts of the country that would be far more willing to buy a pricey mid-size truck if it wore the Chevrolet bowtie, but would not touch an import pickup for any price. This is just the reality of the American truck market.
It Will Be Many Things To Many Buyers:
Full-sized trucks already have a diverse buyer group. From ranchers, to fleets, to work crews, to weekend warriors, people buy pickups for plenty of different reasons.
The mid-size Colorado will need to be just as diverse, offering bare-bones models for work crews, and well-contented versions for weekend thrill-seekers. The key is if Chevrolet can offer that bare-bones model as a low enough price to make it attractive for small businesses. We already know it will have plenty of high-tech features for the weekend, warrior, but a key element to the Colorado’s success will be sales to contractors and work crews.
It Is Much Newer Than the Competition, and Should Win the Mid-Size Truck Market:
Look at mid-size pickups currently available. The current versions of the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier have both been around since 2004. They are simply old trucks.
The Colorado runs on underpinnings that are only a year old, with advanced, efficient engines, and a boatload of technology. Nissan and Toyota are trying to get weekend warriors to buy their mid-size pickups, but with features like USB outlets for smartphones, and advanced infotainment like Chevy MyLink, GM can snatch those buyers out from under Nissan and Toyota.