$16,130 - $35,774

2017 Chevrolet Colorado Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado was new.


Performance: 8.6

You can't go wrong with any of the three engine choices available in the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado. The base four-cylinder gets better gas mileage than most, the V6 offers an affordable way to boost your brawn, and the turbodiesel grants the Colorado class-leading towing abilities and excellent fuel economy. This pickup is smooth and comfortable around town, with a few available treats if you want to embark on some light off-road trails.

  • "The Colorado drives well in almost all scenarios. Its tow ratings lead the class, steering and handling allow the truck to maneuver well around town, and the highway ride is smooth. We'd happily take the Colorado on a long road trip and drive it on a daily basis." -- Edmunds
  • "Driving an unladen Colorado Duramax 4x4 along California's central coast, it's the quiet and refinement that impresses the most initially. The engine rarely operates at speeds over 2000 rpm, and the transmission is just as poised here as it is when it's lashed to a gas engine. Unless the driver is staring at the tachometer, or obsessed with ultimate acceleration numbers, there's little to indicate that this Colorado is burning diesel fuel." -- Car and Driver (2016)
  • "We had to work the I4 harder than the V6, but with the smaller engine, the truck felt more spry and agile, and in some ways reminded us more of the good old days of the compact trucks of the 1980s and 1990s. The brakes were responsive, with somewhat less pedal travel in the 4-cylinder truck we tested. The ride was compliant but not mushy." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The standard engine for most 2017 Colorado trims is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. It comes with a six-speed manual transmission in the lower trims and a six-speed automatic transmission in all others. For 2017, Chevy has a new 3.6-liter V6 engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission as an option for every trim but the base. This is also the standard engine for Colorado Crew Cab models with the Long Box. It's a little more powerful than the previous Colorado V6, with new ratings of 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Crew Cab models also have a Duramax 2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine available. It is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission and offers 181-horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

With its base powertrain – a 2.5-liter engine and six-speed manual transmission – the Colorado gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. City mileage inches up by 1 mpg with the six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel mileage with the V6 is similar, at 18 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway. The turbodiesel is the most economical option, thanks to its rating of 22/30 mpg city/highway.

Each of the Colorado's three available engines are excellent, as long as you match them with their best intended use. If you need a truck for daily driving more than utility and want good fuel economy, the standard four-cylinder engine is a great pick. The V6 engine is noticeably more muscular, and its reasonable cost and respectable towing ability makes it the preferred engine for most circumstances. You won't go wrong with the fuel-efficient turbodiesel engine, especially if you plan to tap into the Colorado's maximum towing capacity. It's a pricey option, though, adding about $3,700 to the cost of your truck.

  • "Fitted with the available V6 engine, the Colorado has plenty of oomph. The potent yet efficient turbodiesel four-cylinder is a compelling alternative, especially if you plan to do a lot of towing." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "While the base-level Colorado's 4-cylinder isn't a major workhorse, it's certainly acceptable for many situations -- and it gets strong fuel economy for a pickup truck. But we're especially impressed with the pickup's V6, which is the powerplant we recommend. It boasts excellent acceleration and a surprisingly brawny 7,000-lb towing capacity, along with a smooth standard automatic transmission." -- Autotrader (2016)
  • "The new diesel is a torque monster; it makes the Colorado feel more, well, trucky. We dig that. However, to get a V6 under the new Colorado's hood rather than the base four-cylinder requires only $1,235. Not a bad deal for 300 hp. The new Duramax? It costs slightly more than three times as much -- $3,730. It's an expensive option, one pricing this truck near the Silverado. For those needing a fuel- and space-efficient truck that can handle a fairly serious trailer, the Colorado diesel seems like the perfect fit." -- Autoweek (2016)

Handling and Braking

The 2017 Colorado comes standard with rear-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive is available in every trim besides the base Extended Cab. Chevy outfits the Z71 trim for off-roading by adding a rugged suspension package, hill descent control, a transfer case shield, and an automatic rear locking differential. Other features available in the 2017 Colorado include a two-speed automatic transfer case (which automatically shifts the truck into four-wheel drive when road conditions change), tow hooks, and all-terrain tires. The Colorado is easy to maneuver around town, and offers a smooth ride, composed handling, and strong brakes.

  • "A plus for midsize trucks such as the Colorado is their maneuverability. Though they may seem only marginally smaller than full-size trucks (such as Chevy's Silverado), they're much more nimble and versatile in the city … Though this Colorado is less responsive than some other trucks in the segment, it is still confident, even with four-wheel drive. During performance testing and out on the road, it produced decent numbers and offered suitable stability when driving around turns." -- Edmunds
  • "The Colorado is simply a major step up over all of its small-pickup competitors. One reason is the truck's ride, which is much smoother than what you'll find in other pickups." -- Autotrader (2016)
  • "The transmission shifts smoothly and quickly, and we've already been impressed with the Colorado's smooth and controlled ride and around-town maneuverability." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)

Towing and Hauling

With its standard four-cylinder engine, the 2017 Colorado can tow up to 3,500 pounds. This increases to 7,000 pounds with the V6 engine, and a class-leading 7,700 pounds with the turbodiesel engine. Payload is also excellent, reaching up to 1,574 pounds.

  • "Speaking of work, on backcountry roads near Solvang, California, we were able to test the truck towing a 3,865-pound horse trailer. The Duramax had no trouble moving that load. In fact, we were able to chirp the tires from a hard launch." -- Autoweek (2016)
  • "The truck tows a moderately heavy trailer very nicely. With a load closer to its limit and the necessary weight-distributing hitch employed, you feel the trailer a little more behind you, but it doesn't overtax the engine. This is easily the best Colorado for anyone doing more than occasional towing, and you can still park it in a garage." -- Autoblog (2016)
  • "The tow/haul mode (not available on four-cylinder trucks) does a good job of selecting the right gear to keep the engine in the meat of its torque curve, although the engine does get a tad raucous at higher rpm." -- Car and Driver (2015)

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