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2020 Chevrolet Colorado Performance

U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Chevrolet Colorado Performance Review


Performance: 8.2

The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado can handle just about anything you need it to. With three engine options, you can pick the one that best suits your needs, and the smooth ride makes this truck easy to drive on a daily basis. It's one of the best choices in the class for towing, and there are two trims that specialize in off-roading. The only real performance blemish for the Colorado is its payload ratings. Though fairly typical for the compact pickup truck class, they're overshadowed by some rivals.

  • "The Chevrolet Colorado (and its sibling, the GMC Canyon) is the only midsize truck available with a diesel engine, and the 2.8-liter Duramax is a prize. Smooth and powerful, it offers a first-rate driving experience along with superior fuel economy. A Smart diesel exhaust brake enhances control while reducing brake wear." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "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 (2017)
  • "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)

Acceleration and Power

The Colorado comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain is potent enough for city and highway driving, though it's well behind the available engines when it comes to towing capacity.

There are two available engines. One is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. The other is a 2.8-liter turbodiesel that puts out 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The V6 is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the diesel comes with a six-speed automatic.

The V6 feels much stronger than the base engine, and models so equipped have double the towing capacity (7,000 pounds, up from 3,500). Still, the best tow rating comes from models with the turbodiesel engine. These Colorados can pull up to 7,700 pounds – tied for the highest capacity in the compact pickup truck class.

When properly equipped, the Colorado can haul up to 1,578 pounds, which is fairly typical for the class.

According to EPA estimates, the Colorado gets 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway when equipped with the base engine. Those are among the best ratings in the class. Upgrade to the V6, and ratings drop to 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The turbodiesel is the most fuel-efficient option; it returns 20/30 mpg city/highway.

  • "The V6 engine is lively, and the eight-speed automatic well-behaved." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "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 power plant we recommend. It boasts excellent acceleration and a surprisingly brawny 7,000-lb towing capacity (7,600 with the diesel), along with a smooth standard automatic transmission." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "We love the 2.8-liter Duramax diesel available for the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado. It is quiet, smooth and refined, with excellent power delivery, and there's just enough diesel soundtrack to remind ... that you have something under the hood that you can't get in a Toyota. However, the gas V-6 matched to the 8-speed automatic transmission is just as satisfying." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Handling and Braking

The Colorado provides a comfortable ride so you won't dread your daily commute. It's also fairly maneuverable in parking lots and crowded city streets, giving it an almost carlike feel and making it easy to drive. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, and four-wheel drive is available.

For people who want more adventure, Chevy offers two Colorado trims geared toward off-roading. The Z71 and ZR2 models can both handle business away from the pavement, and they have a number of off-road features like locking differentials, hill descent control, and a heavy-duty suspension system. The ZR2 offers a more aggressive setup for off-roading than the Z71.

  • "The firm suspension tames body roll, so the Colorado corners quite well for a truck. With an unloaded bed, the light rear end will easily break traction, but stability control always keeps that manageable. As carlike as the Colorado feels, it's ultimately still a truck." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "The Colorado is simply a major step up over all its small-pickup competitors. One reason is the truck's ride, which is much smoother than what you'll find in other pickups." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "The addition of the reworked off-roader, ZR2, raises the bar on capabilities to run back-country trails strewn with rocks and gutted washes." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
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2020 Chevrolet Colorado

MSRP: $21,300 - $43,000

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