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2019 Chevrolet Colorado Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.5

Unlike some compact trucks that are either a tough workhorse or a comfortable cruiser, the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado is both. Its ride is more peaceful than most, and its steering requires little effort. A trio of energetic, polished engines are available, so you can select the perfect blend of power and fuel economy to match your needs.

  • "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 standard engine in the 2019 Colorado is a 200-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder. This is paired with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. If you use your truck mostly for commuting or light hauling, this is probably the best engine for you. It's plenty powerful for everyday use, and its fuel economy rating of 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway is one of the highest in the class.

The midlevel engine option is a 3.6-liter V6 with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This gives the Colorado a maximum tow rating of 7,000 pounds, which is a significant boost over the base engine's 3,500-pound limit. The V6 engine also delivers smooth, satisfying power. Gas mileage is estimated at 18/25 mpg city/highway.

A turbodiesel is also available in the 2019 Colorado, a rarity for a truck this size. The 2.8-liter Duramax diesel comes only with a six-speed automatic transmission and is rated at 186 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It's an exceptional engine – refined, economical, and meaty – but it adds several thousand dollars to the cost of the pickup truck. With the Duramax diesel engine, the Colorado claims a best-in-class tow rating of 7,700 pounds (matched only by its kin, the GMC Canyon). This is also the most fuel-efficient engine in the Colorado lineup, with a rating of 20/30 mpg city/highway.

  • "The V6 engine is lively, and the eight-speed automatic well-behaved." -- Edmunds
  • "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 comes standard with two-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is available, along with a number of off-roading upgrades, such as locking differentials, hill descent control, and a heavy-duty suspension system.

This compact Chevy pickup is a more comfortable daily driver than most others in its class. The Colorado is easy to maneuver around town and through parking lots, thanks to its responsive steering and brakes. It also feels composed on the highway.

  • "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
  • "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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