2017 Chevrolet Colorado Driving Impressions

By pickup truck standards, the Chevrolet Colorado offers a smooth ride that handles bumps well, making it a compelling alternative to a car. We could be perfectly happy commuting daily over rough roads in heavy traffic in a Chevy Colorado. We cannot say that about the Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier. There are motions that make their way into the Colorado cabin, but big tire sidewalls help tame them.

More competitive is the Honda Ridgeline. While the Honda Ridgeline employs unibody construction, the Chevy Colorado is a body-on-frame design. Body on frame is considered superior for towing and hauling and for durability.

The new 3.6-liter V6 makes 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. The 8-speed automatic transmission is also new.

The 2.8-liter turbodiesel was new for 2016. It makes 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque at just 2000 rpm, so it pulls like a V8 across the rev range, even at high elevations and up steep grades, with few downshifts. The optional exhaust brake helps control downhill speeds with a full load.

If you don’t carry or tow big loads, the base 2.5-liter engine, with its 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque, will probably work for you. It’s acceptable for medium-speed urban duty. You can get it with a manual transmission, but in this case the 6-speed automatic works well with the four-cylinder engine.

The Toyota and Nissan four-cylinder trucks get better fuel mileage and Tacoma dominates in durability and rugged-terrain capability, but the Colorado a far better choice for the kind of driving and infrequent hauling that a lot of truck buyers do.

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