The Chevrolet Colorado and its counterpart, the GMC Canyon, are compact pickup trucks marketed by General Motors. They were introduced in 2004 to replace the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC Sonoma compact pickups.
First generation (2004–2012)
The Colorado/Canyon offer both manual and automatic transmissions. GM also offers either a rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive drivetrain with standard, extended, and four-door crew cab body styles. Most models come with the 2.8L Inline-4 engine as standard, but a more powerful 3.5 Inline-5 comes with the Z71 package on four-door versions and is optional on all others. The 4-door Z71s also get the 4-speed automatic transmission standard.
Many complaints have been recorded regarding the engines on the early Colorados. The engine-head was apparently prone to failure. Blown head-gaskets and cracked heads have been reported. This may be due to an undersized oil cooling system. Leaky valves are very common for higher mileage engines and will cause poor gas mileage, engine misfires, and poor performance.
A ZQ8 edition is available with a lower and more road-tuned “sport” suspension. The standard Z85 and comes with 17 inch wheels, color-matched bumper and grill, and low profile fender flares. There is also a Xtreme edition of the ZQ8 which has a different front bumper, rear bumper, side skirts, fender flares, grill, headlights, and 18 inch wheels. The Xtreme edition is basically a continuation of a trim package from its predecessor, the Chevrolet S-10.
For 2007, the Colorado/Canyon was face-lifted and offered new engines, which include the 2.9L LLV I4 and 3.7L LLR I5. They were also offered with new colors and new tires and wheels. Minor changes to the grill and interior for the LT and LTZ models; the LS models kept the same pre-facelift look.
For model year 2009, the Colorado was face-lifted again and a 5.3L LH8 V8 was offered, producing 300hp and 320lb·ft.
In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s frontal offset test the Colorado (extended version) is given a “Good” overall score; however, the crew cab is rated “Acceptable”. In the side impact test, the Colorado crew cab is rated “Poor” with or without side curtain airbags. Side curtain airbags were made standard on all 2010 models.
Second generation (2012–present)
The second generation Colorado is available in three different cab configurations: extended cab with a 6.2 ft bed, crew cab with a 5.2 ft bed, or crew cab with a 6.2 ft bed, with four-wheel drive being optional.
Base: Base trim level
WT: Base trim level with few amenities
LT: Mid trim level and most common
Z71: Top trim, includes off-road equipment
For the initial launch, the Colorado was available with either a 2.5L Ecotec I4 16-valve engine producing 200hp and 191 ft-lbs torque or the 3.6L LFX V6 engine with 305hp and 269 ft-lbs. The 2.8L Duramax LWN turbodiesel engine was added in 2015, and is a first diesel for its class ever in the US market. The turbocharged diesel engine is sought after for its power and superior gas mileage.
The all-new GMC Canyon offers the same features as its cousin, but comes with a higher MSRP and more options. The front facia resembles the full-size sibling, GMC Sierra. It has optional features that are unavailable on the Colorado, such as active aero grill shutters (for increased MPG), OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with on-board wifi, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and an available Teen Driver feature that limits speed and audio volume.