Sim­ple and ver­sa­tile

2016 Chevro­let Colorado fits a num­ber of roles

Chicago Sun-Times - - TO DRIVE - BY ARV VOSS

Just a year af­ter its de­but, the award- win­ning mid­size Chevro­let Colorado pickup lineup adds an all- new, 2.8- liter four- cylin­der tur­bod­iesel to the LT and SLE trim lev­els.

The Colorado diesel pickup comes with a choice of two cab con­fig­u­ra­tions and a choice of two bed lengths: a 5- foot- 2 box for the Crew Cab or a 6- foot- 2 box for both the Ex­tended and Crew Cab mod­els.

The 2.8- liter, DOHC, 16- valve, in­line four- cylin­der Du­ra­max tur­bod­iesel with di­rect injection and high­pres­sure com­mon rail de­liv­ers 181 horse­power at 3,400 rpm along with a whop­ping 369 pound- feet of torque at 2,000 rpm. En­ergy reaches the driv­ing wheels via a Hydra- Matic 6L50 six- speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Trim lev­els for the gaso­line-fu­eled Chevro­let Colorado will con­sist of a BaseWT ( Work Truck) model, an LT trim, a Z71 level and a tricked- out LTZ Trail Boss model. Two- or four­wheel drive con­fig­u­ra­tions are avail­able across the lineup.

Beauty is in the eyes of the be­holder, and GM’s mid- size truck of­fer­ings are no ex­cep­tion to this rule. Some will no doubt pre­fer the bolder,“in your face” de­meanor de­liv­ered by the GMC Canyon sta­ble, while oth­ers will likely pre­fer the cleaner, sim­pler look the Chevy Colorado camp serves. My per­sonal pref­er­ence hap­pens to be the Colorado for its at­trac­tive and un­clut­tered look: It dis­plays a con­fi­dent and sporty stance with taller bed­sides for greater pay­loads, and the Crew Cab ex­hibits an up­ward- raked belt line. The pro­por­tions are bal­anced from vir­tu­ally ev­ery view­ing an­gle.

The Chevy Colorado pro­vides sev­eral in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions for cargo haul­ing and ac­cess, in­clud­ing a stan­dard CornerStep rear bumper de­sign for eas­ier ac­cess to the bed and a stan­dard lock­ing EZ Lift- and- Lower tail­gate that makes rais­ing the tail­gate eas­ier with one hand ( and em­ploys a damper for con­trolled low­er­ing). A fac­tory- in­stalled spray- in bed liner is avail­able.

The in­te­rior pro­vides a com­fort­able at­mos­phere for both work and recre­ation. The cabin has been thought­fully de­signed to de­liver not only com­fort­able sur­round­ings but mod­ern con­nec­tiv­ity. The in­stru­ment panel is bold and upright, with large con­trols and a cen­ter con­sole with a floor- mounted shifter sim­i­lar to those found in mid- size cars and crossovers.

The Colorado has a short turn­ing ra­dius of 41.3 feet, en­abling eas­ier turn­ing in tight ar­eas. Four- wheel disc brakes, with four- pis­ton front calipers as stan­dard, have Du­ral­ife brake ro­tors that can of­fer up to dou­ble the ser­vice life, sav­ing on main­te­nance.

I tested a Colorado Diesel 4x4 Crew Cab with a short bed and a start­ing price of $ 33,250. EPA rat­ings are 20 mpg city and 29 mpg high­way. For con­sumers who don’t want or need a full- size truck, this lat­est mid- size Chevy Colorado Diesel of­fers an ideal al­ter­na­tive that ac­tu­ally drives, han­dles and feels more like a fam­ily sedan while pro­vid­ing added func­tion­al­ity and ver­sa­til­ity, both on and off road.

Bot­tom line: If you can have only one ve­hi­cle, the new Chevro­let Colorado is ca­pa­ble of sat­is­fac­to­rily ful­fill­ing a va­ri­ety of roles from fetch­ing gro­ceries to trailer tow­ing, with work du­ties and recre­ation thrown in for good mea­sure. It is good look­ing, fuel ef­fi­cient and prac­ti­cal, with plenty of torque. All that’s needed is to pick your body style, pow­er­train, drive con­fig­u­ra­tion, op­tions and your fa­vorite color.

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