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    Review: 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Crew Cab


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    You ever hear someone say, “Eh it was good, but it wasn’t great.”? That really doesn’t tell you anything about the thing you were asking about. Consider asking a friend about a new restaurant and they say that phrase to you, it would drive you mad because your friend hasn’t given you a clear indication of where they stand. Well I’m about to commit this sin with the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71. I think the Colorado is a good truck, but not a great one. Now before you start screaming at your screen and writing angry comments, I will explain what I mean.

     

    The Colorado has been on sale in a number of market for a few years now, but only arrived in North America last year. This was due to General Motors making a number of changes to get it sellable in the U.S. Market. For example, the exterior of the worldwide Colorado is very different to the one sold in the U.S. The Colorado’s front fascia sold in other markets looks likes it was taken off the Equinox, while the NA-Spec Colorado gets a front fascia thats more akin to the Silverado with longer split grilles and a set of different bumpers and lights. Otherwise, the rest of the NA-Spec truck is the same with a somewhat rounded cab shape and various bed sizes. My tester was equipped with smaller 5’2” box which means you’ll have to do a couple more loads. There is a s 6’2” box available if you want something bigger. Also, my Colorado boasted the Z71 package, which nets you Z71 decals on the rear fenders and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels.

     


    2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Crew Cab 15


    Another big change between the Colorado sold here and elsewhere is inside. The two models boast different dashboard layouts for their specific markets. In the case of the North American model, Chevrolet took some ideas from the Silverado and implemented them into the Colorado. Controls are within easy reach of the driver and passenger and the truck boasts a lot features that you would not expect on a midsize only a few years ago. My particular tester came equipped with heated seats, Chevrolet MyLink with Navigation, Automatic Climate Control, Trip Computer, and Bluetooth. Chevrolet MyLink stills has a fair amount of problems with slowness, responding when pressed, and causing my iPod to crash constantly.

     

    Seats in the Z71 are a combination of leather and cloth. I found the front seats to provide good support, but I also found that getting the right position took quite awhile. Either I was too far away to reach the steering wheel and pedals comfortably, or my knees would be touching the underside of the steering column. Maybe some power adjustments or smoother manual adjustments would help out here. Back seat space is quite good when it comes to headroom. Legroom is a different story as it's small to nonexistent dependent on how tall the person sitting up front is. It should also be noted that the rear seats can either be flipped up to access a storage shelf or flipped down to provide added cargo space.

     

    For thoughts on powertrain and handling, see the next page.


     

    Power for the Colorado comes from either a 2.5L four-cylinder or a 3.6L DI V6. There is a Duramax four-cylinder diesel that will be arriving for the 2016 model year. For my tester, it boasted the 3.6 V6 with 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet. This comes paired up with a six-speed automatic and a four-wheel drive system. This engine is the weak link in the Colorado. Most truck engines whether they are a V6 or V8 have their torque right in the low-end of the rpm band. The Colorado V6’s torque is towards the higher end of the rpm, meaning you have to give the V6 some revs to get it moving. The six-speed automatic is smooth in around town and expressway driving. But I found it to be a bit slow when I pressed on the accelerator to make a pass. Fuel economy is rated at 17 City/24 Highway/20 Combined. I got an average of 18.2 MPG.

     


    2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Crew Cab 12


    On the ride front, the Colorado is quite good. Compared to the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma, the Colorado delivers a comfortable ride with many bumps and harshness not making it inside the cabin. Also, wind and engine noise were mostly nonexistent. The Colorado also earned bonus points for how maneuverable it was thanks to the small size.

     

    Aside from the engine, there is one other sticking point for the Colorado and that happens to price. My tester as shown here came with an as-tested price of $36,710. That’s quite a lot of money for a midsize truck, especially considering the average price of a full-size truck is only $4,000 more or so.

     

    So lets go back to the beginning of this review where I said the the Colorado is a good truck, but not a great one. There are lot of things to like about Colorado; its distinctive looks, feature list, ride, and maneuverability. But there are a fair number of items that leave a black eye on the Colorado such as the V6, MyLink, and the price. It leaves the Colorado in this interesting middle ground where it's better than the competition, but not quite as good as it should be. For now, that is enough for GM as the Colorado is more modern than its contemporaries. But I wonder down the road, will this be enough?

     

    Disclaimer: Chevrolet Provided the Colorado, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

     

     

    Year: 2015
    Make: Chevrolet
    Model: Colorado
    Trim: Z71 4WD Crew Cab
    Engine: 3.6L SIDI DOHC VVT V6
    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 305 @ 6800
    Torque @ RPM: 269 @ 4000
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined -17/24/20
    Curb Weight: 4,380 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Wentzville, MO
    Base Price: $34,115
    As Tested Price: $36,710 (Includes $875.00 Destination Charge)

     

    Options:
    Bose Audio System - $500.00
    Chevrolet MyLink - $495.00
    Spray-On Bedliner - $475.00
    Trailering Equipment Package - $250.00



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    I think your price evaluation actually supports the Colorado. Your $36k test truck was LOADED. It had 4WD, Z71 pkg, V6, audio upgrade, and whatever else you said. A Silverado Z71, 4WD, crewcab/shortbox starts at $43,500 with cloth seats and 4 inch touch screen. Sure there are discounts. Say you can get $5,000 off. You still have a more expensive truck with less standard equipment.

     

    It's also going to get less real world fuel economy and be more difficult to park and maneuver as a daily driver.

     

    You can get a V6 Colorado for much less if you can live without the Z71 package or 4WD. Depends on your needs and your wallet, but this truck even loaded with options still makes a serious case for itself.

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    I would price out a fullsize with the same options and configuration of our Colorado.  i can GUARANTEE you are looking at a price premium of at leaast 10k more.  In my drive i had no problem with the powertrain and I drive a V8 04 Dakota everyday. 

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    I would price out a fullsize with the same options and configuration of our Colorado.  i can GUARANTEE you are looking at a price premium of at leaast 10k more.  In my drive i had no problem with the powertrain and I drive a V8 04 Dakota everyday. 

     

    That is a legitimate point. But I think you could argue with some of the deals you can get on full-size trucks from time to time, you're in the ball park of my as-tested Colorado price.

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    "only $4,000 more"

     

    I dont like arguments when they are presented in this fashion..." for only an x amount more"...

     

    Financing @ 0% interest...keep in mind...0% interest...

    At $4000..that is an extra $333.33/month for a year.

    At $4000..that is an extra $66/month for 5 years....

     

    Sure...that does not sound like much...an extra $66/month...for 5 years...but that is the equivalent an extra tank of gas for the month for the next 5 years.

     

    That is a week's groceries of nothing but the good food...you know...the junk food...chips and chocolate bars and stuff for the kids...for the next...5 years.

     

    That is a dinner and a movie for you and a date each month...for the next 5 years...

     

    That is an oil change, rotation of tires and switching from winter to summer tires, and some other maintenance of the vehicle for the year...for the next 5 years...at which $66/month is roughly $800/year...which covers easily the regular maintenance of the vehicle for the year. Or a good chunk of it at least...

     

    $4000...that is a plane ticket to a Caribbean Paradise Island plus hotel and food...for 2 weeks...for 2 people...

     

    $4000...that is a nice emergency amount of money for when your washing machine and refrigerator bust on you....and if you have a wife and kids....you know that this scenario WILL happen...and the Fridge usually breaks 2 months AFTER the washing machine breaks...well...with that $4000 that was not spent on the Silverado...now buys you both appliances and there is no sweating about it...

     

    So yeah...$4000 is a good chunk of change...where one could put that $4000 to good use if one does not need a bigger rig than a Colorado...so why buy the bigger Silverado and waste that $4000...instead of giving it to Mary Barra...why dont YOU use it...put that $4000 to good use...for YOUR own use...retirement fund or just to bet it all on black at the Roulette table...

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    Agreed that the 4.3L would pair nicely with the Colorado. Maybe in the refresh we'll see that and an 8-speed, or perhaps the new 335 hp LGX V6 if GM is totally sold on DOHC for this application.

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    The Z71 has cloth and leatherette upholstery.  There is no leather in a Colorado Z71.  I love my truck, an LT extended cab 4X4 w/3.6.

    Edited by ocnblu

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    Lol, not as good as it should be?? Should it emit gold from it's tail pipe and be able to be fueled by water or something?

     

    How one could say this isn't a great truck is beyond me. This truck completely rewrites the book for this segment. It took a market that was stagnant and stale and breathed fresh life into it by offering modern powertrains, options, and technologies. It beats the Tacoma is literally EVERY single measurable aspect. Better ride, better handling, better brakes, better content, better power, better mileage, better noise levels, better refinement. All for the same price. How exactly can you take issue with THAT??

     

    People need to stop comparing it to full-size trucks. Isn't competition isn't full-size trucks, it's other MIDSIZE trucks. It's like dissing a Corolla because a similarly equipped Camry is only 4K more. And dissing it because an Avalon is only 5K more. And dissing it because a GS is only 7K more. It's a stupid argument. This truck exists for a very specific reason, to fulfill a very specific role. And it does so spectacularly. If that, combined with the fact it completely up-ended this segment and reinvigorated it doesn't define a great vehicle, Idk what does.

     

    Also, if you're going to argue price, let's be realistic about it. A similarly equipped Silverado is $12,000 more than a Colorado. Without incentives, you aren't coming anywhere NEAR a 4K price difference. Even when they are at their best, you're still likely to be a minimum of 5-6 grand off. That's not exactly chump change. When interest is figured in, that's $100+ more a month. Tell someone 100-120 dollars a month difference in payment isn't a big deal..... 

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    Lol, not as good as it should be?? Should it emit gold from it's tail pipe and be able to be fueled by water or something?

     

    How one could say this isn't a great truck is beyond me. This truck completely rewrites the book for this segment. It took a market that was stagnant and stale and breathed fresh life into it by offering modern powertrains, options, and technologies. It beats the Tacoma is literally EVERY single measurable aspect. Better ride, better handling, better brakes, better content, better power, better mileage, better noise levels, better refinement. All for the same price. How exactly can you take issue with THAT??

     

    People need to stop comparing it to full-size trucks. Isn't competition isn't full-size trucks, it's other MIDSIZE trucks. It's like dissing a Corolla because a similarly equipped Camry is only 4K more. And dissing it because an Avalon is only 5K more. And dissing it because a GS is only 7K more. It's a stupid argument. This truck exists for a very specific reason, to fulfill a very specific role. And it does so spectacularly. If that, combined with the fact it completely up-ended this segment and reinvigorated it doesn't define a great vehicle, Idk what does.

     

    Also, if you're going to argue price, let's be realistic about it. A similarly equipped Silverado is $12,000 more than a Colorado. Without incentives, you aren't coming anywhere NEAR a 4K price difference. Even when they are at their best, you're still likely to be a minimum of 5-6 grand off. That's not exactly chump change. When interest is figured in, that's $100+ more a month. Tell someone 100-120 dollars a month difference in payment isn't a big deal..... 

     

    Very nicely stated, Frisky Dingo  :D

     

    Four months in and I'm still loving my '15 Canyon Crew Cab SLT Long Bed 4WD.  For those of you that have been around a while, you know my ultimate truck is the GMC Sierra.  But as stated above, $100/$120 more per month was the deal killer for me.  So far the wife, who by the way is against pickup trucks for people like me who don't NEED a truck but WANT a truck, is very much in love with my Canyon too.  Have had adults ride in the back seat several times with no major complaints, and my kids (4 & 9 years old) love the Canyon.  I'm glad to have saved myself the $100+ more in payment over a Sierra, but that doesn't mean I still don't want one eventually  :lol:

    Edited by GMTruckGuy74

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    i wanted a new colorado badly, but when it came down to it the price as optioned was 37k. i worked with the dealer, as we buy nearly every vehicle we own from them, and we just couldnt get close enough to where i wanted to be. the dealer is great and his motto is i want you to be happy whether its a purchase from me or elsewhere. I ended up with a 2014 jeep unlimited. it fit my needs better and the price was more comfortable for me. granted i kept my 04 colorado because a jeep just isnt a truck no matter what, but ultimately, like stated above, the price was the deal breaker and i am sure its the same way for most. In fact at that dealership they have early model 1500's going for what they have the colorados listed for. we are talking 4x4 crew cabs here. they may be LT's but a full size v8 pickup for the same price is hard to turn down...

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    I guess it's about as hard to turn down as a well-equipped 335i M Sport for a stripper 528i. Or a Ford Fusion 2.0T Titanium for a Taurus SE. Wranglers drive like $h! compared to a Tacoma even, let alone a Colorado.

     

    I'll never understand people's obsession with getting a car that is larger at the expense of features and comfort just to avoid spending similar money on a 'lesser' model. 8 years in the car business, and it's one of the dumbest things I've ever seen, and it happens regularly.

    Edited by Frisky Dingo
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    I guess it's about as hard to turn down as a well-equipped 335i M Sport for a stripper 528i. Or a Ford Fusion 2.0T Titanium for a Taurus SE. Wranglers drive like $h! compared to a Tacoma even, let alone a Colorado.

     

    I'll never understand people's obsession with getting a car that is larger at the expense of features and comfort just to avoid spending similar money on a 'lesser' model. 8 years in the car business, and it's one of the dumbest things I've ever seen, and it happens regularly.

    Yup Frisky.

    Sometimes we are on the same page...other times...well...lets just say what Boris the Animal always says.

     

    Anyway+there+is+obviously+no+point+in+ar

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    i test drove a new colorado, ive owned a previous gen 04 colorado since new, and between the 3 its the jeep for me. the steering and handling of the jeep and the new colorado are on par with each other to me, granted i didnt wail on the colorado like i have the jeep cause, you know, i didnt own it. comparing the 2014 unlimited to the 04 z71 colorado i have isnt even fair so i wont do that. im averaging 18-19 mpg's with the jeep which is close to the real world colorado mpg's.

     

    as far as the other point i am very much willing to sacrifice creature comforts for a more capable truck. higher torque, higher towing capacity and more room for the same price or less at the expense of say heated seats, touch screen nav, and bluetooth yadda yadda? yeah, i wont shed a tear cause to me i buy trucks to "truck". less to go wrong or fix down the road. I guess im just one of the old hold outs that truck is for work. now if you are talking cars and performance like the bmw analogy, then no you are right thats dumb, but at the end of the day the monthly payment a budget allows is usually what will dictate a purchase.

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    i test drove a new colorado, ive owned a previous gen 04 colorado since new, and between the 3 its the jeep for me. the steering and handling of the jeep and the new colorado are on par with each other to me, granted i didnt wail on the colorado like i have the jeep cause, you know, i didnt own it. comparing the 2014 unlimited to the 04 z71 colorado i have isnt even fair so i wont do that. im averaging 18-19 mpg's with the jeep which is close to the real world colorado mpg's.

     

    as far as the other point i am very much willing to sacrifice creature comforts for a more capable truck. higher torque, higher towing capacity and more room for the same price or less at the expense of say heated seats, touch screen nav, and bluetooth yadda yadda? yeah, i wont shed a tear cause to me i buy trucks to "truck". less to go wrong or fix down the road. I guess im just one of the old hold outs that truck is for work. now if you are talking cars and performance like the bmw analogy, then no you are right thats dumb, but at the end of the day the monthly payment a budget allows is usually what will dictate a purchase.

     

    Fair enough, but my point is that most people have no use for the things a Silverado does better than a Colorado. It had more torque, but it's no quicker. It pulls more, but most people don't tow with their trucks. It's larger, but most people don't need the extra room. I just don't get the appeal of having more of the things you'll never use, but less of the things you will. To each their own, I suppose.

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    i test drove a new colorado, ive owned a previous gen 04 colorado since new, and between the 3 its the jeep for me. the steering and handling of the jeep and the new colorado are on par with each other to me, granted i didnt wail on the colorado like i have the jeep cause, you know, i didnt own it. comparing the 2014 unlimited to the 04 z71 colorado i have isnt even fair so i wont do that. im averaging 18-19 mpg's with the jeep which is close to the real world colorado mpg's.

     

    as far as the other point i am very much willing to sacrifice creature comforts for a more capable truck. higher torque, higher towing capacity and more room for the same price or less at the expense of say heated seats, touch screen nav, and bluetooth yadda yadda? yeah, i wont shed a tear cause to me i buy trucks to "truck". less to go wrong or fix down the road. I guess im just one of the old hold outs that truck is for work. now if you are talking cars and performance like the bmw analogy, then no you are right thats dumb, but at the end of the day the monthly payment a budget allows is usually what will dictate a purchase.

     

    Fair enough, but my point is that most people have no use for the things a Silverado does better than a Colorado. It had more torque, but it's no quicker. It pulls more, but most people don't tow with their trucks. It's larger, but most people don't need the extra room. I just don't get the appeal of having more of the things you'll never use, but less of the things you will. To each their own, I suppose.

     

     

    you have a very valid point, i'll not argue that. it is dumb to forgo nicer amenities for the sake of having bigger if you arent going to take advantage of the trade off. i feel like a lot of times im one of the last bastions of seeing a truck for work instead of a second vehicle. i'd hate to pay premium money and tear something up. my ideal truck is still bench vinyl seat, vinyl floor, crew 4wd. heheh i guess thats why my '62 scout 80 and wrangler with power nothing and a 6sp appeal to me so much! trust me if i could have made it work within my budget that rain forest green metallic z71 crew cab colly would be hanging out in my garage for sure!  

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