tama z71

Get Your Priorities Straight

14 posts in this topic

tama z71    0

Get Your Priorities Straight

A Tama Article

February 12, 2006

When the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon made their midsize debut in late 2003, they were touted by General Motors as the most powerful and most fuel efficient trucks in the class. As unlucky timing prevailed, rival midsize trucks outgrew, outmuscled and outsized the GM twins, leaving them as the most fuel efficient trucks in class by a slim margin. Today, the Toyota Tacoma continues to run away with the segment sales lead. Dodge has introduced a refreshed Dakota, replete with the most powerful engine in the segment. More and more, the 355 twins are looking like the oldest trucks in the class, if only by a few months.

Now, over the past few years, Chevy has teased us with three different Colorado concepts featuring a fully functional V8 powerplant, in 5.3 and 6.0 litre flavors. For those fans who remember the Colorado Cruz, SS and Z71 Plus concepts, they know better than anyone that GM at this point can only be searching for a reason not to add the small-block to the mid-cycle enhancement, due in the next few years. While the concepts have temporarily hushed media cries for more power and owner's fantasies of driving an eight-cylinder midsizer, both parties continue to seek a permanent response. However, gas prices have done their part to bring fuel economy to a new level of importance. When the General finally does bring out its refreshed or redesigned Colorado and Canyon trucks, where will the emphasis lie -- more power, or more mileage?

Colorado Curious

Having owned and driven a 2004 GMC Canyon for the last three years, I've answered many a question regarding the truck. Initial oohs and aahs over the new model truck gradually turned into questions about its power, which gradually turned into questions about its fuel economy, commensurate with continually rising gas prices.

Many times, those who have the most questions about the truck's performance are those who currently own a large vehicle and have lost the bandwagon love for their SUV, thanks surely to markups in gas prices. Initially these were the same folks who asked about its horsepower or ability to tow a trailer. Nowadays, those folks sit on the fence between selling their big ol' babies or coming to grips with the realities of an OPEC run world, and their first question is almost always about the fuel economy.

More Power - 0 ... More Mileage - 1

Media

If I'm here to talk about mainstream media critics' evaluations of a new GM midsizer, then I'll quit right now - the truck could generate 3500 horsepower by running on tapwater and would still fall short of its Japanese rivals. Rather, let's talk about GM's media opportunities in advertising.

Boasting good fuel economy figures means some serious scratch among automakers these days. According to the gospel of auto advertising, General Motors, Honda and Toyota are all the single-most fuel-efficient automaker in America - and at the same time! While the true measure of a vehicle's thirst will never be revealed even by the SAE, let alone a marketing department, fuel economy is the buzzword of the day and one that automakers are hitting on in every segment of the car market.

Greenity notwithstanding, in the truck market, power is where its at. If you watch television (and I know you do), then you probably watched the Super Bowl (and I know you did), meaning there's a good chance that you got to see Toyota's teeter-totter-Tundra ad. No mention of the sub-20 mpg ratings, or sub-15 numbers most drivers will probably see -- just raw power and hugeness. In the truck world, power is a virtue, and that now spills over to the category that has so readily shunned the "compact" designation. While the abysmal economy numbers of a V8 will be sure to drive away some fuel-conscious would-be buyers, it ought to rope in just as many buyers, as well as give GM a reason to properly advertise their small trucks.

More Power - 1 ... More Mileage - 1

Owners

Outside opinions and uninformed judgments are always welcomed (no, they're not), but no one can tell you more about a car than somebody who owns one. www.coloradofans.com offers the largest community of GMT-355 owners and enthusiasts on the interweb. Members know that opinions there have ranged from the desire for mind-numbing power to an uncompromising demand for better-than-great fuel economy, reaffirming that the ownership experience truly is an individual thing. A recent poll of 47 members offered that 31% of voters desired more power, while 68% wished for greater fuel economy, and a mysterious one percent showed no preference in a two-option poll. The poll was measured as of February 12, and is available for view and further debate below...

cFans Poll - More Mileage vs. More Power

http://www.coloradofans.com/viewtopic.php?t=40816

More Power - 1 ... More Mileage - 2

The Answer - Choices, choices, choices

When you've got the extensive parts bin that GM has, how can you fail to offer something for everyone? For those who love fuel economy, continue to improve upon the Atlas 4-cylinder, which currently offers 185 horsepower as well as mileage numbers at the top of the class. Bring over a diesel 6-cylinder from the Holden Rodeo, as well as making E85 compatible with all engine offerings. For those who crave power, source the 5.3L V8 right out of the new Silverado, bringing 320 horsepower and a whole lot of bragging rights straight to the top of the midsize class. For those who are greedy -- cylinder-deactivation and hybrids all around! A 6-speed transmission wouldn't kill the party, either.

Midsize trucks are indeed the gateway into larger, full-size pickups, and for automakers that means building the gateway into the land of gross profiteering. If General Motors wants to fully legitimize their midsize line and strengthen their future sales base for the terrific full-size trucks they offer, then the answer is clear cut -- more power or more mileage? Give the people what they want. Give them both.

Posted Image

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cletus8269    69

as an owner of a 2004 colorado the only disappointment i have is that it should have a little more power. thought about the rk sport turbo charger but for 3 grand forget it. even then it only hits 275hp. more or less i am hoping for the 4.8 to be on the top of the line colorado option sheet. granted my next purchase will most likely be a fullsize truck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BB_454    0

I remember working at a Chevy dealer in Waterford, MI and a four door Colorado running in the 30's, with out leather. I thought it was outrageous for a little truck, although I don't know the small truck market well at all. I thought the price should have been somewhat smaller, offer a V8 and do something with the interior. My biggest gripe with the truck was how $h!ty the interior was. Whats with the newer cloth seats BTW? I liked the cloth that was in my 91 S10 and my moms old 95 Monte Carlo. The new cloth seats in the Cobalt, G6, Malibu etc. just suck IMO, their too rough for me. I did like the way the Colorado looked, I thought it was kind of sporty. The 5 cylinder felt decent to me, but thought it should have been an entry motor. Its kind of funny that I see more S10's around here in Dallas than I do Colorado and Canyons combined.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dfelt    1,763

They need to bring back a Syclone Version. Take small block 5.3 V8 and give it twin turbo's and all wheel drive. I loved the GMC Syclone. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Intrepidation    846

Cheap interior combined with styling that hasn't aged well and only one powertrain does not a good truck make. Everything but the Ranger outclasses it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They need to bring back a Syclone Version. Take small block 5.3 V8 and give it twin turbo's and all wheel drive. I loved the GMC Syclone. B)

Great idea... but not with the 5.3, go the skyline route (Atlas Six-with Twin Turbos)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never drove in a 355 nor do I know anyone who has one but to me they were a big dissappointment from the start. The interior is cheesy and in my opinion is a step down from the S10. My 96 S10 LS actually had really nice looking seats and interior color. I had to get rid of that thing because it bloody well drank gas like crazy. I'm sure a full size truck with an 8 couldn't of been any worse. Hopefully the Colorado is better than that thing was on gas. They missed the boat big time by not offering a 6 even if the 5cyl has more power than the old 4.3 people probably don't see it that way. Throw in the goofy looks and its no wonder sales aren't great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cletus8269    69

well in 2003 i was lookin at an s-10 zr2 and was very distraught at the $26K price tag. the guy at the dealership was telling me about the colorados comin out in about a year to replace the s10. he told me that the I6 from the trailblazers were going it it which to me spelled success. i still wish it would have had the I6 but i must say the 3.5 isnt a slouch, i got a crew cab LS and i can say that it at least beats the old civic hatch back vtechs at the red light. he asked for it, in a 4 door truck i dont start things like i would have if i had my 90 454 still.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
avro206    1

Heres my short take on them:

1. I mosy see City of Calgary using them for fleet vehicles.

2. Looks are not good. They should have used a TrailBlazer/Envoy front end.

3. Size---I thought these trucks were going to move up to mid sized, close to the Dakota.

4. More power is always good--and with the new uprated engines they are prety mcug spot on. Still a 4.8L would not hurt--along with increasd towing capacity.

5. 15: wheels on the 4X4? No one else uss such tiny rims---17's are pretty much standard these days. Not to mention the rims are fugly

These trucks seem half baked to me--a typical 90's GM effort--not something out of this century.

Now I have never driven one--just going what by what I see and the spec sheet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cortazzo    0

Really like the looks of the 355s, wanted to get one but they are pretty expensive once you include basic options like power windows/doors etc and if you require 4x4 which I would. I don't think the engines are the problem, I think the price is. I still don't understand why GM would take the time to develop the 4 and 5 cyl engines in such small quantities when they have very good ecotechs and such. I'm sure the torque of a DoD 3.9 with flexfuel would be a natural choice instead of the current 5.

The Ranger would be much more formidable to the 355s if Ford actually put some powertrains that weren't terribly outclassed. But I suppose the largers Tacomas and Frontiers are the watermark now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zeek    0

i would like the twins to look a bit more like fraternal than identical like they do now. the styling isn't bad but it needs to be updated a bit. as far as the mpg's go it's a truck! it's not going to get econobox mpg but i would like to see it in the mid to high 20's in v6 guise with a 6 speed auto - even a 5 speed would be better than what they have now! give it a nicer interior like their big brother's and offer a small 8 with AFM and a 6, set up one for tq and towing and another for a street sport version.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LosAngeles    2

They need to bring back a Syclone Version. Take small block 5.3 V8 and give it twin turbo's and all wheel drive. I loved the GMC Syclone. B)

Great idea... but not with the 5.3, go the skyline route (Atlas Six-with Twin Turbos)

Either way, that truck will cost $100,000, you FANBOYS!! :)

And 68, you know Atlas dimensions well enough to know the six is too long for the 355s.

The biggest killer of a truck I liked was costing 30 grand for the most likeable models. Just inexcusable with the perceptions held in this market. No one's going over 27K for a Chevy-badged vehicle that isn't a Corvette or something of equally ballsy reputation and power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RoadmaSSter    0

This was a good read. Having had 4 different S-10 pickups and 4 different S Blazers ranging from the years 1995-2003 either by myself or someone in my immediate family, I think it was downright sad what the long-awaited replacement 355 pickups brought to the table in terms of their engines, interiors, and the overall price/package. The interiors and the dash of the 1998 + S trucks were head and shoulders above those of the new trucks, and the S truck was considered so very old. The 4.3 V6, though down on horsepower to the 5-cylinders, was far more liveable with that great low-end torque and decent economy in 2WD versions. Anyway, I think the revised '08 Dakota would end up being the way to go for someone in this market who wants something reasonably attractive and useful without wanting to deal with the mass of a full-sizer every day. Just my .02

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now