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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've seen the truck in it's base form, and it still looks pretty good! 

 

Though still to close in price to the full size price....

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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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    • By William Maley
      I’m one of the few people who actually like the current Toyota Prius - I named it one of my favorite vehicles last year. It offers excellent fuel economy and noticeable improvements to the interior and handling. So what happens when you add a plug to it? You end up with the Prius Prime which is much better than the last-generation Prius Plug-In and makes for an interesting alternative to Chevrolet Volt if you happen to be on a budget.
      The regular Prius was already a model that you either loved or hated the design. The Prime only exacerbates this as it comes with new front and rear styling to set it apart. The front end gets a new black treatment for the middle that makes it look like it is wearing a mask to hide its identity. A set of quad-LED headlights come from the Mirai and makes the Prime look futuristic. The back features a new tailgate design with what Toyota calls a “dual wave.” It may look ridiculous when put next to the standard Prius, but I dig it. One more thing about the rear tailgate; it happens to made out of carbon fiber to help reduce some weight out of the Prime. The weight loss is not really that impressive as the tailgate only drops 8 pounds from the curb weight. Move inside and the Prime is mostly similar to the Prius I drove last year with an abundance of soft-touch materials, color screens for the instrument cluster, and comfortable front seats. The key differences? You’ll only find seating for two in the back and cargo space is slightly smaller (19.8 vs. 24.6 cubic feet) due to the larger battery taking up some of the precious cargo space. One key item Toyota is proud of in the Prius Prime is an 11.6-inch, vertical touchscreen that controls many of the vehicle’s function such as navigation, audio, and climate control. But you may notice our test Prime doesn’t have it. That’s because the larger screen is only available on the Premium and Advanced models. The base Plus sticks with the 7-inch touchscreen with Entune. From reviews I have been reading about the Prime with the larger screen, it is a mess. The user interface is a bit of mess, performance is meh, and the screen washes out when sunlight hits it. The 7-inch system doesn’t have all of these issues - aside from the sunlight one. Entune may look a little bit dated, but the interface is easy to wrap your head around and performance is pretty snappy. The Prime’s powertrain is the same as the standard Prius; 1.8L Atkinson-Cycle four-cylinder engine and two electric motors/generators producing a total output of 121 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. Where it differs is the battery. The Prime comes with a 95-cell, 8.8-kWh Lithium-ion battery pack. This allows for 25 miles of electric motoring - 14 miles more than the last-generation Prius Plug-In. In electric mode, the Prius Prime feels confident when leaving a stop as the electric motors provide that immediate thrust of power. This is a vehicle that will make other drivers question their thoughts about the Prius. When the Prime is put into the hybrid mode, it feels and goes like a slower Prius. A lot of this is due to extra weight brought on the larger battery - about 300 pounds. You will notice the vehicle taking a few ticks longer to get up speed, especially on hills or merging on to a freeway. How much range was I able to squeeze out of the Prime? I was able to travel between 24 to 27 miles on EV power. Average fuel economy landed around 75 mpg with mostly city driving. When I first got the Prius Prime, I had to plug it in to get the battery charged up. On a 120V outlet, it took 5 hours and 30 minutes to recharged - exactly the time listed by Toyota. If you have a 240V charger, a full recharge only takes 2 hours and 10 minutes on 240V When the battery is halfway depleted, it took about 2 hours and 30 minutes to fully recharge. The Prius was quite a shock when I drove it last year as it drove surprisingly well. It provided decent handling and the steering felt somewhat natural. The same is true for the Prime.  You would think after four-generations of the Prius, Toyota would have finally figured out how to make the regenerative brakes feel like brakes in a standard car. But this isn’t the case. Like in the Prius I drove last year, the Prime exhibited brakes that felt numb and having to push further on the pedal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The Toyota Prius Prime is a huge improvement over the old the Prius Plug-In Hybrid as it offers a better EV range, short recharging time, and a much nicer interior. The exterior will put some people off and Toyota still needs to work on improving the Prius’ brakes. We have to address the elephant in the room, the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt does offer a longer range (53 miles), much better brakes, and a sharper exterior. The Prius Prime fights back with a larger interior, shorter recharging times, and low price. If I had the money, I would be picking up a Volt Premier as I think it is the slightly better vehicle. But if I only had $30,000 to spend and wanted something fuel efficient, the Prius Prime would be at the top of the list. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Prius Prime, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Prius Prime
      Trim: Plus
      Engine: 1.8L DOHC, VVT-i Atkinson Cycle Four-Cylinder, Two Electric Motors
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, ECVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 95 @ 5,200 (Gas), 71 @ 0 (Electric), 121 (Combined)
      Torque @ RPM: 105 @ 5,200 (Gas), 120 @ 0 (Electric)
      Fuel Economy: Electric + Gas, Hybrid City/Highway/Combined -  133 MPGe, 55/53/54
      Curb Weight: 3,365 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $27,100
      As Tested Price: $28,380 (Includes $885.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Special Color (Hypersonic Red) - $595.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      I’m one of the few people who actually like the current Toyota Prius - I named it one of my favorite vehicles last year. It offers excellent fuel economy and noticeable improvements to the interior and handling. So what happens when you add a plug to it? You end up with the Prius Prime which is much better than the last-generation Prius Plug-In and makes for an interesting alternative to Chevrolet Volt if you happen to be on a budget.
      The regular Prius was already a model that you either loved or hated the design. The Prime only exacerbates this as it comes with new front and rear styling to set it apart. The front end gets a new black treatment for the middle that makes it look like it is wearing a mask to hide its identity. A set of quad-LED headlights come from the Mirai and makes the Prime look futuristic. The back features a new tailgate design with what Toyota calls a “dual wave.” It may look ridiculous when put next to the standard Prius, but I dig it. One more thing about the rear tailgate; it happens to made out of carbon fiber to help reduce some weight out of the Prime. The weight loss is not really that impressive as the tailgate only drops 8 pounds from the curb weight. Move inside and the Prime is mostly similar to the Prius I drove last year with an abundance of soft-touch materials, color screens for the instrument cluster, and comfortable front seats. The key differences? You’ll only find seating for two in the back and cargo space is slightly smaller (19.8 vs. 24.6 cubic feet) due to the larger battery taking up some of the precious cargo space. One key item Toyota is proud of in the Prius Prime is an 11.6-inch, vertical touchscreen that controls many of the vehicle’s function such as navigation, audio, and climate control. But you may notice our test Prime doesn’t have it. That’s because the larger screen is only available on the Premium and Advanced models. The base Plus sticks with the 7-inch touchscreen with Entune. From reviews I have been reading about the Prime with the larger screen, it is a mess. The user interface is a bit of mess, performance is meh, and the screen washes out when sunlight hits it. The 7-inch system doesn’t have all of these issues - aside from the sunlight one. Entune may look a little bit dated, but the interface is easy to wrap your head around and performance is pretty snappy. The Prime’s powertrain is the same as the standard Prius; 1.8L Atkinson-Cycle four-cylinder engine and two electric motors/generators producing a total output of 121 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. Where it differs is the battery. The Prime comes with a 95-cell, 8.8-kWh Lithium-ion battery pack. This allows for 25 miles of electric motoring - 14 miles more than the last-generation Prius Plug-In. In electric mode, the Prius Prime feels confident when leaving a stop as the electric motors provide that immediate thrust of power. This is a vehicle that will make other drivers question their thoughts about the Prius. When the Prime is put into the hybrid mode, it feels and goes like a slower Prius. A lot of this is due to extra weight brought on the larger battery - about 300 pounds. You will notice the vehicle taking a few ticks longer to get up speed, especially on hills or merging on to a freeway. How much range was I able to squeeze out of the Prime? I was able to travel between 24 to 27 miles on EV power. Average fuel economy landed around 75 mpg with mostly city driving. When I first got the Prius Prime, I had to plug it in to get the battery charged up. On a 120V outlet, it took 5 hours and 30 minutes to recharged - exactly the time listed by Toyota. If you have a 240V charger, a full recharge only takes 2 hours and 10 minutes on 240V When the battery is halfway depleted, it took about 2 hours and 30 minutes to fully recharge. The Prius was quite a shock when I drove it last year as it drove surprisingly well. It provided decent handling and the steering felt somewhat natural. The same is true for the Prime.  You would think after four-generations of the Prius, Toyota would have finally figured out how to make the regenerative brakes feel like brakes in a standard car. But this isn’t the case. Like in the Prius I drove last year, the Prime exhibited brakes that felt numb and having to push further on the pedal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The Toyota Prius Prime is a huge improvement over the old the Prius Plug-In Hybrid as it offers a better EV range, short recharging time, and a much nicer interior. The exterior will put some people off and Toyota still needs to work on improving the Prius’ brakes. We have to address the elephant in the room, the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt does offer a longer range (53 miles), much better brakes, and a sharper exterior. The Prius Prime fights back with a larger interior, shorter recharging times, and low price. If I had the money, I would be picking up a Volt Premier as I think it is the slightly better vehicle. But if I only had $30,000 to spend and wanted something fuel efficient, the Prius Prime would be at the top of the list. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Prius Prime, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Prius Prime
      Trim: Plus
      Engine: 1.8L DOHC, VVT-i Atkinson Cycle Four-Cylinder, Two Electric Motors
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, ECVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 95 @ 5,200 (Gas), 71 @ 0 (Electric), 121 (Combined)
      Torque @ RPM: 105 @ 5,200 (Gas), 120 @ 0 (Electric)
      Fuel Economy: Electric + Gas, Hybrid City/Highway/Combined -  133 MPGe, 55/53/54
      Curb Weight: 3,365 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $27,100
      As Tested Price: $28,380 (Includes $885.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Special Color (Hypersonic Red) - $595.00
    • By William Maley
      Chevrolet has introduced mid-cycle refreshes for the bulk of their passenger car lineup. New faces are the big change of note for the 2019 Cruze, Malibu, and Spark. But there are other changes for these models which we will detail below.
      2019 Malibu
      Out of the three, the 2019 Malibu gets the most significant updates. It begins with the introduction of the RS package that adds a black grille, black badge, dual-outlet exhaust and special 18-inch wheels. Those hoping for some changes with the suspension are out of luck since there are none.
      Models equipped with the 1.5L turbo swap the six-speed automatic for a CVT. All Malibus will get an 8-inch touchscreen with the new Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system.
      2019 Cruze
      We first reported this back in December and it has now been confirmed. The manual transmission will no longer be available on any version of the Cruze. This means only automatics will be available - six-speed for gas and nine-speed for diesel. The Cruze Hatchback lineup gains a new LS variant to serve as the base. We're expecting the LS hatch to be somewhere in the $20,000 to $21,000 range for its base price.
      Other changes include the introduction of the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system, and LT and Premier models getting automatic climate control and remote start as standard.
      2019 Spark
      Last up is the 2019 Spark. It gets new styling for the rear and optional low-speed automatic emergency braking.
      No word on pricing, but we expect to find out when all of these models go on sale later this year.
      Source: Chevrolet
      Press Release is on Page 2
      NEW RS TRIM LEADS RESTYLED 2019 CHEVROLET MALIBU LINEUP
      DETROIT — Updated styling across the lineup — led by the first-ever RS trim — introduces additional choices to the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu and improves its presence.
      “We see an exciting opportunity with the 2019 Malibu to give customers new, distinctive choices, exemplified by Malibu RS,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “It offers athletic design and amazing features at an attractive price point starting between Malibu LS and LT trims.”
      The first-ever Malibu RS offers a sporty, personalized appearance starting at around $25,000, driven by styling cues that include 18-inch machined wheels, black sport grille, black bowtie emblems, a rear spoiler and a dual-outlet exhaust. Inside, Malibu RS features a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, black cloth seats and a standard 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen running the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system.
      Offered on five 2019 models, the RS trim is a Chevrolet success story that gives customers distinctive choice, strong value and performance-driven design. 
      The new, standard 8-inch diagonal touchscreen running Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system and new CVT transmission mated to the standard 1.5L Turbo engine further refine the 2019 Malibu line. The Premier trim retains its 2.0L Turbo paired to a nine-speed automatic.
      Performance-inspired design
      The Malibu’s front fascia, grilles and headlamps are all-new. The headlamps are integrated with the upper grille and the larger, bolder lower grille, giving the car a more powerful presence. High-performance LED lighting are integrated into the headlamps for Premier models, and there are new LED signature daytime running lamps for LT and Premier. There’s greater attention to detail in the grille and headlamps, with bold chrome accents reinforcing Malibu’s premium appearance.
      A new rear valance pushes the dual-exhaust outlets farther toward the corners, emphasizing the car’s width, while new taillamps deliver a more dramatic execution of Chevrolet’s signature dual-element design. The LT and Premier trims feature LED taillamps.
      “The Malibu’s fresh look refines and enhances the sculptural beauty of the Malibu,” said John Cafaro, executive director, Global Chevrolet Design. “It will also be an obvious member of the Chevrolet car family.”
      Additional 2019 updates across Malibu’s lineup include:
      A new, standard 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen radio running Chevrolet Infotainment 3 New 8-inch diagonal reconfigurable driver information center display on the Premier model Rear Vision Camera1 system is now standard on the Malibu L model The up-level Malibu Premier features standard heated outboard rear seats New available interior and exterior colors New wheel designs available in multiple sizes, including 16-, 17- and 18-inch The restyled Malibu joins the 2019 Cruze and Spark as part of Chevrolet’s freshened car portfolio. It goes on sale this fall.
      RESTYLED 2019 CHEVROLET CRUZE POSITIONED TO STRENGTHEN MARKET MOMENTUM
      DETROIT — Chevrolet today introduced the restyled 2019 Cruze with a more premium appearance that enhances its on-road presence and strengthens its value for customers. The updates for 2019 position Cruze to continue its success in the compact car segment.
      “Cruze is a cornerstone of Chevrolet’s car strategy, bringing new customers to the brand,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “In fact, 53 percent of Cruze customers in 2017 were new to Chevrolet. Cruze has been so successful at attracting new buyers to Chevy because its lineup offers something for every customer, from body style to fuel choice to trim and design.”
      Recent introductions of the Cruze Hatch and Diesel models helped push the car to a 0.6-percent retail market share gain in 2017 and helped Chevrolet secure its third consecutive year of higher overall retail market share.
      New design
      The 2019 Cruze’s front fascia and grilles are all-new. Revised grille designs reinforce Cruze’s premium appearance. In the Premier trim, Chevrolet’s signature dual-element taillamps now feature LED accent lighting, which adds to Cruze’s sculptural beauty.
      “Cruze’s refreshed styling gives Cruze a more upscale look while maintaining its Chevrolet design DNA,” said John Cafaro, executive director, Global Chevrolet Design.
      What’s new for 2019
      Chevrolet is the most awarded, fastest-growing brand for the last four years overall* and as part of that, the first-ever Cruze Hatch LS continues Chevrolet’s commitment and momentum in offering a broad car portfolio with choices for every budget and need.
      Additional updates include:
      New Chevrolet Infotainment 3 running on a standard 7-inch diagonal color touchscreen radio Remote start and automatic climate control standard on LT and Premier models New wheel designs Black window moldings, bowtie emblems and 17-inch (and available 18-inch) machined wheels for Cruze’s RS package New available Umber interior color The 2019 Cruze goes on sale later this year, offered in sedan and hatchback models, with 1.4L turbo and available 1.6L turbo-diesel engines. It also features 4G LTE connectivity and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot (with limited service trial), and one of the segment’s biggest rosters of available active safety features, including:
      Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Rear Park Assist Following Distance Indicator Forward Collision Alert Front pedestrian braking Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking CHEVROLET INTRODUCES RESTYLED 2019 SPARK
      DETROIT — An updated face and new available active safety technology for the 2019 Spark add attitude and purpose to Chevrolet’s feisty, segment sales-leading mini-car.
      “Customers can easily personalize Spark, which is a main reason why it leads its segment in sales, attracting both young buyers and women to the brand,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “Spark is an excellent value for customers seeking an affordable car that offers great safety technology and connectivity.”
      Spark’s fresh front-end styling takes its cues from the Chevrolet line, while new, available Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking1 can help drivers prevent or reduce the severity of low-speed front-end collisions by applying the brakes or enhancing the driver’s braking.
      The new styling boosts Spark’s premium appearance with a rich use of chrome in the grille. Available projector-style headlamps further enhance Spark’s chic styling. The available LED daytime running lamps are moved lower, giving Spark a more powerful presence and a family resemblance to the rest of the Chevrolet car lineup.
      At the rear, dual-element taillamps further the signature brand cue. Spark continues its tradition of offering customer personalization through bright and distinctive paint colors.
      The 2019 Spark is offered in LS, LT, 2LT and ACTIV trims, with the ACTIV featuring crossover-inspired design cues and a ride height raised by 10mm. All trims feature standard air conditioning, 10 standard airbags2 and a rear-vision camera system.
      New, segment-exclusive Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking joins the available Driver Confidence Package, complementing the package’s additional active safety features, Forward Collision Alert1 and Lane Departure Warning. 1
      When it comes to connectivity, Spark delivers a standard Chevrolet infotainment system featuring phone integration compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a limited trial of OnStar and connectivity access at no additional cost, plus access to the MyChevrolet mobile app.
      Spark is powered by a 1.4L DOHC engine offered with a manual transmission or an available continuously variable transmission (CVT).
      The refreshed Spark joins the 2019 Malibu and Cruze as part of Chevrolet’s updated car portfolio, which offers new styling, new technologies and more choices and value. It goes on sale later this year.
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