2015 Chevrolet Colorado: First Look

2015 Colorado front enviro II

Photography by Evan Sears and the manufacturer

Many folks still think the only reason to buy a compact or midsize pickup truck is because you can't afford a full-size pickup. Those people are wrong. We'll state it right up front: There are pickup buyers who aren't interested in full-size trucks and they need more choices.

General Motors is banking on that notion by offering the first all-new pickup truck in the midsize segment since Honda came to market with its unibody Ridgeline in 2005. GM will unveil the all-new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

With a three-truck strategy — heavy-duties, half-tons and midsizers — GM is hoping to appeal to all pickup buyers by offering a small, reliable and more affordable truck that fits in a garage, can navigate narrow streets and spin in the dirt. So GM has put the previous-generation Colorado to rest and started with a clean slate. As near as we can tell, this new truck is a combination of the best designs and solutions from the 2014 Silverado 1500 and the heavier-duty new global Holden Colorado (built in Thailand as a one-ton model that's sold throughout Indonesia). Here's what we know so far about the new Colorado:

Exterior

The 2015 Chevy Colorado is the first of two anticipated new midsize pickups to be revealed; we're guessing the 2015 GMC Canyon will debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. Engineers have told us that when compared to a Silverado 1500 crew-cab short bed, the Colorado will be almost 6 inches narrower, 18 inches shorter, 3 inches lower and almost 1,000 pounds lighter. As we've seen from the teaser photos, this fits right into GM's "small, medium and large" lineup.

 

2015 Colorado side 2 II

Because of fuel economy and design challenges, GM engineers were selective about what strategies to carry over from the global Holden Colorado. Some design cues are similar, but the only carryover parts include the roof and a handful of bolts. Much of the foundational technology came from the 2014 Silverado 1500. The new frame is fully boxed and hydro-formed and uses a coil-over spring front independent suspension and a traditional spring-under leaf setup with a live axle. All models will have four-wheel disc brakes. We're told the frame will be the strongest in the segment and have the highest tow rating for the class at 6,700 pounds and offer the highest payload as well — we figure just more than 1,400 pounds.

The bed itself will be offered in two lengths with many of the same convenience details from the new Silverado and coming 2015 heavy-duty trucks. There will be a foot cutout in the bumper and hand hole in the bed sides for easier cargo access. There will be an optional spray-in bedliner, and the bed can be set up with 13 different cargo tie-down points. Additionally, the tailgate also will be equipped with the easy-up/easy-down strut for added convenience. And also like the Silverado, the bed interior and exterior are made from cold rolled steel instead of pressed and bent (and stretched) panels.

This truck has undergone exhaustive aerodynamic testing, so the top of the tailgate and bedrails are specifically designed to reduce turbulence as air flows off the cab. Every truck will have active automatic grille shutters to help make the engine run more efficiently, as well as reduce front drag when moving down the road. The aluminum hood on all models (just like the Silverado 1500) improves fuel economy, and the new truck will offer three all-new — for the Colorado — powertrains.

Under the Hood

The new Colorado will be offered in three trim levels: Work Truck (base), LT and Z71, with the latter's four-wheel-drive package offering upgraded shocks, bigger wheels and tires, a locking differential, and hill ascent and descent control. The base engine for the first two trim levels will be a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that is preliminarily rated for 193 horsepower and 184 pounds-feet of torque. The V-6 (302 hp, 270 pound-feet of torque) will be familiar to some because it's the same all-aluminum 3.6-liter engine used in everything from Chevrolet's new Impala sedan to the GMC Terrain crossover. The biggest powertrain news is that this new midsize will be the first of its class to get a turbo-diesel option: a U.S.-tuned 2.8-liter inline-four-cylinder Duramax GM has been using overseas. The engine was a joint design between GM and VM Motori several years ago but is now completely owned and used by GM in several global platforms. Although the Duramax name was created as a joint venture with Isuzu, the new engine is solely owned by GM, which no longer has a partnership with VM Motori after Fiat finalized its purchase of the diesel engine company last month. 

2.8L I-4 TD VM Motori

Duramax cutaway 4 II

 

There's no doubt the 2.8-liter Duramax will be the premium engine option, but we're told that it will be offered as an option across the entire lineup to make sure fleet and commercial buyers can outfit their vehicles as needed. However, this engine will not be available until the 2016 model year. Production logistics and assembly complexity are the reasons for its late availability, we're told.

GM did not release ratings for this engine, but based on other global vehicles, we'd guess power ratings would be in the 180-hp and 350-pounds-feet range.

Cab Configurations

Chevy has committed to just two models for the Colorado: a crew cab and an extended cab. Again, the Colorado exhibits technology and quietness strategies borrowed from the Silverado. The Colorado will use triple door seals, tighter clearances and more noise insulation. One noticeable difference is in the construction of the extended cab model. Where new Silverado extended cabs use conventional door openings, the Colorado will continue to use clamshell-type doors for easier rear access. Fleet customers requested this, and by using high-strength steel in the doors and roof, GM was able to achieve the roof and door crush standards it wanted.

At this stage the Colorado will offer be two wheelbase lengths, with the crew-cab models getting a choice of a 5-foot bed (on the short wheelbase) or a 6-foot bed (on the long wheelbase). The wheelbase differences between the two, as you might suspect, is 12 inches. Extended-cab models will be offered on the shorter wheelbase and have the 6-foot bed, but we suspect dealerships will hear from business owners and regular buyers who want a longer bed version (maybe with a 7- or 8-foot bed) based on a long-wheelbase extended cab.

Interior

2015 Colorado int II

 

The Colorado will have an available 8-inch navigation screen and easy-to-see toggle switches and icons, some of which are taken straight from the Silverado. The overall look is certainly more harmonious and unique-looking than we remember from the previous Colorado, which was a mess of mixed parts from various sedans, crossovers and vans. Some of the new Colorado's gauge cluster reminds us of the Camaro, and the center console is wide and large, unlike the previous model.

The rear seats in the crew cab are not as cramped as you'd expect, due in large part to the roof liner cutouts and a nice 18-degree rake to the seatbacks. Also, the rear doors do allow for good distances between the B-pillar and rear-seat base, so even if you have large boots on, access is pretty easy. Additionally, the rear seats have a huge amount of hidden storage underneath, and the seatback can be flipped down and fold flat, providing a large, wide rear tabletop. Extended-cab models will offer a small bench seat, but we're guessing that will not be comfortable for adults (we have not seen one yet). Also, extended-cab models will offer a seat-delete option for customers who want to create their own personalized rear storage area.

Colorado in the Market

There's no question GM will use the "lifestyle" vehicle marketing strategy for this truck, and although that path is well worn, it's probably more appropriate here than anywhere else. During our time poking around a fully loaded red Z71 and black extended- cab LT, we especially liked the Z71 for its sportier look. The interior is sharp and well-organized, with switches and control layouts similar to the Silverado. This is where GM's efforts will pay off as the interiors of the Honda Ridgeline, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma sit far underneath.

New Colorados will roll off the assembly line in Wentzville, Mo., plant by the fall of 2014. Information about pricing and specifications will be available sporadically before that. If we learned anything from the reveal of the Chevy Silverado 1500, it's that we'll get more data in small bits for a long time to come. As much as that might sound like complaining, we're excited about this one. It could change the game we've been watching for decades.

Our colleagues at Cars.com thought the new Colorado is a good new entry to the segment. To read their thoughts about the new midsize and other new cars and crossovers, click here.

For a wider selection of photos, check out our gallery on our Facebook page.  

To view our First Look video of the 2015 Chevy Colorado, click here

To download the most recent press release about the 2015 Chevy Colorado, click here.

Editor's note: This story was updated on Nov. 20, 2013, to more accurately reflect the current and past relationship between GM, VM Motori, Fiat and the new Duramax turbo-diesel 2.8-liter inline-four.  

2015 Colorado front II

Headlight 1 II

Interior 1 II

Interior 4 II

Bed 1 II

Bed step 1 II

 

2.5L I-4 Gas

2015-Chevrolet-Colorado-4Cylinder II

3.6L V-6 Gas

2015-Chevrolet-Colorado-6Cylinder II

Duramax 2.8L I-4 TD

2015-Chevrolet-Colorado-TurboDiesel II

 

Comments

Oh oh, bye bye Tacoma! This looks fantastic, much better looking than the global Holden Colorado.

Obviously, I'm not a GM fan, but I have to admit that it looks way better than I was expecting it to. I have seen what the "global" version of the truck looks like and I didn't see any way people would go for that design. At least this design looks like something your average consumer might buy.

Exterior wise it looks like a cross between the Tacoma and Frontier with a dash of the old Colorado. On the interior it looks like they have taken cues from the Silverado. I'm happy to hear about the diesel option as the more diesels automakers get out there, the more will be produced.

That actually looks pretty good for a midsize, and a baby 2.8L Duramax diesel is perfect for this size of truck.

No Regular Cab!

All the cheapskates and bottom feeders spoiled the deals on the mid-size regular cabs.

If only the 2014 Silverado looked that good!

Best looking truck GM makes. I assume this will be a big hit if it's a good truck.

yup....bye tacoma, sick of your complaisant attitude towards us consumers with your lazy upgrades to the toyota because you had no competition. Took them 13 years to ficllayfinally offer friking leather! seriously just this year you can get a tacoma with a leather interior for christ sake

GM is showing A LOT more respect for us and I'm going to show my appreciation.

- Side profile looks good!
- Front... will take some time.
- Interior looks El cheapo. Plastic-ville
- Will be sweet with baby diesel. As long as initial cost is not too high.

Ford your move.

Article is factually incorrect about payload, the Honda Ridgeline currently has a 1500 lb payload, which is higher than this.

The rear seat should flip up and not down, this is a big mistake on Chevy's part.

The console shifter is a stupid waste of space and should be made as a column shifter.

All in all this looks like a fantastic offering that is going to ravage the current midsize truck market. Nissan and Toyota had better update soon or they will be booted out of the market.

Hope it has the selectable Auto 4wd system like the Silverado has rather than just a plain part time system that can't be used on road in the winter.

Looks good otherwise! I'll take a red Z71 crew v6 4x4 with black leather and nav please.

I like it and was not expecting it to look that good after seeing the models sold overseas. I drove S10's for years and then moved up to a Silverado in 2001. Had great luck with them all. But my 87 S10 with the 2.8 was a bit off the power. In a strong head wind you would be lucky to get 55 mph.

I would buy one but I have really got used to a bigger bed.

I really like the look. Wasn't sure what to excpect the front end to look like. Blows the global one away in terms of looks inside and out. A little disapointed I have to wait two years for the diesel option. Hope I can buy a diesel with a std transmision as well. Geuss I will have to keep my 99 cummins a couple more years.

This looks like a homerun for GMC whereas the 2014 Silverado was just an infield double.
The 2.8 litre diesel in this truck will take a bite out of Ram's ecodiesel sales. If the only reason to buy a Ram ecodiesel is fuel economy, this truck should kick its ass in that area being 1,000 lb lighter and physically smaller.

No regular cab.......... thank you EPA "footprint" based mpg and emission requirements.

It looks like a Tacoma. Copy cat.

It's about time some competition, being #1 all of the time gets rather boring.

"GM is hoping to appeal to all pickup buyers by offering a small, reliable and more affordable truck that fits in a garage, can navigate narrow streets and spin in the dirt."

Hey they stole my line that I have been using for years of why I choose a mid-size over the heavy tank full-size.

I'm with Josh, 2 yrsfor a diesel? I'mliking the design. This may be my first Chevy/GM EVER! I've owned all other brands ... it just has to be affordable

@PUTC

No stick shift available?

Did I miss it? No mention of transmissions, options, apart from the photo of the floor shifter (which looks like an automatic).

One of the things that really hurt the last generation Canyon/Colorado was the 4sp auto. Even with the 5cylinder upgrade motor that truck's mileage and acceleration were uncompetitive in the segment.

Waiting so long to play the diesel option clearly reveals GM's suspicions about the viability of an expensive engine upgrade for a class of domestic trucks that has traditionally been a downscale buyer's market (how many Canyon/Colorado's were sold with the 5.3 V8 for example?).

Using the 3.6 V6 is a bit surprising since that motor's large cylinder heads will make things under the hood a very tight fit. The aluminum 4.3 V6 would be a better fit all around.

The aluminum hood hardly saves fuel. It does reduce weight, so those who do a LOT of city driving might someday recover the additional cost of use aluminum for the hood. The curb weight is not mentioned but a 4wd crew cab is surely going to tip the scales close to 5,000 pounds. At that weight the savings of using aluminum panels is iffy. Definitely adds cost though.

Lastly, it is very hard to understand why it still takes Detroit SO LONG to go from the drawing board to the showroom. This is where the Koreans are KILLING the rest of the world's auto makers. By 2015/16 expect Kia or Hyundai to have a superior midsizer available, if they want to. This segment has been absent a new truck since 2005 and it's hard to understand why it takes so long for Detroit to address such an important global segment.


It seems they have changed the Holden Colorado to a "Lifestyle Vehicle" Chevrolet Colorado to chase Tacoma sales. This is no Global Midsizer, but a watered down vehicle with a diesel to go for economy rather than overall capability.
It does look a bit like the Isuzu Dmax version though.
http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/7201/n5hj.jpg

Looks awesome! Good to see a Duramaxs too.

Now lets not get too excited like folks for the latest smart (1984) phones.

GM has to earn their spot in the mid-size market like you guys always say about the Tundra with full-size.

GM has no history building a mid-size so caution would be best in this new class for them. Koodos to a coil sprung front, my gosh how long does GM have to wait? Tacoma had that front end and locking rear differential back in 1995.

I still prefer the rear leafs to be above the axle, gives a higher stance and off-roadability. Speaking of off-roadability, tire size, rear axle gears, manual, and those wheel wells will hinder larger tire mods.

We shall see.

I was really hoping for the 4.3L, but the 3.6L does a decent job in heavy 3-row CUVs. I can't wait to see the fuel economy numbers, hopefully they beat the Silverado 4.3L by a healthy margin.

I have to agree this is a beautiful truck. I'm looking forward to how reliable this truck is and how well it performs in crash testing. The Silverado did extremely well in the NHTSA crash tests so I'm hoping the Colorado does as well in this test and they both ace the IIHS tests. However, I prefer the diesel engine so I'll have to wait until the 2016 MY. I'm hoping GM will offer a manual transmission option with the diesel.

not too bad, typical cheap looking GM interior with big knobs though. kudos to GM for bringing this to the market !

lets see if Ford and Ram are paying attention now, bring on the competition..

Wow GM, I'm impressed. It looks much better than I expected (except for the interior). I expect the Tacoma might finally have some competition, which is good thing for people like me who like smaller trucks.

Why announce all the details about the diesel and then say it won't be out for another 2 - 3 years? This truck will be due for a refresh by then. They just tipped their hand and will allow others to have a diesel in production before GM does. Crazy.

I don't know why so many people on this site think this new Colorado well blow the Tacoma away in sales. The 1st gen Colorado did not due to poor quality and reliability and the engines were underpowered. Due to these issues it will take some time to be on the same level as the Tacoma, by that time Toyota will have a new Tacoma/Hilux on the road. With that being said I'm glad General Motors is building a new Colorado. I own a 07 Tacoma it's been very reliable but leaves a lot to be desired and far from perfect.

While still physically bigger than I really want, nearly every spec on this thing fits or exceeds my needs.
Towing? I doubt I'll ever pull anything heavier than 3500 pounds and more likely to never exceed 2000 pounds.
Hauling? Even losing 500 pounds to in-cab load, 800 pounds will be more than enough for my typical in-bed needs. At 20 pounds each (if that much) 20 event tables won't even begin to stress the truck and a couple hundred folding chairs still won't approach that capacity.
It's the best compromise I've seen so far.

Looks great, the Silverado should look like this.

This thing looks amazing! I'm shocked really, I was not expecting this. The only thing I would change is removing that center console and moving the shifter back to the steering column. Other than that fantastic! I will be very interested to test drive one when they make it to the dealers lot

Woah! I didn't see that one coming.

A crew cab with a relatively long bed option (6') and a small turbodiesel available across all trim levels!

It's almost like they've been listening to what buyers like myself have been asking for. Or at least what we were asking for 10 years ago.... but better late than never.

Unfortunately I never asked for an interior that wasn't made out of cheap looking plastic. How could the company that has, for decades, been known as the company that uses more cheap plastics than anyone else, have continued that time honored tradition!? I guess the door seals will have to do for now.

I'll have my eye on this one when it hits showroom floors and some MPG numbers come out.

Tacoma copy cat for sure,especially the side and rear sections. Can you say Tacoma 2015!!! Should be a rocker...

The interior looks good except for all the hard plastics. It's fine for a work base model, but higher trims should have leather trimmed dash similiar to the Silverado and Ram

Where is the 8 or 10 speed automatic?

Back door and front design angles are all Toyota rip off! Unfortunately this thing will be just as bad as the S-10 was. Toyota Tacoma will continue being king in this segment.

GUTS
GLORY
DAKOTA

I gotta say, Chevrolet nailed this one. Going off the global truck I didn't expect much, boy was I wrong. Nice job Chevy! What's a Tacoma again?? Very impressed. Dare I say better than the global Ranger too which I preferred before, not now.

Awesome!!! Anyone got a side-by-side spec comparison between the new Colorado and the old one?

I'm interested in how much longer this baby is compared to my 2011 Crew Cab Colorado.

Even with this huge splash into the mid-sze truck market, I doubt Toyota will check it's mirrors. Just like Ford annihilates the half-ton market in sales, Toyota will maintain its huge sales lead. (That doesn't mean either of those trucks leads the segement, but THAT many more buyers every year means something).

Quality/performance/resale? If the current GM half-tons are any indicator, this one will be solid. Unless they offer the duramax with a manual transmission I'm not too excited.

I like it, interested to see what the GMC will look like now.

I'd like to see them put the 5.3 in this thing.

@Lou, I agree. Silverado was good for a square body tribute but they really should have gone more the 67-72 route if they were doing tributes. The square stuff looks kind of weird now. Not that it's bad but it wasn't quite a homerun. This is different. I don't even have to get used to the looks of this, I like it right here, right now, the first time I saw it. Kind of like the Tahoe or F-150. And that's when you know you have a winner. They really should have an LTZ version of this though. I also wonder if it can be High Country optioned? Raptor version perhaps too? This truck has really captured my interest in Chevrolet again.

Wow! Finally, a realistically sized good looking truck with capability! I know i'll be trading in my Frontier in two years and this truck will probably be the replacement! This is the best looking GM truck so far.

GUTS
GLORY
I NOW DRIVE A
RAM

AND
SO
SHOULD
YOU

I wish we could post pictures, so that I could post the "everything turned out better than expected" meme.

I honestly liked the global colorado, but I'm impressed that for once GM actually made it look "better." Somehow it doesn't have the "premium" look of the global car, even so I like this better. For once, I'm not jealous of the good looking overseas model.

Then on the powertrain: I'll take mine as a crew cab, 5 foot bed, with the duramax please.

Also: look at that approach angle. My god thank you, thank you! Today's full sizes have such low to the ground front ends and are pigs off road. This doesn't look to mimic that. This looks like a Jeep Off Road, but with much better payload and towing.

Too bad I have to wait until 2016 for one with a diesel. And crap, this just made the decision difficult. I was getting a 2014 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman with the 3.0L, but now? It will be easier to park, tow everything I wanted, likely get better fuel economy, and have a slightly lower price tag. And it will be better off road.

Blast.

It looks GREAT. I'm glad they did not go with the global front end. Curious about the non-diesel fuel economy figures

You people really think this will actually cut into Toyota? They owned the market for 30 years. The big three all bailed out of the fight at one time or another, all while Toyota grew their marketshare.

I appreciate this Colorado and the fact it is incorporating a diesel (eventually). I wish them luck with sales but only because I hope it forces to Toyota to improve. Congrats to GM for a good looking truck. I will keep my Tacoma until they release a diesel variant (or Ford brings a diesel Ranger here).

@expedition,

Toyota came in last in the global shootout over a year ago.

http://special-reports.pickuptrucks.com/2012/08/2012-global-pickup-shootout.html

OFF-ROAD RANKING:

First: Ranger

Second: Amarok

Third: Colorado

Fourth: Toyota Hilux

I can't wait to see the additional features/upgrades offered with this. I am hoping for an Avalanche inspired bed bar/bed cover like what was shown with the GMC Canyon concept. I also liked the Global look and was worried the US version would be a small imitation of the Silverado front...very glad GM didn't go that way! I am really liking this all around and cannot wait to get one! I was leaning towards a Ram (while eagerly awaiting to see what GM was going to show us)...but now that I have seen this in full glory...the Colorado has my money! Great Job GM!

I own an F150 and considering switching! This truck looks awesome and all updated power trains and options it should be a home run. My F150 barely squeezes in my garage (had to modify garage door) and navigating in parking lots is a nightmare, this colorado will make life so much easier. Not sure what all the hoopla is over the diesel is all about. It will come with a huge price tag and diesel fuel is about 20% more than gasoline. I'll take the 2.5 all day long.

So far, so good. The press release states that both gasoline engines will have a 6-speed auto. The diesel could have the 10speed by the time it launches, although I'm not convinced it is needed.
Things I like...
*Electric power steering- less belt accessories, better fuel econ.
*Trailer sway control. Lets hope they bring an integrated trailer brake controller, too.
*4-wheel disks
*Both gas engines are class leading for power, and hooked to 6spd autos, should be the quickest in the segment, too.
So why not the 4.3? I would have put my money on that one, too, but the 3.6 was already in use in the middle east.
Since they talked to fleet customers about details like keeping the clam-shell doors, perhaps there will actually be a Cab&Chassis option. Save me a few bucks on a bed and rear bumper I don't really need and let me get a flat-bed on there.

@Pat- others are cheapskates and bottom feeders, but you want a "deal" on regular cab. OK, buddy.
@Ricky- some kind of auto or full-time set-up would be nice. Even a single speed t-case like in the Durango would be OK in a non-off road model.
@papa jim- when nobody buys them over a 4-speed auto, they're not going to develop a manual alternative to a good 6-speed auto for the <1% potential take rate. The press release sais it should be around 1000lb lighter than the Silverado in similar config, so weight should be closer to 4000lb.
@Robert Ryan- midsize trucks in America simply ARE personal use/lifestyle vehicles. A midsize work truck to sell alongside their full-size offerings would be a complete fail here.
@DrLou- Chances for a manual trans on the diesel are slim to none- and slim just took an early retirement.



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