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

Some of you were asking what else will be offered for this truck. Here is what I found:

Other features on the new Colorado mid-size pickup include:

*Projector headlamps and 17-inch aluminum wheels
*Triple-sealed doors inlaid in the body sides for improved aerodynamic performance and a quieter interior
*Standard “CornerStep” rear bumper
*Available EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate that uses an internal torsion bar to make raising the tailgate easier with one hand, and a damper for more-controlled lowering
*Standard two-tier loading that allows a platform to effectively split the bed into upper and lower sections, making it easier to haul, store and conceal items such as tools
*Thirteen standard tie-down locations throughout the bed for use with available, movable cargo tie-down rings
*Standard bed rail and tailgate protectors
*Optional factory-installed spray-in bed liner
*Optional upper-instrument panel storage bin and large glove box volume
*Standard center console with room to store a tablet computer
*Rear under-seat storage
*An 8-inch diagonal color touch screen on LT and Z7 time models plus multiple USB drives
*A 3.4-inch diagonal driver information screen in the instrument cluster
*Optional next-generation OnStar and MyLink enhancements with gesture recognition and natural language voice recognition
*Six standard air bags, including head side curtain air bags designed for occupant ejection mitigation
*Optional forward collision alert technology
*Optional lane departure warning system
*Standard StabiliTrak stability control system with rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control, hill start assist and hill descent control for the Z71 off-road package

@Mr Knowitall
Here is an answer to one of your questions
"Joyce Mattman, commercial product director for GM’s Fleet & Commercial division, told Fleet Owner that a “work truck package” will also be provided for the 2015 Colorado, including a “box delete” option so the pickup bed can be removed to provide for the installation of a wide assortment of service body styles.

“The work truck package will include the option for steel wheels, a rear seat delete, rubber floor mats, and a vinyl seat package,” she said."

http://fleetowner.com/equipment/gm-s-mid-size-colorado-pickup-officially-reborn

By the way, this truck looks fantastic! I wasn't sure how much they could tweak the global version without f@#$%ing up the whole truck, but it actually turned out to be an awesome looking truck. That said, global version looked alright to me. Nothing fancy but it was OK. This looks even better, much better.
Now the question is: will next generation of global Colorado look like this? Or they will keep them looking different?

Mr. Knownothing - I never stated I wanted one. Regular Cabs are going the way of Zubaz pants. The cheapskates made sure of it.

Opinions are good, but base them on facts.

Even googling information will show you that your views are very outlandish.

Opinions are good, but base them on facts.

Googling BAFO will show you that his views are very outlandish.

Nothing was carry over from the global except the roof and about 6 frame bolts.

"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."

BAFO got owned.

Good job GM. I'm a Ford guy, but I really like the features and towing capacity of this midsize. I looked at Tacoma, but they are way too overpriced for what they offer. This is seriously making me consider not buying a STX Crew and holding out to see how this Colorado pans out.

This could be a homerun for GM BUT it can't it must come in at under $40,000 for a fully loaded Crew Cab, 4x4, Duramax Diesel, with Nav. Even if you hate GM, this is a game-changing truck.

I'm impressed, now let's see the pricing and the premium they will slap on the diesel. Looks better than the silverado.

No Reg Cab, no stick shift....not interested.

@dapetik

Toyota has been at the top of the small pickup market since somewhere around 2005. I'd hardly call that 30 years. Small truck buyers are desperate for something new and viable. You better believe the new Colorado will cut into Tacoma sales. I doubt they'll knock them off the throne in the first year, but there is a chance if the truck is as good as it's supposed to be.

@S2H

I agree. My best trucks down through the years were Reg Cab and stick. I only had to replace one clutch in all the years.

With auto trans, I can think of at least 3 rebuilds and another that sent the car to the dump. Stick is not for everyone and as someone pointed out the take rate on manuals is low in the US. But manual trans for me have been trouble free and they save you at least 1000 bucks retail.

Nice truck. Much better look and specs than I expected.
Taco should finally be worried. Maybe next Silverado will take cues from this.

Tuck looks great. Biggest determiner of sales success will be price. GM needs to fight the urge to jack up the price like they have with the previous Colorado.

The silent majority wants fuel economy and value, not leather and gizmos.

Thanks Greory J.
@Pat- when you catch your breath, can you explain to me how "cheapskates" made sure that there wouldn't be a regular cab? Perhaps you have a different google (/sarc) but mine returned this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BAFO
and perhaps
http://www.internetslang.com/BAFO-meaning-definition.asp
none of which seem to have much to do with this topic.

@papa jim,
Extended cabs will have 'delete rear seat' option if that helps any for you and others that are used to regular cabs and would want one.

Wish it had a column-mounted shifter instead of the shifter in the center console. That just eats up valuable space where you could have 4 cupholders instead of 2, or an open storage area for random items. Other than that, this looks pretty nice. I just hope for GM's sake that it's a lot more reliable than the first generation Colorado. They nail that, they've got a winner here. Too bad Ford refuses to get back into this market in America. A Ranger based on the new global model would have my money in a heartbeat. Since that seems unlikely, I will definitely be taking a look at this Colorado when it's time to retire my Ridgeline.

Great step by Chevy in the right direction. Love the exterior and interior. Can't wait to test drive one. If first hand reviews are positive then the Colorado is going to set the mid-size standard from here on out.

@gregory

Actually the longer wheelbase is a turn off, both in the woods and in the parking lot.

On the freeway long wheelbase is smoother and the extra interior space can be useful for small families.

I'm usually solo in my truck so the space is not an issue. If I am traveling with the family it's gonna in be the station wagon.

You know what would be nice? If I could get a carpet delete option on higher trim trucks. Even though I get my feet dirty, I'd still like a nicely optioned truck.

WHAT A DISSAPOINTMENT...GMC really need to clear the design office with a new breed, the interior is SOOOO dated, something from the 70's and the insistence of using those square wheel wells, no wonder imports do so well in that category, its particularly disappointing in that they started with a clean slate

Good job GM.
I'm more excited about this than the Silverado.

I like this trucks look, but its front-end reminds me somehow the Dodge Journey - do You have the same thoughts?

I like everything about this truck including the front. Much more attractive than the Tacoma or the Frontier. I don't mind an extended cab especially with the rear seat delete which gives more room in the back of the cab. I won a 99 S-10 extend cab and a 2008 Isuzu I-370 extend cab which have both been excellent trucks. The I-5 motor in my Isuzu has more than enough power. I would give this new Colorado a serious look when it come out.

That's too bad the diesel won't be available till 2015, we don't get to see for a while how good the fuel economy is. Especially if GM takes as long as Ram does to release MPG numbers.

For all of you that think this will bow the Tacoma away, lets get to REALITY first.

The Tacoma is a well established pickup on the market with strong roots and backed with the highest retention value among ALL trucks and ALL cars period.

The Tacoma after market is huge for a reason, many configurations and styles to choose from and ease of modding.

Off-roadability is also huge with the Tacoma for many reasons that I think this Colorado will be defecient on.

1-piece front bumper will hinder after market bumper installs and winches.

Square wheel wells will hinder the ease of installing larger tires and will cost the owner more $$$ to install a simple larger tire diameter.

No manual tranny also.

Just my 2 cents until I see gear ratios and off-road angle numbers.

If they offer a manual on a mid-level then I'm in.

I bet the next Nissan Frontier will have the Cummins 2.8 diesel engine option. This is going to be a great battle. Toyota better make some changes and react immediately if they want to remain on top in this segment.

Sorry GM, no regular cab, no sale. Too bad because it is one very cool looking truck.

The truck does look great. Sucks that we have to wait another year after the truck starts production to see the diesel. I hope its worth the wait.

That's a good looking pick-up. I hope that sales take off and spur Ford and Ram to get back into the segment with diesels also.
I'm with the a lot of the folks on here, need a manual transmission option. I want to control the shifting for optimum MPG's.

Finally!! floor console shifter, much better for us offroad guys. By the way nice looking truck also.

I like it. Had an 09 frontier crew cab 6ft bed with the 6 speed manual. Drive a car for work with the 3.6L and the 6 speed auto. That engine and transmission is in my work car. Can't wait to see what "tuning" they have done to the engine and what the gearing combo will be with the transmission. If they do an electronic locking diff and traction control, won't need 4X4 much. The only issue I see is looking at the not impressive fuel economy in the traverse with 6 speed auto and 3.6l, I can't imagine it will be far off from the Silverado with the 4.3l. Unless they pull some start/stop tech or do a fuel management injection set up, until the 2.8l diesel is released, I don't think we will be blown away with fuel economy in the new truck. Definitely a big improvement over the Frontier and the Tacoma though. This can only do good things for the mid-size market. In 2018 when I replace my truck, if Toyota and Nissan don't step up, there will be a bow tie midsize with a diesel in my driveway.

I would rather have the torquier new 4.3 liter V6, but with the right gearing the 3.6 will be fine. I would love to have this diesel in my '07 Xterra

I'll admit I'm a ford guy, but this is the size/features I want in a truck. I have been looking at The Frontier waiting to see how the GM trucks look and hoping they get better MPG's than Nissan's ho hum 21mpg HWY in 4x4 trim. This Chevy looks great, sized right, has a locker option and most likely will get 23MPG or more HWY...... I hope it isn't plagued by problems as I will most likely buy one.

They copy the tacomas looks!! The Tacoma will still win the midsize market and they'll probably step up the game now!

@Mark,
That was Global Midsize Shootout in Australia. The bizarre thing the ancient Hilux is still top of the tree, but the others are nowhere.
The Ranking is Hilux, Navara and Triton with the Ranger about 8th in overall sales.
Mazda BT 50, Colorado and Amarok are further back in the pack with the Isuzu Dmax outselling the Colorado.

I must admit, this version of the 2015 Colorado is receiving far more positive feedback than it's outgoing 2002-2014 predecessor and looks like it can handle the job based on what it's built for, that length of time allowed for GM to finally observe it's competitors from Toyota and Nissan based on what die hard Midsized Truck Consumers were looking for and was willing to invest their hard earned cash on. I wouldn't have no problem trading in my 2011 GMC Sierra HD for one of these, it would finally allow me to have MORE GAS MONEY in my pocket.

Looks like tacoma... outdated look... tacoma got that look for a while now... not saying the tacoma does not look good. how come i don't see people whine about it looks like tacoma... but take my word for it. in a year or two these gm fans will whine and complain that the tacoma look like this piece of sht....

I have to agree with everyone else and say that I am pleasantly surprised. It looks great!

But... why not the 4.3? It's a shorter motor and I prefer a OHV engine in my chevy truck.

It's going to be nice to see how the midsize truck market changes.

I agree that this truck looks really great. I was really hoping for some extra niceties on the interior such as dual climate control and one touch windows (I know we don't have all the details yet, but that does not appear to have dual climate). However, it is understandable that they need to do whatever they can to keep a large price difference between the Colorado and Silverado. I will wait patiently to see the Canyon and see full specs for these trucks. I am quite pleased with what we know so far. I just hope there is ample leg room in the back. I'd love a mid size truck that doesn't require dealing with my sons knees in the back of my seat. And I wish I could wait until 2016 to buy a new vehicle. I would love to have to choose between the 3.6, 2.8, and the next Tacoma. Maybe I'll just get a cheap beater and wait it out for a year.

Also, with the way trucks have grown in the past couple decades I think it would be interesting to see a comparison of newer trucks to older trucks. Specifically, I would like to see how this new Colorado stacks up against some of the first full size crew cab trucks like the 1998-2003 (correct?) F-150.

so glad I didnt buy the 2014 silverado. I see a 2015 Colorado in my future.

Finally the option of a longer bed with the crew cab. Thank you GM. I bought a 2012 silverado due to the bed size, but will be looking heavily into the Z71 Colorado next year. I hope the price will be reasonable/fair!

Can't wait for this Colorado!! I hope they include heated and cooled front seats, AND a 110v power outlet in the bed. The Tacomas have held the market far too long and with practically zero progression or upgrades and have not budged on pricing...or mpgs. This Colorado definitely has a sporty look...the hood looks very similar to the lines of the Camaro. I'm SOLD!

Will definitely be interested in the diesel version.

Can't wait for this Colorado!! I hope they include heated and cooled front seats, AND a 110v power outlet in the bed. The Tacomas have held the market far too long and with practically zero progression or upgrades and have not budged on pricing...or mpgs. This Colorado definitely has a sporty look...the hood looks very similar to the lines of the Camaro. I'm SOLD!

looks good,
diesel engine should be available right from the get go though!
small V8 would be even better option imo.
.I have 08 Silverado 4.8 v8 and it gets 26 mpg all day long,(Imperial galons)so in this light truck it would be just perfect
btw
what is it with these whiners complaining about GMs plastic interior?
just WHAT are competitors trucks interior made of?
genuine Saskatchevan sealskin leather maybe ?? ( ^ω^ )

I just read an article over at trucktrend.com about the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 regular cab. The model tested was $36000. I'm thinking, Oh gee, that much for a regular cab( gasping for air, looking for paper bag to hold off panick attack) I sure hope the Colorado can come in well under that. I priced a 2014 frontier crew cab 6 foot bed 4x4 with tech package on nissanusa.com and it came in at $29000. I did the same for a Taco at Toyta's web site and it came in at $31000. If the Colorado can stay around that price for a crew cab long bed 4X4 in an LT trim then they will have my business. If they go like the F150, silverado, ram route and a basic model hauling your family and having a little fun when you aren't weekend warrior shopping at lowes/ home D, will put you back $35K then they can forget it. I'm happy with the frontier with the new for 2013 tech package as it is. If Nissan added an additional higher OD gear to make their 5 speed a 6 speed auto, I think they would do just fine keeping the 4.0L they are running now, and maybe add 2 more inches in the crew cab back seat area. My fronty brakes awesome and the steering is fine. I avoided a car that cut in my lane and was impressed with the control and steering in a panick manuever. I averaged 19 mpg driving like a truck and not a sports sedan. I loved my fronty....so what is Chevrolet going to do to bring us to the Colorado. The 100K miles and 5 year warranty is a positive start. I'd like to see some MPG and Price figures from Chevrolet.

@Frank M
I'd really like a Frontier too. Drivetrain is awesome. Great build quality.

Better ride than Tacoma. GM hopes to duplicate the Tacoma here, they decided not to go after the Frontier. Who knows why?

I'd much prefer the Frontier if I was shopping for a midsize.

It has a diesel, awesome! I'd love to have one! Looks a lot better on the outside than I expected.



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