2015 Chevrolet Colorado: What GM Got Wrong

Bed 1 II

While there's a lot to like about the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, there's still room for improvement with GM's new midsize pickup truck revealed at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. Here are five things we'd like to see fixed.

1. Better Bed Tech

The bed of a smaller midsize pickup needs to be more versatile so it can deal with small and large family, buddy and couple outings. Sure, a full-size bed will likely deal with bigger loads, but the beds of smaller pickups typically cover more ground than the Colorado does. No inverter plug? No hidden or clever storage? No adjustable racks? Why not some kind of lockable "RamBox" or a more clever tailgate?

2. Better Interior Materials

There's no question this Colorado is a step up from what's it's replacing (last sold in the U.S. almost two years ago), but an improved interior is low-hanging fruit. Toyota, Nissan and Honda have not had to do anything here, so this is the time for GM offer a more activity-oriented Z71 interior with mesh netting pockets, water-bottle slots and maybe a wet-suit seat-cover option.

Interior 1 II

3. Offer a 4x4 Sport Package

We're willing to be patient on this one, but there needs to be some kind of sport-truck package offered soon. Chevy has a strong heritage in performance and to simply offer the Z71, a traditionally 4x4 exclusive badge, is to ignore a lot of historical strength. Better wheels and tires and some possible bodywork could instantly make the Colorado the street truck king. And isn't there a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6 in a Cadillac?

4. More bed lengths

We expect it won't take long for dealerships to get feedback on the Colorado's limited bed lengths. Even with an 8-foot bed, these trucks will still be easier to drive, offer significant fuel efficiency and be easier to repair for fleet managers, especially when compared to their full-size counterparts. The 2015 Colorado offers only two beds lengths (5- or 6-foot) for two wheelbases in crew-cab versions and one bed/wheelbase choice in extended-cab versions. By getting more creative, Chevy could add another bed length (7 foot) or include another wheelbase and get two more new bed lengths.

5. More Engine Choices

Offering just two engines for the debut of the truck borders on being just plain mean. Yes, it looks like the two gas engines will do just fine for the smaller, lighter chassis, but not offering the turbo-diesel in the Colorado until the 2016 model year smacks of nasty marketing and torture. We suppose it shouldn't surprise anyone that the new turbo-diesel option will probably have a hefty option price (we'd guess somewhere in the $2,500 range), but maybe it will be paired with a bigger fuel tank option for both fuel and diesel exhaust fluid to help justify the additional cost.

2015-Chevrolet-Colorado-4Cylinder II


I think you're nitpicking a little here. I think GM got exactly two things really wrong, and one think kind of wrong.

Really wrong:
1. No standard cab. This is one of the most cost conscious segments in the industry and not offering the cheapest possible configuration is a mistake.
2. No manual trans. Once again, it's a cost thing. Plus your competitors both offer it, why leave potential sales off the table?

Kind of wrong:
3.6L instead of the 4.3L. The 3.6L is a fine engine, but truck buyers like torque and the 4.3L has more of it. Plus I imagine the 4.3L is cheaper.

Otherwise, I think they nailed it.

Good for GM. It took some courage to go after a market that has been conceded to the imports. Mark Williams is right, a smaller truck makes sense. I need a load bed but I don't need to tow and I don't haul more than about 1200 lbs a a time.

Just last night I went to a new shopping center and encountered, for the second time, new, smaller parking spaces. I first saw these in another new mall. I guess the local zoning boards are allowing them..and it means more parking, but hey with a Tundra it means difficulty opening the doors.

But the load bed here. Why no innovative storage? Why not a standard spray-in liner? (They could offer a delete option). Why not a 6.5 or 7 foot bed?

I can see a the 6 foot bed quad cab option in my future though..certainly.

I agree on 5. The diesel should be an option right at the start. That engine option with a reasonable price will make or break the success of that truck.

In your plus article you indicated that stabilitrac, trailer sway, hill descent will only be on the z71.

Stabilitrac should be a standard safety issue.
Trailer sway should come with the towing package.

These things should certainly be available on an lt or ltz, instead of limited to off road or top of the line models.

I hope leather won't required on any package one may choose to increase cab features, bed versatility or connectivity. Some other brands like to package things where you are forced to get a moonroof or leather + chrome. I don't want leather in a truck, nor do I want chrome. So I'm hoping Chevy will be smart and polite enough to be sensible in that regard with packaging and individual options.

A L... I think you wrong about the no standard cab. The extended cab with rear seat delete will be head and shoulders above any regular cab they might have offered.

I do absolutely agree though that PUTC is being a bit nitpicky, this truck is a game changer. It is modern, aggressive and if anything like the global colo is going to slap the Frontier and tacoma around the block a few times.

They do need a Pre-Runner 2 wheel drive edition and an 4x4 beast to go head to head with the TRD and Pro4X. but OMG I cant stop salivating over that 2.8 TD, my current ride will be about ready to go out to pasture in 2016, I cannot wait.

A manual trans IS OFFERED.I just watched an interview with Mark Reuss (live from the LA auto show) and he specifically said there will be a manual trans available. No regular cab because they won't make money on it.I find that one hard to believe but that's what he said.

Good job GM, this thing will sell.
To bad that it will take away Silverado customers.

Putting the 3.6 car engine in a truck is a big mistake just like the 2.8 car engine was put in the early model S-10's. CAR Engines ARE NOTTTTT built for hauling and towing LIKE the 4.3 was in the later model S-10 !!!!! Build a TRUCK to be A TRUCK, put a truck motor in it!!!! 4.3 is a truck motor!!!!!! Also waiting till late fall to put on market will be to LATE we want one KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a 1998 S-10 with a 4.3 in it and I NEED a new midsized truck sooooon. The old colorado had NO CHANCE in hell with the in-line 5 for me to buy and I have waited long enough for chevy to get up off their duffs and get us midsized truck buyers in A REAL TRUCK not a truck lookalike witrh a CAR MOTOR in it. I'm a STEEL WORKER who buy american and I only bought GM but if I have to buy a toyota taco because GM can't make up their minds and BRING IT ON now then so be it. You never know I may like a TACO and if I do I my switch ALL my next buying to buying toyota's!!!!!!!! O what a feeling GM can't get up off their assies and build us a midsized truck NOW not when ever!!!!!!!! I'm in my late 50's and I can't count with 2 hands and towes how many chevyies I have bought over the years and I can't make it another year to own and new truck. I allmost bought a silverado extended cab until I tried to get in the back seat. My 9 year old grandson had a hard time getting in with the BONEHEAD design of your 4 doors!!! Why didn't you leave well enough alone with the design you had.. It WORKED> fire the designers and hire FORDS designers they work for me.. O WHAT A FELLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

you realize the ecoboost motor used in the F-150 was designed for cars right? no need to address your remaining babble, you're an idiot.

The manual will be an option with the smaller gas engine but only on the base model and likely only 2WD. At least that what the chief engineer told us. She also noted that their still finalizing exact packages so this could change.

PUTC is super biased, that's why they're nitpicking this thing out 5 minutes after debut and before it even hits dealers. Hell they didn't even drive it yet, but they won't be happy with it, just like they aren't happy with anything. If you need a real man's take on a truck, I wouldn't refer to PUTC. They could take a lot of lessons from the folks at TFL Truck.

Not to even mention they haven't seen the Canyon yet either...

My rebuttal to the points:

1. All that crap is in the cab, and do you really want to up the cost across the line for an inverter in the bed? Rambox? The Ram has tons of room in its bed walls, this truck won't. Thank god.

2. The interior isn't as strong as the exterior, but then again, this isn't being sold for the purpose of being plush. People who want plush can afford a Denali and the garage to house it. Even then, I would agree that this could be better, but its not really that different from a Silverado LT.

3. Why? Why with the 3.6L Twin Turbo V6? Talk about something no one will buy: if the CTS-V Wagon had trouble getting traction, why would a twin turbo Colorado work? If you want fast, there is a Corvette and Camaro for that.

4. Possible. I don't imagine a 4x2 Longbed Silverado WT is really out of the price range of a craftsman. Fleets will like this, sure, but I would think we will see far more fleet buyers flocking to the new commercial vans before this.

5. No. Why increase costs / confusion? Some are complaining about the lack of a 4.3L V6: this is not a 4.3L target vehicle.

I think a lot of complaints come from the lack of more "work truck" like options, but I bet most of these going to lots will be Crew Cab 5 foot bed trucks. This is a "lifestyle" vehicle, for the 30 year old hunter/fisherman/new dad who both can't parallel park a Silverado (which might also take way to much room in the garage), and yes, its going to be cheaper to fit for our young millenial's budget too.

Full size fleet Silverado's and GM work vans will probably still dominate the fleets of craftsmen. The extended cab Colorado may make a good truck for the Orkin Man and architects. But all in all, I don't see this selling like hotcakes to fleets.

Marcus Miller - exactly! on all points, the 4.3 truck engine would be overkill for the Colorado. It will be heavy, rev slow, and in a light midsize truck it will will just feel lethargic. Chevy was correct to put it in the heavier Silverado where it will be worked hard which is what it was designed for and should do admirably. A midsize truck which will realistic probably never tow a single thing in 98% of all cases does not need a slow reving high displacement engine like the 4.3. The 3.6 will really move this truck around and make it feel lighter on it's feet. I think the 4.3 would ruin the driveability of the colorado and Chevy was wise to leave it off the build sheet just because one or two customers in 1000 will insist on towing anything they can hook to a trailer ball with this thing.
The old 8.1L silverados could tow like mad but they always had that feeling just sluggish and unresponsive because the engine was deigned for torque. Like trying to run a sprint race with hiking boots on.

The car engines are fine.
It is the lack of 8 or 10 speed automatic that is the problem.

Maybe you guys are too young to remember....but the S10's,(I had two of them),and both had the 4.3L V6.And the S10 was/is a lot smaller vehicle.True there are vast differences between the old 4.3 and the new ones,but the new truck is substantially bigger then the old S10.

I"m sure GM did a good amount of research and is targeting a certain price point. If Pickuptrucks.com is going to tell GM what they did and didn't do right is very funny especially when we have not scene any sales numbers on the truck yet. Come back in three years and then say what they did right and wrong based on how well they sell.

@Marcus Miller,
"This is a "lifestyle" vehicle, for the 30 year old hunter/fisherman/new dad who both can't parallel park a Silverado (which might also take way to much room in the garage), and yes, its going to be cheaper to fit for our young millenial's budget too"

Spot on, this is nothing like the Global Midssizers. They have changed the frame, dampers and springs to give a very soft ride, as a consequence the capabilities of the Global Midsisers disappear as well.

What this does going for it is a nice styled exterior and interior and with a diesel much better fuel economy.
I have a feeling that Toyota is now worried.


Manual Transmission
Cloth Seats

As long as I can get those four things together in one truck I'd consider buying one. If it's going to be like the Chevy Cruze, where you can only get the diesel with a loaded Leather package and automatic transmission....don't even bother. If that's the case I'd probably just move up to the Ram 1500 diesel instead.

Now after seeing this, I will wait to see this new truck, and hope the wait for a diesel will not be too long, or better still see how the V-6 runs, and what it gets for mpg, I will also like to see how it runs with low gearing, and lmt/slp , I bet this is going to get off the line quite well!

To bad that it will take away Silverado customers.

-- Doubt it. Effff the women's Sierra-Sonoma liberal Government combo. I do agree the old tried and true 4.3 namesake should be the standard engine for a truck though. And this interior is dimestore cheap. Where's the Platinum-Denali? I expect more from Chevrolet.

Sierra-Sonoma liberal Government combo

=Sissy GovtMoCo Mobiles. (GMC).

It needs a ZR2 option.
- Off-road tires
- Substantial skid plate package
- Better shocks
- Fender Flares
- Manual tranny across all engines.

I would also like to have seen the ecotech 4.3L in this.. but unfortunately we got these assclowns in the EPA with these BS CAFE standards which I am sure enters into the equation...

When I first read about the debut, I wondered why GM went with the 3.6 over the 4.3. I assume they will brag about having the highest HP in the class with the 3.6. I bet it gets a max tow rating of 8,000 pounds, and that little 3.6 will be screaming at 5,500 RPMs due to the lack of torque because lets face it, it is a CAR engine. and I bed gm gives the Colorado the 3.08 rear end (Toyota used 3.73 with the V6).

I agree with the bed, I am still impressed with the Tacoma bed (outlet plug and bed storage). The fact that the Tacoma bed is not just painted metal is awesome, basically you would not have to pay for bed liner (extra ~$300-500 depending on brand) extra to help save your bed.

GM made this too easy for Toyota, all Toyota will do to keep the Tacoma on top is add a 6 speed auto transmission, update the 4.0 to better power numbers (for $4k you can purchase the TRD supercharger that keeps the factory warranty and have 304 horsepower at 5400 rpm and 334 pound-feet at 3600 to the current 4.0), maybe add another engine option (hybrid powertrain or the 4.6 V8 out of the Tundra), and update the interior to higher quality materials.

I agree the Tacoma has an advantage over the GM midsizers right out of the gate, it is offered with a 6 speed manual as an option.

The electronically locking rear diff on the Tacoma in my opinion is superior to GMs spin locking rear diff. Being able to lock the Tacoma (and other Toyota offroad SUVs) without getting the wheels to a certain wheel speed before the GM locker engages is a plus for offroading. I was never a fan of the auto locking rear diff on the GM trucks, sometimes you are in a situation where you need that lock and are not able to spin the wheels excessively.

I know personally prefer the button selectable E locker in my 2013 Trail 4Runner over the auto locking rear diff in my friends Z71 Silverado.

it look really nice, i hope they will offer a 6 speed manual that is available on every trim,

please gm offer me a 4wd package with locking front and rear diff with the diesel engine , available manual transmission improved ground clearance maybe a winch as option

sound like a power wagon, but smaller
i see there a hot seller,

good job gm

What did Garbage Motors get wrong? Just about everything.

Cheap interior, shoddy styling, lousy engine choices, no regular cab, not even a bed liner(taco has one), etc, etc.

All 4 of the GM vehicles I owned were absolutely horrid nightmares. The time and money I spent fixing problems will never be regained.

The 3.6 v6 is a bad a!@ engine. It with less hp reported here was .04 second slower then a Dodge Durango v8 hemi in the Chevy Traverse.


@johnny doe

It's such a bada$$ engine with so much power that it stretches timing chains like no other. Just another reason why I refuse to buy a GM product.

Truck looks ok, interior looks 90's cheap a$$ plastic junker Chevy. The same type of cheap crap that took them from monumental icons like the 55 Bel Air, 57 Chevy truck, 70 Chevelle, 69 Camaro, 67 Corvette, 71 C-10 status to garbage like Lumina, Citation, Cavalier and Celebrity. Is it Buick, Pontiac, Olds, GMC's fault? Ya I guess it is but them blame ultimately lies at the feet of Government Motors themselves. They are the dictators. They dictated the downfall of Chevrolet and apparently still dictate that same downfall and ultimate demise. The truck is second rate and cheap just like the Silverado and AWD lacking Impala. Second class, second rate. It's simply not of Premium Status as Chevrolet and that company's customers deserve. Ford, Dodge, Toyota and Nissan could swoop in and destroy this in a Nano second. Just wonderful GM. Hold back Chevrolet some more why don't you..

Not sure why the 3.6 is being blasted because it's a
"car engine". Do you guys really think they will pull the engine off the Impala line and slap it in the truck? No, it will be changed for truck use, and it already has a forged crank. The Ford 5.0 is a car engine, but it is camm'ed for lower end torque, I works great in a truck. My 1995 Bronco has the 5.0 with a poor 205hp/275trq. It pulls my travel trailer with plenty of power. Of course I'm not drag racing the truck next to me when I'm towing.

Couldn't agree more. When I saw the pics of the interior, it brought me back to the 90's. I suppose the only thing that makes it different is the mylink thing, but the inclusion of that doesn't make the interior any better. The interior looks like it came straight out of an S10. I can't see people buying too many of these.

Don't forget that the Ecoboost is also a car engine. I own a diesel, so I don't have to worry about the Ecoboost.

@johnny doe --> yeah a f$#k'n Dodge Durango should be held up as an example of a fine vehicle...you dumb ass...lol


Geez, they couldn't spend a few pennies to put some chrome rings around the gauges??? Looks cheap as hell. Pep Boys anyone? Or is it K-Mart?


Garbage Motors is known for not only their piece of sh!t internal combustion engines, but for there external combusion engines as well. See some fiery examples:

Suburban catches fire:

Monte Carlo on fire:

Silverado on fire:

Chevy van engine fire:

I think not offering regular cab is a mistake, but beyond that I think this truck will be a winner.

After the first two years, interest in this product will die. What will be critical is to maintain that $5,000-$6000 pricing spread at all times vs the full size truck. In other words, in a few years when they slap higher incentives on the full size truck they can't let that spread get down to $2,000 otherwise this product will die.

I dont expect GM to have much discipline. Although a Colorado and a Silverado may play to different audiences, in a couple years the volume of the Colorado will dwindle back to last years pathetic levels because a new Silverado double-cab V6 (with about the same MPG as the V6 Colorado) will be the same price after rebates.

The whole car engine argument is weak, really weak. An engine is an engine. It is designed to meet certain parameters. As others have pointed out, the Ford 5.0 is in the F150 and Mustang. The 6.2 Chevy engine is based off of the Corvette motor.
Why are people saying the 3.6 is too small?
What is the base engine in the F150 and Ram 1500?
Engines of similar size and displacement to this engine.

The mistakes I see being made by GMC are:
1. 2016 for a diesel..... it needs it now before Ram or Titan builds momentum with their own diesels.

2. A Raptor/PowerWagon version. Ford has the 1/2 ton offroader market covered, Ram has the 3/4 ton offroader market covered - GMC should have a "mini-Raptor" or "mini-PW" on this platform.

The Tacoma only has a 6 ft bed so why does Chevy need something bigger?

NO Regular cab? that isn't a mistake. Why build something that will only be purchased by fleets or cheapskates?
I like GMC saying that there is no money in it. That means that they are smartening up to the fact that profits are more important than being #1 in sales.

"The whole car engine argument is weak, really weak"

Posted by: Lou_BC | Nov 20, 2013 10:52:27 PM

No pun intended right??? LOL. Yes car engines are weak. It all depends on what someone depends on using the vehicle for. In a work vehicle, the 4.3l would be much better than the 3.6l.

Just like with my F350, the diesel is overkill for what I tow with it, I could make due with the ecoboost, but I wouldn't want that because it's a car engine.

Why is bed length an issue? The previous Colorado had nothing bigger than a 6' bed, and the 7' bed S-10 was mostly a favorite of fleets (especially towards the end of its run).
I realize that there's always room for improvement, but here it seems like you guys are just grasping at straws.

@ Big Daddy: There wasn't much difference between the 302/351/460 used in Ford's cars vs. their pickups back in the day, was there? Or Chevy's old 4.3/350/454? Or Dodge's 225/318/360/400?
Sure, they would do better jobs in their respective vehicles if they were tuned specifically for what work they were needed to do, but they'd get the job done just fine.
An EcoBoost is tuned a helluva lot more in an F-150 vs. an Explorer/Flex compared to how a 460 might have been tuned in an old F-250 vs. a Continental or Thunderbird.

Of course, maybe I'm answering my own question here. Back "then", there wasn't so much car engines vs. truck engines as there was just _engines_.

@Snapdragon McFisticuff

I don't know to what extent it really matters, but I know there are differences. For example, GM puts the 6.0l in their HD trucks which is an iron block. In the half tons there is the 6.2l which is an aluminum block. With 2 engines of such similar displacement, it begs the question, why not use them interchangeably between the trucks. I think the main difference is the iron block 6.0l is going to be more durable for heavy duty workhorse applications. The corvette engine is geared towards performance applications and I think the reason they put it in the 1500 trucks is because it's lightweight. I haven't seen anyone using the 6.2l for severe duty applications such as daily towing.

I'm calling BS on all the people who say there isn't any difference between car and truck engines.
Case and point: the 3.6l twin turbo engine announced for the 2014 Cadillac CTS and XTS is supposedly rated at 420hp and 430lb-ft torque. Those numbers come close to what the 6.2l is supposed to produce in the Silverado.

If the 3.6l is such a capable engine, then why was the 4.3l used instead in the Silverado??? This, my friends, is actually quite revealing. The Garage Motors engineers realized that the 3.6l wouldn't hold up in a truck and opted to tweak a 25+ year old engine to use in a truck. That is all the proof you need. If the 3.6l was capable they would have used it in trucks.

First off this truck looks much better than what I thought they were going to build for the US !
I have had several S-10's and all three body styles of the previous 355 Colorado and what I like most about them is their size.
I've tried Silverado's but they don't fit in a standard size garage and are outrageous to park in todays parking lots, So hat's off to GM for bringing back a smaller truck !

I do think they are missing out by not building Regular cab Colorado's for fleets and people that don't need all the extra space and cost, and I also would like to see more offerings in the two wheel drive platform.
In previous years GM offered special packages like the Extreme on S-10's and the Xtreme on the 355 Colorado, these were Great as they had body kits and special wheels along with a lowered suspension so that two wheel drive buyers could have a custom looking truck straight from the factory and still haul supplies from your local home improvement store !
Come on GM, your getting close !

Here are THREE things we'd like to see



I did not say the engines in cars or trucks are EXACTLY the same. The 5.0 in the F150 and Mustang are very similar. The base engine in the Mustang is the 3.7 V6 just like the F150. @Snapdragon McFisticuff makes some very valid points.

If one goes back far enough, performance engines were actually based on "industrial" truck engines. Not pickup trucks but trucks the size of the F650 or larger. Mt dad started trucking with single axle Ford HDT trucks. Those trucks would run close to redline all day long pulling loads.
Auto companies want economies of scale. That means they want to put an engine into as many products as possible to drive amortization costs down.
Another point to consider is that many pickup buyers are in it as a lifestyle alternative to the SUV. That applies to 1/2 tons as equally as small trucks.

The Colorado is not targeted to overlap in capacity with the Sierra/Silverado 1500s just like there is minimal overlap between the 1500's and 3500's.

I'm using Ford as an example but Chrysler does the same thing with the Pentastar V6, the 5.7 Hemi and the Ecodiesel. Even the 6.4 slated for the Ram HD started out as a performance car engine.

@BigDaddyF350 - the reason why most people do not use the 6.2 Chevy for heavy towing is because it is in a 1/2 ton. It has nothing to do with the motor. If you look at Fastlane Ike Gauntlet II, it has more to do with a poorly programed transmission. My brother has had 3 Chevy 6.0 crewcab 4x4s and they all exhibited the same tranny shifting problems under load as the Fastlane 6.2 test. He hates towing 10K behind the 6.0 Chevy because of the rev high then bog out shift pattern.

What GM got wrong:

Welfare from the taxpayers.

No manual tranny.

1-piece front bumper.

No electrical plug in bed.

Lower rear shock mounts exposed too much.

Square wheel wells that hinder ease of larger tire install.

@Lou, and others too numerous to mention

The 3.6 will be ten years old soon. It is a workhorse engine that GM refined over a period of time. It was originally envisioned for FWD instead of traditional RWD installs, but it works either way.

Here's the key issue with the 3.6 (besides cost). It is WIDE. REALLY wide. The huge DOHC cylinder heads on the six mean that you'll only be able to squeeze a feeler gauge between the heads and the fenders under the hood.

The 4.3 is a better fit. And I bet it costs less to build. Contrary to what one poster said, it's not so heavy because it's all alloy construction.

I'll comment on some of this.

Most of the list is just nitpicking.

But, with that said...a better quality interior is something we all want.

Having an inverter plug in the bed should be an option.

And I am very unsure of the motor choices GM chose.

I think a stroked version of the 2.5 in the 2.7 liter range would have been a better choice along with the 4.3 liter V6.

The 3.6 liter is a capable motor, I 'm just skeptical of its ability to deliver the around town fuel economy and torque buyers will expect.

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