2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax Is Motor Trend Truck of the Year

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In what some might consider a big surprise, the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup equipped with the all-new (for the U.S.) turbo-diesel 2.8-liter inline-four-cylinder Duramax engine won the coveted 2016 Motor Trend Truck of the Year award, unofficially kicking off the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. What's surprising about the award is the fact the Colorado won the same award last year when it was all-new to the segment. Our sister site Cars.com also named the 2015 Colorado Truck of the Year.

Motor Trend usually presents the award to a model's entire lineup, which includes all engine choices. For example, last year Motor Trend made note of the Volkswagen Golf hybrid, diesel and gas powertrains; it was named the 2015 Motor Trend Car of the Year.

Interestingly, the Colorado's new Duramax diesel engine, which offers the highest highway fuel economy of any pickup sold in the U.S., is the only thing new about the popular midsize pickup for the 2016 model year. However, there is a precedent for back-to-back accolades from Motor Trend.

Just a few years ago the all-new 2013 Ram 1500 full-size pickup was awarded the Truck of the Year honor. In 2014, when Ram introduced the all-new (for the U.S. market) 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel, which also was the highway fuel economy pickup leader at the time, the 1500 won the award again. Clearly, this voting body likes diesels and believes one of the more important considerations for the winner is fuel efficiency and low-end torque.

Motor Trend awards are based on six key criteria: safety, value, efficiency, advancement in design, engineering excellence and performance of intended design. During the awards ceremony presenters and judges emphasized that the winner should be "raising the bar" in some way or another, both in its own segment and the larger pickup universe.

The baby Duramax, the first turbo-diesel in an attention-getting midsize segment, is the clear torque, towing and mpg leader. However, some may argue that when compared to other entries — the all-new 2016 Nissan Titan XD, 2016 Toyota Tacoma and 2016 Ram 1500 Rebel, for example — the Colorado with a simple new engine might fall a little short.

Regardless, we like the fact Motor Trend is not afraid to choose what it believes to be the best pickup out there (based on its criteria), and that it's comfortable selecting the truck it thinks best reflects what customers want. We salute its efforts, especially since Motor Trend did some towing, unlike many other outlets. From the towing photos we saw, it looks like a gooseneck hitch was hooked to the Titan XD. However, it's a little disappointing that Motor Trend downplayed pickups' off-road abilities. Motor Trend tested the new Trail Boss version of the Colorado; the Tacoma has a special new Crawl Control feature; and the Titan XD offers an athletic PRO-4X trim level. We also did not see any payload testing, and we're pretty sure just about everyone nowadays purchases a pickup because they need to carry something at some point.

Motor Trend announced the winners of three other awards as well: The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was named Car of the Year, the 2016 Volvo XC90 was named SUV of the Year and Subaru President Thomas Doll received the Person of the Year honor. To watch the awards ceremony, hosted by car enthusiast Adam Carolla, click here.

Cars.com photos by Mark Williams


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LMAO You aint in my head never have been never will be. Nice try though kid, now go play with them hot wheels stupid.

Of course I'm in your head. It is obvious. You didn't take very long to reply back and you felt it necessary to do so. Face it old fart, I'm all up in your head. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

LMAO - I'm not sure if Johnie has anything in his head ;)

LMAO - I'm not sure if Johnie has anything in his head ;)

Posted by: Lou_BC | Nov 20, 2015 6:25:33 PM

No, very unlikely there is much grey matter up there. For one he does not know what numbers are. He was comparing roof height of a 4x4 2500 to a 4x2 F150 trying to be smart.

Ok, so let's add this up!

For years, the commenting readers on this site have been praying for their Dear Santa letters to be answered with a new crew-cab, midsize, turbo diesel truck that pulls like hell and gets great highway mileage, right?

So, Government Motors responds with a clean-sheet design (2014) and right on time (2015) their diesel becomes available. What happens? All of the whiny I-must-have-a-midsize-diesel-or-I'm gonna die crowd can't be happy.

Just look at all of the noisy responses, and who's making 'em!

The award is a joke. Last year the Colorado won it then the F150 wins TruckTrend truck of the year. They are the same publication!!!!!

The Colorado needs a CD Player!!!

Sign this petition to get GM to add a CD Player to the Colorado: https://www.change.org/p/general-motors-petition-gm-for-a-cd-player-in-the-chevrolet-colorado?recruiter=491385622&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

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