Which Pickup Wears a Four-Cylinder Better? Mid-Size or Half-Ton Chevy?

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We recently had the chance to drive two of the newest Chevrolet pickup trucks through the streets of Phoenix and in the nearby desert. The first was the half-ton 2019 Silverado 1500 powered by — of all things — a brand-new turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The other was the all-new mid-size 2019 Colorado ZR2 Bison off-road machine, which you'll be reading more about Dec. 5 when we can share our First Drive impressions.

Related: A 4-Cylinder Pickup? Chevrolet Take a Gamble With 2019 Silverado 1500

What you might not know (how could you?) is that we had the chance to take each of these pickups — aimed at very different types of buyers — for a quick spin near Los Angeles. Our route took us right past a local truck stop complete with a CAT Scale. Naturally, we thought it might be interesting to see the weight difference between the half-ton Chevrolet Silverado 1500 housing a 2.7-liter four-cylinder and the mid-size Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison — also powered by a four-cylinder, but this one the turbocharged 2.8-liter diesel — with all the extra bumper and skid-plate armor.

The actual weights of the test vehicles we drove were 4,920 pounds for the all-wheel-drive 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 RST and 5,240 pounds for the 4x4 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison, which makes the smaller mid-size pickup 320 pounds heavier than the larger half ton.

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The gross vehicle weight ratings for the two were 7,000 pounds for the Silverado 1500 and 6,200 pounds for the Bison, giving the half ton an 800-pound benefit. That meant the Silverado 1500 had an actual payload capacity of 2,080 pounds, whereas the Colorado Bison had a payload of 960 pounds (down 232 pounds from the door-tag listing of 1,192 pounds).

To sum things up, the smaller Colorado Bison weighs more and carries much less payload than the Silverado 1500; however, the diesel-powered Bison provides greater undercarriage protection, provides a touch more towing capacity (7,300 pounds for the Bison versus 7,080 pounds for the Silverado 1500) and offers more torque (369 pounds-feet for the Bison, 348 for the Silverado 1500). The larger Silverado 1500 turbo four weighs less, has a bigger bed, can haul (a lot) more and delivers more horsepower — 310 versus the Bison's 186 — for pavement-hugging performance. The half-ton turbo four also has a slight fuel-economy edge comparing our observed fuel economy of 21 mpg combined to the EPA's Colorado ZR2 combined rating of 19 mpg.

Cars.com photos by Mark Williams

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Why even bother with a midsize?

Oh boy…, The Shivvy half-ton is getting out-classed by a mid-sized Colorado..., HUH???

This is Apples and Oranges. Why even compare the two? Lame.

Next test
"Silverado 3500 duramax verse Colorado duramax"

I have a ZR2 gasser and it is really heavy, They should and still can, remove a lot of weight from the Colorado's. But that woulld take somme R&D and GM is broke right now. They over built the Colorado/Canyons from the start. Ford was going tocome out with a Ranger replacement years ago but when they went to build it they found out for except size the weight was the same as full size if they built it to do full size work....like duh...
The Bison/ZR2 should also have a turbo 4 gasser.
The Bison's skid plates are made from Boron and are super thin and light weight, the Bison starts at $48k cause AEV has there hands in GM's pockets....should have been built in house and been only a 2k option,

"The half-ton turbo four also has a slight fuel-economy edge"
Since when is a 10% advantage considered slight?

That turbo 4 will be in the Colorado zr2 on the next refresh. Looks to be a great little truck motor. Not my choice for full size, but midsize could be intriguing

What this shows is that there are weight savings to be had for mid-size trucks. Period.

that woulld take somme R&D and GM is broke right now


GM is far from broke. The market capitalization is almost FIFTY BILLION DOLLARS. Not broke. If you want to be taken seriously don't say stupid things.

Regarding your other point, why revise an existing model when GM is already planning an all new generation of Colorado/Canyon trucks. If current trends in fuel prices change sharply to the upside you can be sure that GM will rush the next gen Colorado/Canyon into the showrooms.

Even as it is now, they sell over 100k midsize every year. That's real money.

That turbo 4 will be in the Colorado zr2 on the next refresh. Looks to be a great little truck motor.


They cost too much to build. They would also compete with the diesel. It's a great motor, but is VERY complex. GM really threw the checkbook at the TwoSeven engine.

I'd rather see them stick the turbo 2.5 in the Colorado, which they could do for a lot less money. The 2.7 will be sold in a ton of full size trucks instead.

@ papajim

U could be correct, but I'd like to see it

More so I'd love to see that motor in a sport version truck....syclone or typhoon based name. Would be a hot rod.

I think there is a market for 2wd or all wheel drive sport trucks. Especially with Ford leaving the cars and gm cutting back on some.

Street tuners love 4 cylinders..

GM is far from broke. The market capitalization is almost FIFTY BILLION DOLLARS. Not broke. If you want to be taken seriously don't say stupid things.

Posted by: papajim | Nov 29, 2018 9:11:31 AM

practice what you preach pops, "GM is far from broke" yeah they'd better be all the help they got and now again are screwing over the American Tax Payer AGAIN

Both of them are junk. No need to compare.

Chingon is a nut case. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The 2.7 Ford smokes both of these schlubs.

GMC teally is becoming the gay man's chariot. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

31 mpg is highway rating of Colorado 2.8L diesel 2WD.

@ papajim Market capitalization is stock price times shares of stock. This is not cash on hand.

So the GM trvlls mocked the sound of the Ford V6 Ecoboost, but have they heard this junk.

Wow, it really must svck to be a GM humper.

With that payload the Bison owner better weigh about 105 lbs if they want to tow the max with it. Leave the lunchbox at home.

This is not cash on hand.
Posted by: Just the truth | Nov 29, 2018

You are such a bleeping fool. Just shut up

The 2.7 Ford smokes both of these schlubs.

Posted by: redbloodedxy | Nov 29, 2018 10:18:12 AM

The eco boosts are known for blowing lots of smoke, just as their owners are.

@;papajim Someone is.a.fool and it is not me.

Just shut up

I've read a few articles about this new little engine, and it's been praised for it's growling sound. There are even a couple videos of test drives etc. But no one has recorded the exhaust sound of this little mighty might?

@ papajim Is that all you have?

The 2.7 Ford smokes both of these schlubs.
Posted by: redbloodedxy | Nov 29, 2018 10:18:12 AM

Yeah the 2.7 Ecoboost literally smokes them. Between the quarts of oil they manage to burn thanks to the bad valve guides and the cracked heads allowing coolant to leak into the combustion chamber, there's a ton of smoke coming out the tailpipe...


Can someone please pick-up garbage on Aisle #4.


Way too funny.

Frank is a funny guy

Govt Motors trying to appease the CAFE loving Democrats, while building sub-assemblies in China, sending them to Mexico for finishing and avoiding the import tariff.
At least the Japanese build their trucks here.
I’m a capitalist, but a fair-market capitalist. None of the Mexicans building Silverados can buy them. The UAW and CAW workers can. How about the Chinese factory workers? Are they sporting Buick Encores, or riding bikes to work?
Say what you want about GM products, but the bailout screwed the bond holders and the restructuring is screwing the workers.
Since the Govt has a net loss of about 9 billion with GM, that translates to tax dollars paid by us, GM has screwed over almost everyone. Except Maximum Bob and his calls to mandate everyone rides in a autonomous vehicle. For “safety” ya know.

They are both from GM, the anti-American worker company, they both sux!!

Midsizes are expensive toys/I gotta ride high up in a truck ego feeders. Especially the really badass offroad editions. The bottom line is for 2 to 4K more (depending on model/incentive/equipment) and 2 or 3 mpg less you can go from a mid size to a full size 1/2 ton almost always making massive gains in interior space, cargo capacity, payload capacity, HP/T, and towing... you now the stuff that actually matters when buying a truck. When that stuff AND your money don't matter (or you really are offroading at least weekly) you pick the midsize or a unibody crossover if your fine with cutting down on the offroading.

I've been saying the same for a long time Clint.

There must be more than a few folks who think otherwise. Between GM and Toyota they sell a pile of these midsize trucks every year.

In fact Toyota would be a complete non-factor in the world of pickups without the Tacoma.

papajim Someone is.a.fool and it is not me.
Posted by: Just the truth | Nov 29, 2018

@Just the truth

go back and look at your reply regarding market cap. It says it all. You're a bigger dope than anybody else on this page.

@ papajim You are wrong.

@ Clant

Lmfao!! Way to funny

Look at the comments and others having same issue. But, those EcoBoost sure do run.......ya to the dealerships for repair. What a joke

Another typical JTT pi*sing contest. I'm right. No you are.

@;papajim Not a contest. Just you trying to hide the fact you were wrong.


It's five minutes after 6pm Eastern. Try to respond to this comment without having to look it up.

"GM stock has recently been a popular buy/hold for investors seeking capital-appreciation opportunities from a short list of trusted industrials."

Ready, set, go!

Looks like he's still readin'

@ papajim Giving people deadlines you can not enforce is insane. Also does not change the fact you are still wrong.

@ Clint,

Some of us do not care for a full-size boat! Why do I need more dimensions and size, compensating for something?

I can easily drive and park my mid-size Tacoma and it fits easy in my garage next to my wife's little Subaru with enough room between to get the lawnmower or snowthrower out with both in the garage! You cannot do tghat with a full-size!

Some of us do not tow or care to tow, we believe in using our beds unlike the vast majority of full-size truck owners that I see that pull a small trailer around for their lawnmower or snowthrower, which begs the question, why did you ever buy the truck if you are never or rarely going to use the bed?

My 2016 mid-size Tacoma hauls my 65-gallon water tank, I haul my 42" deck tractor mower in the bed with tailgate closed while I see fullsize owners haul a similar mower on a small trailer, why? Afraid to use the bed?

Unless its a HD unit, a mid-size truck will holds its value better than any 1/2 ton on the market!

GM made $3 billion last quarter and their female CEO made $22 million last year!

GM cares not for the U.S. worker folks, so why buy their anti-American worker vehicles?


Comparing CEO pay to their worker's pay is soooo NPR.

Dare I say it---you're a pretend conservative, who's really so liberal that his wife drives a Subie! You're really letting the team down today

@ papajim,

Laying off workers in mostly U.S. plants because GM h a t e s U.S. workers while she is getting $22 million? The $3 billion profit last quarter not good enough to save U.S. jobs?

Toyota CEO makes $4 million where Toyota is a much bigger and more successful ran company! GM is junk, as this whole issue has proven time and time again! Glad I am not a shareholder of this dumb company that rewards CEO and top brass whole screwing the average worker!

That is why I drive Toyota trucks!

By the way papa, I am an NRA member until 2024, Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Mueller should be fired, America comes first and not illegals, and I seek to punish China before Russia, the REAL threat to our nation! Is that not conservative enough for you?

GM made $3 billion last quarter and their female CEO made $22 million last year!

Posted by: oxi | Dec 1, 2018 2:29:16 AM

Why would you include the gender of the GM CEO in your comment. It makes you sound like a sexist. I just did a search of Mary Barra and discovered that she has a degree in electrical engineering. I would suspect that her parents encouraged and supported their daughter's persuit of her secondary education. Oxi, what have you done to support your daughter, if you have one?

@oxi--I do agree with you that a midsize truck more than meets my needs and is easier to park and drive. I don't real enjoy driving a large truck and don't like having a bed so tall that I have to get up on a ladder or use a man step to get into the bed.

As for GM I agree with the decision to discontinue many of their car models even though a few of these cars are very good--Chevy Impala and Buick LaCross. If cars are not selling and suvs, crossovers, and trucks are selling then discontinue them. I do believe that some of those plants could be re-purposed to make other vehicles or other GM products. Part of the GM bailout was to save jobs and even if all the jobs cannot be saved at least try to save some jobs and a few of plants probably could still be saved to make vehicles that are selling or engines and transmissions that GM uses in vehicles that are selling. I did hear that GM is offering some of the affected workers jobs in other plants. Some of the other websites have articles on the GM plant closures and there are many comments (TTAC).

I have some reservations about GM and Ford's long term sustainability. I have some questions about GM's and Ford's sizable investments in electric and driver less vehicles. I also think that some of the selling off of assets by GM is not only about re-positioning itself in the market but about making GM a target for an acquisition. I don't see GM long term staying a US
corporation. I could be entirely wrong but I can see GM and maybe even Ford being owned by the Chinese, Indians, or some other corporation.

Oh C’mon Gretta!!! You calling out someone for sounding sexist? Really??? Did you forget that comment about the female menstruating cycle you made awhile back???
This is what happens when you spend sooooo much time around the gm koolaide dispensing machine..., you lose control of which character said what in your head...
Don’t Drink and Drive

Strange comparison, our Canyon's crew cab long box 4x4 SLT Dmac 2.8l trucks get 28 mpg average( high 30's on hiway), payload of 1350 lbs, tow capacity of 7600 lbs. The Bison model looses a lot of payload and towing, in exchange for off road ability. Why get a 1/2 ton, when the little Duramax gets better fuel economy, has more towing ability, easier to park, fits in a standard home garage?

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