2018 Chevrolet Colorado-In Depth Review

1918 to 2018 and the Chevy legacy continues. The 2018 Chevrolet Colorado is now 100-year-old and yes, the company is celebrating the centenary by offering a 100th Anniversary Edition package. This midsize pick-up truck can be whatever you want it to be: a hauler, daily city driver or an off-roader.

Chevy offers five trims in Colorado with the top trims Z71 and ZR2 especially suited for off-roading. There are two cabs and two cargo bed style to choose from. All the Extended cab Colorado’s come with a 6-foot-2-inch bed, while Crew cabs can be equipped with either a standard 5-foot-1-inch bed or a 6-foot-2-inch bed option.

In the three engine options of Colorado you get a base 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder which is mated to a six-speed manual while a 308-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 is remarkably fast and the best in the line-up is the GM’s exclusive turbodiesel 2.8-liter inline-4 with a class-leading towing rate. There are a few glitches with the 2018 Colorado and you might overlook it for its poor-quality interior and limited safety techs. However, it is a truck that offers a lot and is capable of doing all sort of job with a starting price of $21,195 for the base model and $41,395 for the top trim.

What we like

  • Towing capacity best in class
  • Easily maneuverable
  • Smooth steering and ride
  • User-friendly cabin

What we don’t like

  • Crash rating lower than competitor
  • Bouncy ride
  • Down-market interior
  • Cramped front seat for tall people

What’s New with 2018 Chevrolet Colorado

Let’s talk about what’s old with the new 2018 Chevrolet Colorado. The company is celebrating 100 years of Chevy Trucks and it produced is first truck in the year 1918 in Flint, Michigan for individual buyers. The 2018 Centennial Edition Colorado gets a 100-year door badge along with the following features:

  • Heated exterior mirror
  • Active tow (system helps the driver in aligning the pickup while reversing to hook up a trailer)
  • Color-keyed grille and rear bumper
  • Anniversary edition paint colors- Satin Steel, Gray Metallic, Kinetic Blue and Centennial Blue

2018 Trim Level and Features

The 2018 Chevrolet Colorado is available in several trims. But before you choose one you must decide which configuration you want to go with as it is offered in two body style- Extended cab and Crew-cab with two-bed lengths- 6 feet 2 inch and 5 feet 1 inch. The five trims offered are Base, Work Truck (WT), LT, Z71, and ZR2.

In the three engine options, you get a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine which is standard on all the Extended cab version except the ZR2, which comes standard with 3.6-liter V-6 with a choice of 6-speed automatic or manual transmission. The 3.6-liter V-6 with 8-speed automatic is mandatory with the Crew cab configuration. There is also a turbodiesel 2.8-liter inline-4 which is optional on all but the base trim.

Trims Base WT LT Z71 ZR2
MSRP $21195 $24695 $28095 $30695 $41395
Features 2.5L direct injected 4-cylinder engine.

6-speed manual transmission.

4-wheel antilock disc brakes with Duralife brake rotors.

4-way power-adjustable driver seat.

2.5L direct injected engine.

Hydra-Matic 6-speed automatic transmission (Crew Cab).

Dual rear seats with under-seat storage (Extended Cab).

Folding rear bench seat (Crew Cab).

2018 LT models include all WT features plus:

Body-color rear bumper, mirror caps and door handles.

17-inch aluminum wheels.

Chevrolet MyLink Radio with an 8-inch diagonal color touch-screen display.

Remote Keyless Entry.

Top-line Z71 models include all LT features, in addition to:

Z71 Off-Road Suspension.

Automatic locking rear differential.

Transfer case shield (4×4).

Unique 17-inch painted wheels and all-terrain tires.

Colorado ZR2 in addition to or replacing Z71 features, ZR2 includes:

Off-Road Appearance Package.

Off-Road suspension.

Multimatic DSSV Damping System.

Increased clearance and track width.

 

Confused? We will help you find the best trim

We would recommend the Colorado LT with crew cab, 3.6-liter V-6 engine, and AWD. It comes with seating for five along with quick acceleration and excellent towing power-up to 7,000-pounds. The LT comes at a lower price and with all the engine options, so you can customize it according to your need and it is also fitted with most of the comfort and convenience feature that Colorado has to offer.

2018 Chevrolet Colorado Power and Performance

The GM-exclusive Duramax 2.8-liter turbo diesel available for the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado is quiet, smooth and refined. It comes with outstanding power delivery and the roaring diesel soundtrack will keep reminding you about it’s under the hood power which you otherwise won’t get in a Toyota pick up’s. However, the V-6 mated to the 8-speed automatic transmission is also as capable to satisfy the power need. Both the engine feels responsive and easily maneuverable whether you are in the city or taking on rocky terrain.

Engine and Transmission

You can choose from the three-engine option that the Chevy offers. The base engine is 2.5-liter 4-cylinder churning out 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. It comes with a six-speed manual transmission; however, a six-speed automatic is optional. Engine power is enough for day-to-day driving but if you want your Colorado to tow and haul then you will need to look for something more powerful.

2018 CHEVROLET COLORADO
2018 CHEVROLET COLORADO |GM-Exclusive Duramax 2.8-Liter Engine with a Towing Capacity of 7,700 Pounds

Colorado derives its power through a 3.6-liter V-6 that puts out 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, and its matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission which feels smooth and the engine feels strong while towing maximum capacity. Chevy has also provided an optional 2.8-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder engine that is good enough, to say the least for regular towing and hauling. It produces 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque and is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission.

According to Edmunds, “the potent yet efficient turbodiesel four-cylinder is a compelling alternative, especially if you plan to do a lot of towing.”

Models Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma GMC Canyon Nissan Frontier
MSRP $21,195 $25,200 $21,800 $18,990
Engine 2.5L DI 4-cylinder engine 2.7L I4 DOHC

16-valve 4-cylinder engine

 

2.5L I4 DI DOHC engine 2.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine
Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed automatic 6-speed manual 5-speed manual
Power 200 hp @ 6300 rpm 159 hp @ 5200 rpm 200 hp @ 6300 rpm 152 hp @ 5,200 rpm
Torque 191 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm 180 lb-ft 3800 rpm 191 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm 171 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm

Off-roading

The Colorado Z71s with raised suspension, exclusive dampers, and limited slip rear differential offers best off-roading experience. Equipped with DuraTrac tires this midsize hauler is powerful enough to pull itself form any sticky situation.

Top of the trim ZR2 is special in its own way it comes with off-road appearance package and Multimatic DSSV damping system. The damping systems are extremely quick to react to any kind of suspension movement making the ZR2 a serious off-roader that a die-hard adventurer will definitely appreciate.

Acceleration

The powerful engine of the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado with six-speed transmission helps it sprint to 0 to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds which is best in the class. However, it gets competition from Toyota Tacoma which is slow initially but it picks up speed later to complete a quarter mile in 14.7 seconds as compared to Colorado’s 16.2 seconds. The V-6 engine in Colorado makes it feel light and full of power and hits 0-60 in 6.7-seconds.

Models Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma GMC Canyon Nissan Frontier
0-60 MPH 8.1 sec 9.8 sec 9.0 sec 7.5 sec
Quarter mile 16.2 sec @ 84 mph 14.7 sec @ 91 mph 17.1 sec @ 82.4 mph 16.5 sec @ 90 mph
Engine 2.5L 2.7L 2.5L 2.5L
Emission

Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year

8.1 8.4 8.1 8.4

Braking and Handling

The 2018 Chevrolet Colorado feels confident on corners as the strong suspension that keeps the body roll in check. You will feel the light rear end breaking traction when the bed is unloaded, but stability control keeps that in control. The eight-speed transmission does the job well and the acceleration feels spontaneous. Colorado also maintains its steady speed while climbing the hills. Electric power steering feels light allowing the truck to maneuver smoothly around town and highway.

Brake pedals feel stiff while hard braking, however, it performs well under normal driving conditions. Colorado stops from 60 mph in 124 feet which is good, whereas Toyota Tacoma leads the pack with the best stopping distance.

Model Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma GMC Canyon Nissan Frontier
Brake pads-front(in) 12.2 10.8 12.2 11.10
Brake pads Rear(in) 12.8 10.0 12.7 11.30
Curb weight(lbs) 3986 4425 3943 3785
60-0 MPH (ft.) 124 119 121 125

Fuel Economy

The 2.8-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder gets the best mileage as it earns an EPA rating of 22 mpg city and 30 mpg on the highway, which is exceptional for a compact pickup truck. The base engine when compared with the competitors does not feel lazy either. It is estimated at 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined which is best in the class. The down performer is the V-6 which has the worst EPA rating of 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

Model Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma GMC Canyon Nissan Frontier
Mpg city mpg 20 20 20 17
Mpg highway mpg 26 23 26 22
Mpg combine mpg 22 21 22 21

Towing capacity

If Towing is the need of the hour for you then go for the GM-exclusive Duramax 2.8-liter engine with a towing capacity of 7,700 pounds. It offers best-in-class towing power and torque, making the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado America’s most fuel-efficient pick-up truck. The base engine however brings down the cuts the towing capacity to almost half (3,500).

2018 CHEVROLET COLORADO
2018 CHEVROLET COLORADO | 7,700 Pound Towing Capacity
Model Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma GMC Canyon Nissan Frontier
Drive Train AWD AWD AWD AWD
Power Train 2.8L I4 Turbo Diesel 3.5L V6 Gas 2.8L I4 Turbo Diesel 4.0L V6 Gas
Weight (lbs) 7700 6400 7600 6710

Payload capacity

In terms of payload capacity the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado can carry up to 1,548 pounds and the new Active Tow system helps align the hitch and trailer while you are reversing.

Model Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma GMC Canyon Nissan Frontier
capacity (lbs) 1548 1175 1316 1496

2018 Chevrolet Colorado Exterior

Colorado definitely attracts you as a compact pick-up truck but it does not look as bold for a truck as the Toyota Tacoma. Its swoopy styling is for functionality rather than form. Increased wheel arches, modified bumpers and a hood scoop on the ZR2 is not just there for visual appearance as they are all functional. The ZR2 exterior feature includes:

  • 17-inch wheels
  • A bed-mounted spare-tire carrier
  • 0-inch lift that lifts 31-inch off-road tires
  • Front and rear locking differential for standard AWD

Design and Styling

2018 CHEVROLET COLORADO
2018 CHEVROLET COLORADO | Exterior

At the front, there is wide headlight with a big chrome grille. You get a massive taillight and a rear bumper at the back. The base trim and WT trims look practical while the monochrome finish and alloy wheels on the LT trim are worth the money. Z71 feels sturdy but the Colorado ZR2 with its high stance and better ground clearance makes you feel more planted.

Model Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma GMC Canyon Nissan Frontier
curb weight(lbs) 3986 4425 3943 3785
Lenght(in) 212.7 212.3 212.4 205.5
Width(in) 74.3 74.4 74.3 72.8
Height(in) 70.4 70.6 70.4 68.7
Ground clearance(in) 8.4 9.1 8.4 8.7
Wheel base(in) 128.3 127.4 128.3 125.9
Track width(in) F/R 62.4/62.4 63.0/63.2 62.4/62.4 61.8/61.8

Wheels

Wheel sizes for the pick-up truck ranges from 16-inches ultra-silver metallic steel wheels with all-season Blackwall tire on the base to 17-inch aluminum wheel with all-terrain Blackwall tires in the top trims. There is also an optional 18-inch 5-spoke polished wheel available but that only comes with Centennial Edition package. The Goodyear DuraTrac tires on the Z71 with best off-roading capabilities are powerful enough to pull the 2018 Colorado out of any situation.

Model Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma GMC Canyon Nissan Frontier
Size F/R (in.) 16*7/16*7 16*7/16*7 16*7/16*7 15*7/15*7
Quality Steel Steel Steel Steel
Wheel type w/o alloy w/o alloy w/o alloy w/o alloy

2018 Chevrolet Colorado Interior

The 2018 Chevrolet Colorado comes with zero changes and the interior still gives the fell of a full-size truck. There are hard plastics inside which you otherwise would expect in a truck, however, the cabin noise is minimal and you feel comfortable.  Front seats are spacious and the rear seats can easily accommodate adults. Colorado comes with two-bed lengths (6.2 feet and 5.1 feet) and various standard and available tech features.

“The Colorado even comes with premium features like heated seats, Apple CarPlay, and an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system. Yet it maintains the expected ruggedness of a truck, with tough-feeling plastics, durable seat upholstery, and touches like the foldable rear seat.” Kelley Blue Book

Interior Seating and Comfort

The 2018 Chevrolet Colorado vaunts the most spacious cabin in its class. The base has seating for two while the extended cab models offer four seats and the crew cab comes with five seats. The rear seats in the extended cab are too tight and you would not love to spend too much time there. So, if you are someone who often goes out on family trips then opt for the Crew cab. The driving position is upright and comfortable with all the controls within reach. Front seats and steering can be adjusted according to your comfort. Other Seating option includes:

  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Power-adjustable passenger seat
2018 CHEVROLET COLORADO
2018 CHEVROLET COLORADO | Seating

“The well-bolstered front seats are supportive, comfortable and attractive. They offer all-day livability, but larger-framed occupants could find them a bit confining. The crew cab’s rear seats are a bit flat, but they can handle adult passengers, offering adequate support.” Edmunds

Model Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma GMC Canyon Nissan Frontier
Passenger capacity 2 4 2 4
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

 

41.4/57.5/45.0 39.7/58.3/42.9 41.4/57.5/45.0 39.7/58.3/42.4
Rear (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

 

N/A 34.9/56.5/24.6 N/A 38.3/54.9/25.4

Infotainment

The 2018 Chevrolet Colorado is a pick-up truck that also makes you feel connected. It boasts segment’s first 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and two touchscreens. The Mylink infotainment touch screen although feels sluggish to respond. You get the 7-inch touchscreen in the base model and an optional 8-inch screen is available in LT model and higher. Other infotainment features include:

  • Bluetooth streaming
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Two USB ports front and two optional in the back
  • Bose sound system
2018 CHEVROLET COLORADO
2018 CHEVROLET COLORADO | Infotainment System

Safety and Reliability

There is a reason to be worried if you are inside the Colorado as it has not performed well in the NHSTA crash rating with an overall rating of four-star. It also lacks advanced collision avoidance tech which is common in a large number of cars these days. IIHS has also rated its headlight as “poor” and front crash prevention as “basic”.

Chevy covers the Colorado with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/ 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

NHSTA Rating

Overall Rating 4*
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Driver 5*
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Passenger 4*
Overall Side Crash Rating 5*
Side Barrier Rating overall 5*
Side Barrier Rating Driver/passenger 5*
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat 5*
Rollover 3*

IIHS Rating

Small overlap front driver side Acceptable
Small overlap front passenger side Not Tested
Moderate overlap front Good
Side Acceptable
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good
Front crash prevention Basic
Headlights Poor
Child seat anchors (LATCH) ease of use Acceptable

Safety features

The 2018 Colorado gets the GM’s Teen Driver system as standard which allows the parent to monitor the speed and location of the truck, also mute the radio till all the passengers have put their seatbelts on. What comes as a tricky decision is that the LT model gets lane departure warning and forward collision warning as optional which is not available for the higher trim Z71.

StabiliTrak electronic stability control system
All-speed traction control
Daytime Running Lamps
6 airbags
Rear Vision Camera
Teen Driver
Tire Pressure Monitoring System

2018 Chevrolet Colorado competition Check

Chevrolet Colorado Vs Toyota Tacoma

The Tacoma can handle any terrain with ease and is the most capable off-roader in the class. As we have discussed earlier that the Colorado did not impress with the safety features whereas the Tacoma offers great safety scores with added features like Siri Eyes Free and GoPro camera mount. However, Chevy inches ahead of the Toyota when it comes to interior comfort and rear space and is also available at $4,000 less. If you are looking for a serious off-roader go with the Tacoma otherwise, Colorado is a great value for money.

Chevrolet Colorado Vs GMC Canyon

Engines same, towing capacity almost identical, pricing – not much difference, so what’s the major difference between the two cousins? It’s the cabin quality, Colorado’s interior is value for money but Canyon offers more refinement and plush design, especially in the Denali trim. So, it is up to you to decide which of these pick-up trucks you want.

Chevrolet Colorado Vs Nissan Frontier

Nissan Frontier feels outdated and outclassed in many areas when compared to its rivals. There are no modern engine options and it also lacks the latest safety assist which is found on the Chevy Colorado, Toyota Tacoma and the GMC Canyon. The Frontier is also the shortest of the lot so space is also a concern. However, its towing and payload capacity is impressive and it outclasses the Tacoma and Canyon in carrying weight. Being the cheapest in class it can sure be a good choice considering its strength.

2018 Chevrolet Colorado Final Verdict

If you are in the market looking for a truck which is designed to serve everyday need then Colorado is your answer. 2018 Chevrolet Colorado is an excellent pick-up truck. It offers smooth ride quality and is well equipped. It may be not the best off-roader but its towing and hauling capacity is second to none in the class.  Although most buyers are obsessed with the full-size trucks in America but pick-up’s like the Colorado definitely gives the big haulers a run for their money.

Colorado feels appealing due to its car-like maneuverability and fuel efficiency. With three engine options and an array of cab and bed configuration available to choose from the Chevy midsize truck is worthy of doing all sorts of the job.

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