A Sense of Accomplishment
America loves the pickup truck, especially here in Texas. But why? Not everyone owns a cattle ranch, or needs to tow thousands of pounds of something on weekends, so why do so many people buy trucks? I think it’s psychological.
A truck is a vehicle that can do stuff. It can haul, tow, carry, go anywhere, and is tougher than a normal commuter car. It has a sense of accomplishment just standing still, like an axe resting against a pile of chopped wood. There are plenty of truck owners and enthusiasts who need a truck and use it to its full potential, but there are just as many other people who merely want a truck because they like them.
The AC/DC of Trucks
Friends who are truck enthusiasts say that although they like the Colorado they feel it is too small for their tastes, viewing smaller-sized trucks as the classic rock to their heavy metal. That’s where the new 2016 Chevy Colorado comes in. The Colorado is the perfect niche between the two. It’s hard rock, AC/DC!
When I received the Chevrolet Colorado I was impressed by how good it looks; in short, a handsome truck. It is still new enough to be exclusive, which means you catch people turning their heads when you drive past them. It doesn’t have the massive grille that the full-size trucks have, which gives the Colorado a face to admire.
The Colorado’s body lines have been curved and smoothed from the small, boxy design from the previous Colorado. The profile is the Colorado’s good side – you can see the aero, wind-tunnel influence that sweeps across it to make it look streamlined. It’s a truck that grabs the attention of those who feel all trucks look the same.
The automatic shifter was the first thing that caught my eye, because it seems out of place. I’m a traditionalist when it comes to pickups; I like having the shifter up on the steering column. However, it reminded me of the automatic shifters cars used to have in the 90’s and 2000’s. A fist shaped handle that you pull straight up and down. A nice throwback from the common Pac-Man like maze shifters you see in many modern automatics.
The reason behind this is to make the Colorado feel like you are driving a sedan, comfortable and effortless. The interior is spacious, with plenty of leg room in the rear even if the person in front has their seat back.
Trucks have come a long way from being dumb brutes and the Colorado proves it with the amount of technology it carries under the dash. It has GM’s MyLink audio system displayed on an 8’’ inch color touch-screen, which has Apple car-play capabilities. Satellite XM radio is also available and it has 4 different USB ports; 2 in the rear, 1 in the dash and 1 inside the center console. All these USB ports means your passengers will be able to use the Colorado’s 4G LTE WI-FI Hotspot for all their internet surfing devices. This particular model also came with a factory installed Bose sound system.
The Road Trip
I took the Colorado on a 300 mile road trip to see if the Colorado was comfortable in long distance traveling. The range on the 21 gallon tank read over 500 miles when filled up. The whole trip I was averaging 27-29 mpg, and you can get those figures into the low 30’s if you drive without a hurry. With XM satellite radio, cruise control, and lumbar supported seats, the miles just flew by. The Colorado could be a grand-touring truck if it wanted to.
On the Ranch
During Memorial Day weekend I went home to visit the family ranch, and I took the Colorado with me. The truck was quickly put to work by hauling 1,200 lbs of hay on its back and it managed it with ease. The truck stayed leveled and when we drove back home you couldn’t tell it was hauling anything. The Colorado is not just a truck for the city, it can be put to work. Max towing capacity for this truck, with four-wheel drive, is 7,600 pounds. More than enough for the weekend toy-hauler.
Side note: If the tailgate is down, the back-up camera will be facing down and you will not be able to see where you are going in reverse.
Dirt Roads & Off-Road
The dirt roads is where I had the most fun with the Colorado, it loves getting dirty! Blazing through soft dirt roads at 60 mph with the Z71 off-package doing all the work for me as I sat back in comfort. Even with traction control turned off the Colorado never misbehaved or got loose. Switching to 4×4 was easy. Shift into neutral and move the dial on the dash to 4 Low and you’re ready to drive as the crow flies. The Colorado crawls over whatever is put in its path. A few taps on the gas pedal is all you need to get over it. Don’t expect it to climb over rocks, but you can rest easy knowing that it won’t leave you stranded in the mud.
I took the Colorado to work every day while I had it and since it drives like a car I had no problems with parking or keeping up with traffic. The 2.8 liter four cylinder Duramax diesel engine cranks out 181 horsepower and 396 lb-ft of torque. Plenty for the Colorado to get up and keep up with city traffic. The 6-speed transmission shifts so smoothly that you won’t feel a gear change unless you step on the gas.
I enjoyed this truck. The price may be a little high, $42,000 and change for the one I drove. For that price one would say why not just invest in a Silverado, but that wouldn’t be the point. The Colorado isn’t a cheaper alternative to its big brother, but its own identity in the truck market. It’s a truck that won’t intimidate but instead welcome people who want a truck but don’t want a massive full-size torque monster. I would recommend this truck to anyone who wants a vehicle that has room for the family, feels comfortable in an urban environment, while still having the ability to tow a boat on the weekends to the lake. Or a rock concert.