The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado doesn’t feel like a small pickup which for many is a plus.
The Chevrolet Colorado has been on the market in its current form for a while now, since 2014 to be more precise. That’s a long time for any model, but mid-size pickups play by their own rules. Competitors like the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier haven’t really changed in a decade and new competitors like the Ford Ranger or Jeep Gladiator are based off of models that also have some years under their belt. There isn’t a mid-size truck that feels “new”, not even the Gladiator which is essentially a run-of-the-mill Wrangler with a box.
Small truck buyers don’t crave the latest thing. They crave capability, performance, value, and reliability. The Chevrolet Colorado does a good job in every department. There are three engines offered on the Colorado starting with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder that delivers 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. Then there’s a 3.6-litre V6 with 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Last but not least is the 2.8-litre turbodiesel with 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.
The V6 has more power than any other six-cylinder engine in the segment and can tow up to 7,000 pounds. The Chevrolet Colorado’s turbodiesel is the king of towing, however, with 7,700 pounds of towing capacity. The base 2.5-litre engine will tow 3,500 pounds. Payload reaches 1,578 pounds with the V6 engine.
Pricing starts at $24,098, but this doesn’t give you much. You’ll get a 2.5-litre engine and a locking tailgate, that’s about it. Then comes the WT version ($34,098) that adds a rear folding bench, but WT stands for Work Truck and this version is still a barebones version of the truck. The LT ($34,998) has a rear-view HD camera which is good news as well as a Chevrolet Infotaiment 3 system and an 8-inch touchscreen. There are then two more rugged versions called Z71 and ZR2. The Z71 gets and Z71 Off-Road Suspension Package, Automatic locking rear differential, Transfer case shield (4×4) and Hill Descent Control while the ZR2 gets an Off-Road Appearance Package, Off-Road suspension, Multimatic DSSV Damping System, and Driver-selectable full locking front and rear differentials.
My tester was the ZR2 version which comes in at just over $50,000. Except here is where things get crazy. There’s an even more ridiculous package you can add to the ZR2 called the ZR2 Bison package. The latter adds:
- 17″ AEV spare aluminum wheel
- AEV transfer case skid plate
- Wheel mouldings
- 17″ AEV aluminum wheels
- AEV fuel tank skid plate
- AEV front skid plate
- AEV rear differential skid plate
- Contoured front floor liners
- Fog lamps
- Contoured rear floor liners
- AEV rear bumper
All of this for an extra $7,475. I can tell you one thing, nobody stood in my way in the grocery store parking lot. Even the Ford F-150 Raptor driver was impressed as he smiled and gave me the thumbs up when he caught up to me at the light. Now, it may seem a bit crazy to pay over $60,000 for a small pickup, but the ZR2 Bison, Gladiator Rubicon and Toyota Tundra TRD are actually all in this price range. If you want a rugged, ready-for-anything small truck, this is the price you’re going to pay.
But back to our original question. Should you buy a 2020 Chevrolet Colorado and if so, which one?
Why Should You Buy a 2020 Chevrolet Colorado?
- Great engine lineup. The turbodiesel is an outstanding powertrain, but so is the V6. And as far as base mid-size truck engines go, the 2.5-litre is probably the best you can get. The V6 has more power than any other six-cylinder in this class and the turbodiesel shares the top of the segment in terms of towing capacity.
- Speaking of towing capacity, the 7,700 pounds offered by the turbodiesel engine outperforms the Ford Ranger, Jeep Gladiator and every other mid-size truck.
- The ZR2 Bison is the real deal. So much so that I can confidently tell you that if the ZR2 Bison is the only vehicle that can get you to where you’re going, you have much bigger problems.
- The interior is spacious and the centre console is the easiest to use in the segment.
- Mid-size trucks aren’t supposed to be comfy, but the Colorado is one of the most refined on the road.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2020 Chevrolet Colorado
- The diesel engine is quite expensive. It starts at just under $45,000. You could get a full-size truck with the same towing capacity or more at that price.
- Doesn’t keep its value like a Toyota Tacoma.
- Doesn’t get noticed as much as the new Jeep Gladiator.
- Oldest mid-size truck in the segment if you don’t count the Nissan Frontier which most people don’t anyway.
- The ZR2 Bison is jumpy and nervous on the road, more so than a Gladiator Rubicon.
The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado’s greatest assets are its engine lineup and its interior (space and easy-to-use infotainment system). It doesn’t have the rugged looks of a Gladiator or the new-is-cool factor of the Raptor. It won’t hold its value as much as a Tacoma and its diesel engine costs a fortune. Still, it ticks the right boxes where it counts. It can tow more than the competition and its interior is a great place to spend time.