• Chevrolet's upcoming Colorado pickup will offer a manual
  • Stick shift will be available on base-level Colorado Work Truck
  • Colorado expected to go on sale next fall

The next Chevrolet Colorado will offer a manual transmission. That's the latest from Chevrolet, which recently confirmed its all-new midsize pickup will offer three pedals just days after revealing the upcoming truck at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show.

The announcement comes as a surprise to many industry observers, as the manual transmission's popularity has been declining for years. But stick-shift Colorado models may be sought after by some midsize truck buyers, given the transmission's mechanical simplicity, its usual fuel economy advantage and -- for some drivers -- its overall enjoyment.

Unfortunately for shoppers interested in rowing their own gears, the Colorado's stick shift won't be widely available. Chevrolet says the manual will only be offered in the base-level, commercially oriented Colorado Work Truck, also known as the Colorado W/T. And it'll only come with 2-wheel drive, which means shoppers looking to take their Colorado off-roading -- or even over rough roads -- will probably want to stick with an automatic.

But by offering a stick shift, the Colorado boasts yet another way it can keep up with midsize truck rivals. That's because entry-level versions of the Colorado's only competitors, the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma, both come standard with manual transmissions. The Frontier's 5-speed is mated to a 152-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, while the Tacoma's comes standard with its 159-hp 2.7-liter four.

As for the Colorado, Chevrolet has not yet announced its powertrain lineup. Base models -- the ones that will come with the manual transmission -- will likely offer a 4- or 5-cylinder engine, while V6 power is expected to be an option. While Chevrolet's outgoing Colorado offered a V8, we'd be surprised to see that engine make a return in the new model.

If you're interested in climbing inside Chevrolet's latest pickup and shifting gears, you won't have to wait long. The automaker says production is expected to start this summer, with sales beginning in the fall. GMC will likely reveal its version, known as the Canyon, within the next few months.

What it means to you: On paper, the upcoming Chevrolet Colorado looks like it will feature everything possible in order to unseat its midsize pickup rivals.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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