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The Chevy Colorado is the Truck That Made Me Like Trucks

I’ve never been a big truck guy. I kind of get why people like them, but whenever I see a truck, I can’t help but think of it as a work vehicle. A vehicle for plumbers and farmers that’s purchased out of necessity rather than out of preference. However, preference is the reason most of the millions of truck buyers in America buy trucks. They might convince themselves that they really need a truck, but I’m convinced that the real reason anyone buys a truck other than for business reasons is that they just like trucks.

Despite being a long-time fan of cars that don’t have huge, empty boxes hanging off of them, I recently found myself really enjoying a pickup truck. Chevrolet recently flew me out to Texas to drive the 2018 Silverado and the Colorado. I found the Silverado to be okay and nothing spectacular, but I was pleasantly surprised by the Colorado.

I had driven compact pickups before like the old Ford Ranger, and what I was expecting from the Colorado was basically a more modern version of an old, smallish truck like that. I had that expectation because whenever I drive a new full-size truck I’m struck by how similar it is to its predecessor from a decade earlier.

Boy was I wrong about the Colorado. I was thoroughly impressed by its modern interior, its interesting engine (more on that in a minute) and its cool exterior aesthetic, which I’ve admired since the current generation of the truck came out.

Oh, and did I forget to mention it was a ZR2? Yes, the one I drove was the beastly ZR2 off-roader, though I didn’t have the good fortune of actually doing any off-roading with it. But part of my pleasant surprise with the truck was with just how good of a street car it is. The tires were quieter than I expected on the street, and the handling was downright delightful — especially compared to the plus-sized Silverado I drove before it. The Colorado is a truck you can actually park!

Not only was it a ZR2, it was the one with the engine that everyone wants, the Duramax diesel. Much like trucks in general, diesel is something I never really got. People who are into diesel are SO into diesel, and I just never really saw what was so great about not having spark plugs other than the better fuel economy and improved torque.

This Duramax, however, is the first diesel I ever drove that I felt was really a significant improvement over a gas engine. The power was okay, but the torque was excellent — and when I heard a Colorado with that engine could tow up to 7,700 pounds, I was blown away. That’s more than a V6 Silverado!

But for all of its cool styling and impressive capability, I think what impressed me the most about the Colorado was the cabin. This is a truck with an interior that isn’t trying too hard to be a truck interior. It’s a truck that almost feels like a regular car on the inside, and I love that.

The one I drove had a crew cab, and it was roomy enough to use as a family car, which obviously is what a ton of people use trucks for these days. Frankly, there was no specific thing about the interior that was really spectacular — but sitting behind the wheel of such a capable truck and feeling like I was in a well-appointed sedan (but way taller) was refreshing.

So I went from having a rather neutral opinion about trucks to starting to understand what people love about them — and it’s all thanks to the Chevy Colorado. It’s thoroughly modern in every way, from its engineering to its styling to its interior and tech. I can’t wait to see what’s in the future for the midsize truck segment with new entries like the upcoming Ford Ranger. If the manufacturers keeping making trucks this good in this segment, I might even find myself owning one someday — even though, like most truck owners, I absolutely don’t need one.

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  1. If you opt for the ZR2, the towing capacity is 5,000 lbs, no matter which engine you choose. I guess because of all the offroad suspension goodies.

  2. Diesels are great! Not just as fuel efficient cars or work cars, but even for tuning. ECU tunes get crazy HP and even crazier torque numbers out of them. Car Throttle recently did a series with an E46 330d and got around 250hp and 400 ft pounds of torque, crazy for a 3 series

    • My BMW 335d does 265hp and 425 ft/lbs of torque, It’s a bit slow in the first 2 gears until boost kicks in and rockets this thing, The sequential twin-turbo does widen the power band but it takes a couple of seconds to go at full acceleration. Still it beats the 335i and has higher torque numbers than even the M3.

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Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

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