Car Review

2008 Chevrolet Colorado: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions November 2014

Introduced for the 2004 model year to replace the S-10, the Colorado was Chevy's first midsize pickup. The 2008 Chevrolet Colorado is available as a 2- or 3-passenger regular cab, a 4- or 5-passenger extended cab, or a 5- or 6-passenger crew cab. The regular cab has two doors and the crew cab has four, while the extended cab offers two full-size front doors and a pair of rear-hinged half-length rear doors with two fold-down rear seats. The regular and extended cabs come with a 6.1-foot bed, while the crew cab uses a 5.1-foot bed. Both rear-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive (4WD) are offered. Rack-and-pinion steering and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes are standard. Safety gear includes dual-stage front airbags and optional head-curtain airbags. OnStar is standard on most models and SiriusXM Satellite Radio is available. Navigation, Bluetooth and stability control are not offered on the Colorado.

The Colorado is a good personal-use pickup choice for buyers more interested in fuel economy and maneuverability than in max payload and towing ability.

What We Like

Maneuverable size; 5-cylinder performance; roomy front seats; smooth-shifting transmissions; configurable tailgate

What We Don't

Cheap-looking dash and door trim; ride harshness; tow rating below that of other midsize trucks

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2008 Chevrolet Colorado is available with a 2.9-liter dual-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) 4-cylinder or a 3.7-liter DOHC 5-cylinder engine, both inline designs with four valves per cylinder and continuously variable valve timing. Both engines use regular unleaded fuel.

The base 2.9-liter 4-cylinder develops 185 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. Two-wheel-drive (2WD) versions are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-rated at 18 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Four-wheel-drive versions with the 5-speed manual transmission get a 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy rating, and 4-wheel drives with the 4-speed automatic are rated at 17 mpg city/22 mpg hwy.

Standard on 4WD crew-cab models and optional for all other versions of the Colorado, the 3.7-liter inline 5-cylinder engine makes 242 hp and 242 lb-ft of torque. A 4-speed automatic transmission is standard with the 5-cylinder. Two-wheel-drive versions are EPA-rated at 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy. Regular-cab 4WD 5-cylinder Colorados net a 15 mpg city/21 mpg hwy EPA rating, while crew-cab 4WD versions get a 15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy rating.

Standard Features & Options

The 2008 Chevy Colorado comes in WT, LS and LT trim.

The WT (Work Truck) is a bare-bones model with rubberized vinyl flooring, AM/FM radio, a cloth front bench seat, and 205/75 tires on 15-inch steel wheels. Other standard equipment includes air conditioning, intermittent wipers, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, anti-lock brakes, traction control (2WD only) and folding outside mirrors.

Moving up, typical LS equipment includes OnStar communication, 225/75 tires on 15-in alloy wheels, color-keyed trim, interior carpeting and an AM/FM/CD stereo.

The LT trim adds upgraded cloth seats, bright interior accents, cloth door trim inserts, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a center front-seat storage armrest, and options such as SiriusXM Satellite Radio, remote keyless entry, fog lights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power heated front seats, leather seat trim, a 6-disc CD player, a power sunroof, a sliding rear window, and power windows, mirrors and door locks.

The off-road-oriented Z71 package, available on both 2WD and 4WD Colorados, includes 265/75-15 on-/off-road tires, increased ground clearance, wheel flares and off-road suspension with monotube shocks.

Pricing

Never as popular as the S-10 compact pickup that preceded it and always living in the full-size Silverado's shadow, the Colorado didn't sell in huge numbers. Still, its more maneuverable size makes it a sensible alternative for light hauling in urban areas where high fuel prices and tight spaces prevail. Regular-cab 2WD 4-cylinder LS models can be had very inexpensively, but be prepared to pay double for clean 4WD 5-cylinder crew cabs with the LT trim or Z71 package.

To get a good idea of the prices of used 2008 Colorado pickups, check out the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the AutoTrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recalls for the 2008 Colorado:

Contamination in the brake-light switch may cause the brake lights to malfunction, increasing the risk of a rear-end crash.

Regular- and extended-cab models with a 60/40-split front bench seat lack access to a top anchor to tether a child-restraint device in the middle seat position.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2008 Colorado regular cab and extended cab four stars for frontal impacts, driver-side impacts and rollover performance. The crew-cab model got five stars for frontal impacts and four each for side impacts and rollover performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2008 Colorado crew cab as Acceptable for moderate-overlap front impacts, Poor for side impacts, and Marginal for head-restraint and seat crash performance. However, it gave the Colorado extended cab a Good rating for front impacts.

Chevrolet covered the 2008 Colorado with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance and a 6-year/100,000-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.

Chevrolet certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles cannot have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be 5 years old or less. Every CPO Colorado undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus whatever remains on the transferable, original 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage. Also included is a 2-year/30,000-mile maintenance plan with roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2008 Ford Ranger -- Smaller and less roomy than the Colorado and not available in a crew-cab configuration, the Ranger offers an impressive 21 mpg city/26 mpg hwy EPA rating with its base 143-hp 2.3-liter 4-cylinder. The FX4 model is for off-road enthusiasts. Two optional V6 engines, a 148-hp 3.0-liter and a 207-hp 4.0-liter V6, deliver added oomph. The Ranger is available in regular and extended (Super) cab only. Max tow capacity is 5680 pounds.

2008 Toyota Tacoma -- Toyota's 8th-generation Tacoma is the best-selling small or midsize pickup by a wide margin. Unchanged for 2008, the Tacoma continues with a 159-hp 2.7-liter 4-cylinder or 236-hp 4.0-liter V6. There are 18 different configurations to choose from, with regular, Access (extended) and Double (crew) cabs, a lowered X-Runner sport truck, and TRD Off-Road and Rugged Trail versions available. Max tow capacity is 6500 pounds.

AutoTrader's Advice

The Chevy Colorado midsize pickup offers a more fuel-efficient, garage-friendly and maneuverable alternative to full-size trucks. For personal use, as well as commercial duty that doesn't involve hauling big payloads or towing heavy trailers, midsize pickups like the Colorado make a lot of sense. Although regular-cab models offer the greatest parking and maneuverability advantages, extended-cab and crew-cab models offer far more people or gear-toting space under lock and key and will retain the best resale value. A 2008 Colorado is too vintage to qualify for certified pre-owned status, so look for lower-mileage examples that have seen obvious care and maintenance. Avoid modified trucks if possible, and look for a vehicle with a Carfax or equivalent vehicle-history report. Make sure that all applicable safety recalls have been performed on the Colorado you're considering.

Find a Chevrolet Colorado for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2008 Chevrolet Colorado: Used Car Review - Autotrader