Used Car Review

2009 Chevrolet Colorado: Used Car Review

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author photo by Ron Sessions November 2014

The 2009 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 has a 5.1-foot bed. Both rear-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive are offered. Rack-and-pinion steering, StabiliTrak and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes are standard. Safety gear includes dual-stage front airbags and optional head-curtain airbags. 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 and V8 performance; roomy front seats; smooth-shifting transmissions; configurable tailgate

What We Don't

Cheap-looking dash and door trim; ride harshness

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2009 Chevrolet Colorado is available with a 2.9-liter dual-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) 4-cylinder, a 3.7-liter DOHC 5-cylinder or a 5.3-liter overhead-valve (OHV) V8 engine. All use regular unleaded fuel.

The base 2.9-liter 4-cylinder develops 185 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. Two-wheel-drive versions are rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 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 much-improved 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy rating, and 4-wheel-drive models with the 4-speed automatic are rated at 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy.

Standard on 4-wheel-drive crew cabs and 2-wheel-drive crew cabs with the Z71 off-road suspension, and optional on 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 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy, while 4-wheel-drives get a 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy rating.

Standard with the ZQ8 sport suspension and optional on extended and crew cabs, the 5.3-liter V8 makes 300 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. A 4-speed automatic is standard with the V8. The 2-wheel-drive version is EPA-rated at 15 mpg city/21 mpg hwy and the 4-wheel-drive gets a 14 mpg city/19 mpg hwy rating. The max tow capacity with the V8 jumps to 6,000 pounds.

Standard Features & Options

The 2009 Colorado comes in WT, LS and LT trims.

The WT (Work Truck) was upgraded for 2009 with full carpeting, a cloth bench seat and 16-in steel wheels. Other standard items include an AM/FM radio, air conditioning, intermittent wipers, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, anti-lock brakes, StabiliTrak stability control and folding outside mirrors.

Moving up, typical LS equipment includes OnStar communication, 235/75 tires on 16-in alloy wheels, color-keyed trim 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 SiriusXM satellite radio. Options on LT include 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 2-wheel-drive and 4-wheel-drive Colorados, gets a taller stance for 2009, with 265/70-17 off-road tires on 17-in chrome-clad wheels, and includes wheel flares and a long-travel off-road suspension with monotube shocks.

Returning for 2009 is the ZQ8 sport suspension package, paired with the 5.3-liter V8 and including 235/65-18 sport tires on 18-in Xtreme alloy wheels, lowered ride height, stiffer springs, color-keyed bumpers and sport seats.


The Colorado's more maneuverable size makes it a sensible alternative to full-size pickups for light hauling in urban areas, where high fuel prices and tight spaces prevail. Regular-cab 2-wheel-drive 4-cylinder LS models can be had very inexpensively, but be prepared to pay double for clean 4-wheel-drive 5-cylinder crew cabs with the LT trim or Z71 package.

To get a good idea of the prices of used 2009 Colorado pickups, check out the used-car values at You can also search the AutoTrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recalls for the 2009 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.

Water contamination in the fuel control module may cause engine stalling, creating a crash risk.

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 2009 Colorado regular cab and extended cab four stars for frontal impacts, driver-side impacts and rollover performance. The crew-cab model received five stars for frontal impacts and four stars for both side impacts and rollover performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2009 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 2009 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 newer. 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

2009 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. A 207-hp 4.0-liter V6 delivers added oomph. The Ranger is available in regular and extended (Super) cab only.

2009 Toyota Tacoma -- This is the best-selling small or midsize pickup by a wide margin. Unchanged for 2009, the Tacoma continues with a 159-hp 2.7-liter 4-cylinder or 236-hp 4.0-liter V6. Regular, Access (extended) and Double (crew) cabs, a lowered X-Runner sport truck, and TRD Off-Road and Rugged Trail versions are available. Side-impact and side-curtain airbags are standard.

AutoTrader's Advice

The Chevy Colorado midsize pickup offers a more fuel-efficient, garage-friendly and maneuverable alternative to full-size trucks. 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 2009 Colorado is too vintage to qualify for certified pre-owned status, so look for lower-mileage examples that have seen obvious care. Avoid modified trucks if possible, and look for a vehicle with a Carfax or equivalent vehicle history report. Make sure that all 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.
2009 Chevrolet Colorado: Used Car Review - Autotrader