Used Car Review

2011 Chevrolet Colorado: Used Car Review

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author photo by Ron Sessions December 2014

The 2011 Chevrolet Colorado is available as a 2- or 3-passenger regular cab, a 4- or 5-passenger extended cab, and a 5- or 6-passenger crew cab. The regular cab has two doors, and the crew cab has four. 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 head-curtain airbags. OnStar 9.0 debuted in 2011 models with improved voice recognition and turn-by-turn navigation capability. The Colorado is a good personal-use pickup choice for buyers who are 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; bold look of Z71

What We Don't

Cheap-looking dash and door trim; sound of 5-cylinder engine; ride harshness

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2011 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 engine 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 25 mpg on the highway. Four-wheel-drive versions with the 5-speed manual transmission have an 18 mpg city/24 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 other Colorados, 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 engine. Four-wheel-drive crew cabs get a 16 mpg city/21 mpg hwy rating, and all other 5-cylinder Colorados are EPA-rated at 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy.

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. The V8 has variable valve timing for improved drivability. A 4-speed automatic is standard with the V8. The 2-wheel-drive version is EPA-rated at 14 mpg city/20 mpg hwy and the 4-wheel-drive has a 14 mpg city/19 mpg hwy rating. The max tow capacity with the V8 is 6,000 pounds.

Standard Features & Options

The 2011 Colorado comes in WT and LT trims.

The WT (Work Truck) typically comes with full carpeting, a cloth bench seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 16-in steel wheels, an AM/FM radio, air conditioning, intermittent wipers, a tilt steering column, cruise control, automatic headlamps, anti-lock brakes, StabiliTrak stability control, SiriusXM satellite radio and folding outside mirrors.

Typical LT equipment includes exterior sport appearance, OnStar communications, 235/75 tires on 16-in alloy wheels, color-keyed trim and an AM/FM/CD 4-speaker stereo. It also adds upgraded cloth seats, bright interior accents, cloth door trim inserts and a center front-seat storage armrest. Options on the 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, adds 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.

The ZQ8 sport suspension package is paired with the 5.3-liter V8 and includes 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. Models that sport a regular cab with 2-wheel-drive and a 4-cylinder engine are priced inexpensively, but you'll pay double for a 4-wheel-drive 5-cylinder or a V8 crew cab with the LT trim or Z71 package.

To get a good idea of the prices of used 2011 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 2011 Colorado:

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.

A missing secondary latch can allow the hood to open when driving, creating a crash risk.

The wiper crank arm nut may loosen, rendering the wipers unable to remove snow and ice.

A faulty automatic transmission shift cable clip may falsely indicate the "Park" position, allowing the truck to roll away when unattended.

A defective rear axle may lock up while the truck is moving, leading to a loss of control.

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 didn't rate the 2011 Colorado for frontal or side impacts, but gave it four stars for rollover performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2011 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.

The 2011 Colorado came 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/24,000-mile maintenance plan with roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2011 Ford Ranger -- Smaller and less roomy than the Colorado, and not available in a crew-cab configuration, the Ranger offers an impressive 22 mpg city/27 mpg hwy EPA rating with its base 143-hp 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine. A 207-hp 4.0-liter V6 delivers added oomph and 5800-lb towing ability. The Ranger is available in regular and extended (super) cab only.

2011 Toyota Tacoma -- The Tacoma, which is a best-selling midsize pickup, comes 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 performance 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. Look for a certified pre-owned truck, if available, or lower-mileage examples that have been taken well care of. Avoid modified trucks if possible, and look for a vehicle with a 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.
2011 Chevrolet Colorado: Used Car Review - Autotrader