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2019 Chevrolet Silverado vs. 2019 Chevrolet Colorado: What’s the Difference?

Chevrolet offers two light-duty pickups: the midsize Colorado and the full-size Silverado. The Silverado is all new for 2019, while the Colorado has been out for a few years. Both offer a variety of different powertrains and cab and bed configurations. Below, we’ll take a look at the two side by side in a number of different categories to help you understand which might be better for you.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado vs. 2019 Chevrolet Colorado background

Background

The first Chevrolet Colorado was introduced in 2004 as a replacement for the aging S-10 and was sold through the 2012 model year. After a brief hiatus, the Colorado returned for 2015. Engine options consist of a base 4-cylinder, a mainstream V6 and a unique 4-cylinder diesel, which offers better towing capacity and fuel economy than the V6. While a ZR2 model was made available shortly after the Colorado’s re-introduction, new for 2019 is the ZR2 Bison which takes the off-road theme even further, adding skid plates, bumpers and fender flares designed by American Expedition Vehicles.

Colorado prices start at just over $22,000 and will exceed $55,000 in fully-loaded, diesel-equipped ZR2 Bison configuration.

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is all new, and improves upon just about every attribute of the outgoing model. While the three engines available on the outgoing 2018 model carry over, a new 4-cylinder turbo joins as the base engine, and a turbodiesel 6-cylinder is expected to join the lineup some time in 2019. The 2019 Silverado sees styling changes all around, and the word "controversial" comes to mind when thinking of the new exterior sheet metal. While the outside is a bold departure from the rather staid lines of the outgoing model, the 2019 Silverado’s interior design remains highly derivative of the outgoing model, with rounded right angles all around.

2019 Silverado prices start at just under $37,000 for a base work truck and approaches $70,000 in fully-loaded High Country guise.

As mentioned before, the Silverado is offered with a total of four different gas engines, with a 3.0-liter diesel to be added in the coming year:

2.7-liter Turbo 4-Cylinder: 310 horsepower; 348 lb-ft

MPG – Rear-wheel drive: 20 miles per gallon in the city/23 mpg on the highway/21 mpg in combined driving; 4-wheel drive: 19 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined

4.3-liter V6: 285 hp; 305 lb-ft

MPG – RWD: 16 mpg city/21 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined; 4WD:15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined

5.3-liter V8: 355 hp; 383 lb-ft

MPG – RWD: 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined; 4WD:16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined

6.2-liter V8: 420 hp; 460 lb-ft

MPG – 4WD: 16 mpg city/20 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined

The Silverado comes paired with either a 6-, 8- or 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Colorado offers three powertrains, one of which is a diesel:

2.5-liter 4-Cylinder: 200 hp; 191 lb-ft

MPG – RWD: 20 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined; 4WD: 19 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined

3.6-liter V6: 308 hp; 275 lb-ft

MPG – RWD: 16 mpg city/21 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined; 4WD: 15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy/17 mpg combined

2.8-liter Turbodiesel Four-Cylinder: 181 hp; 369 lb-ft

MPG – RWD: 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined; 4WD: 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined

Gas Colorados come with either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic transmission, while the diesel comes exclusively with a 6-speed automatic.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado vs. 2019 Chevrolet Colorado exterior

Exterior

The new 2019 Silverado has a much more distinctive exterior design than the more conservatively styled 2019 Colorado. The Silverado is bigger, meaner and far more interesting to look at to say the least. The Silverado wears an aggressive front fascia flanked on either side by tall fenders and a high beltline. Around back, highlights include a tailgate stamped with the "Chevrolet" wordmark, steps integrated into the bumper, and on higher trim levels, dual tailpipes integrated into the exhaust. A "Chevrolet" wordmark grille is also optional. New to the Silverado for 2019 is the off-road styled Trailboss model, which builds off of the Z71 package, offering a 2-speed transfer case, a 2-inch factory suspension lift with Rancho shocks and more aggressive wheels with knobbier tires.

The Colorado is due for a redesign. Up front, large, simple looking headlights flank a simple Chevrolet bowtie grille, which is a design element that has since been abandoned by other models in the Chevrolet lineup. The Colorado’s cabin area is simple, while around back the only notable feature is an integrated bumper step, similar to what’s found on the Silverado. Things get more interesting when you opt for a Colorado ZR2 or ZR2 Bison, either of which feature unique front and rear bumpers, a suspension lift with off-road shock absorbers, a unique hood and wheels, along with a few other exciting styling elements.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado vs. 2019 Chevrolet Colorado interior

Interior

Inside, the 2019 Silverado offers 43.0 inches of front seat headroom and 44.5 inches of front seat legroom. In the back seat of Crew Cab models, the new Silverado comes with 40.1 inches of headroom and 43.4 inches of legroom, 2.5 inches more than the outgoing model.

As it competes in a class down from the Silverado, the Colorado is much smaller on the inside. Up front, the Colorado offers 41.4 inches of headroom and 45.0 inches of legroom, and a tight 38.3 inches of headroom and 35.8 inches of legroom in the rear, again looking at crew cab models. If you’re expecting to consistently haul people around in the second row, the Silverado is by far the better choice.

And that isn’t just due to its larger interior dimensions, as the Silverado is a far nicer vehicle on the inside than the Colorado. While both vehicles employ an excessive amount of black plastic, the Silverado’s newer design is far more ergonomically and aesthetically pleasing, with round edges and clever design elements like ample storage in the doors and the center console. The Colorado’s need for a redesign is especially evident when you step inside. The seats are extremely basic and lack support, the steering wheel uses toy-like buttons, and the door panels and center console could have been designed in the late 1990s. On top of that, the only thing differentiating low-level work trucks from top of the line ZR2 Bison models is the addition of aluminum-look plastic trim around the center stack and steering wheel. If quality and aesthetics are what you’re after, you’ll be sorely disappointed by the Colorado.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado vs. 2019 Chevrolet Colorado configurations

Configurations

At the time of writing, the 2019 Silverado is only available in extended and crew cab forms with either a short or standard length bed, although a regular cab model is set to be released soon. The 2019 Silverado’s short bed measures almost 6-feet long, while the standard length bed measures around 6.7-feet long.

The Colorado is offered in either extended or crew cab form. Extended cab models offer one and a half doors on either side, while larger crew cab models have four traditional doors. No single cab model is offered. Extended cab models come with a 6.2-foot long bed, while crew cab Colorados employ either the long bed or a 5.2-foot short bed. ZR2 models are not available in crew cab, long bed configuration.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado vs. 2019 Chevrolet Colorado capabilities

Capabilities

Overall, the Silverado can tow considerably more than the Colorado. The most capable Colorado fitted with the Duramax diesel engine offers a maximum towing capacity of 7,600 pounds and a max payload of 1,547 pounds. The Silverado on the other hand can tow up to 12,200 pounds and offers a max payload of 2,500 pounds, when properly configured.

If its off-road capability that you’re after, a Colorado ZR2 or ZR2 Bison offers more overall than a Silverado Trailboss. The ZR2 comes with unique baja-inspired shocks along with all-terrain tires, front and rear locking differentials, and, on Bison variants, heavy-duty bumpers and a litany of skid plates. The Trailboss simply builds off of the basic Z71 package, adding to it a lift, light-duty off-road shocks and some knobbier tires.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado vs. 2019 Chevrolet Colorado features 

Features

The Silverado is offered in a wider range of trim levels than the Colorado and therefore offers a wider range of features. Among the features, Silverado buyers can opt for are a tilting-and-telescoping steering column, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, power driver’s and passenger seats, a memory driver’s seat, a heads up display, a power tailgate, sunroof, trailer tire pressure monitoring system and hitch guidance system.

The Colorado offers a standard tilt steering wheel and a power driver’s seat — telescoping steering wheel functionality and a power passenger seat are both optional. Heated and cooled front seats and a heated steering wheel are optional. Neither a sunroof nor a sliding rear window is offered on the Colorado, oddly.

Infotainment

Depending on trim level, both the Silverado and Colorado offer either a 7-in or an 8-in infotainment screen running Chevrolet’s competent MyLink infotainment system. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility is standard, while 4G LTE with Wi-Fi is also available with the 8-in unit. Colorado and Silverado buyers should both be equally content knowing that they’re getting one of the best infotainment setups in the industry.

The Silverado offers six USB ports, two 12-volt outlets and two three-pronged household outlets, while the Colorado offers two 12-volt outlets and four USB ports.

Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing result have yet to be released for the 2019 Silverado, but we expect the results to be positive once they’re made public. Chevrolet was sure to make the Silverado available with most of the latest active safety technology, and Silverado buyers are offered front and rear park assist, hitch guidance, blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking and a few other things, all as optional. Worth noting though is that forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking are both standard on the Ford F-150 for 2019, so Chevrolet loses points for not following suit.

While the Colorado performs well in crash testing, earning scores of Good in all major categories, its active safety feature offering is pretty underwhelming. The Colorado offers only rear parking sensors, forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning, but only on certain trim levels. Oddly, off-road models are unavailable with forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning, while ZR2 models don’t even offer rear parking sensors. Altogether, when it comes to modern safety tech, the Colorado is behind.

If safety is high on your list of priorities for a new truck, opt for a Silverado over a Colorado.

Quality & Reliability

Chevrolet offers a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, which is right in line with what’s offered by other truck manufacturers. Reliability of either vehicle should be about average. Worth mentioning is that while neither of these vehicles is particularly luxurious, the Colorado is especially underwhelming inside, with items like the key and ignition cylinder harkening back to the days of pre-recession GM.

Conclusions

While cost will certainly play a major role in deciding between the two trucks, the Silverado is without question the more modern and better appointed vehicle. Its recent redesign improves greatly upon a vehicle that already offered a great infotainment system, loads of configuration options, and a range of competent engines, adding exciting new styling, new trim levels and new active safety features. The Colorado has its strong points, including a diesel engine, which is unique in the segment, and the exciting off-road ready ZR2, but the vehicle is starting to show its age and is ultimately due for an update. While either one is great for doing truck things, we recommend the Silverado, provided it fits within your budget.

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