Chevrolet Colorado
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Overall
General Motors gets its mid-size groove back after a two-model-year absence; extended and crew cabs available.

Drivetrain
Base four-cylinder and optional V6 engines available with all cab styles, as is four-wheel-drive.

For hard-working, hard-playing people with moderate towing and hauling requirements, it doesn’t get much better than the new Chevrolet Colorado and close facsimile GMC Canyon pickups. Both return for 2015 (they were phased out after the 2012 model year) in bigger and more powerful forms, but remain smaller and less capable than the full-size Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra. Still, for many pickup fans, they have plenty to offer, whether it’s the four-door extended-cab with a 62-inch box, or the four-door crew cab that comes with a 50-inch, or available 62-inch bed (there is no regular-cab available). Each cab style can be had with a 200-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder, or optional 305-horsepower V6. A six-speed manual transmission is standard with the 2.5, while a six-speed automatic is optional, but standard with the V6. Interestingly, the V6 comes very close to matching the four-cylinder in the mpg department (20 in the city and 27 on the highway versus 18/26 for rear-wheel-drive models). It’s also the go-to model when hauling payloads up to 1,600 pounds or trailering up to 7,000 pounds (double the 2.5’s capacity). Colorados can be had in base, WT (Work Truck), LT and Z71 4×4 trim levels. The latter is equipped with an off-road suspension package, locking rear differential, all-terrain rubber, automatic transmission and hill-descent control. All Colorados come with a corner-step rear bumper (no need for an external stair to access the bed), a locking tailgate and two-tier loading that, by sliding braces and a platform that you supply, creates two separate cargo areas. There are, of course, a plethora of options and packages for the Colorado, including leather seats (heated in front), eight-inch touch-screen, navigation system, and a factory-installed spray-on bed liner. In terms of safety, a forward collision alert and lane departure warning can be added (a rear-vision camera is standard). For 2016, GM plans to offer a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel option.