2015 Chevrolet Colorado

What's new for 2015? The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado has been fully redesigned.

While a lot of people like having the utility that comes with driving a pickup, not everyone needs or wants a full-size truck. That's typically been where compact trucks have fulfilled a need. In recent years, though, there hasn't been a whole lot to choose from. Chevrolet even stopped producing its compact Colorado for a few years. But this year is different, as Chevy's back in the game with an all-new 2015 Colorado.

The new Colorado (and its GMC sibling, the Canyon) is larger than the version Chevrolet discontinued three years ago, and that's made it more or less the same size as its Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier rivals. That means the Colorado's real advantages over those older competitors lie in its more fuel-efficient powertrains, a noticeably nicer interior and the addition of what many buyers will consider to be the latest "must-have" features. We think these upgrades should go a long way toward stirring things up in what has been a largely stagnant vehicle segment.

While the Colorado's regular cab model has been dropped, Chevy is now offering an extended-cab body style with a 6-foot, 2-inch "long" bed and a crew cab with four proper doors and a choice of a 5-foot, 2-inch short bed or the aforementioned long bed. A fuel-efficient 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is standard in extended-cab models, while most crew cab models come with the more powerful 3.6-liter V6 that bumps towing capacity to a class-leading 7,000 pounds.

Exterior Highlights
Midsize pickup available in two and four-seat extended-cab and five-seat crew cab body styles. Available in Base, Work Truck, LT and Z71 trim levels

The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is a midsize pickup offered in two- and four-seat extended-cab and five-seat crew cab body styles. There are two bed lengths and four trim levels, ranging from no-nonsense Base and Work Truck models to the better-equipped LT and the top-of-the-line Z71.

The entry level model, known simply as Base, is offered only with an extended cab. Standard features include 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, daytime running lights, air-conditioning, vinyl upholstery and floor covering, a four-way power driver seat with manual recline, front bucket seats and deletion of rear jump seats, a tilt-only adjustable steering wheel, power windows, a rearview camera and a six-speaker AM/FM audio system with a 4.2-inch color display and USB and auxiliary audio input jacks.

The next step up would be the Work Truck model, which is available in both extended-cab and crew cab body styles and adds fold-up rear jump seats (extended-cab models only), cloth upholstery, carpeting and floor mats.

The major difference between the Base and Work Truck trims is the latter's availability of a long list of desirable options including the WT Convenience package, which bundles an EZ-Lift tailgate, keyless entry, cruise control and a theft-deterrent system. The Work Truck Appearance package adds 16-inch alloy wheels and body-color mirrors, door handles and rear bumper. An audio system upgrade package includes Chevrolet's app-based MyLink system, with a 4.2-inch screen and Bluetooth cell phone and audio streaming connectivity. Stand-alone options include an automatic locking rear differential, spray-on bedliner, a trailering package (V6 models only), power-adjustable outside mirrors with built-in convex spotter mirrors, the EZ-Lift tailgate, the OnStar telematics service and a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot.

Springing for the LT gets you everything in the WT Convenience and Work Truck Appearance option packages plus 17-inch alloy wheels, power-adjustable outside mirrors with built-in convex spotter mirrors, an overhead console, a tilt-and-telescoping adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, illuminated visor mirrors, the OnStar telematics service, a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot and a Chevrolet MyLink audio system with an 8-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, Pandora radio, steering wheel and voice controls and three additional USB ports.

Options on LT models include the LT Convenience package, which adds front foglights, a rear window defogger, the EZ-Lift tailgate and remote starting. The Luxury package (requires LT Convenience package) includes projector-style headlights, heated power-adjustable chrome outside mirrors, chrome door handles and rear bumper, a four-way power front passenger seat, driver and front passenger power lumbar adjustment, heated front seats, automatic climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The available Safety package includes forward collision alert and lane departure warning systems.

The top-of-the-line Z71 trim level (which takes its name from what used to be an off-road-oriented option package) includes the LT features as well as distinctive LED daytime running lights, dark-tinted 17-inch alloy wheels and grille surround, an off-road-oriented suspension, hill descent control, unique cloth/leatherette upholstery and other model-specific trim. A seven-speaker Bose premium audio system is available as an option on LT and Z71.

Intuitive gauges and basic controls, MyLink infotainment system with voice command system, generous legroom, taller sides and tailgate in truck bed

If you've had a look at its long-running midsize pickup competitors lately, it's easy to see the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado's interior is a decided step up in terms of design, quality and available features. It's also noticeably quieter than rival trucks at highway speeds.

Gauges and basic controls are well placed and refreshingly intuitive. The available MyLink infotainment system is relatively simple to use, and we like the extra capabilities of the voice command system (and built-in Apple Siri Eyes Free technology).

On a more practical front, the crew cab's rear seat offers a few additional inches of legroom compared with its rivals, which is convenient if you plan on transporting any adults or locking large items in the cab. As with most extended-cab models, the rear jump seats in the Colorado's version are no place you'd want to put an adult for more than a short jaunt. Both body styles offer storage space under those rear seats for valuable tools or gear you'd rather not leave unprotected in the bed. For shoppers interested in the extended cab, Chevrolet has integrated a feature where the rear headrest doubles as an extension to the rear seat bottom, allowing for the installation of a child seat.

The Colorado's taller sides and tailgate (they're almost full-size truck high) make it easy to haul bulky payload items, and the Colorado long bed model can carry standard 4-by-8 sheets of plywood with the tailgate down without any overhang. The available EZ-Lift and Lower tailgate makes opening and closing the tailgate less of a workout, too.

Standard safety features on the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front seat side impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a rearview camera.

The OnStar telematics system (standard on upper trims) provides emergency crash notification, stolen vehicle notification and remote locking and unlocking services. Advanced safety technologies including forward collision and lane departure warning systems are offered as options on select models.

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