What is it? Developed by General Motors' Brazilian arm, the new midsized Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks are a little taller and longer, but narrower, than the segment’s bestselling competitor, the Toyota Tacoma (in the popular Crew Cab short bed configuration). The trucks come initially with a choice of a 193-hp, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder or GM’s excellent 3.6-liter V6, putting out 302 hp in this little truck. Both engines will be backed by a standard six-speed automatic transmission and a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive. (Except in base-model, 2wd, standard-cab configurations, which offer a six-speed manual.) V6 versions will offer a tow-haul mode, though GM has not released towing capacities yet.
Buyers can choose three body configurations: an Extended Cab model with a 6-ft. 2-in bed, a Crew Cab with a 5-ft. 2-in. bed, and a Crew Cab with the long bed.
The Colorado will come with all the big-truck features of Chevrolet’s full-sized Silverado: a spring-loaded tailgate for easy lifting, bumper steps to make it easy to climb in back, moveable tie-down rings, and standard bedside and tailgate protectors.
Inside, the new trucks will offer all the latest connectivity systems, including Chevrolet’s MyLink Bluetooth audio system with Internet applications and an available navigation system.
What's new or notable? While it won’t be available at first, GM says that for 2015 it will bring over the 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel that has been popular overseas, making this the first small truck to offer such an efficient engine choice. The Colorado and Canyon will also be the first small trucks to offer advanced collision mitigation systems including forward collision and lane departure warnings. And a backup camera will be standard.
CR's take: It's been two years since the previous generation Colorado and Canyon went out of production, and no domestic automaker currently sells a midsized pickup. We think that leaves a void in the market at least big enough to drive this little trucklet through.The old Colorado was a low-scoring perennial also-ran in our tests, and it proved not very reliable and distinctly unloved in our annual reader survey. This one just about can't help being an improvement.
When will it be available? Summer 2014.