Small trucks are making big profits these days. GM has breathed new life into this popular segment with the new GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado. They love us so much that we received a new Canyon for Valentine’s day, and we liked it so much that our request for the Chevrolet cousin was granted. We spent a week with the new Colorado with 4wd trim and it was just as impressive.
The Colorado’s exterior styling is almost identical to the Canyon, only lacking in chrome and polished wheels. These trucks have great proportions, especially in crew cab short-bed configuration. While the GMC sports a flat front end in a similar style to its big brother, the Sierra, the Colorado’s hood and grille are angled to give the front bumper a masculine stance. The Canyon sports polished stainless trim around the windows while Chevy prefers a more sinister treatment. Aside from minor tailgate curves, those are the only easily discernible differences between them.
Inside, these two are nearly identical. A central 8” screen houses the MyLink system that offers 4G LTE tethering and a host of useful apps. The audio system has every form of input along with four USB ports. The cabin is well insulated and makes great use of the Bose speakers. Every other interior option is a carbon copy of the Canyon. These trucks were years in the making, and their development spared no expense in ergonomics or quality of materials. The ignition switch is mounted beside the column and the console shifter allows for an unobstructed view of the instrument cluster.
Under the hood is the familiar 3.6-liter V6 from the Camaro. A tough little mill, it cranks out 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to clever gearing in the transmission and differential, this is plenty of power for a daily driver. A six speed manual would be nice to have, but unfortunately they are only offered with the 2.5-liter four banger.
On our urban test loop the Colorado performed identically to the Canyon. Coil springs at all corners soak up even the roughest pavement. The electric power steering has no feedback from the road, and is quite relaxing in traffic. The only item of dissention among us was how quiet a truck should be. We know this 3.6-liter has a great soundtrack in the Camaro and CTS, but the Colorado and Canyon are as silent as a library inside and out. A less restrictive intake and exhaust would unleash more torque, and that’s why we love our aftermarket advertisers. Braking is firm and quick with StabiliTrak intervening if you try to misbehave.
The Colorado represents the state of the art, and as such our friends at Motor Trend bestowed it with their prestigious Truck Of The Year® award. If you have never considered a truck, it will change your mind. These twins offer more civility and better build quality than a majority of the cars we have reviewed. Our Z71 had every available production and dealer option for a grand total of $36,710. While they’re more expensive than lesser equipped Silverados and Sierras, you can’t argue with 24 mpg. Stay tuned to Autofluence for more Chevrolet news and reviews.