First off, I think it's time to put a moratorium on car PR guys using the word "reinvented." Chevy just told us they "reinvented" the midsize truck, but I think they just mean "made." GM made a midsize truck. It's called the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, and it looks pretty good to me.
Again, it's not a reinvented midsize truck. That would be, I don't know, something that's got the bed up front and spheroid wheels. The Colorado is a pretty straightforward take on a not-colossally-huge truck, and the design seems well-considered and useful. It's a double-cab, with no mention of a single-cab variant yet, though the international version it's based on does have a single cab and kingly cab variant.
The Colorado will be available at launch with two engine options, a 2.5L I-4 with 193 HP/184 lb-ft of twistilies, and a 3.6L V6 with 302 HP/270 lb-ft of torque. Both of these engines are already hauling around Impalas and other Chevys, and the most interesting engine option, a 2.8L turbodiesel, will be available later.
Chevy is clearly targeting Nissan and Toyota with this truck. I suspected this when I saw in the giant bowtie-shaped video screen Colorados agressively passing Toyota and Nissan trucks all over the place. GM President Mark Reuss said Chevy is going to "attack back into" the mid-size truck market, which aside from sounding like a Google translation, gives a pretty clear idea of how GM feels about this market: they lost it, and they want it back.
Chevy described the buyers as people who don't want or need a full-size, and value fuel economy and maneuverability, while still being a "real truck." They also compared the truck to crossovers in size, and then went into an imagined reverie of their target consumer, young go-getters who mountain bike and kayak and canoe and spelunk and base jump and hot air balloon and whatever, and need a truck to pursue their absurdly active lifestyles.
All sorts of companies love imagining that this is who's buying their trucks, and I'm sure it's true for some percentage. To help this goal, they have a really nice set of cargo-bed racks and scaffolds to hold the luges and catamarans and hoverskis that these people need.
Also telling of who they want to buy this truck: they're touting it as the "quietest" pickup in its segment, which is a weird thing to crow about in the tough, rock-snacking world of trucks. I hope it gets used in the ads, with the usual truck-guy voice over:
"Colorado. Quiet as the steely stare of a distant father who never said he loved you."
... and that would be said over a shot of a grizzled older man looking off meaningfully into the Oklahoma sky.
I like the new Colorado. I think it's a step in the right direction, I think the overall design is strong, especially in side profile, but I can't help but think it's still too big. For genuine real-world use — hauling lumber and drywall from Home Depot, moving a friend's sofa and old Galaga cabinet, getting bags of mulch for your otter farm or whatever — a more compact truck could do the job, and be an even more practical and efficient daily commuter.
The Colorado certainly has it's place, but I'm still hoping GM will complete it's truck range with something right below it next.