2015 Chevy Colorado: How Does It Really Measure Up?

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I'm thrilled GM is committing to smaller trucks with the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, and it looks like the little pickup will pack some serious balls. But don't think it's the lightest, or even the skinniest, small truck you can buy. Here's how it measures up.


How Small Is It?

GM put's the short box crew cab Colorado's overall length at 212.76", about 17" shorter than a crew cab Silverado but still over seven inches longer than the smallest four door pickup we've known and loves since 2005; the 2014 Nissan Frontier.


It's also five inches narrower than a full-size Chevy pickup, but just one inch fatter than the little Nissan. So close!

GM is very proud of the Colorado's construction, and rightfully so. By modern standards it is light thanks to extensive use of lightweight steels in the boxed frame and a roll-formed steel bed. An aluminum hood, front steering knuckles, and cylinder heads and engine block helps there, too.


Here's the curious chart provided by GM to explain the 2015 Colorado's curb weight, which shows it sized up against six full-sized trucks, one of which doesn't exist:

TruckCurb wt., Lbs.Difference
2015 Colorado short box crew 4x4, 3.6L V-64329-
2014 Silverado 1500 short bed crew 4x4, 5.3L V-85218889
2014 Nissan Titan short bed crew 4x4, 5.6L V-85300971
2014 Ram 1500 short bed crew 4x4, 5.9L V-853411012
2014 Ford F-150 short bed crew 4x4. 5.0L V-855861257
2014 Ram 1500 short box crew 4x4 3.0L diesel V-656331304
2015 Toyota Tundra short bed crew 4x4, 5.7L V-857601431

Ok, so the 2014 Colorado is lighter than bigger trucks with much larger engines. Did anyone not believe that? You want to know how it stacks up against other pickups it's actually similar to, like the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma.

Besides that, since when is there a half-ton Ram with a 5.9-lier V8? Since never, there isn't one. GM cites "manufacturer's press releases" as their source, but they might have meant "thin air."


With the exception of the Nissan Titan, which only has one engine option, every truck in the comparison above has a 4x4 crew cab variant that's more closely comparable with a four wheel drive four-door Colorado V6. By that I mean, they've all got V6 variants, which is what the Colorado should be compared to.


Ok, How Does The Colorado Compare To Other "Small" Displacement Pickups?

For the sake of consistency, we're sticking with crew cabs and the shortest bed option.

TruckCurb wt., Lbs.Difference
2015 Colorado short box crew 4x4, 3.6L V-64329-
2014 Nissan Frontier short bed crew 4x4, 4.0L V-64454125
2014 Toyota Tacoma short bed crew 4x4, 4.0L V-64220-109
2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 short bed crew 4x4, 4.3L V-65139810
2014 Ram 1500 short bed crew 4x4, 3.6L V-6 (8 Speed)5115786
2014 Ford F-150 short bed crew 4x4, 3.5 V-6 (EcoBoost)56151286
2014 Toyota Tundra short bed crew 4x4, 4.6L V-85185856

Still lighter, but the difference is not nearly as extreme. And now you can see why GM omitted the Tacoma from their original comparison, it's actually almost 110 pounds shy of the Colorado's curb weight and almost five inches shorter overall.


You might also notice that the V6 EcoBoost F-150 is even heavier than the V8. Turns out those turbos weigh more than cylinders. Ford does not sell the full four-door F-150 with their naturally aspirated 3.5 V6. Anyway, Ford's numbers are liable to change dramatically in a few months when data on their 2015 F-150 gets published.

So It's Not That Much Lighter. What About Capability?

We're going to have to wait a little longer for Colorado fuel economy claims. I know, that's the specification I really want to see too.


However, GM was kind enough to oblige us with the 2015 Colorado's towing capacity: an expected 6,700 pounds. That's presumably with some kind of tow package, and we'll assume they're referring to the 4WD four-door V6 since that's the only variant discussed in the document that weight comparison chart came from.

If that turns out to be the 4wd crew cab's true towing strength, Colorado would lead the midsize crew cabs in pulling power. A V6 Tacoma 4x4 can pull 6,400 pounds with a tow package, and a V6 Frontier is maxed out at 6,300 similarly equipped.


Then Who Has The Most Power?

Colorado wins again, at least until Nissan and Toyota get off their lazy asses and do something to update their geriatric mid-size pickups.

2015 Chevy Colorado, 3.6 V6 Gasoline302270
2015 Chevy Colorado, 2.5 I4 Gasoline193184
20XX Chevy Colorado, 2.8 I4 Diesel* (numbers from GM's current global diesel)"200""368"
2014 Nissan Frontier, 4.0 V6 Gasoline261281
20XX Nissan Frontier, 2.8 I4 Diesel** (may not be real)"200""350"
2014 Toyota Tacoma, 4.0 V6 Gasoline236266

Just for fun I included Nissan's hypothetical Cummins Diesel Frontier, which would certainly have the most twisting power should it ever come to fruition. GM's little six-banger should have significantly more juice than the larger V6s from both Japanese brands if the SAE-approved figures are close to what Chevrolet is claiming in pre-production.


GM still hasn't come forward with official output figures for the 2.8 diesel they promise is in the pipeline "shortly after" the Colorado/Canyon launch, but I think it's safe to speculate it will be close to the global-market 2.8 Duramax currently seeing duty abroad.


Just shy of 370 lb-ft of torque would be enough to really shake things up for little truck and give it some substantial pulling power.

What Else Do We Know?

We know we'll get four-door "crew cab" and two door "extended cab" variants with a little back seat in WT, LT, and a Z71 "off-road" trim. The latter will probably have decent tires, mild Rancho shocks and some extra skid plates as add-ons. We also know that the six-speed will only be available on the rear-drive 2.5 I4 extended cab.


Other than that, EPA fuel economy estimates are expected in the summer and we'll probably hear about payload and performance just before market launch about a season away.

We'll be sure to share everything we can find out about the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and it's stablemate the 2015 GMC Canyon as the first sales draw closer, I know I can't wait to see what these little trucks can do in the wild.


Image: -Paul H-/Flickr, GM