2011 Chevrolet Colorado

For a long time, pickup trucks, both big and small, have been known as the cup of tea for American car dealers. But with the continuing onslaught of brands from other countries offering their own iterations of the pickup, this perception is being challenged. Compact pickups are popular because of their smaller size, their daily driving capability, and their light duty performance. In this ever changing segment, Chevrolet is bringing in the Colorado to carry the fight for them.

Exterior & Interior

The 2011 Chevrolet Colorado, at first glance, is your typical Chevy. Although the looks of this present generation of the Colorado is gaining in age (the front end is in fact based on the 2004 Silverado), people still like it. There are 3 trims available for the Colorado, a regular cab, an extended cab, and a crew cab. And with an adjustable tailgate, it brings its usefulness to another level. As for the interior, it has the Spartan feel of old school trucks, which is actually can be a good or bad thing depending on the owner.

The gauges are simple to read, the controls are simple, but some find that the interior feels too cheap. As for seating, it can range from 2 to 5, depending on the type of cab that you would purchase. However, most have noted that the front seats are markedly better compared to the rear seats. For the base model, there are no electric windows and the only standard equipment is an AM/FM radio, but as the trim level increases, so are the features. The cab space is good enough, but interior luggage space is largely dependent on what type of model you would get. However, for those that would get the extended cab or the crew cab, the rear seats are foldable to get more room.

Performance

There are 3 types of engine available for the 2011 Colorado. There’s a 2.9 liter 4 cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower, a 3.7 liter 5 cylinder engine that produces 242 horsepower, and a V8 engine that produces 300 horsepower. The transmission options are a 5 speed manual transmission that is equipped on the 4 cylinder variants, and a 4 speed automatic that is equipped on the 5 cylinder and V8 engine variants.

The performance is relatively smooth and adequate for all engines, though opinion is largely divided regarding the V8 option. The stock suspension, while not exactly the best when it comes to refinement, is actually competent enough that it can be driven in just about any road surface. However, with the optional ZQ8 suspension, the qualities of this car are greatly increased. As for hauling capacity, it is largely dependent on the type of engine it is equipped with, with the most capable being the V8, with a maximum towing capacity rated at 6000 pounds.

The Competition

There are two other vehicles that match up closely to the Colorado, the Ford Ranger (MSRP $18,160; 22 city / 27 hwy) and the Nissan Frontier (MSRP $17,540; 19 city / 23 hwy). All these trucks serve diverse roles in which an owner can specially tailor for what he/she needs.

Pros & Cons

There are varying opinions about the 2011 Chevrolet Colorado. There are a lot of positives though. Among them is the dated yet still attractive exterior. The very basic interior is very intuitive to use and easy to read. Its performance is just about good enough for all engine types, and the choice of transmission is just about right. Opinions are divided with regards to its minimalist interior, with some saying that it is generally uncomfortable. In addition, fuel economy is deemed to be relatively poor for all engine types.

And while the V8 engine adds a lot to its performance, a lot of people question why it is in there, given that people buy compact trucks for economy, and if looking for performance, the Silverado seems to be a much better option, even if it is priced a bit higher.

Overall Rating
57 out of 100

What others say:

“It's not an unattractive truck, it simply lacks the serious presence you'd get from a true full-sizer. Inside, though, the Colorado is a letdown. ”Car Connection

“All models corner with reasonable poise, though some testers find these trucks slow to react to steering inputs. Good straight-line stability.”Consumer Guide

“Handling is sound but unexceptional. The ride is unsettled, and the body constantly quivers. ESC is standard.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Mediocre interior fit and finish quality; aging design; lackluster power and towing capacity with base engines.”Edmunds

“If you like the rugged, bold look of the full-size Silverado, but want it in a smaller package that gets better fuel economy, check out the 2011 Chevrolet Colorado.”KBB

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Mid Pick-Up Truck Base Price: $17,145.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 19 gallons (72 liters) MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 192.4 in. (488 cm) Width: 67.6 in. (171 cm)
Height: 64.9 in. (164 cm) Wheel Base: 111.3 in. (282 cm)
Curb Weight: 3407 lbs (1545 kg) Ground Clearance: 7.7 in. (19.5 cm)
Maximum Payload: 1429 lbs (648 kg) Maximum Seating: 3 people
Performance
Engine: 2.9L 16 valve DOHC inline 4 Displacement: 177 cu in
Horsepower: 185 HP Max RPM: 5600 RPM
Torque: 190 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm Transmission: 5-Speed Manual OD
Max Towing Capacity: 4000 lbs (1814 kgs) Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:Colorado LT MSRP: $18,270; MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
Option:Colorado WT Reg Cab 4x4 MSRP: $20,650; MPG: 18 city / 24 hwy
Option:Colorado LT Reg Cab 4x4 MSRP: $21,775; MPG: 18 city / 24 hwy
Option:Colorado Extended Cab MSRP: $19,650; MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
Option:Colorado Crew Cab MSRP: $24,205; MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy