Driving Impressions – 2016 Chevrolet Colorado

Driving Impressions – 2016 Chevrolet Colorado

Naza Quest Sdn Bhd, the official importer and distributor of Chevrolet vehicles in Malaysia, has introduced the 2nd generation facelift of the Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck. But before the official launch, Naza Quest arranged a media drive for us to test the Chevrolet Colorado.

The Chevrolet Colorado is now available with 3 engine choices and 5 variants, starting at RM 99,911 (on the road with insurance) for the manual-transmission Colorado Standard 2.5L and ending with the Colorado High Country 2.8L automatic at RM 132,874.

The facelift is most obvious in the front fascia, with redesigned headlights plus LED daytime running lights, re-profiled bonnet, front bumper and a bolder split front grille. The more angular proportions in front help give the Colorado a tougher appearance.

Chevrolet Colorado Old vs New Malaysia
Pre-facelift Colorado (left) vs new Colorado (right)

The base trim Chevrolet Colorado i.e. Standard 2.5L, is fitted with the 2.5-liter Duramax diesel engine with Fixed Geometry Turbo (FGT) that is carried over from the pre-facelift model. This updated engine is good for 163 hp and 380 Nm and comes only with a 6-speed manual transmission. But although this is a base model, it still comes equipped with 2 airbags, driver’s knee airbag, rear park assist, rear camera, ABS, EBD, Panic Brake Assist, LED daytime running lights, front and rear fog lamps, 4 one-touch power windows with jam protection and remote operation and Bluetooth handsfree function with Apple CarPlay.

On the other end of the price bracket is the 2.8-liter Duramax engine with Variable Geometry Turbo (VGT) which sits in the Colorado LTZ 2.8 and range-topping High Country. This engine is also carried over from the pre-facelift range and produces 193 hp and 500 Nm. This engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic with manual mode and has a claimed hauling capacity of 1 ton and a towing capability of 3.5 tons.

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Sitting in the middle of the range is a 2.5-liter Duramax upgraded with VGT. This engine has power output of 180 hp and 440 Nm and resides in the Colorado LT 2.5L and LTZ 2.5L; it’s also paired with a 6-speed automatic with manual mode.

As mentioned, the Colorado Standard LT 2.5L already comes with a host of safety features; the LTZ 2.5L and above adds traction control, stability control, hill descent control, hill start assist, trailer sway control and a tire pressure monitoring system. Also included are cruise control, auto headlights, auto dimming rear view mirror, rain sensor, front park assist, forward collision alert and lane departure warning.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado High Country 2.8L Climate Control, MalaysiaAnother notable feature of the higher trim variants is the remote engine start function with automatic air-conditioning. This is operated via the key fob to remotely start the engine and air-conditioning to cool down the cabin, at a distance and without needing to unlock the doors; a useful feature when the truck is parked in the open. Further, every variant comes with remote operated power windows, and the front windows have a ‘comfort closing’ feature which drops the window pane a little to reduce air resistance and ease door closing.

We spent our time driving the range-topping Colorado High Country 2.8L, which features a front bumper with nudge bar, High Country sports bar, chrome molding on the windows and a roof rail, to set it apart from the lesser variants.

Overall cabin noise has been reduced due to the employment of thicker glass for the front windows, improved door-body interface, roof ditch, windscreen and window seals, optimized headlight profile and frameless wipers. Chevrolet claims the new Colorado is 8% quieter on the road. New body, engine and transmission mounts, improved dampers, revised spring rates, an updated chassis, as well as the use of a new Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter also eliminates much of the vibration and noise, resulting in a more refined and quieter ride.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado High Country 2.8L Side Profile, Malaysia

There is still a bit of bounce felt in the rear seats which isn’t untypical for rear leaf-sprung pickup trucks not carrying heavy loads but it has noticeably reduced compared to the outgoing model. The front feels pliant on the highway and overall cabin comfort is good; there was little need to raise our voices to talk when traveling at high speeds. This isn’t a sleek vehicle so pushing it above the highway speed limit will ensure higher wind and road noise intruding the cabin. However, the engine stays relatively quiet when cruising.

At times, overtaking on the highway required a manual downshift of gears as the 500 Nm of torque seemed to be smoothed out for a more refined drive. But there is no trouble getting this truck to pass other vehicles. We pushed the truck to its speed limit without much issue, a place where some cars have trouble getting to, and it managed to maintain its composure and stability. Obviously, sharp corners weren’t involved.

All variants except the manual LT 2.5L are equipped with electric power steering which makes short work of city driving and parking; as well as aids fuel efficiency. The power assistance reduces proportionately as speed increases but we did find the steering a little light on the highway; it could just be a personal preference. We did not consciously monitor fuel consumption or drive frugally but we managed to record average consumption of around 11 liters / 100 km on the highway stint.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Malaysia Off RoadWe were treated to some light off-roading to show off the Colorado’s capability such as its 800 mm water wading capability. However, the terrain wasn’t too extreme to push the Colorado’s limits. We crossed streams, drove through mud puddles, over ruts and steep banks and the Colorado’s updated suspension package with digressive shocks took them all in stride, using road tires.

The Colorado’s cabin has received a host of updates starting with a new dashboard that features design cues from the American version. The revised instrument cluster houses a Driver Information Center which displays maintenance intervals, tire pressure and trip information. The Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert symbols are also housed in the instrument cluster and provide visual and auditory alerts.

The Colorado also gets an updated Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system with a 7″ touchscreen display and 4 speakers for the LT variants and 8″ touchscreen, with 7 speakers, for the rest. There is Apple CarPlay connectivity with Siri Eyes Free and voice recognition for hands-free operation. Android Auto support is supposed to be available in due course.

The Chevrolet Colorado comes in 4 colors: Pull Me Over Red, Summit White, Black Meet Kettle, Switchblade Silver and Blue Mountain (the latter 2 aren’t available for High Country). It is also covered by a 5-year / 200,000 km warranty (whichever comes first). Optional accessories are also available on request (check out the gallery below for examples). In summary, this new Chevrolet Colorado comes with many features not found in immediate rivals and the improvements done to the truck makes it capable of playing with the usual big boys.

Chevrolet Colorado Launch:

Chevrolet Colorado High Country 2.8L:

Chevrolet Colorado LTZ 2.5L:

Chevrolet Colorado Optional Accessories:


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