The 2015 Truck of the Year is getting a new addition for 2016. The Chevrolet Colorado has been Chevy’s fastest-selling vehicle all year. Equipped with the new 2.8-liter Duramax diesel, Chevrolet is looking to capture more of the mid-size truck market with the introduction of the 2016 Colorado.
We got a first-hand look at the 2016 Colorado as part of Chevy’s media preview event prior to this year’s SEMA show. As part of the event we drove the diesel Colorado into Wheeler Pass in Pahrump, Nevada.
The 2.8-liter turbo-diesel motor puts out 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, all under an eight-speed automatic transmission. Estimated fuel mileage is not out yet, but Chevrolet is confident that it will be class-leading in throughout the pickup niche.
The day started at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch before hitting the trail. The engine is very quiet for a diesel motor, and there was no diesel smell outside. The trail began on a graded rocky road with plenty of loose gravel, and it handled very well as soon as it hit the dirt.
Bumps and dips were soaked up very well with the coil spring front suspension. Surprisingly, the interior was very quiet, and we hardly heard any road noise getting the truck up to 60 mph. One of the huge benefits of having a mid-size truck on a trail is being able to maneuver through tight sections without worrying about scratching the side of the vehicle. Even with a few tight turns, the Colorado had no problem navigating through the areas.
The truck we drove had the Trail Boss package which came with spray-in bed liner, three-inch off-road step bars, black Bow Tie emblems, off-road tires, front and rear fender flares, 17-inch black aluminum wheels, and a bed-mounted sport bar package with LED lights. Colorado not only handled well off-road, but looked good doing it.
The sports bar is a great addition to the truck. The lights mounted to the top rack will illuminate everything on the trail at night. With the rack blocking the rear third brake light, Chevy added a new brake light to the rack. One of the best features was how it tied in with the lights to the headlamp switch, meaning there is no need for additional switches — it is prewired to the switch.
Wheeler Pass took us through some tight technical sections, as well as sections that are carved through the canyon. Overall, we were very pleased with the way the truck handled. Even though we were not able to get the truck up to highway speeds and truly test the diesel motor, it lived up to our expectations. Chevy also had a few full-size 2016 Silverado’s available to drive, but even after driving them, we preferred the mid-size Colorado.
The 2016 Chevrolet Colorado is one vehicle we can’t wait to see on the road. What feature are you most excited about on the new Colorado? Tell us in the comments below.