The pickup truck market took a massive hit last year when gas prices topped $4 a gallon, but the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado still managed to hang on to the number one and two spots, respectively, on the 2008 sales charts. Even so, many full-size truck buyers made the switch to smaller models, such as our latest test vehicle – the Chevrolet Colorado, equipped with a V8 from the factory for the first time.
The Chevy Colorado is a mid-size pickup that thinks it’s a full-size truck. Its exterior design is tough and the Colorado is available in almost as many models and configurations as its big brother, the Silverado, which we tested earlier this week in new-for-2009 6.2-liter form. To add to its full-size mentality – and, GM hopes, to lure some buyers who might bet stepping away from full-size trucks, buyers can now have the Colorado with GM’s 5.3-liter V8.
Buyers eyeing the Colorado will likely cross shop it with the Ford Ranger, Dodge Dakota and Toyota Tacoma. At the upper end of the Colorado spectrum, some might even be taking a look at Honda’s Ridgeline pickup. Only the Dakota offers V8 power, however. With V8s a genuine rarity in this class we’d call the Colorado’s newfound 5.3-liter a breakthrough, although we’d hesitate to call it a big breakthrough. Aside from the new powerplant, the Colorado doesn’t offer anything that shatters the mid-size pickup mold.
On the whole, the Colorado isn’t a bad looking truck. However, it does have some cartoonish features that detract from its overall appearance. Up front, the Colorado sports an aggressive front fascia, highly reminiscent of the last-generation Silverado. A solid chrome bar does a nice job of breaking up the Colorado’s rather tall front grille, and also serves as real estate for the massive Chevy Bow Tie. Some might say the Colorado’s mug is a bit too much and over the top, but the design actually grew on us over the week we had the truck.
Pronounced wheel arches hint at the Colorado’s off-road prowess, but the upward sloping design is lost on us. We would have much preferred more conventional wheel arches, but at least our tester’s meaty Bridgestones filled them nicely.
Although Chevrolet Colorado does a pretty good job of masquerading as a full-size truck from the outside, it can’t hide its smaller roots on the inside. The Colorado’s interior is noticeably tighter than the Silverado’s and also feels a bit dated.
© Source: leftlanenews
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