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  • 2004 Chevy Colorado - First Drive:'04 Chevrolet Colorado And GMC Canyon - Reviews

2004 Chevy Colorado - First Drive:'04 Chevrolet Colorado And GMC Canyon - Reviews

GM Brings Sporting Style And Great Performance To The Midsize Pickup Segment

Joe Pettitt
Jan 1, 2004
Photographers: Joe Pettitt, General Motors
Photo 2/2   |   2004 Chevy Colorado front Bumper View
Both trucks are available in three body styles, Crew Cab, Extended Cab, and Regular Cab, and they feature two all-new inline engines: a Vortec 3500 3.5L I-5 with 220 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque; and a Vortec 2800 2.8L I-4 with 175 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. These trucks have an all-new MA-5 five-speed manual as well as the proven 4L60-E four-speed automatic. You can also get a locking rear differential on both 2WD and 4WD models and available traction-control on rear-wheel-drive models.
Safety features are improved with a reinforced cab structure, available roof-rail side airbags, an energy-absorbing front framerail structure, and bumper alignment that conforms to most sedans. The truck features dual-stage front airbags, driver and right front, with a passenger-side deactivation switch (on Regular Cab and Extended Cab without rear seats). Lower anchors and tethers for child seats are available, as well as top tether anchorage for child seats in the front seat of Regular Cabs and rear seat of Extended and Crew Cabs. OnStar is also available.
Other features include an innovative two-position locking tailgate, standard ABS, and foldaway outside rearview mirrors.
Driving ImpressionWe had a chance to drive the new Colorado with the ZQ8 high-performance street suspension and one with the Z71 2WD performance suspension thorough the backroads of Vermont. In both instances, we were impressed with the just how good the factory offerings are, but were most impressed with the Z71 package.
The ride height is appropriate for the truck; not too high, but high enough to give you good visibility. The package produces a comfortable ride on most surfaces with a good sense of the road. It absorbs bumps quickly and smoothly and doesn't upset the chassis, so it keeps the tires on the ground and the driver in control. The road shocks don't transmit into the steering wheel; a result of the truck's solid structure and appropriate spring and shock rates.
It's a very stable and confident truck at speed, even though the spring and shock rates are high enough, and the antisway bar bushings and suspension bushings are tight enough to allow the truck to respond quickly and predictably to steering inputs. The system's response is very linear; small steering inputs are effective, producing the sense of a very controllable machine. On-center feel is positive, sensitive, and stable. Not at all nervous, instead it tracks well, doesn't follow ruts excessively, and the steering effort and rate is well balanced. Overall, we'd rate the suspension tuning as excellent.
The ZQ8 is all of the above with a few tenths more cornering force, but is just a tick harsher over rough road surfaces. The additional suspension travel of the Z71 allows for the compliant-yet-positive-feeling ride and handling.
The five-cylinder produces good low-end torque, and by virtue of the variable cam timing, the torque band is quite broad, which produces good power and accelerative abilities in most rpm points the engine inhabits during normal driving. Transmission and engine power management are as well executed as any we've encountered. The shift points are well placed in the powerband, and the transmission downshifts quickly and appropriately, making it much more akin to the performance we've admired from the Toyota Tundra's power team.
If you're in the market for a truck backed by a manual transmission, test-driving a Colorado or Canyon equipped with the MA-5 five-speed is a must. It's about the smoothest-shifting five-speed we've experienced. The synchros are super-effective, providing hitch-free speed shifts at redline and silky-smooth downshifts. Gear spacing is just about perfect on both the I-4 and the I-5 trucks. The factories are building more refined machines every year, and we submit the new Colorado/Canyon as Exhibit A.
The new '04 Colorado and Canyon pickups are absolute must test-drives if you're shopping for a midsize or compact pickup. Even if you're set on a fullsize, you owe it to yourself to check out this truck. Its generous interior space in Standard, Extended, and Crew Cab versions are sure to impress you as much as the new truck's style and performance.
{{{GMC}}} CANYON PRICING:.
Model SL SLE
2WD Reg. Cab Z85 $16,530 $17,485
2WD Reg. Cab Z71 $18,235 $19,420
2WD Ext. Cab Z85 $18,875 $20,585
2WD Ext. Cab Z71 $20,580 $22,050
2WD Crew Cab Z85 N/A $21,115
2WD Crew Cab Z71 N/A $24,750
* All prices include a $635 destination charge
CHEVY COLORADO PRICING:.
Model Base {{{LS}}}
2WD Reg. Cab Z85 $16,{{{200}}} $17,040
2WD Reg. Cab Z71 $17,810 $19,045
2WD Reg. Cab ZQ8 $17,545 $18,915
2WD Ext. Cab Z85 $18,545 $20,140
2WD Ext. Cab Z71 $20,155 $21,675
2WD Ext. Cab ZQ8 $19,890 $21,545
2WD Crew Cab Z85 N/A $20,670
2WD Crew Cab Z71 N/A $24,{{{300}}}
2WD Crew Cab ZQ8 N/A $24,170
* All prices include a $635 destination charge
'04 Chevrolet Colorado/GMC CanyonVehicle Type: Midsize Regular Cab, Crew Cab, and Extended Cab pickup
Construction: Body on hydro-formed frame
Engine: Vortec 2800 2.8L I-4: std. on Regular Cab, Crew Cab, Extended Cab / Vortec 3500 3.5L I-5: opt. on Regular Cab, Crew Cab, Extended Cab; std. on ZQ8 Crew Cab, Z71 Crew Cab: fuel-injected, aluminum block and head, DOHC, continuously variable exhaust valve timing, variable exhaust cam phasing, four valves per cylinder with "couple" design balance shafts
Horsepower: I-4: 175 @ 5,600 / I-5: 220 @ 5,600
Torque: I-4: 185 @ 2,800 / I-5: 225 @ 2,800
Fuel: 87 octane
Transmission: Hydra-Matic 4L60-E four-speed automatic/MA-5, five-speed manual
Front Suspension: Independent with coil springs for rear-drive, independent with torsion bars for 4WD and high stance, with stabilizer bar
Rear Suspension: Live axle with steel leaf springs; stabilizer bar with sport package
Wheel: 15x6-inch steel; opt. 15x6.5-inch aluminum;15x7-inch aluminum with Z71 Off-Road suspension; 17x8-inch aluminum with ZQ8 Sport suspension
Tire: 205/75R15 all-season, steel-belted radial tires (2WD); P225/70R15 all-season, steel-belted radial tires (on 2WD Crew Cab); P265/75R15 on/off-road steel-belted radial with Z71 Off-Road package; P235/50R17 low-profile radial with ZQ8 package. Fullsize spare on all models
Brakes: Power, front disc/rear drum, four-wheel antilock brakes: front: 11.2x1.6-inch ; rear: 11.6x2.5-inch
Wheelbase: Reg. Cab 2WD/4WD: 111.3 inches; Ext. Cab Crew Cab: 125.9 inches
Length/Width/Height (in.): Reg. Cab: 192.4/67.6/64.8; Ext. Cab/Crew Cab.: 207/67.6/64.8
Track (in.): 2WD: F: 57.5; R: 57.5
Turning Circle (curb-to-curb): 2WD short wheelbase: 37-ft; Z71 39-ft; long wheelbase: 41-ft; Z71 43-ft
Curb Weight: 2WD, base suspension, I-4 with manual: 3,351 lbs; 4WD Crew Cab, I-5 with automatic: 4,150 lbs
Tow Rating: 3.5L automatic: 4,000 lbs
Acceleration 0-60: Reg. Cab 2WD 3.5L automatic: 8.07 sec
Quarter-Mile Elapsed Time: 15.97 @ 84.5 mph
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Chevrolet Colorado

Fair Market Price
$20,040
Editors' Overall Rating
Basic Specifications
MSRP: $20,120
Mileage: 19 / 26
Engine: 2.5L I4
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