The compact/midsize truck battles have cooled significantly since the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon achieved its highest sales total in 2005. The segment enjoyed fresh invigoration that year with the then-new generation Dodge Dakota, Nissan Frontier, and Toyota Tacoma, but the two GM trucks together posted 163,204 sales for a solid second behind the still-leading Tacoma. Unfortunately, the buyers have not arrived en masse since and, in 2010, the Colorado and Canyon march on with few notable changes except the need for a new manufacturing site.

The 2010 Colorado and Canyon are assembled in Shreveport, Louisiana, on the GMT355 platform formerly shared with the discontinued Isuzu i-Series. The welded ladder H-frame is built from electro-galvanized steel and supported by independent A-arm front and live semi-floating axle rear suspension. Front torsion bars suspend all 4x4 and V-8-equipped rear-wheel-drive models with Z71 off-road and Z85 heavy-duty suspension packages; front coil springs are fitted to the remaining rear-wheel-drive trucks. Two-stage steel leaf springs are installed out back.

Like most pickup trucks in the U.S., the GMT355 twins are available in a regular, extended, or crew cab. Unlike the rest of the segment, GM is the only manufacturer to offer a five-cylinder engine in the form of a 3.7-liter straight-five with 242 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque. A 2.9-liter inline-four (185 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque) and 5.3-liter V-8 (300 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque) sandwich the inline-five on the engine order page, while transmissions are limited to a four-speed automatic and five-speed manual. The standard transmission can only be mated to the four-cylinder engine.

Driveline configurations are rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. For 2010, a single-speed transfer case now comes standard on four-wheel-drive Colorados and Canyons. A two-speed transfer case is an option if you need the low range.

Sitting on the polar opposite of the Z71 off-road suspension and two-speed transfer case is the ZQ8 sport suspension package, now available for a greater number of equipment groups and extended and crew cab models with rear-wheel drive. The tarmac-oriented package requires the V-8 engine and adds 18-inch wheels, special front bucket seats, and a taller 3.42 rear axle.

The interior of the Colorado and Canyon is simply adorned and simply laid out. Aside from the new standard USB port and head curtain side airbags for 2010, there is little to write about the cabin. Outside, three new colors can be ordered, but for branding purposes, the colors have different names per truck. The Colorado welcomes Cardinal Red Metallic, Steel Green Metallic, and Sheer Silver Metallic to its palette, but the same colors are renamed Merlot Jewel Metallic, Gray Green Metallic, and Pure Silver Metallic for the Canyon.

When it comes to work capacity, the V-8 is rated at a maximum trailering weight of 6000 pounds. The inline-five can tow up to 5500 pounds with extended and crew cab models and 4000 pounds with the regular cab. The inline-four ranges from 1900 to 3400 pounds depending on cab, transmission, and driveline.

As mentioned earlier, the Colorado and Canyon will need a new home. GM’s Shreveport facility also produces the Hummer H3/H3T and is slated to close in 2012. According to a recent report, the twins are due for a refresh but the status of the next-generation trucks is still up in the air.

Related:
2010 Chevrolet Colorado Tech Specs
2010 Chevrolet Colorado Photo Gallery
2010 GMC Canyon Tech Specs
2010 GMC Canyon Photo Gallery


2010 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon
Base Price$17,765
Vehicle LayoutFront-engine, RWD, 4WD, 2- and 4-door midsize pickup truck
Engine2.9L/185-hp/190 lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4, 3.7L/242-hp/242 lb-ft DOHC 20-valve I-5, 5.3L/300-hp/320 lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8
Transmission5-Speed Manual, 4-Speed Automatic Transmission
Curb Weight3366-4013 lb (RWD), 3684-4218 lb (4WD) (mfr)
Wheelbase111.3 in (regular cab), 126 in (extended and crew cab)
Length x Width x Height192.4 x 67.6 x 64.9 in (regular cab with RWD), 207.1 x 67.6 x 65.2 in (crew cab with RWD)
EPA City/Hwy Fuel Econ14-18/19-24 mpg
On SaleNow

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