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  • Pickup Truck of the Year Walk-Around: 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 2.8L Duramax

Pickup Truck of the Year Walk-Around: 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 2.8L Duramax

Big Muscle, Small Package

Dec 2, 2015
Photographers: Truck Trend Editors
The Colorado qualified for inclusion in our 2016 Pickup Truck of the Year Test due to the addition of the long-anticipated 2.8L I-4 Duramax diesel engine option for the new model year. The new engine’s experience and character can be best described with one word: Torque. Although the 2.8L Duramax produces the least horsepower of the Colorado’s three available engines, it produces the most torque by far at 369 lb-ft. That’s 178 lb-ft more than the base 2.5L GDI I-4 and a full 100 lb-ft more than the 3.6L V-6. The infusion of low-end grunt completely transforms the Colorado’s personality.
We dinged the Colorado last year for its tendency to hunt gears and make dramatic multi-gear downshifts when passing or towing. While the Duramax has the same 6L50 six-speed automatic as the V-6, the infusion of torque makes the truck much more relaxed and confident while towing or passing. Obviously, with 124 fewer horsepower than the gas V-6 delivered at half the rpm, the top-end power delivery isn’t exactly thrilling. However, the power delivery of the Duramax makes the Colorado feel more like a truck that’s ready to work. The integrated trailer brake and engine exhaust brake underline its utilitarian mission. This is one small truck with big capability.
2016 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 4WD Duramax Diesel

Engine: 2.8L/181hp/369-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Axle Ratio: 3.42:1
Curb weight (F/R Dist): 4,846 lbs (2,793/2,053 pounds)
Wheelbase: 128.3 in
Length x Width x Height: 212.7 x 74.3 x 70.6 in
GVWR: 6,200 lbs
Total Payload: 1,354 lbs
Tested Payload: 1,300 pounds
GCVWR: 12,700 pounds
Trailer Weight: 7,600 pounds
Tested Trailer Weight (75% Max Rating): 5,450 pounds
EPA City/Highway/Combined Fuel Economy: 20/29/23 mpg

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