2015 Chevrolet Colorado WT 2.5 First Test
In a day and age when new pickup trucks come with radar cruise control, air suspensions, leather, and more, it's easy to wax poetic about the good old days when a pickup was little more than a motorized wheelbarrow — dead simple and more than capable of getting any job done. While half-ton pickups have grown larger and more complicated over the past decade, the compact/midsize segment has avoided the over-complication that's stricken half-tons in recent years. The problem, though, is that none of the base, bare-bones versions of the midsize trucks was very good. That is until the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado WT entered the mix.
While yes, most of the 2015 Colorado WTs Chevy sells will probably be fleet sales (that rad-looking Z71's "Technology and Stuff" is too much to overlook for most consumers), it's still a tremendously capable, simple pickup like the ones Ford, Chevy, Toyota, and others churned out back in the day. It really doesn't get any simpler than our bone-white Colorado WT tester. A single rung up the trim ladder from the base truck, our Colorado WT is basically little more than an engine, transmission, and a pair of driven wheels bolted to an extended cab and a 6-foot-2-inch box. It's powered by a 2.5-liter I-4 making 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque mated to an optional six-speed automatic. Those 200 ponies are routed directly out to the rear wheels, as God and George Washington intended.
The Chevrolet Colorado is a 2015 Motor Trend Truck of the Year contender - find out before long whether it has what it takes to win.
With such a modest powerplant under the hood, the Colorado WT is no barnstormer — though it can tow up to 3,500 pounds’ worth of barn. The acceleration run from 0-60 mph took the Colorado WT 9.3 seconds, and the quarter mile took 17.1 seconds with an 82.4-mph trap speed. Panic-stopping in the 3,861-pound truck from 60 mph required only 123 feet. Out on the figure eight, the little Chevy truck turned a 28.9-second lap, pulling a 0.56g average, and on the skidpad the Colorado managed to average 0.77 g. The EPA rates the Colorado at 20/27/22 mpg city/highway/combined. Our Real MPG testing, however, found those figures to be just a little bit optimistic, the truck instead netting 16.8/23.6/19.3 Real MPG with us.
Given the 2.5-liter's less-than-earth-shattering power figures, I wasn't expecting much out of the Chevy Colorado WT, but the base four-banger is surprisingly a more than adequate engine for this truck. It’s quick off the line, rides comfortably, and handles exceptionally well with car-like feedback from the wheel. The Colorado hauls and tows well, too. It shrugged off the 500-pound load (think two dirt bikes) we tossed in the bed, and it just as easily handled the 3,500-pound trailer we hitched up back. Sure, it felt slow with the trailer hitched up, but the Colorado got off the line with no drama, handled well with the trailer out back, and — most important — stopped well, too. I wouldn't hesitate to tow a couple motorcycles or a Jet Ski with the base engine. For customers who want the utility of a truck but aren't ever going to fully exploit its off-road or cargo-hauling capabilities, this rear-drive 2.5-liter Colorado is pretty compelling.
Even more compelling is the Colorado's price. A rung up the ladder from the $21,870 Colorado Base, the Colorado WT starts at $22,650 and came with just one option — its six-speed automatic transmission — for an out-the-door price of $23,300. Opting for the WT over the Base adds a handful of amenities, including rear jump seats and carpeted floors.
With the new Colorado, Chevy's now offering up the type of pickup truck that enthusiasts have been demanding for years. Half-ton pickups might have gotten bigger and more complicated, but for those wanting a simple, honest-to-goodness pickup, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado WT just simply can't be beat.
|2015 Chevrolet Colorado WT 2.5|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$23,300|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, RWD, 4-pass, 4-door truck|
|ENGINE||2.5L/200-hp/191-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,861 lb (56/44%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||212.7 x 74.3 x 70.4 in|
|0-60 MPH||9.3 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||17.1 sec @ 82.4 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||123 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.77 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||28.9 sec @ 0.56 g (avg)|
|REAL MPG CITY/HWY/COMB||17/24/20 mpg|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||20/27/22 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY||169/125 kW-hrs/100 miles*|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.86 lb/mile*|
|*Derived from EPA estimates|
2015 Chevrolet Colorado photos provided by the automaker: