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2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Long-Term Arrival

Scott Burgess
Mar 11, 2015
Photographers: Patrick M Hoey
When the new year arrived so did our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 long-term test vehicle. Shortly after parking it outside our Detroit office, winter hit. Technically, winter had already started, but up until January, it was rather mild and dry. But by February, temperatures plummeted, and everything was covered in more than a foot of snow. So far the Colorado has been a champ through the heaviest of snowfalls during this brutally cold winter. Every vehicle in Michigan should be required to have remote start, which, thankfully, the Colorado does. Yes, having remote start does hurt the vehicle's fuel economy numbers, but when it's 6 below zero outside, do you really care about that?
I left the truck at the airport during one snowstorm, and when I got back the Colorado easily pulled out of its space while many other cars spun their wheels and owners waited for rescue shovels to arrive. It was the first time I needed to put the Colorado in four-wheel drive. It's an easy task — I just turn a button one click over and wait a moment for the indicator light to notify me when the four-wheel-drive system engages. Then I simply feathered the accelerator and backed up. No wheelspin, no struggle, as I cleanly drove over the 3-foot-high mound of snow that plows had created.
Photo 2/11   |   2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Front Three Quarter In Motion
Over the next year, we will test out everything this pickup has to offer. (It has already assisted in a weekend move.) The four-wheel-drive, Red Rock Metallic Z71 crew cab came nicely loaded with all sorts of digital and mechanical bells and whistles. Our long-term tester includes the 305-hp, 269 lb-ft of torque V-6 with direct-injection mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is smooth, and there's never a desire for more power. The 17-inch wheels riding on Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure tires make highway riding soft but still comfortable.
"Can’t wait to test the Colorado Z71 package on some serious trails"
According to the mileage indicator, we've managed to hit the Colorado's combined mileage of 20 mpg through the first 1,000 miles of driving. The only hang-up we've encountered is an intermittent check engine light that indicated the closing grille shutters have been frozen in place when temperatures have dipped into the single digits. When the temperature rose, the light turned off.
There are still lots of features to test on this vehicle in real-world driving, including the Z71 off-roading suspension and GM's 4G LTE system that will allow remote filing of updates. But those will have to wait for spring, , when we'll also measure performance numbers. The sooner, the better.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71
BASE PRICE $34,990
PRICE AS TESTED $37,265
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door truck
ENGINE 3.6L/305-hp/269-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION 6-speed auto
WHEELBASE 128.3 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 212.7 x 74.3 x 70.6 in
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 17/24/20 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 198/140 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.99 lb/mile

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