We recently visited Alberta, Canada, for the eighth annual EcoRun event hosted by the Automobile Journalist Association of Canada (AJAC). Among the wide variety of vehicles brought to the event by carmakers to test out real-world energy consumption was a 2019 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax with the 2.8L LWN turbo-diesel engine.
Our run in Chevy’s diesel-powered midsize truck began in Calgary, where we were asked to follow a route that went through Alberta’s vast farmland, and all the way to Banff, 4,537 feet above sea level in the breathtaking Canadian Rockies. During the 186-mile-long adventure, the GM Authority team recorded an average of 33 MPG fuel consumption in the Colorado Duramax.
The 33 MPG figure was recorded during both highway and city driving, with the final stretch of the run mostly performed on ascending terrain. Average speed was 65 mph.
While the majority of the vehicles taking part in the EcoRun were hybrids, full electric vehicles and gasoline-powered ones, the Colorado Diesel was the only diesel-powered truck there.
The Chevrolet Colorado Duramax is powered by the turbodiesel 2.8-liter LWN I4 rated at 181 horsepower 369 pound-feet of torque. The four-cylinder diesel engine is mated to an automatic 6L50 six-speed transmission.
Not only was the observed fuel economy in our Colorado Duramax impressive for a not-so-small pickup truck, but it also bested some hybrid vehicles that were also competing in the event. The 2020 Ford Explorer hybrid, a brand new, completely-redesigned three-row crossover SUV, which relies on electrification to save fuel, only managed a 30 mpg average in similar conditions.
The Chevrolet Colorado Duramax isn’t just a fuel efficient truck, but it’s also the reigning champ when it comes to towing, sporting a 7,700-pound maximum tow rating capacity – the highest in its segment. And even with new players that have entered the space, including the new Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator, the Chevrolet Colorado remains a sales leader, only beaten by the Toyota Tacoma.