From the off, it’s important that we make something absolutely crystal clear here – the Chevrolet Colorado is a great midsize pickup truck. In fact, it’s excellent, as evidenced by the fact that it has won pretty much every single shootout conducted by a major publication. The reasons are numerous, but some of the Colorado’s biggest advantages are the strength of the frame, a solid chassis and a very quiet cab. The three combine to deliver a fantastic driving experience.
Indeed, the Chevrolet Colorado has a lot to offer, and consumers have responded by making it the second-best selling truck in the midsize segment, bested only by the absurdly popular Toyota Tacoma. As we reported earlier this month, the Chevrolet Colorado soaked up an impressive 21 percent of the segment during the first nine months of 2019.
All told, it’s safe to say that we’re fans of the Chevrolet Colorado. Even so, there are a few things about it that could be improved, and although the current generation has been around since the 2015 model year, the Colorado will not receive a substantial update until the next-gen model debuts in 2023.
For now, we know that, like its corporate cousin, the GMC Canyon, the future Chevrolet Colorado will ride on an updated version of the current GMT 31XX vehicle platform, dubbed 31XX-2. That’s ok, given that the Colorado’s architecture is far from a problem area for the truck. So then, what facets of the Chevrolet Colorado do need improvement?
1. Keyless Entry And Push-Button Start
As we covered previously, Keyless Entry and Push-Button Start are desperately needed in the Chevrolet Colorado. These features are pretty much standard across the industry now, with bargain-basement models either featuring them standard or at least as an option. The features are far more convenient than the old-school key plus key fob technology currently used.
Not only would Keyless Entry and Push-Button Start be more convenient, eliminating the need to hunt for the key in pockets and purses, but Push-Button Start would also make the process of starting the truck a simpler task, while also stopping the annoying clicking noise the keys can make while banging against the steering column, something that is particularly noticeable while off-roading.
2. Sunroof / Moonroof
This is another one of those basic amenities that the Chevrolet Colorado currently fails to offer. Several of the Chevy’s chief rivals have some sort of sunroof or moonroof option, including the Toyota Tacoma and Jeep Gladiator, and yet the Colorado does not. We think it should at least be an available option with the next-gen model.
3. Turbocharged 2.7L Four-Cylinder L3B Engine
For now, base trims for the Chevrolet Colorado are equipped with the naturally aspirated 2.5L four-cylinder LCV engine, which produces 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. Quite frankly, this engine simply isn’t up to snuff when compared to the competition. In its stead, we’d rather have the turbocharged 2.7L four-cylinder L3B, which actually offers the sort of power potential and torque we’d expect in a modern midsize truck. It might even be a good idea to make the L3B the only gasoline engine in the next-gen Colorado.
In the 2019 Silverado 1500, the L3B is rated at 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque, which is more than the 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque made by the Colorado’s optional, naturally-aspirated 3.6L V6 LGZ engine.
4. 10-Speed Automatic Transmission
The issues with the GM eight-speed automatic transmission used in many vehicles including the Colorado are well-documented, to the point of spurring a class action lawsuit. And though GM has issued a TSB that aims to address the issues, the jury is still out on whether or not the fix is actually viable.
Hence, we’d love to see the 8-speed tossed (the sooner the better),and the much more superior GM 10-speed automatic gearbox should take its place. Not only does that eliminate the issues with the 8-speed, but it also gives the midsize truck the best transmission in its class.
5. Revised Trim Level Structure
We’ll just come out and say it: the current Chevrolet Colorado trim level structure doesn’t make sense, and is probably limiting the truck from reaching its true sales potential. For instance, the Z71 model is offered as as a standalone trim level, when instead, it should really be offered as a standalone package across several trims. Meanwhile, RST is a package rather than a trim level, and no luxurious high-end trim like LTZ or High Country is in sight in North America (though models in international markets are offered in LTZ trimmings).
We say, introduce the WT – LT – High Country – ZR2 trim level structure, while making the Z71 and RST optional packages on some trims.
Yes, we’ve already heard the tired old argument that a high-end High Country trim doesn’t belong on a midsize truck, since most buyers would go for the full-size truck at that price point, and we fully disagree. After all, let’s not forget that many are already just fine spending nearly $50,000 on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. Hence, as long as the Colorado High Country adds a substantial amount of luxury at the rate price, it will be just fine.
6. Better Headlamps
The current Colorado is simply begging for better lighting, with standard HID or LED units to replace the current truck’s stone-age halogen units. Not only would modern lights look better and improve the driving experience, they’d also boost the ratings of the Chevrolet Colorado lights.
7. Dual Exhaust Option
Here’s another good idea plucked from the Silverado. Throwing a dual exhaust on is another one of those relatively small changes that can pay huge dividends, improving the sound and style, while potentially providing modest performance gains as well.
8. Better Seats
The current Chevrolet Colorado leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to overall seat comfort and support. The best the model offers are six-way adjustable power seats, but they’re optional, and frankly, not Chevy’s best effort to date.
9. A Bigger Bed
More space in back is always appreciated, and Chevy doesn’t even need to increase the overall exterior dimensions to get it. Rather, we’d like to see the Colorado get bed walls that are pushed out closer to the body panels, increasing the space without making the truck physically larger – just like Chevy did with the Silverado.
10. More Active Safety Features
And where would we be without all the active safety features, especially two years from now? We say include such high-end features as the innovative Rear Camera Mirror, the vibrating Safety Alert Seat, and Adaptive Cruise Control into the higher trim levels, while making them optional on the mid-range ones. In fact, these high-end features make the case for a high-end trim level like High Country.
With an all-new exterior design and an all-new cabin, these ten changes to the Chevrolet Colorado should make the segment’s best truck even better. So what do you think, dear reader? Do you agree with out list? Is there anything we didn’t mention that should be included in the next-gen update? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to subscribe to GM Authority for more Chevrolet Colorado news, Chevrolet news and around-the-clock GM news coverage.