Quick Spin: 2019 Chevrolet Colorado Z71

It’s been four years since GM re-launched its midsize truck. America is in a different place than it was four years ago, but that hasn’t meant much has change for the midsize truck market. The same Tacoma, Frontier, and Colorado/Canyon are all still here. But Ford has announced they’ll be joining the party soon. That meant it was time we checked back in with segment and got our hands on the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado.

2019 Chevrolet Colorado 3

I’ve always thought the Colorado was the better looking of the two trucks. The upright grille and square headlights of the Canyon just don’t work as well as Chevy’s swept grille and tapered headlights. As we found on our review of the Tahoe, the Z71 Midnight Edition Package adds a lot of character to the Colorado. The blacked-out grille, black emblems, and unique 17″ black wheels with Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac all-terrain tires give the Colorado some street cred. The package even adds a factory spray-in bedliner, heated seats and steering wheel, and an automatic locking rear differential. But an as-tested price of $41,565 doesn’t get you a trailer hitch. In fact, the Trailering Package is a $250 option. In our opinion, that’s unacceptable and the hitch and wiring should be standard equipment. We’re not talking about a Traverse, this is a pickup truck!

2019 Chevrolet Colorado 1

The 200hp 2.5L four-cylinder and 308hp 3.6L V6 have remained unchanged since the truck’s launch. However, a new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel engine is available. The most notable chance since our first drive is that the 3.6L V6 trucks now comes standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The new transmission, versus the old six-speed, helps the truck immensely. With more ratios, the engine can be in its power band more frequently, helping the truck feel quicker and more responsive. The Z71’s off-road suspension doesn’t hurt the truck’s on-road comfort, though the all-terrain tires do produce more noise than a standard tire on the highway.

The Colorado’s midsize dimensions make accessing the bed easier. Our week in the Chevy coincided with an appointment to drop our snowblower off at the shop. The lower bed height gave our wooden ramps a gentler angle for loading and unloading. We also found the bumper-integrated bed steps perfectly placed for climbing in and out with ease. The spray-in bedliner helped us feel guilt-free about strapping down the snowblower and provided plenty of grip while we were working. We timed our snowblowerless week just right, however, as we didn’t get an ounce of snow while the Colorado was with us. Despite that, we had plenty of frosty mornings and cold rainy days. We were thankful for Chevy’s rapidly-warming seat heaters and steering wheel heating. You may want to spend some quality time in a Colorado seat before you buy, however. While supportive, they are exceptionally firm.

2019 Chevrolet Colorado 5

The 2019 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Midnight Edition just looks right with a bit of dirt on itself and some lumber in the bed. It’s the automotive equivalent of your hunting dog out in the woods; it loves doing what it was meant to do. We still think it should come with a trailer hitch as standard, though. But during the course of our week, we grew fond of the Colorado – more-so than we thought after our first drive in 2015.  The eight-speed automatic solved all of our initial complaints. Chevy’s midsize truck feels fresher than it did in 2015.

-Christopher Little

2019 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Z71 Crew Short Box
Z71 Midnight Edition Package $2,995
Assist Steps, Black $675
Rear Axle 3.42 Ratio N/C
Destination Charges $995
As Tested MSRP $41,565

Related: Big Little Brother: 2015 GMC Canyon

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