2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel Review

SOLVANG, California — Horses neigh and prance about in a nearby corral as we drive through the pastures of Alisal Ranch in a 2016 Chevrolet Colorado, which is dwarfed by the huge horse trailer it’s towing. The truck’s newly available 2.8-liter inline-four Duramax turbodiesel engine, which puts down 369 lb-ft of torque and is capable of towing as much as 7,700 pounds, doesn’t struggle a bit as we leave the ranch and head uphill on a winding two-lane road.
2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel Rear Three Quarter 03

The 2016 Chevrolet Colorado climbs the steep ascent with remarkable ease, and the truck is even more impressive once we start rolling downhill. Standard and exclusive to the diesel-powered Colorado is an all-new trailer brake controller, which includes an exhaust brake system that reduces brake wear, and the six-speed automatic transmission’s tow-haul mode eagerly kicks down gears and keeps the truck’s speed in check.

We level out, roll the windows down, drape our left arm over the driver’s door, tune the Apple Carplay infotainment system to country, and soak up a little bit of western life as we roll through small towns, the Colorado’s engine clattering like a small tractor when we pull up to stop signs.

We head back to Alisal Ranch and ditch the horse trailer before setting off down some rutted off-road trails. The Goodyear Wrangler All-Season tires have enough sidewall to help dampen the packed gravel and have just enough footprint to paw through the sandier sections. A blind crest gives way to a steep, rocky grade, so we push the hill descent control button, allowing the brakes to automatically balance traction. All we do is manage speed, using the truck’s cruise control buttons to go faster or slower, and point the truck away from ditches.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel Cabin

The Colorado looks right at home when we park it back near the horse corral. Since its rebirth the mid-size truck has been marketed as a vehicle for weekend escapes. Now that it has a diesel drivetrain with greater payload capability and better range, three-day weekends call for overland adventure.
2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel Front End

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel Crew Cab 4×4 w/5’2” Box Specifications

Price: $20,995/$39,404 (base/as tested)
Engine: 2.8L DOHC turbodiesel I-4/181 hp @ 3,400 rpm, 369 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Layout: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, 4WD pickup
EPA Mileage: NA
Suspension F/R: Independent coil over shock, twin-tube shocks/multi-leaf springs, twin-tube shocks
Brakes F/R: Vented discs
Tires: 255/65R-17
L x W x H: 212.7 x 74.3 x 70.6 in
Wheelbase: 128.3 in
Headroom: 41.4/38.3 in (front/second row)
Legroom: 45/35.8 in (front/second row)
Shoulder Room: 57.5/56.2 in (front/second row)
Cargo Room (Seats up/down): 41.3 cu ft
Towing: 7,600 lb
Weight: 4,691 lb
Weight Dist. F/R: N/A
0-60 MPH: N/A
¼ Mile: N/A
Top Speed: N/A

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