A state known for rocky terrain, challenging mountains and varying weather conditions. A playground for really tough and hardy machines, and a fitting namesake for Chevrolet's latest pick-up truck, one that is meant to bring the ruggedness required by those who drive roads rarely travelled.
We've driven the Chevrolet Colorado on numerous occasions before, but this time Chevrolet Philippines has got something new under the hood: a new and improved 2.8 liter Duramax diesel. We're about to find out what this new Chevrolet Colorado LTZ can really do.
At first glance, it's easy to see why Chevrolet chose the name. The Colorado is beefy, boxy, muscular, tall and imposing, qualities that are demanded of trucks in both drive and design.
The front end of the vehicle is dominated by the large Chevy dual port grill with the signature 'bowtie' badge with chrome accents. The huge projector headlamps taper back to the front fenders to give the Colorado a composed and a macho appearance. The bumper is fitted with fog lamps and has a sculpted hood that adds to the vehicle's muscular presence.
The strong design cues continue to the side of the truck as the Colorado gets prominent character lines as well as a tall stance. Standard on this model are chrome door handles, side step running board, roof rails and exterior mirrors that are fitted with integrated turn signals.
The rear of the Colorado features LED taillights with a chrome tailgate handle. The cargo bed of the Colorado is spacious and can fit almost anything from coolers, bicycles, furniture and so on. It also has a rear center stop lamp and the vehicle sits on 17-inch aluminum wheels.
Inside, the Colorado has a two-tone beige/black interior with metallic accents and inserts. The instrument cluster is illuminated in blue, taking design cues from Corvette’s 'dual-cockpit' display. Placed between the speedometer and the tachometer is the digital Driver Information System (DIS) that features a programmable speed alarm, a fuel consumption meter, among others.
The Colorado is equipped with leather wrapped steering wheel that comes with audio and Bluetooth telephony controls. The driver seat gets a power adjust feature where you can choose your preferred seating position electronically. The Colorado can easily accommodate five occupants with decent leg and headroom to spare; the rear seats are quite upright, though that's not really new to pick up trucks.
At the center of the Colorado's dash is a 7-inch touchscreen MyLink multimedia system that is compatible with iPhone and Android smartphones. Something of note is the simplicity and logical layout of the Colorado’s climate control the audio unit as various control switches are all arrayed in a circular fashion.
Powering the vehicle is a 2.8L four-cylinder DOHC Duramax diesel engine that delivers 200 PS at 3600 rpm and a hefty 500 Nm of torque at 2000 rpm. The said engine is sourced from VM Motori, an Italian diesel engine manufacturing company which is wholly owned by the Fiat-Chrysler group. This new 2.8L Duramax gets a variable geometry turbo upgrade over the previous 2.8L which made 180 PS at 3800 rpm and 470 Nm of torque at 2000 RPM.
Driving the 2014 Colorado LTZ around the metro, posed no problems absorbing the uneven road surface and potholes; it's no Ranger in terms of smoothness, but it still delivers better comfort than pick ups from a generation or two ago. The steering of the Colorado is a bit heavy given its size and weight. For drivers that are not used to driving pickups, a thing to watch though is the way you make a turn because these kinds of vehicle are relatively longer.
Power delivery is instantly felt once you step on the accelerator, though we think that the roar of the diesel engine is a bit louder than the other trucks in this segment. Up on the open highway, the Colorado never failed to deliver the goods as it cruised along SLEX with ease. The transmission shifts smoothly and quickly, enabling the vehicle to overtake with confidence even though this Colorado is an automatic variant. On uphill roads, the Colorado continues to impress as it unleashes its hefty torque. It can clearly overcome steep uphills without breaking a sweat.
When it comes to fuel economy, it registered 10.6 km/l in a moderate to heavy traffic (15 km/h average speed). On the highway, it yielded 12.2 km/l while running with an average speed of 100 km/h. Expect those numbers to drop if the Colorado is constantly loaded with heavy cargo on the back, of course.
As for 4x4 terrain, the Colorado can achieve plenty given it's shift-on-the-fly 4x4 transfer case, all done through a knob next to the gearstick. Though it rides on highway tires as stock, the Colorado's abilities off-road are not to be taken lightly. What we're sure, however, is that many are interested in what the water wading capability of the Colorado is. According to Chevrolet, the truck can easily handle water (or flash floods) that are about 800 mm deep.
Overall the 2014 Chevrolet Colorado delivers on its promise: a truck that's got toughness built in but can be driven daily, all while offering the rugged capabilities truck owners demand of their workhorses. The new 2.8L Duramax diesel does come as a welcome upgrade over the original.