If you were to ask me for a recommendation about what car to buy without giving me any more information, I would probably steer you as far away from pickup trucks as possible. My personal ride of choice is a small hatchback. But this category is growing on me pretty fast—in particular, since driving the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado for several days in the latter part of 2017. This truck proved itself a capable, enjoyable ride from the first minute I sat in it, and the truck continued to prove itself over the next few days.
Given the chance to drive something with more space than my usual car, I took full advantage of this Chevy's capabilities, doing everything from an Ikea run to picking up a Christmas tree, even taking it out for a trail mountain biking day on Long Island.
- Pickups make for productivity. When I picked up the Colorado from the garage, I had an entire to-do list in my head of things I wanted to knock out while I had the truck. First up was the aforementioned early morning run to Ikea to pick up a big bed, a bookshelf, and some plants, all with kids in the back. No problem. Next stop, taking the kids to their parkour class, which turned out to be a big win. They loved the truck. (Anything they can climb on is a guaranteed success.) Feeling I was on a bit of a winning streak, I decided to go pick up the Christmas tree that evening. It's usually a bit of an ordeal to attach on the roof of my Mazda3. It couldn't have been easier here, obviously. Then came dinner on the town with friends; no worries there either, as it provided a comfortable ride. The next day, I put two mountain bikes in the back (with the help of the great Thule GateMate to protect the tailgate) and off we went. Here again, it would have taken me three to four times the loading time with any vehicle other than a pickup.
- It looks great. This truck is quite the looker, particularly as tested in Redline Edition form. The red accents on the black rims really give it a visual edge.
- Not too big, not too small. The Colorado is a mid-size pick up, so you don't need a ladder to get in. You can park it in New York City without circling around for hours. Even though this model was the "short box" version, it's plenty big enough to carry on all the activities described above. The backseat can comfortably host three adults.
- A fun, easy drive. While you are pleasantly seating slightly above traffic, as with any truck from this category, the Colorado drives more like a sedan than I expected. The steering is smooth, the brakes are confident and reassuring, and the turbodiesel Duramax makes it quite lively.
- It's smart, and smartly equipped. This Colorado came with an 8.0-inch MyLink touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 4G LTE wi-fi, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. It also has a remote keyless entry option and a (very effective) rear view camera.
- Size does matter. Because the Colorado is a mid-size pick up, it comes with the limitations of a smaller rig. It sometimes feels a bit under-powered for serious hauling; more common larger trucks offer more in-cab storage; and the cabin can feel a little snug for folks of a larger built. But it's hard to fault the Colorado too much for these, because that reasonable size is one of the reasons it's so handy in the first place.
- Not very fancy. The interior is quite far from luxurious. Indeed, one could even comment that it comes across as a little cheap. Granted, it's a truck, not a luxury car, but considering how premium pickups have become these days, a bit more niceness would be appreciated.
- A bit pricey. The Colorado starts off fairly cheap, but once you start adding options, it can quickly start to move to the expensive side of the scale. In the configuration tested, it came in at nearly $45,000.
The 2018 Chevy Colorado 4WD LT (Diesel)
- Performance: 4/5
- Comfort: 4/5
- Luxury: 3.5/5
- Hauling People: 4.5/5
- Hauling Stuff: 5/5
- Curb Appeal: 4.5/5
- "Wow" Factor: 4/5
- Overall: 4/5
The Bottom Line
The Chevy Colorado is a jack-of-all-trade pickup truck, and it's one that I would happily spend my money on. It may not be the best off-roader (at least, unless you spring for the tricked-out ZR2 model) or the most powerful hauler in the pickup truck category—but it does pretty much everything you'd reasonably need it to do well, looks great, and is a pleasure to drive.
The 2018 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD LT Crew Cab, By the Numbers:
Price (as tested): $33,775 ($44,275)
Powertrain: 2.8-liter turbodiesel inline-four, 186 horsepower, 369 pound-feet of torque; six-speed automatic; four-wheel-drive
Fuel Economy: 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway
Random fact: The tailgate is the perfect width for the Thule protector; when you load mountain bikes on it, they don't move an inch even without being strapped in or attached in any way.