Chevy's Next Colorado (In Concept)

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
chevy s next colorado in concept

No sooner had production of Chevy’s aging Colorado compact pickup ground to a halt due to parts supply disruption in Japan then GM brought out the concept version of its forthcoming replacement, the Global Colorado. This concept specifically previews the Thai-built version of GM’s compact-midsized pickup, and offers 4 Wheel Drive, as well as an all-new 2.8 liter turbodiesel engine. Brad Merkel, GM’s Global Vehicle Line Executive explains

Although this is a show vehicle, the basic proportions and form convey the vision for the next-generation Colorado that we will bring to market. It reflects a stylized version of the new truck, one that takes into account rugged dependable truck capabilities for commercial use as well as sophisticated refinement for personal-use needs.

The Thai-built version of the Global olorado willl begin production this October, but a version of this truck intended for the US market is still a ways off. It’s unlikely that a US version will offer GM’s new diesel engine, but GM is still keeping details about its new oil-burning engine under wraps for now. Given the lack of investment in the US Market’s mid-compact truck offerings, however, any new trucks entering this space are worth watching.

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  • The Luigiian The Luigiian on Mar 21, 2011

    I used to look seriously at the Chevy Colorado, but I finally lost all interest in the truck. I liked the fuel economy with four cylinder-lots of torque and horsepower and you still get similar mileage to a Toyota or Nissan. It was a good size too, a lot of people argued that it was a midsize just like the Toyota and Nissan but I always felt like it was a lot smaller than either of the other two. The reason I stopped looking at the truck seriously is because it was simply such a mediocre vehicle. I could tolerate the ugly interior (I actually found the simplicity of it quite appealing) and I definitely liked the looks, too-but I lacked confidence in its ability to do long term work after a combination of lackluster dealer visits (where it simply felt shoddily put together) and when IIHS ranked it Poor in side crash tests. And its towing and hauling capacities were average at best. And it always felt built to a price, lots of weak-feeling sheetmetal. The reason the IIHS tests bothered me is that, when I looked at the post-crash photos, it seemed to highlight the flimsiness of the chassis that I saw in person. It wasn't the safety angle-it was the fact that, simply put, the truck seemed loose in person and in procedures designed to test a vehicle's structural design, and while I can tolerate a truck getting bad safety scores, when it seems clear that those bad safety scores are due to a lack of structural rigidity-in a truck designed to be abused, no less-it's just too much. I'm not holding my breath for this Colorado to be much better. I'm sure it would be better than the current model, but whether it could compete in the U.S. is questionable. This model would be competing against the world Ranger, Hilux and Navarra. In the U.S. though, midsizers don't compete with midsizers-they compete with fullsizers. Would-be midsize customers compare the benefits with shopping for a full-size truck. Back when the trucks were small, the benefits were obvious-better mileage, easier to park. Nowadays the positives are a lot more abstract. Could this Colorado-even if it got better safety scores, tougher sheetmetal, better chassis, better mileage-compete with an F-150 or Tundra? Not if it were a midsize. It would have to be as small or smaller than the current generation. And it would have to get substantially better mileage than an F-150-say, 25 mpg total, 22 in the city and perhaps 29 on the highway. It would still have to tow well, and accomodate 4wd, real 4wd with transfer case preferred, because a lot of the old compact trucks got used in moderately challenging off-road situations when the owner felt like going on a fishing/camping trip. It could work--but simply being better than it is now isn't nearly enough.

  • Big_gms Big_gms on Mar 22, 2011

    I like it a lot. Looks great, although the dash is very busy. If/when it's sold in the U.S., it will be interesting to see if 1) the production version is too "dumbed down" compared to this concept and 2) exactly how big it is. If it's too big, it might not do well. I really think they need to dump the Colorado/Canyon names, though. Awful sounding names for any kind of vehicle, in my opinion.

  • ToolGuy No harm no foul (no one died), business is business, yada yada. Why must everyone pick on dealers?-this post dedicated to Ruggles
  • Hydrocrust Parts
  • ToolGuy The vehicle development process which gave the world the Neon was so amazing (according to the automotive press) that it prompted Rick Wagoner to hire Bob Lutz.Didn't work 🙂
  • Lou_BC When my son was at the local Kia dealer they had a vehicle in for service. It was badly rusted. He refused to sign off on it as a tech. The owner being a grade A douchebag had the owner sign a release and let it go.
  • ToolGuy Nice writeup.