GM Mid-Size Twins Best Similarly Equipped Full-Size Pickups In Fuel Economy

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

As full-size pickups do their best to eke out as much fuel economy as possible, the upcoming Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are set to deliver a combined 21 mpg once they leave the lot for the road.

Autoblog reports the GM twin mid-sizers will net owners 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway in two-wheel drive models equipped with a six-speed auto mated to the 305-horsepower 3.6-liter direct-injection V6. For comparison, a Ram 1500 4×2 with the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 sending power to the back through an eight-speed auto offers a rating of 17/20/25; the outgoing Ford F-150 4×2 with its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and six-speed auto delivers 16/18/22 mpg; and the Chevrolet Silverado C15 4×2 brings 18/20/24 mpg through its larger 4.3-liter V6 and six-speed auto.

Those wanting all four wheels to do the climbing up that hill will find the Colorado’s and Canyon’s ratings falling to 17/20/24 mpg, though they still best the Silverado K15 4×4 (17/20/22), Ford F-150 4×4 (15/17/21) and Ram 1500 4×4 (16/19/23).

As for trucks closer in size to the duo, Jalopnik subsidiary Truck Yeah says the two-wheel drive models are more than able to throw down against the Nissan Frontier 4×2 (16/18/22 mpg) and Toyota Tacoma 4×2 (17/19/21 mpg).

GM adds that a 2.8-liter Duramax is in the offing for 2016, with figures ready for perusing closer to launch time.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Sep 04, 2014

    Reading some of the comments, I do really think some will be surprised at this pickup when released. They will be sitting around with their little d!cks in their hand wondering how this all came about. Good work GM. A midsizer that can tow 6 800lbs, as good as many pickups sold on the US market. Full size pickups have a place, at times similar to where the Silverado Escalade parks. Well, the FE advantage might be larger than many comments have alluded to in this article. Again, it seems facts aren't necessary when a paradigm is challenged, sort of like those Jihadist over in those foreign lands. Paradigmns, they seem to always distort reality. An 8 speed, Pentastar powered Fiat Ram 1500, mid spec is approximately $39 000 for starters, but the surprising fact is it's highway FE is 23mpg. With some simple arithmetic the approximate difference (GM claimed) between it and the V6, 6 speed Colorado is 12.5%. Not bad. I will have a little chuckle to myself when these are actually viewed by the US pubic and they realise these newer midsizers could pose some challenges for the full size half ton market, SUVs and CUVs. I do hope GM has fixed up the p!ss poor interior, handling and steering. This vehicle isn't as American as some in GM would tell. It is actually largely created in Brasil. I still think the Izuzu Dmax variant of this platform is the best looking. I still have an issue with those US inspired little d!ck big rig grilles.

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    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Sep 04, 2014

      @Marcelo de Vasconcellos Hey Marcelo The Amarok is a superb piece of 'truck'. Typically German through and through. I had a look at one. But if you read my commentary I went through a relatively lengthy process to select my current vehicle. The Amarok lacks low down grunt I wanted for off road work. The Ranger we have at work. I'm a little disappointed in the interior quality of materials. So plastic and styled like a DeWalt radio. I have driven the Colorado, but not off road. On road was enough for me to delete the vehicle from my list. But GM and other Detroit based manufacturers are slowly improving vehicle quality. GM in particular has to fix up their interiors and in the case of this Colorado it's on road manners. The global Colorado (Thai) sits between the Hilux and the Ranger, BT50 and Amarok. The Colorado has a little way to go to join the 21st century. But this could be because GM only spent $2.5 billion on it, VW spent $3 billion and Ford/Mazda $3.5 billion on the development and design of these trucks. It seems VW spent their money wisest.

  • Marcelo de Vasconcellos Marcelo de Vasconcellos on Sep 05, 2014

    Hey Big Al! Basically Big Al, we agree. Except I think the best on-roads manners are Ford's. From what I hear, the best one here for traditional (non-off-road) pick-up use. That's why I said it's the best loaded. Seems to be it avails itself of that rather nicely. Like I said, I do think the interior in the Ford is a bit worse thn the S10/Colorado. THe Amarok, I agree! But I'm sure we look at that differently, which is not a problem, just a question of taste. It is very German, in the traditional VW way and that to me is not some appealing (though I can undertand what others do). Hilux and Frontier are now ancient. Good trucks, maybe tougher (more time-tested) than the pickups mentioned before, but from a ride point of view, basically out classed. I'm sure the new ones will rock again when they come. As for using them off-road, well we don't here. Dirt road ok, rock-crawling, very eventually, so I bow to your expertise.

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    • Marcelo de Vasconcellos Marcelo de Vasconcellos on Sep 05, 2014

      @Big Al from Oz Hey Big Al! Unfortunately we don't get any Mazda here. Back when the market opened in the 90s, they started importing them and they developed a good reputation, but never sold that much. To play in Mercosul you must build here. Tax reasons sure, but consumers here shy away from mainstream makers that are not "local" for many reasons, most especially maintenance (costs and availablility) worries. Mazda's loss, the market here is a large one and despite current slump is poised to re-start growing next year.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Sep 05, 2014

    The Colorado/Canyon being based on global trucks is an advantage. Both these twins will have been tested and the fact that GM can amortize their costs globally lowers the cost overall and gives GM an incentive to release this truck in the US which they would not have if they had to design this truck from the ground up for the US market. I do think these trucks could eat away at Tacoma and Frontier if their overall quality if better. At the very least these twins could send Toyota and Nissan back to the drawing boards to improve their current trucks.

  • Alluster Alluster on Sep 05, 2014

    Lost in the noise of pointless arguments is the fact that these trucks are ALREADY the most fuel efficient gasoline trucks in the market, this before the 4cyl truck's mpg is announced. Let that sink in. A 305 HP V6 truck is more fuel efficient than 160 HP 4cyl trucks. Once the diesel is out it will be the most fuel efficient diesel truck or any truck in the market. Those comparing V6 Ram fuel economy to the Colorado must have no basic understanding of physics or math. A 5000 lb truck with a bigger frontal area is not going to be anywhere near as fuel efficient in the real world as a 4000 lb, lower, smaller truck. EPA ratings don't mean squat. Ask anyone who has purchased a Ford in the last 5 years.

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    • DenverMike DenverMike on Sep 05, 2014

      @BAFO - The point was the embarrassing 1 mpg the twins bettered fullsize.