Ace of Base: 2017 Chevrolet Colorado 2WD Base

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of base 2017 chevrolet colorado 2wd base

For once, we have an Ace of Base entrant whose trim level is actually Base. Not Sport. Not XL. Base. Tell it like it is, Chevy.

Not long ago I sampled the Colorado in ZR2 trim, finding it to be an agreeable alternative to some of the other factory-built off-road trucks on the market. Let’s see how the base model treats its occupants.

The GMC Canyon went through our Ace of Base wringer nearly a year ago, proving that one can buy a small(ish) truck with rear-wheel drive and a stick shift in America. The base Colorado neatly performs the same trick, supplying an identical powertrain but with an added bonus: the Chevy is a full $885 less dear than the GMC. At this end of the price scale, that’s not an insignificant amount of simoleons, especially when the two trucks are virtually identical.

Make no mistake: this is a two-passenger conveyance. The extended cab’s rear seats have been binned in an Accountant-Approved(TM) penny pinching move, although economies of scale have dictated that the rear seatbelts remain, left to flap around like a forlorn windsock. It’s just as well, though — my experience in an extended cab ZR2 while traversing the Colorado wilderness proved the rear seats are merely token gestures when the front chairs are adjusted to fit Large Persons such as myself. The upshot is that space up front is best measured in acres, encouraging one to splay their legs and consider buying cowboy boots.

A 2.5-liter direct injected four-cylinder is mated to a six-speed manual box. An even 200 horses present themselves at 6,300 rpm; a short 4.10 rear end gear set will ensure you shouldn’t have much trouble reaching that level of revvage. Short gears mean quicker acceleration. Not much weight over the rear wheels mean burnout potential. Combined, these mean Very Fun Things.

Being part of the General’s large supply chain benefits the base Colorado, endowing it with niceties such as a backup camera, locking tailgate, power driver’s seat, and eight airbags. Recalling a time when base trucks were fitted with cardboard headliners (if they were lucky), the level of opulence found in the cheapest of GM trucks is remarkable. The mirrors might be manual folding but they are power adjustable, meaning one doesn’t have to roll down the window and place a greasy thumbprint on the glass. Not that you’ll be rolling down any side glass — power units, with an auto up/down for the driver, are standard.

Your color choices are limited to the greyscale. Get the black one. That shade will hide some of the unlovely expanses of black plastic on the base Colorado. Critically, air conditioning is standard, as is a hose-it-out vinyl floor. It should be noted that this utilitarian and practical floor covering is an extra-charge option on high-zoot F-150s. I kid you not.

Only $20,995 (including destination) for a handsome truck that has a more than a few creature comforts, can smoke the baloneys, and handily tow 3,500lbs? Sounds like an Ace of Base to us.

[Images: General Motors]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and is priced in Freedom Dollars. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

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14 of 53 comments
  • Daviel Daviel on Jul 05, 2017

    I had a white Ranger, basic, rear wheel drive, stick, roll up windows, radio. Great truck. A couple of bags of Sack-crete in the bed in winter took care of any traction problems,

  • Vulpine Vulpine on Jul 05, 2017

    All told, a real Ace... though the second you try to put ANY option onto it, the price jumps accordingly. One of these as an AWD (not 4x4) would be nice, though still bigger than I want.

    • See 11 previous
    • Vulpine Vulpine on Jul 08, 2017

      @gtem Proof: Pickup Trucks dot com mid-size shootout. While the Ridgeline might not be "base" in the sense that the Colorado in this article is; the question is whether or not an AWD system can be as good as a 4x4. For outright sport rock crawling, I would very probably say no, but the group of articles linked above (and other associated articles linked within the last one) show the Ridgeline was no slouch as a soft-road vehicle or as a light-duty truck in general.

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  • Alan I would think Ford would beef up the drive line considering the torque increase, horse power isn't a factor here. I looked at a Harrop supercharger for my vehicle. Harrop offered two stages of performance. The first was a paltry 100hp to the wheels (12 000AUD)and the second was 250hp to the wheels ($20 000 (engine didn't rev harder so torque was significantly increased)). The Stage One had no drive line changes, but the Stage Two had drive line modifications. My vehicle weighs roughly the same as a full size pickup and the 400'ish hp I have is sufficient, I had little use for another 100 let alone 250hp. I couldn't see much difference in the actual supercharger setup other than a ratio change for the drive of the supercharger, so that extra $8 000 went into the drive line.
  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 ( Bronze or Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??
  • ToolGuy Last picture: Labeling the accelerator as "play" and the brake pedal as "pause" might be cute, but it feels wrong. It feels wrong because it is wrong, and it is wrong because Calculus.Sidebar: I have some in-laws who engage the accelerator and brake on a binary on/off all-in basis. So annoying as a passenger.Drive smoothly out there. 🙂
  • Johnny ringo It's an interesting vehicle, I'd like to see VW offer the two row Buzz in the states also.