Biding Its Time: 2021 Chevrolet Colorado to Gain the Smallest of Refreshes

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Appearing midway through 2014 as a 2015 model, the Chevrolet Colorado and its GMC twin, the Canyon, are growing long in the tooth, which isn’t too big a concern in a segment that hosts the Nissan Frontier. However, consumers like alterations that show their truck is newer than other trucks.

As such, there’s a 2021 model-year refresh on the way for General Motors’ midsize pair. Just don’t expect wild changes.

We can’t show you what a stock 2021 Colorado looks like, as it’s still under wraps ahead of an Oct. 10 debut at the 2019 Method Race Wheels Laughlin Desert Classic. The off-road ZR2 variant, on the other hand, is here for your viewing pleasure.

GM apparently wants to better differentiate Colorado trims, so it went to town on the model’s front fascia. This is where the only real major change lies.

As you can see here, the ZR2’s grille ditches the bowtie logo and instead spells out the brand name — just like you’d find on Ford’s F-150 Raptor or Ram’s Rebel. Out back, you’ll find an embossed CHEVROLET tailgate, which is a feature coming to all Colorados. For lesser trims, the bowtie remains up front (gold on the WT and LT, blacked-out on the Z71).

Colorados without cutaway front fenders will see similar alterations up front: revised center bars and lower bumper cover, plus rejiggered skid plates. Oh, and there’s red tow hooks for the off-roader. Plus a V8.

Nah, just kidding.

Being that this is a minor late-cycle refresh (a replacement is expected in 2023), powertrains are expected to stay the same. That means a base 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 3.6-liter V6, and optional 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder diesel, coupled to either a six- or eight-speed automatic transmission.

With midsize truck buyers now able to choose an entry from Ford, Chevy faces greater competition than in past years. Advancing age and a new rival isn’t a great recipe for sales growth, and indeed the Colorado’s U.S. volume took a hit this year. Through September, Colorado sales are down 7.6 percent.

Still, it’s worth noting that last year was the nameplate’s best sales year to date.

[Images: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
3 of 42 comments
  • Peeryog Peeryog on Oct 08, 2019

    That red pickup in the last picture looks like it suffered a major engine fire. But its still going, so that's pretty good.

  • Nickyt89 Nickyt89 on Oct 08, 2019

    Typical GM (recent) fashion, as of late, most of the refresh performed by GM has been making their cars less desirable and this is one of them. I can’t believe some people at GM thought it looked better than before or even looked good for that matter... Oh, and for the love of good, could they offer that truck with the 10 speed automatic transmission?! I mean come on!

    • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Oct 09, 2019

      I wonder if they finally added rear seat vents in the crew cab models? You can't get the truck without a console, might as well add vents to the back of it for the kiddos.

  • AMcA My theory is that that when the Big 3 gave away the store to the UAW in the last contract, there was a side deal in which the UAW promised to go after the non-organized transplant plants. Even the UAW understands that if the wage differential gets too high it's gonna kill the golden goose.
  • MKizzy Why else does range matter? Because in the EV advocate's dream scenario of a post-ICE future, the average multi-car household will find itself with more EVs in their garages and driveways than places to plug them in or the capacity to charge then all at once without significant electrical upgrades. Unless each vehicle has enough range to allow for multiple days without plugging in, fighting over charging access in multi-EV households will be right up there with finances for causes of domestic strife.
  • 28-Cars-Later WSJ blurb in Think or Swim:Workers at Volkswagen's Tennessee factory voted to join the United Auto Workers, marking a historic win for the 89- year-old union that is seeking to expand where it has struggled before, with foreign-owned factories in the South.The vote is a breakthrough for the UAW, whose membership has shrunk by about three-quarters since the 1970s, to less than 400,000 workers last year.UAW leaders have hitched their growth ambitions to organizing nonunion auto factories, many of which are in southern states where the Detroit-based labor group has failed several times and antiunion sentiment abounds."People are ready for change," said Kelcey Smith, 48, who has worked in the VW plant's paint shop for about a year, after leaving his job at an warehouse in town. "We look forward to making history and bringing change throughout the entire South."   ...Start the clock on a Chattanooga shutdown.
  • 1995 SC Didn't Chrysler actually offer something with a rearward facing seat and a desk with a typewriter back in the 60s?
  • The Oracle Happy Trails Tadge