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Old 04-07-2015, 04:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'd had a 2005 Cobalt as my company car since I started working there in 2008 (we don't take them home). It was fine, I got one with power windows and locks and a center arm rest. Not everyone was so lucky. Most had newer models with roll up windows but also side airbags. We also had late 2000s Colorados which I drove a number of times when my Cobalt was being used by someone or during a storm where we needed 4wd. I did not prefer the truck over the Cobalt. Now that the economy has picked up my company started spending money again. So I was the first person to have a replacement car - or truck in my case. They are moving to a full 4x4 fleet so we don't have to rent vehicles in the winter during storms.¬* Back in February I got the company's first Colorado. It's a 2015 WT crew cab as the title states. It comes with a 200 hp 4 cylinder engine and four wheel drive. So what's it like? Drive train: Let's compare it to the old Colorado. The old one is mind blowingly slow. It has a 5 cylinder 185 hp engine. It sounds bad, goes slow, and uses gas. Unfortunately I can't say much more for the new one. 200 hp lugging around 5,600 pounds (before the bed cover and supplies) is a lot to ask of any engine. Though it doesn't seem as horrifically slow as the old one. It is high pitched and noisy but it seems to be better on gas. It certainly has a bigger tank and it seems to have a blank for a fill neck for a second tank, which is odd. I was convinced the transmission was an 8 speed because of the number of times it shifts on a normal drive. I was shocked to find out it has 6 gears. It is constantly searching for another gear, down shifts provide nothing more than noise. For what I use it for and for as much as we focus on safety it gets the job done. Merging onto highways isn't dangerous but you will have to fall into line and not race up to beat the slow poke crowding the merge area. Interior: Comparing this to the old one is unfair. It is miles ahead. The materials aren't luxury car levels by any stretch, but they are more upmarket than one should expect in a work truck. The controls are nicely laid out and don't feel cheap. The seats are comfortable - well, the front seats. The rear seats are more shelves than actual seats. It might be ok to ride to grab some lunch, but anything more than a few minutes would be unreasonable for an adult. I'm sure this isn't an issue with the 4 door model that 99% of people will buy. My biggest gripe about the interior is the handle for the front-facing rear doors juts directly into the spot where you would rest your elbow unless you have the seat pushed way up. It's right at funnybone level which makes for an uncomfortable discovery (and re-discovery). The base model does not have a touch screen. Everyone gets in, sees a screen, and starts poking at it. It's nicely integrated into the stereo and climate controls though seems more gimmicky than it needs to be. I suspect the only reason for the screen is the backup camera, which is just ok - not very clear. In a WT you get a radio, USB and aux jack, and 12 volt source (just one, unfortunately). No CD player which I suppose is the way things are now. Driving it: Apart from leisurely accelerating, it drives fine. I have yet to take it off road, but on road it drives like a pickup. It isolates you from large bumps but feels a bit unstable in tight turns. And speaking of turns, it is a significantly larger truck than the previous gen Colorado, however the turning radius seems much smaller. The old one required approximately an empty Walmart shopping center parking lot to do a U-turn. The new one can easily pull a fast one on a 4 lane road. You sit much higher than in the old Colorado and getting in and out is a bit more of a challenge for shorter folks. The extra height doesn't necessarily translate to more ground clearance as the front of the truck swoops way down with plastic deflectors. Sightlines aren't great. It's difficult to see over your shoulder on the driver's side and I never know if a small car is riding along the bedside on the passenger side. We're supposed to leave enough gap between us and the car in front at a stop to see the bottom of their tires. With this, that distance is enough to put 2 small cars in. This is strange, but it gets dirty really easily. The way the tires and body are set up, hitting any wet dirt splatters it all over the sides of the truck. The parts in front of the rear tires on the bedside get the worst of it. I have not had a real chance to use 4x4 yet. Only a brief stretch during a snow storm right after I got it. Overall: I will definitely miss some of the aspects I enjoyed having the Cobalt. But I am not willing to go back. As time passes I'm sure I will get fully accustomed to its quirks. I'll adjust to the turning radius and adjust to what it takes to pass on the highway. Would I buy one for myself? No. I'd rather have a Dodge 1500 Express for the same money. I believe the Dodge might be a touch smaller with the regular cab, which I like. And my opinion likely wouldn't change with a 4 door model with more upgrades and the V6. Calling this a midsize truck is a bit of a misnomer. My personal Tacoma is smaller and has 4 doors, but even that is too big as far as I will ever use it for. It's too bad the only small truck you can buy, base Tacoma, is a bit of a penalty box. While the Colorado is good, I can't see a case for someone shopping trucks to get it over the full sizers. Apparently people are buying them, though ours (we have 5 now) are the only ones I've ever seen in person. Feel free to ask me any questions about it. Size comparison: http://i.imgbox.com/cpOgvcM3.jpg http://i.imgbox.com/gyFmucwn.jpg http://i.imgbox.com/BASErFnf.jpg http://i.imgbox.com/QiHRlH1F.jpg
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Updated for readability:

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Originally Posted by Land Ark View Post
I'd had a 2005 Cobalt as my company car since I started working there in 2008 (we don't take them home). It was fine, I got one with power windows and locks and a center arm rest. Not everyone was so lucky. Most had newer models with roll up windows but also side airbags.

We also had late 2000s Colorados which I drove a number of times when my Cobalt was being used by someone or during a storm where we needed 4wd. I did not prefer the truck over the Cobalt. Now that the economy has picked up my company started spending money again. So I was the first person to have a replacement car - or truck in my case. They are moving to a full 4x4 fleet so we don't have to rent vehicles in the winter during storms.

Back in February I got the company's first Colorado. It's a 2015 WT crew cab as the title states. It comes with a 200 hp 4 cylinder engine and four wheel drive. So what's it like?

Drive train:
Let's compare it to the old Colorado. The old one is mind blowingly slow. It has a 5 cylinder 185 hp engine. (edit: we now suspect they are 4-cylinder models - I have not popped the hood to check) It sounds bad, goes slow, and uses gas.

Unfortunately I can't say much more for the new one. 200 hp lugging around 5,600 pounds (before the bed cover and supplies) is a lot to ask of any engine. Though it doesn't seem as horrifically slow as the old one. It is high pitched and noisy but it seems to be better on gas. It certainly has a bigger tank and it seems to have a blank for a fill neck for a second tank, which is odd.

I was convinced the transmission was an 8 speed because of the number of times it shifts on a normal drive. I was shocked to find out it has 6 gears. It is constantly searching for another gear, down shifts provide nothing more than noise.

For what I use it for and for as much as we focus on safety it gets the job done. Merging onto highways isn't dangerous but you will have to fall into line and not race up to beat the slow poke crowding the merge area.

Interior: Comparing this to the old one is unfair. It is miles ahead. The materials aren't luxury car levels by any stretch, but they are more upmarket than one should expect in a work truck. The controls are nicely laid out and don't feel cheap. The seats are comfortable - well, the front seats. The rear seats are more shelves than actual seats. It might be ok to ride to grab some lunch, but anything more than a few minutes would be unreasonable for an adult. I'm sure this isn't an issue with the 4 door model that 99% of people will buy.

My biggest gripe about the interior is the handle for the front-facing rear doors juts directly into the spot where you would rest your elbow unless you have the seat pushed way up. It's right at funnybone level which makes for an uncomfortable discovery (and re-discovery).

The base model does not have a touch screen. Everyone gets in, sees a screen, and starts poking at it. It's nicely integrated into the stereo and climate controls though seems more gimmicky than it needs to be. I suspect the only reason for the screen is the backup camera, which is just ok - not very clear. In a WT you get a radio, USB and aux jack, and 12 volt source (just one, unfortunately). No CD player which I suppose is the way things are now.

Driving it:
Apart from leisurely accelerating, it drives fine. I have yet to take it off road, but on road it drives like a pickup. It isolates you from large bumps but feels a bit unstable in tight turns. And speaking of turns, it is a significantly larger truck than the previous gen Colorado, however the turning radius seems much smaller. The old one required approximately an empty Walmart shopping center parking lot to do a U-turn.

The new one can easily pull a fast one on a 4 lane road. You sit much higher than in the old Colorado and getting in and out is a bit more of a challenge for shorter folks. The extra height doesn't necessarily translate to more ground clearance as the front of the truck swoops way down with plastic deflectors.

Sightlines aren't great. It's difficult to see over your shoulder on the driver's side and I never know if a small car is riding along the bedside on the passenger side. We're supposed to leave enough gap between us and the car in front at a stop to see the bottom of their tires. With this, that distance is enough to put 2 small cars in.

This is strange, but it gets dirty really easily. The way the tires and body are set up, hitting any wet dirt splatters it all over the sides of the truck. The parts in front of the rear tires on the bedside get the worst of it. I have not had a real chance to use 4x4 yet. Only a brief stretch during a snow storm right after I got it.

Overall:
I will definitely miss some of the aspects I enjoyed having the Cobalt. But I am not willing to go back. As time passes I'm sure I will get fully accustomed to its quirks. I'll adjust to the turning radius and adjust to what it takes to pass on the highway.

Would I buy one for myself? No. I'd rather have a Dodge 1500 Express for the same money. I believe the Dodge might be a touch smaller with the regular cab, which I like. And my opinion likely wouldn't change with a 4 door model with more upgrades and the V6. Calling this a midsize truck is a bit of a misnomer. My personal Tacoma is smaller and has 4 doors, but even that is too big as far as I will ever use it for. It's too bad the only small truck you can buy, base Tacoma, is a bit of a penalty box. While the Colorado is good, I can't see a case for someone shopping trucks to get it over the full sizers. Apparently people are buying them, though ours (we have 5 now) are the only ones I've ever seen in person. Feel free to ask me any questions about it.

Size comparison:







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