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2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Long-Term Update 3

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 8/25/2015 Motor Trend Staff, Scott Burgess

Our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado longer-term test vehicle has become so much of a trusted workhorse at Motor Trend's Detroit office that we really wish we would have opted for the longer bed. All crew cab models come with 5-foot-2-inch standard beds. There is an optional 6-foot-4-inch bed that can carry just that much more junk/mulch/trash/plants/lumber.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Long-Term Update 3

Recently, Frank Markus, Motor Trend's technical director, began hauling gravel with the Colorado to lay a driveway at a summer retreat on Lake Huron. He noted that the tow/haul function "really helps the truck shoulder larger loads, provides useful upshift delays, advances downshifts when slowing, and generally makes the truck work more efficiently."

Markus did wonder why the Colorado didn't automatically switch to tow/haul mode as soon as the trailer connects to the truck via the nine-pin connector. The engine will certainly sense that it's working harder than usual, and it knows that something has just connected to it.

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image During Markus' gravel runs, he attached a 2,800-pound dump trailer filled with 2 tons of gravel (to stay under the pickup's 7,000-pound towing limit). Towing at max weight, the Colorado worked hard to get up to speed, but, Markus said, it did so in a safe manner and didn't take too long. Finally, he said that there was a considerable dip in fuel economy, with the instantaneous econ reading of around 11.5 mpg while cruising. That should not be unexpected.

Although a bigger truck would have allowed Markus to take one or two fewer trips, the Colorado was no worse for wear when it returned to more suburban duty around metro Detroit. It is due for another oil change and tire rotation, which will run just under $50 at the dealership.

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image In just six months, we've hit almost 15,000 miles in our Colorado, and it still feels like new. Our cloth-covered seats have seen some serious wear but remain just as firm and comfortable as the day the truck first showed up. The well-configured interior has proven just as durable, undergoing numerous long-haul coffee spills and fast food accidents. Its performance around town has been fantastic, gobbling up potholes with its big tires and providing a comfortable and smooth ride. The 3.6-liter V-6 continues to provide great acceleration and highway cruising while topping 20 mpg.

Really, our biggest complaint might be the short bed. To make matters worse, although we love our Bak Revolver X2 tonneau cover, it takes away about 6 inches of bed length when it is rolled up because the roll of metal sits on top of the bed walls. That means our bed gets even smaller. It's certainly not the end of the world, but it is something that can be annoying when an item sticks 2 inches over the tailgate.

Perhaps we only notice the bed's shortcomings because the longer we have the Colorado, the more work we find to do with it.

More on our long-term 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71:

2015-Chevrolet-Colorado-Z71-promo1© Provided by MotorTrend 2015-Chevrolet-Colorado-Z71-promo1
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