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2020 Chevrolet Colorado: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 10/23/2020 U.S. News & World Report
a red truck driving down the road: 2020 Chevrolet Colorado © General Motors 2020 Chevrolet Colorado

The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado places near the bottom of our compact pickup truck rankings. The Colorado has a lot to offer, including a class-leading tow limit. This Chevy pickup has a poor predicted reliability rating, though, and it lacks the overall refinement of many class rivals.

Is the Chevrolet Colorado a Good Truck?

Despite its ranking, the Chevrolet Colorado is still a fine compact pickup truck. It comes with a fuel-efficient four-cylinder base engine and offers capable V6 and turbodiesel variants. The Colorado rides smoothly, and there are two trims with plenty of off-road ability for the more adventurous buyers. Inside, this Chevy has spacious, comfortable front seats, and every trim features a user-friendly infotainment system.

The Colorado isn't without its drawbacks, however. Many rivals are noticeably more upscale inside. The Colorado's rear seats (at least in Crew Cab models) have enough space for adults, but rivals' back seats are roomier. To make matters worse, this Chevrolet has a bottom-of-the-barrel predicted reliability rating.

2020 Chevrolet Colorado Dimensions

Should I Buy the Chevrolet Colorado?

As detailed above, there are a lot of reasons to like the Colorado, and it's a decent value in the segment because its starting price is a little less than that of many competitors. That said, it finishes low in our rankings for a reason, so check out the competition because you may like another small truck even more than this Chevrolet. Good alternatives include the Ford Ranger and GMC Canyon. You may also want to see how the Colorado stacks up against its big brother, the Chevrolet Silverado.

Should I Buy a New or Used Chevrolet Colorado?

The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado belongs to a generation that began with the 2015 model. There have been a few small but notable changes since then. The available turbodiesel engine debuted for 2016, a new V6 engine debuted for 2017, and an upgraded base infotainment system was introduced for 2018. The 2019 Colorado saw only minor updates to the features list.

For 2020, Chevy's Infotainment 3 interface replaces the MyLink infotainment system, and there's some feature shuffling between trims. With so few changes in recent years, you may decide you're better off shopping for a used Colorado. You can potentially save thousands of dollars, and you won't miss out on much. If you are interested in a used truck, be sure to read our 2018 and 2019 Chevrolet Colorado reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

We Did the Research for You: 35 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all Colorado vehicles of the current generation, which includes the 2015 to 2020 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Chevrolet Colorado Cost?

The Colorado carries a base price of $21,300. That's below average for a compact pickup truck. There are several higher trims, and the price increases as you go up the ladder. The top trim, the off-road-oriented ZR2, starts at $41,400. That's slightly below average for a vehicle's top trim in this class.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

Chevrolet Colorado Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Colorado or Ford Ranger?

The Ford Ranger claims one of the top spots in our compact pickup truck rankings. The Ranger has only one engine option, but it's much more powerful than the Colorado's base engine. The Colorado can tow slightly more, but the Ranger has a higher maximum payload. The Ford doesn't have dedicated off-road trims like its Chevrolet rival, but it offers plenty of features that turn it into a capable off-roader.

The Colorado has a nicer standard infotainment system, but the Ranger's available SYNC 3 system works great, and the Ford offers many more advanced safety features. At the end of the day, there are plenty of reasons to like both trucks, but the Ford is just a bit better overall.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Colorado or GMC Canyon?

The GMC Canyon is more or less the Colorado's twin, which makes sense, as both are General Motors vehicles. These trucks have the same engine choices, tow rating, and infotainment system. They also sit next to each other in our rankings. The GMC finishes slightly higher, largely because of its more upscale interior.

Which Is Better: Chevrolet Colorado or Chevrolet Silverado?

The Chevrolet Silverado is a full-size pickup truck. As such, it's much bigger than the Colorado, it offers a longer bed, and it can tow and haul significantly more. The Silverado also has a much larger interior, and its rear seats can easily accommodate adult passengers. Features-wise, these two are pretty similar, though the Silverado offers many more driver assistance aids.

You'll pay for all of these advantages though, as the Silverado's base price is about $7,000 more than the Colorado's. At the high end of the trim lineup, the difference is even greater. The Silverado is a better truck, but you may not need all of its extra capability and space.

Colorado Performance

Colorado Engine: The Right Choice Depends on Your Needs

You have three engine choices for the Colorado. The 200-horsepower four-cylinder base engine does just fine for daily driving, as it has plenty of power for most situations.

The available 308-horsepower V6 delivers more grunt. V6 Colorados also feel quicker and provide double the towing capacity compared to models with the base engine. The available 181-horsepower turbodiesel gets the best gas mileage in the lineup, and it also unlocks the Colorado's maximum towing capacity thanks to its 369 pound-feet of torque.

Colorado Gas Mileage: Impressive Numbers

With its base engine, the Colorado gets 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which are good ratings for a compact pickup truck. Ratings dip to 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway with the V6. Turbodiesel models are the most fuel-efficient option; they earn 20/30 mpg city/highway.

Colorado Ride and Handling: Fine for Daily Driving

Everyday drives won't seem tedious in this Chevy. It provides composed handling and a generally smooth ride. It almost feels like you're driving a car at times because the Colorado is fairly easy to maneuver in crowded parking lots and cluttered areas.

Colorado Off-Road Performance

Off-road enthusiasts should look to the Colorado Z71 and ZR2 models. These trucks are more than capable of tackling trails and traversing troublesome terrain thanks to an array of features, like locking differentials, hill descent control, and a heavy-duty suspension system. The ZR2 and ZR2 Bison are better equipped for extreme off-roading than the Z71.

Colorado Towing Capacity

This Chevy's towing capacity varies by powertrain. When equipped with the turbodiesel engine, the Colorado's highest capacity is 7,700 pounds, which is tied for the top tow rating in the class.

V6-powered models aren't far behind, with a max tow rating of 7,000 pounds. Colorados with the base engine sit well below the other two, enabling a maximum capacity of 3,500 pounds.

When properly equipped, the Colorado can haul up to 1,578 pounds. That's fairly typical for the compact pickup truck class.

Colorado Interior

How Many People Does the Colorado Seat?

Extended Cab Colorado models seat four people, while Crew Cab models seat five. The base trim doesn't feature a rear seat, so it only holds two people.

The Colorado's front seats are comfortable and roomy, and drivers will appreciate the high seating position. Extended Cab models have cramped rear seats, but Crew Cab models have enough space for adults. Still, many compact pickup trucks have more rear-seat space. Additionally, large roof pillars cut into visibility, and narrow door openings may make it tough to get in and out of the rear.

Colorado and Child Car Seats

This Chevrolet features two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the rear outboard seats, and Crew Cab models have an upper tether for the rear middle seat. This LATCH system is relatively easy to use, but the anchors in both models can be difficult to locate.

Colorado Interior Quality

Inside, the Colorado is a mixed bag. It looks pretty good, as it doesn't have the antiquated styling of some rivals. However, there are plenty of low-rent materials such as hard plastics throughout the interior, which keeps the Colorado from feeling as upscale as some competitors.

Colorado Cargo Space

With both cab styles, the Colorado is available with a bed that measures 6 feet, 2 inches long. A 5-foot-2-inch bed is available with Crew Cab models. There are plenty of standard and available bed features, including multiple tie downs, a step built into the corners of the rear bumper, and an EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate.

Colorado Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system comes standard in the Colorado and includes a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a six-speaker audio system.

Available features include automatic climate control, wireless device charging, an 8-inch touch screen, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, additional USB ports, and navigation.

The Infotainment 3 system works well. The controls are easy to reach from the driver's seat, and the menu layouts are intuitive. This makes the system easy to master and use on the go, and that's before you get to helpful connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Colorado Reliability

Is the Chevrolet Colorado Reliable?

The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado has a poor predicted reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power.

Chevrolet Colorado Warranty

Chevrolet covers the Colorado with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Chevrolet Colorado?

The cost of insuring a Chevrolet Colorado will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

Colorado Safety

Colorado Crash Test Results

The 2020 Colorado received an overall safety rating of four out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The truck earned five stars in the side crash test, four stars in the frontal crash test, and three stars in the rollover evaluation.

At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado.

Colorado Safety Features

A rearview camera and the Teen Driver system come standard in the Colorado. Teen Driver lets you do things like set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers, as well as monitor their driving performance. It also comes with a new-for-2020 reminder to buckle up before driving.

Available driver assistance features include rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning.

Where Is the Chevrolet Colorado built?

Chevrolet builds the 2020 Colorado in Missouri.

Which Chevrolet Colorado Model Is Right for Me?

The Colorado comes in five trims: Base, WT, LT, Z71, and ZR2. First you have to decide which cab and bed best suit your needs, since not every cab/bed combo is offered with every trim level. There are also three engine options – four-cylinder, V6, and turbodiesel – that can significantly affect towing capacity.

Once you've chosen a cab, bed, and powertrain, you can pick a trim level. The LT is a great option for many buyers, and we think it's one of the best values in the lineup. That's because it comes standard with several infotainment features that are optional or unavailable in the lower trims, as well as an EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate. Buyers looking for the best off-roaders in the lineup will want to skip straight to the top two trims: the Z71 and the ZR2.

Chevrolet Colorado Powertrain Options:

Chevrolet Colorado Appearance Packages:

Chevrolet Colorado Performance Packages/Options:

Chevrolet Colorado Base

The Colorado's lowest trim carries a starting price of $21,300. It's only offered in the Extended Cab/long bed configuration, and it comes with a 200-horsepower four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Standard features include a rearview camera, Teen Driver, and the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system with a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a six-speaker audio system.

Chevrolet Colorado WT

The WT comes with dual rear seats with under-seat storage and the same standard features as the Base trim. However, unlike the Base, the WT is available with a 308-horsepower V6 engine, a $1,485 upgrade. You can also get the WT in either cab style.

The Colorado WT starts at $24,800 for the Extended Cab/long bed configuration. WT models with the Crew Cab and short bed start at $26,700, while models with the Crew Cab and long bed start at $29,000.

Chevrolet Colorado LT

The Colorado LT comes with an EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate, an 8-inch touch screen, satellite radio, HD Radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and additional USB ports.

The Colorado LT sports a starting price of $27,700 for the Extended Cab/long bed configuration. LT models with the Crew Cab and short bed start at $29,700, while models with the Crew Cab and long bed start at $31,900.

Chevrolet Colorado Z71

The Colorado Z71 is the milder of the two off-road-oriented trims. It comes standard with a 308-horsepower V6, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and four-wheel drive. It also comes with off-road features like a heavy-duty suspension, a locking rear differential, a transfer case, recovery hooks, and hill descent control.

The Z71 comes with all the standard features found in the lower trims, as well as automatic climate control, remote start, wireless device charging, a heated steering wheel, and rear parking sensors.

Colorado Z71 models with the Crew Cab and short bed start at $33,900, while models with the Crew Cab and long bed start at $37,700. Extended Cab/long bed models start at $35,600.

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

The Colorado ZR2 is an even more capable off-roader than the Z71, and it adds some features you won't find in the lower trim. For example, the Z71 features an automatic rear locking differential, but the ZR2 comes with driver-selectable full-locking front and rear differentials. The ZR2 also comes with off-road rocker protection and an off-road appearance package.

Standard features in the Colorado ZR2 include leather-appointed front seats, trailering assist guidelines, and an integrated trailer brake controller.

The Colorado ZR2 starts at $41,400 for Extended Cab models. ZR2 models with the Crew Cab and short bed start at $43,000. The ZR2 isn't available in the Crew Cab/long bed configuration.

Which Colorado Cab Style Is Right for Me?

There are two Colorado cabs: Extended Cab and Crew Cab. Extended Cabs seat four people, except in the Base trim, which has no rear seats. Crew Cab models seat five.

If you don't usually have rear-seat passengers, then the Extended Cab should work just fine for you. Its rear seats are OK for short trips, but they're not exactly welcoming. It's tough to get in and out because the rear doors aren't full size, and they're rear-hinged. The Extended Cab body style only comes with the long bed.

The Crew Cab is the clear choice for people who often have three or more people in their truck. Crew Cabs have full-size rear doors and a rear middle seat, as well as more legroom. Still, even in Crew Cab models, the rear seats aren't exactly cavernous, and some rival pickups have more passenger space in the back.

Which Colorado Bed Length Is Right for Me?

Crew Cab Colorado models give you a choice between a 6-foot-2-inch and a 5-foot-2-inch bed. Extended Cab models only come with the longer bed. Because of its extra length, the longer box is helpful if you regularly haul large items (it's also a couple inches longer than most rivals' longest bed option).

The longer bed can make the Colorado a bit unwieldy, as the Crew Cab/long bed combo gives this Chevrolet an overall length of nearly 19 feet. As a point of reference, a Silverado 1500 in Double Cab/standard bed or Crew Cab/short bed configuration is about 7 inches longer than the longest Colorado.

Which Colorado Model Is Best for Towing and Hauling?

If you're looking for the best Colorado to serve as a work truck, go with the WT with the Extended Cab and V6 engine. This configuration with two-wheel drive gets you a towing capacity of 7,000 pounds and a 1,557-pound payload capacity. It's also a relative value, with prices starting at $26,285. A four-wheel-drive version has a slightly lower payload rating and retails for $30,185.

Colorados with the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine can tow up to 3,500 pounds and haul up to 1,440 pounds. Towing capacity isn’t especially impressive, as even many compact SUVs can match that. You can probably get away with picking this engine if you only need to tow a small boat or trailer.

If you need to pull more weight, you're better off with either of the other two engines. Colorado models equipped with the 2.8-liter turbodiesel can tow up to 7,700 pounds, which is tied for the highest capacity in the class. The diesel Colorado has a maximum payload capacity of 1,511 pounds. That's with rear-wheel drive, as four-wheel-drive diesel models manage 7,600 pounds of towing and 1,474 pounds of payload. Models with the 3.6-liter V6 can tow up to 7,000 pounds and haul up to 1,574 pounds.

Which Colorado Model Is Best for Off-Roading?

The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is not only the most capable Colorado for off-roading, but it's also probably the most formidable off-road vehicle that Chevy makes. Outfitted with standard four-wheel drive, the ZR2 is available with either the V6 or the turbodiesel engine. It has a 2-inch suspension lift, and its front and rear tracks are 3.5 inches wider than the standard Colorado.

The ZR2 includes driver-selectable electronic locking front and rear differentials, an off-road-specific dynamic damping suspension, a transfer case shield, off-road rocker panel protection, 31-inch off-road tires, and modified bumpers for better ground clearance and approach/departure angles.

For those who want to up the ante, check out the ZR2 Bison edition. Developed in conjunction with American Expedition Vehicles, the Bison features an exclusive Red Hot paint color along with AEV bumpers, wheel moldings, contoured interior floor liners, and 17-inch wheels. Wrapped around those are 32-inch off-road tires. The Bison also gets a spare wheel and unique AEV skid plates for the front and rear differential, engine oil pan, transfer case, and fuel tank.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Chevrolet dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Chevrolet deals page.

The Final Call

The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado is capable, easy to drive, and available with some intuitive tech features. It places near the bottom of our compact pickup truck rankings, however, because other trucks are more well-rounded. The Colorado is a good truck and worth considering, but you might find something you like better if you compare it to the rest of the class.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2020 Chevrolet Colorado review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.


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