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A black 2020 Chevy Colorado is driving on a road past a sharp corner.

Proliferation of Pickup Trucks Makes the Chevy Colorado Stand Out

America’s infatuation with pickup trucks is stronger than ever. Even all-electric manufacturers are getting into the game too with the Rivian luxury truck, and the recent spectacle of the Tesla Cybertruck unveiling. Regardless if you are an urban dweller, or in the middle of nowhere type, a truck is sure to find its purpose. Though traditionally a work vehicle, the pickup truck has morphed to become the Swiss Army knife of vehicles and is capable of handling any task or situation. You probably are already aware of the proliferation of pickups and are now weighing your needs with all the options available. While pickup trucks (along with all cars in general) have become much larger over the years to accommodate newer safety equipment, there seems to be too much emphasis on full-sized pickup trucks. Full-sized pickups are useful to be sure, but only if you intend to haul and tow large payloads often, otherwise they can be so large and cumbersome that they just get in their own way especially in town/city streets. Fortunately, the 2020 Chevy Colorado finds the sweet spot of full-sized pickup utility with the body of a more manageable mid-sized pickup truck.

The 2020 Chevy Colorado, has five different trim levels, which can be paired to three optional engines. The entry-level Base model starts at $21,300 and comes standard with an inline-four paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the ZR2 (also known as the Bison), which is an off-road-ready beast with aggressive looks to match and sophisticated suspension starting at $41,400. The extended cab comes with a standard 74-inch bed, while crew cab comes standard with a 61.7-inch bed with an optional Long Box upgrade to extend the bed to 74-inches. Rear-wheel drive is standard on all trim levels with four-wheel drive available as an upgrade; the ZR2 is the only trim level that comes standard equipped with all-wheel drive. A 21-gallon fuel tank on all models makes the range rather impressive.

A black 2020 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is jumping a dirt mound.

Trim levels

Base

The Entry-Level Colorado starts at $21,300. It comes standard as a 2-door extended cab and comes equipped with an efficient and reliable 2.5 liter inline-4 cylinder engine paired to a 6-speed automatic putting out a decent 200 horsepower. Other standard features include 16-inch rims with all-season tires, tire pressure monitor, six airbags, 6-speaker sound system, 7-inch Infotainment 3 touchscreen system, and a rear-vision camera. There are not a whole lot of optional upgrades; you will have to upgrade to the next trim level for access to four-wheel drive, crew cab, or the other engine options. Overall, the Base 2020 Chevy Colorado hosts a rather impressive array of standard features and capabilities, and at a very reasonable price.

WT (Work Truck)

The Colorado WT trim level has all the standard features of the Base but expands upon it by offering options such as crew cabs, the 3.6-liter V6, two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, and a locking rear differential for improved traction. The WT also offers various bits of performance-inspired kit such as a performance air intake system, black or polished exhaust tip, and skid plates for undercarriage protection from hazardous debris. The WT starts at $24,800.

LT

The LT builds upon the WT’s features with a few standard upgrades. These upgrades include 17-inch Blade Silver cast-aluminum wheels, a remote locking, and EZ-lift tailgate, body-color door handles, mirrors, and bumpers, remote keyless entry, SiriusXM radio, Chevrolet Connect Services (OnStar), and a 4G Wi-Fi capable hotspot. The LT starts at $27,700.

Z71

While the Z71 is not technically the top of the line 2020 Chevy Colorado, it does possess all the creature comforts without going on to the full-blown off-road-ready stance of the ZR2. The Z71 has all the features of the LT but includes additional standard features such as the 3.6L V6 with 8-speed automatic transmission, hill descent control, projector beam/ fog headlamps, heated seats, and wireless charging for electronic devices. The two-wheel drive Z71 is only available as crew cab short bed, whereas the four-wheel drive Z71 can have both crew cab and the extended cab options. Z71 starts at $34,995.

A red 2020 Chevy Colorado Z71 is driving on a trail with kayaks.

ZR2

The ZR2 is the top of the line and off-road-focused trim level for the 2020 Chevy Colorado. The standard engine is the 3.6L V6 and is the only trim with the optional 2.8L Duramax 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine pushing a respectable 369 lb-ft of torque. The ZR2 is only available in four-wheel drive, and as an extended cab with a long bed or crew cab with a short bed. While the ZR2 and Z71 have essentially the same interior, the most noteworthy differences can be found on the outside; aggressive fascia, blacked-out trim pieces, and skid plates to start with additional bars and lights to complete the serious off-road warrior look. The most impressive feature is arguably the Multimatic dynamic suspension spool valve dampers (DSSV), which utilizes a sophisticated hydraulic fluid that can rapidly adjust to constantly changing road conditions; this system is used in supercars like the Chevy Camaro ZL1 and new Ford GT. The ZR2 starts at $41,400.

Things to Consider

If you plan on hauling a trailer often, you might want to consider a diesel-powered engine for its low-end torque. Because with gas-powered engines, fuel economy drops precipitously when weighed down, where as diesel fuel economy stays more consistent. The manual transmission is no longer available; for those of us who need a third pedal, you might consider a used Chevy Colorado circa 2018 or older. Pricing and performance figures, in this article, are associated with extended cab rear-wheel-drive models and do not factor in four-wheel drive or crew cab models. All trim levels have a Teen Driver mode, which adds safety features such as preventing the vehicle from moving until seatbelts are fastened, and an in-vehicle report card to let you know what your kid was up to.

The Verdict

The 2020 Chevy Colorado offers a strong lineup from the Base to the ZR2. If you are on a tight budget but need a truck instead of an economy car, the Base has a lot of great features and will be a solidly reliable vehicle. Four-wheel drive is available on WT, LT, Z71 as an optional upgrade or as a standard feature on the ZR2; this will be very helpful if you live somewhere it snows or if you will be driving on dirt roads. The LT might be the best overall considering how affordable it is for the array of standard features, coupled with Chevy’s reliability; it just might be the best mid-sized pickup truck coming out of Detroit right now. Overall, the 2020 Chevy Colorado is solid buy and is not going to disappoint.

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