2009 Chevrolet Colorado Expert Review

You'll Like The 2009 Chevrolet Colorado If...

If you like the rugged, bold look of the full-size Silverado, but want it in a smaller package that gets better fuel economy, check out the 2009 Chevrolet Colorado. The standard four-cylinder engine is surprisingly strong yet, with two-wheel drive, is EPA-rated at 24 miles per gallon on the highway.

You May Not Like The 2009 Chevrolet Colorado If...

Some may find the 2009 Chevrolet Colorado too narrow and, with the Crew Cab model, short on rear-seat legroom. Also, the Colorado's optional 3.7-liter in-line five-cylinder engine does not offer as much torque as the V6 engines from Toyota and Nissan, while the V8 option tends to be a bit too fuel thirsty.

What's New

Enhanced safety features include standard StabiliTrak stability control and a new braking system with improved stopping distance. A host of new equipment includes revised wheels, more standard equipment on LT trims and an improved Z71 package. A 5.3-liter V8 can now be ordered on both Extended and Crew Cab models.

Interior Features

The 2009 Chevrolet Colorado's interior layout is highly functional, with all the gauges and controls in clear sight and easy reach of the driver. The seats offer firm bottoms and good lumbar support, and the cloth fabric is both durable and comfortable. Crew Cab models are a bit tight when it comes to rear-seat legroom, but front seat occupants should be more than satisfied. The one drawback may be the over-abundance of gray throughout the cab. Chevrolet has revamped the interior color scheme to lessen this mass of gray plastic, but the most vivid improvements show up only in the pricier trim levels.

Exterior Features

The Colorado definitely has the look that says "Chevy." Bulging fender flares and bright alloy wheels punctuate tall slab sides. Regular Cab models ride on a 111.3-inch wheelbase while Extended and Crew Cab models are on a 126.0-inch wheelbase. The bed length for the Regular and Extended Cab models is roughly six feet, while that for the Crew Cab model is about five feet. Both beds feature tall sidewalls, for deeper storage, which give the Colorado best-in-class cargo volume. The Colorado has a clever tailgate that can be opened flat or set at a 55-degree angle, effectively placing the top of the gate in line with the tops of the rear wheel wells, which makes it easy to load and carry, for example, large, flat panels.

Driving Impressions

The Colorado's greatest strengths can be found in its chassis and powertrains. The body-on-frame chassis provides a rigid platform helping eliminate rattles and shake. You can feel it in the way the Colorado handles off-road and in the corners. Even over washboard roads, the Colorado exhibited no sign of dash-rattling or squeaks. Chevrolet has also created a number of performance and off-road packages that enhance the Colorado's rugged image. Surprisingly, for such a small truck, the Colorado has a rather wide turning circle. The standard in-line four-cylinder is fairly potent for such a small engine. When ordered with the manual transmission, it also offers exceptionally good fuel economy.

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2009 Chevrolet Colorado ranges from just over $17,000 for a LS Regular Cab to about $24,000 for a Crew Cab LT. A fully-loaded LT Crew Cab with four-wheel drive tops out at over $32,000, while the base Regular cab model can be loaded with options and still remain below $21,000. To help make your best deal, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price. It shows the typical transaction price the Colorado is selling for in your area, a valuable piece of information when negotiating. As for resale potential, the Colorado falls far short of the values held by the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. Kelley Blue Book expects the Colorado to retain less-than-average residual values. However, the Colorado matches, and in some cases exceeds, the projected residual values of the Ford Ranger.

Notable Equipment

The Colorado LS features a five-speed manual transmission, 2.9-liter four-cylinder engine, air conditioning, cruise control, anti-lock brakes (ABS), stability control, tilt steering wheel, dual outside mirrors, automatic headlamps, carpeting, AM/FM stereo, XM Satellite Radio,, tachometer and forward-facing jump seats in the Extended Cab. The LT trim adds chrome front and rear bumpers, Deluxe Cloth upholstery, CD player and leather-wrapped steering wheel. To that the Z71 adds the Z71 off-road suspension, auto-dimming mirror, rear sliding window and the 3.7-liter five-cylinder engine.

Notable Options

Options include four-wheel drive, four-speed automatic transmission, power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, heated leather seats, automatic locking rear differential, tow package, 16, 17 and 18-inch wheel options, six-disc CD changer, side-curtain airbags, traction control, Z71 off-road package, the ZQ8 performance package (18-inch wheels, sport suspension and 5.3-liter V8 engine) and a Sun and Sound package that adds a six-disc CD changer and power sunroof.

Favorite Features


The Colorado's rear tailgate can be set at a 55-degree angle so that items can rest flat on the tops of the wheel wells and align with the tailgate.

Side-Curtain Airbags

Optional side-curtain airbags are a first for this segment.

Under the Hood

Engine choices for the Colorado include four- and five-cylinder powerplants, as well as a V8 engine on the LT trims. The standard 2.9-liter four and the optional 3.7-liter five are both derivatives of the in-line six found in the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC Envoy. Though the sizes of these engines might seem small, they are both big on power. The 2.9-liter four-cylinder produces an impressive 185 horsepower and offers up most of its 190 pound-feet of torque between the ranges of 1200 and 5600 rpm. That's enough power to muscle any lightly-equipped four-wheel-drive vehicle through the toughest terrain. The optional 3.7-liter engine makes 242 horsepower. Both of these engines produce class-leading horsepower while returning good fuel economy. The big 5.3-liter V8 is powerful but not easy on gas and is best ordered only when towing is a priority.

2.9-liter in-line 4

185 horsepower @ 5600 rpm

190 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 (2WD, manual), 18/24 (2WD, automatic), 17/23 (4WD, manual), 17/23 (4WD, automatic)

3.7-liter in-line 5

242 horsepower @ 5600 rpm

242 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4600 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 (2WD), 16/22 (4WD), 17/24 (2WD, Crew Cab), 16/21 (4WD, Crew Cab)

5.3-liter V8

300 horsepower @ 5200 rpm

320 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (2WD), 14/19 (4WD)

Editors' Notes

As gasoline prices continue on their rollercoaster trend, the compact pickup is beginning to look mighty attractive. Though it can't tow or haul like a full-size Silverado, the 2009 Chevrolet Colorado makes an attractive alternative for those whose truck use tends to be more recreational than occupational. The Colorado's 185-horsepower four-cylinder and 242-horsepower five-cylinder engines provide good power and excellent fuel economy, while a four-wheel-drive option allows the compact pickup to tackle deep snow and venture off-road. Although the Colorado's cab and bed are not the largest in this segment (and its turning radius is uncommonly wide), the truck remains competitive with Ford's Ranger series and, to a lesser extent, the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier and Dodge Dakota.

Road Test Video Reviews

2009 Chevrolet Colorado Owner Reviews

27 Reviews
48% 37% 11% 4% 1 star 0%
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Average and small compared to what else is available, but completely capable with the right mindset.

Had the vehicle going onto 10 years, so very intimate about how it handles and I am very comfortable. Doesn't feel like you're driving the Titanic as when you're in the spacious cabs of trucks like F-150's or Silverados. I do not like having a short, 5' box, as most accessories are for longer boxes and its harder to fit much in terms of cargo. The stock radio had no input for an aux cable or bluetooth, which is disappointing. I dislike how many plastic parts are used throughout the truck, as they are the first to break down. Overall though I make my truck work like a full-size, it just always takes creative thinking to fit what I need in it. Never going to sell it if I can manage it.

- Dillon B

Reliable vehicle, with some electrical issues.

Mechanically, my vehicle has been extremely reliable and comfortable! However, since the day I bought it brand new in 2008, I have had several electrical problems with it. I replace rear end light bulbs (turn signal, third brake light, lower brake lights) at least twice a year. My tire pressure sensors have never worked properly, even after replacing recalled parts for it. Other than these small inconveniences, I have been very satisfied with the Colorado.

- Samantha M

This truck is really reliable as long as you keep up with the basic maintenance.

The only problems that I really have with this car are that with the child locks. The child locks on this truck have gotten stuck so many times and each time it gets worse to unlock them. I understand why child locks are necessary but it is ridiculous not being able to get them unlock. I do not even use the child locks and they automatically come. Pros include: pretty good mileage, has treated me well on all of my road trips.

- Anita A

Chevy Colorado's are a very reliable work/recreational vehicle.

I have only had my Chevy Colorado a little over a year and so far, I have never experienced any motor or physical problems. I love that it has a tire pressure sensor that lets me know when a tire is low, as to not have one blow out. It is very easy on gas, because it's only a 4 cylinder, but it has never lost power going up hills, with the a/c on, with 4 people in the vehicle. It's a really nice truck!

- Jess H

It's a quality, truck with more power than other trucks of a similar size.

I like that my vehicle is a smaller truck that is powerful enough to pull my small travel trailer. It provides all of the needs I have to use it as a work vehicle, but is also practical for personal use. I like that it has a decent sized back seat. The only complaint I have is that it does not have some of the more modern features, such as a backup camera or heated seats, etc.

- Jami C

It�s a clean title and it�s really nice truck for diferente ocasi�n.

Well it's a really nice truck and it's a z71 so it's fast and runs really good and it takes you anywhere you need to go and the seats are really nice and soft and it's. A good truck to travel. And go on vacation and it's really smooth when you drive it sometimes you don't even feel and you going fast I love this truck and specially my husband loves it for work .

- Jennifer H

2009 Chevrolet Colorado LT extended cab, 2wd, 2.9 liter 4 cylinder

My truck has a 2.9 liter 4 cylinder which is great on gas. I am the second owner and she has 150, 000 miles, but have no problems. The interior is very comfortable and is easy to drive and handle. Very easy to keep clean and plenty of storage space under the seats in back. Biggest downside is the center console is collapsed.

- Stacy M

Great work truck; not for multiple passengers.

I love my little truck. It suits me really well and comes in handy, especially being military, moving things from place to place or with construction projects. The drawbacks are that the windows are hand cranks and the transmission tends to slip. Plus, it is a single cab so I can forget about having more than one passenger.

- Kayla R

My Chevy Colorado is the best. 300 hp v8.

There were some electrical problems with the HVAC system and I blew up 1 transmission other than that it has worked well. It has over 180k miles and the engine is still strong. The only other problem is that it is starting to get rust the rust is becoming severe and I don't know how long it's going to last.

- Vincent O

The color is red and the paint holds up really well.

It is great drives very nice steering is great and motor is very fast and the service is great and the best work is there was done with my truck I had a truck driver for my car I was able to get a great motor coach for my first truck therefore I will be able to get it done tomorrow morning I can do it.

- Kevin W

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