Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
The 2019 Chevrolet Colorado is a great alternative to a full-size truck for those who still want space, comfort, towing and hauling power — and solid fuel economy. It’s also available in a variety of packages to meet individual tastes and needs.
You'll Like The 2019 Chevrolet Colorado If...
The 2019 Colorado is a solid alternative for anyone who doesn’t need to go to extremes when it comes to cargo and towing — at a max 7,700 pounds, it will still haul a hefty trailer or boat. It’s more fuel-efficient and easier to maneuver and park than a full-size truck.
You May Not Like The 2019 Chevrolet Colorado If...
There are still plenty of folks who want a full-size truck, especially if they’ll need to tow more than 7,700 pounds. And the Colorado’s interior isn’t quite as roomy as a full-size model like the Chevy Silverado, either.
The Chevy Colorado helped mark the bow-tie brand’s 100th anniversary in 2018, so this year’s truck sees more modest updates, including the addition of some new exterior color and wheel options, as well as upgrades to its infotainment system. There are new power seats on upper-trim levels, and a new Rear Park Assist system.
While not quite as roomy or plush as comparable versions of the bigger Silverado, the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado offers a well-appointed cabin that goes well beyond the Spartan features you once expected from a midsize truck. The big updates for 2019, in fact, enhance the Colorado’s high-tech features, starting with its 3rd-generation infotainment system. Depending upon the trim level, it offers up to an 8-inch touch-screen display. That said, the cabin has the rugged feel of a truck that can stand up to serious work.
Unlike the crossover-SUV-based Honda Ridgeline, the new Colorado retains its traditional body-on-frame bones and a classically rugged exterior design. That may be a little conservative for some buyers, but it reinforces the rugged capabilities of this midsize truck. That’s especially true of the ZR2, which is designed to go rock-crawling over the weekend and then take you to your office on Monday. The off-road edition features a raised suspension, a wider track, revised bumpers and a functional skidplate.
Chevy delivered a big surprise when it brought back the Colorado a few years back. It wasn’t just the fact that it reentered a market segment many wrote off for dead but just how good a job its designers and engineers pulled off. The 2019 pickup continues to impress. The Colorado features a solid and well-planted ride, with good performance even when carrying a full load in the cargo bed. The 2.8-liter Duramax diesel is a particularly good choice both for those hauling a trailer and for buyers looking for great mileage. The ZR2, meanwhile, offers a well-engineered alternative to the Toyota Tacoma if you’re into off-roading.
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a 2019 Chevrolet Colorado starts at about $21,500 for a base model with extended cab and 4-cylinder gasoline engine. Most buyers will skip the base model and instead start at the LT model level, about $30,500 for an extended-cab and long-bed 2WD version. At the northern end of the pricing spectrum, a 4WD long-bed Z71 Crew Cab with the Duramax diesel can top out well over $50,000, but you can get a diesel for about $31,000 if you mind your options. If the ZR2 captures your off-road attention, it starts just under $43,500. These prices are in line with the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma. Check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying in your area. The Colorado offers better resale than the Frontier, but both get whomped by the Tacoma.Update: Chevrolet Colorado ranks in the top 10 in the KBB 2019 Resale Value AwardsOK, so what’s next?I’m interested in the newest version of this car. What’s for sale near me?I’m interested in this car, and I’d like to trade in my current car while I’m at it.Then again, maybe I should be thinking about a used car.
Chevy has come up with a version of the Colorado for just about every taste, need and budget. Even the base model offers some welcome features, such as the CornerStep rear bumper, locking tailgate and cargo-box lighting. The mainstream LT trim adds an 8-inch touch screen for the updated 2019 model’s gen-3 infotainment system, with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and satellite radio, as well as rear park assist. The ZR2 off-roader adds tow hooks, an off-road suspension package and skidplates.
The base 2019 Chevy Colorado features a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine. There are two optional powertrain packages: a 3.6-liter V-6 and the stump-pulling Duramax diesel. Like most trucks, Chevy also offers a wide range of body styles. That includes a crew cab, as well as standard and extended-length beds. You can add features like a spray-in bedliner, fog lights, cargo-bed storage rails, as well as all-wheel drive and a low-speed transfer case. The Z71 adds some off-road features, and the ZR2 takes you to rock-crawling extremes.
DURAMAX DIESELThe Chevrolet Colorado (and its sibling, the GMC Canyon) is the only midsize truck available with a diesel engine, and the 2.8-liter Duramax is a prize. Smooth and powerful, it offers a first-rate driving experience along with superior fuel economy. A Smart diesel exhaust brake enhances control while reducing brake wear.COLORADO ZR2Chevrolet pulled no punches introducing the 2018 Colorado ZR2; it continues for 2019 with serious off-road equipment including Multimatic shocks, independently lockable front and rear differentials, and additional skidplates under valuable components.
Under the Hood
Where most midsize pickups offer a minimal choice of powertrain alternatives — if any choice at all — Chevy has three different packages, starting with the base 2.5-liter four, as well as a 3.6-liter V6 and the muscular 2.8-liter turbodiesel-4 that not only offers the truck’s best towing numbers, but also delivers its best fuel economy, at up to 30 mpg in rear-wheel-drive configuration. Depending on the model, the 2019 Chevy Colorado is available with either 2-wheel (rear) or 4-wheel drive (2WD, 4WD), and the Z71 and ZR2 models beef up off-road capabilities. A low-range gearbox is also on the option list.2.5-liter inline-4200 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm191 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 mpg (manual, 2WD), 19/24 mpg (4WD)3.6-liter V6308 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm275 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (2WD), 17/24 mpg (4WD), 16/18 mpg (ZR2)2.8-liter turbodiesel inline-4186 horsepower @ 3,400 rpm369 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30 mpg (2WD), 19/28 mpg (4WD), 18/22 mpg (ZR2)
Few recent vehicles have done more to change the market than the Chevrolet Colorado, which proved there’s real life left in the midsize-pickup segment. For many buyers, the Colorado offers all the interior space and cargo and towing capacity they need, while adding plenty of great features, good performance and handling and a reasonable price tag. Chevy has broadened the Colorado’s appeal by adding new variants, including both a diesel model and the rugged, off-road-oriented ZR2. The 2019 Colorado gets a number of small but welcome updates to enhance its appeal.