The Test: After topping out at 4,533 feet on the Stinger—an arduous ten-mile climb to the top of Southern California’s Mount Figueroa on crumbling tarmac, gravel, and double-track—we were sold on the Colorado’s new 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel engine. It purred up grades topping 15 percent, up a long freeway incline at 65 mph towing a 1,500-pound trailer, and over wheel-sucking sand off-road.
But towing power and braking controls equal to pickups twice its size are only half of the Colorado’s appeal. The other half? Eye-popping efficiency numbers. We averaged nearly 27 miles per gallon on our hill climb and off-road adventure up the Stinger. Inside, the cabin boasts amenities like 4G LTE wireless hot spot capability and Apple CarPlay connectivity—just plug in an iPhone and access contacts, maps, music, and Siri from the eight-inch dashboard touchscreen.
Chevy’s excellent clean diesel is a hefty $3,730 over its gas-powered brethren, but compared with the four- and six-cylinder gas options, the Duramax engine unleashes the Colorado’s true potential as a 500,000-mile, long-haul trucker.
The Verdict: A midsize, four-door 4x4 pickup that punches above its weight.
$35,080; 20 mpg city/29 hwy