Chevy drivers are some of the most loyal in the automotive industry. The brand's reputation for designing, engineering, and building rock-solid vehicles has been a hallmark of their longevity, and Chevy enthusiasts flock to the auto maker's full line up of broad-ranging vehicles for their quality, reliability and classic American styling. And it goes without saying that for pickup truck owners, Chevy has consistently been one of the top brands when it comes to hard-working rigs that can get even the toughest jobs done with ease, which brings us to the Colorado. Named after the US state and conjuring up images of wide-open spaces, this offering from the brand has proven its mettle since it was first introduced in 2004, and the latest iteration, the 2021 Chevy Colorado, is expected to take things to a whole new level.
Over the last five years, the Colorado has proven itself as one of the most popular trucks in the midsize pickup segment, with around 520,000 trucks sold to date. To keep customers coming back for more, Chevy is refreshing the Colorado for its next iteration during the 2021 model year. The latest version of the Colorado made its debut at the 2019 Method Race Wheels Laughlin Desert Classic on October 10, driven by Hall Racing, and was later showcased in November of the same year at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. Many details about the new Colorado are still to come, but the truck is expected to be available to the public later in 2020, with final pricing to be announced closer to the start of production. As is the case for Chevy vehicles, the Colorado will be built right here in the US General Motors’ Wentzville Assembly Center in Wentzville, Missouri.
While most of the enhancements on the 2021 Chevy Colorado are on the styling end of things, drivers shouldn't expect any big changes under the hood. If you've got a Colorado and are looking to upgrade, you can take comfort in that the newest version will be carrying over the same engines of its predecessors. The base engine is a 200 horsepower 2.5L four-cylinder paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. A 308 horsepower 3.6L V6 matched with an eight-speed automatic or a 186 horsepower 2.8L four-cylinder turbocharged diesel four-cylinder equipped with a six-speed automatic are both available as options. No matter which engine, the new Colorado will come with rear-wheel drive as standard gear or four-wheel drive available as an option. The diesel version is expected to continue to offer its class-leading towing capacity of up to 7,700 lbs, the highest of any midsize truck on the road today.
Being the most off-road capable model of the Colorado family, the ZR2 models will again benefit from an upgraded Multimatic DSSV (Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve) position-sensitive dampers. They will also feature standard locking differentials in both the front and rear and a two-inch suspension lift along with many other upgrades over their siblings.
The final numbers are still be released, but as the engines will be unchanged, drivers can likely expect the fuel economy numbers to be as well. The current Colorado lineup provides 20 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway for the base four-cylinder engine, 17 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway for the V6 when equipped with all-wheel drive and 20 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway with the diesel.
A slew of cosmetic and exterior design styling updates are expected for the 2021 models, beginning with the lower tier of the Colorado lineup. The WT and LT trim levels will sport a brand new gold Chevy bowtie emblem, while the Z71 variants will get a black version of the same emblem. All three trim levels here will also get updated center bars, redesigned lower fascias, and front skid plates.
Across the lineup, all models will feature an updated tailgate with the name Chevrolet embossed in large letters, a departure from the traditional bowtie emblem. This design change also adds a bit of nostalgia to the Colorado, making a callback to earlier trends where trucks featured the brand name spelled out across the gate. Those drivers opting for the more burly Z71 and ZR2 trims get the choice of a new exterior paint color know as Sand Dune Metallic. The ZR2 will also get a flow-through grille with Chevrolet spelled out plus the addition of red tow hooks.
According to Chevrolet, these exterior styling changes are to hopefully bring the new Colorado in line with the rest of their pickup truck family. In recent years, Chevy's trucks have taken on a more aggressive appearance starting with the completely redesigned Silverado. Chevy also indicates that while the outside is indeed changing, there are no immediate plans for any radical overhauls inside the truck. There may be some small refinements, but overall, the cabin is staying largely the same as in previous models.
Along with the engines, the major technology and features of the Colorado are also expected to be relatively unchanged, if at all. The truck was recently updated with an eight-inch touchscreen––up from seven inches in the 2019 models––which supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
For audiophiles, the optional Bose audio system which is available in the current Colorado should be available in the 2021 model. Two USB ports up front and two in the back, along with standard 110-volt outlets also in the front and back, provide plenty of options to keep all kinds of devices powered and ready to go. Chevy's WiFi hotspot setup is also one of the easier systems to use, offering a 4G LTE connection that can handle up to seven different devices with ease.
Currently, all of the Colorado trim levels come with a system of six airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and a backup camera. Starting with the LT trim, Chevy offers advanced safety features like Forward Collision and Lane-Departure Warnings. Will more safety systems such as Automatic Emergency Braking and Rear Cross-Traffic alerts make it to the 2021 Colorado? We will have to wait and see.
Also standard on every Colorado thus far, and expected to continue with the new model, is GM's Teen Driver system. This innovative feature allows parents to monitor both the speed of the truck and its location along with the ability to mute the audio system until all of the occupants have securely fastened their seatbelts.