2008 Chevrolet Colorado Performance
This performance review was written when the 2008 Chevrolet Colorado was new.
The 2008 Chevrolet Colorado places near the bottom of the compact pickup rankings because it's an able but unremarkable performer with passable power and unsurprising dynamics. "The Chevrolet Colorado is a pickup truck that rides and handles like a pickup truck," reports the. "There is no attempt here to pretend to be anything else."
The Colorado is available with either a 2.9-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.7-liter five-cylinder, both of which receive boosts in horsepower for 2008. Kelley Blue Book says, "The Colorado's new 185-horsepower four-cylinder and 242-horsepower five-cylinder engines provide good power and excellent fuel economy." Other reviewers, however, aren't so impressed. Edmunds, for instance, writes, "The Colorado's acceleration, even with the increased power of this year's engines, doesn't approach the performance of the bigger V6s available in the Chevrolet's rivals."
All Colorado models are available with rear- or four-wheel drive. Its ride is slightly stiff and truck-like but reasonably comfortable. As New Car Test Drive puts it, the Colorado "still rides like a truck, but it isn't nasty about it." Cars.com says the Colorado "combines satisfying performance and appropriate handling skills," making it "enjoyable to drive." The decides, "The Colorado is a nice pickup, solid and well-mannered on the highway and sure-footed on winding back roads."
Acceleration and Power
Two engines are available in the Chevrolet Colorado, a 2.9-liter four-cylinder that makes 185 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque or a 3.7-liter five-cylinder that makes 242 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque. Edmunds explains, "A much-needed boost in power comes to the 2008 Chevrolet Colorado as both the inline 4 and the inline 5 are slightly upsized. The 4-cylinder engine gets a 10-horsepower boost, and the inline 5-cylinder boasts 242 hp -- a 22-hp gain." Most reviewers find the increased power to be more than adequate for most driving circumstances. Truck Trend notes, "There's a pleasing amount of reserve power left at higher engine speeds for merging onto the Interstate or overtaking another vehicle on a winding two-lane."
The four-cylinder is paired with either a five-speed manual transmission or four-speed automatic. Consumer Guide claims "with either transmission," the "four-cylinder has adequate power for around town driving." New Car Test Drive concedes, "It delivers adequate acceleration, particularly when paired with the five-speed manual, and should be enough for most mid-size pickup truck duties," but warns, "Just don't expect to accelerate like a rocket." As for fuel economy, a two-wheel drive manual or automatic gets an Environmental Protection Agency-estimated 18 miles per gallon in the city and 24 on the highway, a four-wheel drive manual gets 16 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway, and a four-wheel drive automatic gets 17 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway.
Reviewers prefer the five-cylinder engine. MSN says, "Power came on readily and smoothly." Many reviewers remark upon the engine's distinctive sound while complimenting its performance. "The five accelerated nicely," explains the , "accompanied by the harmonic exhaust note typical of the engine type." Most don't mind the sound. is an exception, writing, "It doesn't feel or sound pleasant. It shudders itself awake when the key is turned and shakes itself to sleep when switched off. In between, it sounds coarse and accelerates with a whine more like a four-cylinder than a six." The deems the five-cylinder, which is paired with a four-speed automatic transmission, "more powerful and sophisticated than a four-cylinder but not as strong nor as refined as a six," while noting, "one less cylinder does mean better gas mileage, however." A two-wheel drive version gets an EPA-estimated 16 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway, while all-wheel drive should achieve 15 mpg in the city and 21 on highways.
Handling and Braking
Reviewers are generally pleased with the Colorado's ride. Edmunds, which is largely critical of the Colorado, reports, "In its favor, the Colorado offers a choice of several well-sorted suspension setups that provide impressive capability off-road or sporty handling dynamics on twisty blacktop." The suspension, says Cars.com, is "well controlled," even if "you can expect quite a bit of bouncing on rougher surfaces. The agrees, "You'll feel some of those bumps in the road, bumps to which truck owners are accustomed."finds, "Allowing for the general jiggliness of small trucks, Colorado crew cab goes down the road passably well." Even
Steering draws mixed reviews. On one hand, Car and Driver claims, "The steering drew criticism for its high effort and numb feel." On the other hand, the calls it "quick and precise with good straight-line stability," and the says it functions "equally well in high-speed lane changes and parking lot maneuvers." One criticism of many reviewers concerns the Colorado's wide turning radius. Kelley Blue Book writes, "Surprisingly, for such a small truck the Colorado possesses a rather wide turning circle." As for the brakes, the reports that they "perform well, with a firm feeling and plenty of stopping power."
The four-wheel drive system, MSN explains, "has low-range gearing for rough off-road driving, but isn't for use on dry roads." Nor is it well-suited for the most challenging terrain, finds the , writing, "Although the powerful engine and sturdy drive system make Colorado feel ready for the trail, I quickly found out during an off-highway jaunt that the standard suspension is not ready for rough duty. The truck wallows and bottoms out all too easily." Reviewers are also disappointed by the Colorado's towing capacity. "At 4000 pounds," says Edmunds, it's "meager for this class of truck."