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Chevy Colorado debuts
New pick-up truck replaces outdated S-10
Drew Dorian
Echo Online - Dimensions Editor
JUNE 15, 2004

When it comes to innovation, General Motors is rarely the segment leader. In the past year, however, the General has been slowly introducing their new product image with an all-new cast of cars, trucks and SUV’s.

One of the most important projects was revamping the GM family of compact pick-ups. The Chevrolet S-10 and its corporate twin, the GMC Sonoma, have been replaced, finally, with two brand new trucks.

The Chevrolet Colorado, which was provided to us by Carnahan Chevrolet of Ypsilanti, and its cousin, the GMC Canyon, are oodles better than the antiquated S-10/Sonoma trucks.

That’s not to say that the previous S-10 wasn’t a dedicated workhorse. It was. In fact, my younger brother has had his ’92 S-10 for quite a while and it has performed well and without much trouble. However, that truck exhibits quite a bit of the typical shake, rattle and roll seen in other S-10/Sonoma platform trucks.

The Colorado has a much stiffer frame and a much more comfortable cabin than the old model, exhibits much less cowl shake and seems less of a punishing ride than its predecessor.

Our tester, a well-equipped, two-wheel-drive crew cab model, included many innovative features not found on other trucks in its class. The crew cab also included many storage nooks to make stowing inside the cab a breeze. An area under the rear seats can store small items like a toolbox, laptop or textbooks. This provides an out-of-sight storage space for expensive items as well.

An attractive and easy to read instrument display and controls setup worked well and looks simple. It does not take long to get used to the controls. The gauges are easy to read and straightforward. Radio and HVAC controls are within reach and easy to use. The dashboard itself could use a touch of attention, though. A cheap-looking and feeling plastic covers the dash and does nothing to enhance the look of the interior.

The inline-five provides plenty of power needed to tow up to 4000 pounds of Jet Ski, trailer or whatever you need to move. Fuel economy is around 17 miles-per-gallon in the city, which is better than most compact pickups.

The exhaust note leaves a bit to be desired, however. Instead of sounding like a truck, it sounds more like a sick dog’s growl. The weak sound makes the Colorado’s power output seem anemic, when in fact it has quite a bit of torque and horsepower. It just doesn’t fit.

Overall, the Colorado is leaps and bounds better than the old S-10.

Full Review Here

 

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Better than the S-10, yes. But EDMUNDS has just bashed it saying the exterior was right on the money, but the interior finds the same type of hard plastic and misaligned parts as the older truck - or something to that effect.

I think the interior should get a remake sometime soon, especially with all the new trucks coming out from the competition. This is especially true with the recent Car and Driver compliment of the "mini-Lexus like interior" of the Cobalt. GM should share the interior upgrade strategy with their entire product line. ;)
 

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I have a question for those with more knowledge of this segment. Will the fact that the Colorado/Canyon has a lower tow rating than the S-10/Sonoma hurt sales since the new Dakota is about to be released and it has an improved tow rating over its predecessor?
 

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Considering how often I see S10/Ranger size trucks towing
measurable trailers, I doubt it should be a major impact on
sales. Although maybe the knowledge that the truck has a
limited tow limit might push some people away.

So the Colorado is more refined than the S10?
I was thinking my '99 S10 was TOO comfy. :)
 

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I hate to nit pick, but...

"When it comes to innovation, General Motors is rarely the segment leader...." What kind of crap opening line is this, Drew!? Does this reflect something you know, or is this some cheap quip for which you have no facts? Come on! Then again, maybe I'm being senstive.

I agree with Edmunds (and killerrd2) with respect to the visual aesthetics of these two trucks. The exterior is fairly appealing, but the interior needs some work.
 

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I agree 100% with Edmunds on the interior, it is very cheap. Just try pulling down the visor mirror to swing over to cover the side window. It feels like it is being held in by a piece of card board, which essentially is true. The dash is cheap hard plastic, the door panals are terrible and that garbage seat material that car manufacturers are shovong down our throats is even in the better models. I would forgive some of this if GM would offer the 4.2 l-6 and rear disk brakes but I think this is an underachieving effert on Chevy's part.
 

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Originally posted by killerrd2@Jun 16 2004, 10:07 AM
Better than the S-10, yes. But EDMUNDS has just bashed it saying the exterior was right on the money, but the interior finds the same type of hard plastic and misaligned parts as the older truck - or something to that effect.

I think the interior should get a remake sometime soon, especially with all the new trucks coming out from the competition. This is especially true with the recent Car and Driver compliment of the "mini-Lexus like interior" of the Cobalt. GM should share the interior upgrade strategy with their entire product line.  ;)
Out of curiosity, have you seen the interior first-hand? A buddy of mine just bought a Colorado a couple of months ago, and the interior is nicer than any other in a compact truck. I have no idea what Edmunds is talking about when they blast the Colorado/Canyon's interior. A Lexus it's not, but not even the ancient Tacoma's interior is that great.
 

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i agree with vanshmack. i didn't really find the interior too bad at all. i think it looks fine, and didn't really pick up on the crappy materials. maybe i'm not observant enough... but fit and finish inside appeared on-par with the equinox, which is also very well executed in my opinion. can't say i like the 'fun fabric' seat inserts though. a little too first-gen chrysler neon!
 

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I really like the interior of the old model. My 97' has easy to read gauges, the radio is at the right distance so you don't have to reach, and the seats were quite comfy (replaced them later on for f-body units). The only time it ever creaked was when I broke the door panel with my leg. The only complaint I had was the lack of insulation. I added a sound pad to the floor and a heat pad on the roof, I was surprised the roof came completely baren except for the headliner. Not sure though if this was remedied in the new Colorado/Canyon.
 

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Originally posted by dreadnaught1181@Jun 16 2004, 03:19 PM
I have a question for those with more knowledge of this segment. Will the fact that the Colorado/Canyon has a lower tow rating than the S-10/Sonoma hurt sales since the new Dakota is about to be released and it has an improved tow rating over its predecessor?
Towing in this segment isn't a large deal. Mostly fuel mileage and space.

This is were I think the Dakota shines and I thought that the Caynon\Colorado where suppose to be larger than the S-10, built on th Envoy\Trailblazer I had pictured them closer to the Dakota size.
 

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Originally posted by dreadnaught1181@Jun 16 2004, 03:19 PM
I have a question for those with more knowledge of this segment. Will the fact that the Colorado/Canyon has a lower tow rating than the S-10/Sonoma hurt sales since the new Dakota is about to be released and it has an improved tow rating over its predecessor?
Towing in this segment isn't a large deal. AS long as it tows a boat or 2 snowmobiles.Mostly fuel mileage and space.

This is were I think the Dakota shines and I thought that the Caynon\Colorado where suppose to be larger than the S-10, built on th Envoy\Trailblazer I had pictured them closer to the Dakota size.
 

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Originally posted by tgagneguam@Jun 16 2004, 10:42 AM
I hate to nit pick, but...

"When it comes to innovation, General Motors is rarely the segment leader...." What kind of crap opening line is this, Drew!? Does this reflect something you know, or is this some cheap quip for which you have no facts? Come on! Then again, maybe I'm being senstive.
I don't think you're being nit-picky, tgagneguam. Let's see here. . . .

Current Segment Innovations or Leadership positions:
Midgates, 4 Wheel Steering, Retractable Roofs (on SUVs, Trucks, and Cars), HID Lamps, Common Rail Diesels, CVTs, Active Suspension and Magnetic Ride Control, Sliding Rear Seats, XM Radio and OnStar. Besides the fact that on a segment by segment basis, GM has better fuel economy than Toyota or Ford (sounds like innovative leadership to me), there are hundreds of patented and less visible innovations, great and small, being built into GM vehicles today.

Future Segments Innovations? How about the first Commercially Available Fuel Cell Vehicle?

Who would be the innovators in each segment today? And what are their notable innovations? This guy is either biased, ignorant, or lazy. Probably ignorant and lazy, since he works for what I'd guess is a college newspaper at Eastern Michigan.
 

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Originally posted by doh@Jun 16 2004, 12:24 PM

Towing in this segment isn't a large deal. Mostly fuel mileage and space.

This is were I think the Dakota shines and I thought that the Caynon\Colorado where suppose to be larger than the S-10, built on th Envoy\Trailblazer I had pictured them closer to the Dakota size.
They're not built on the GMT 360 platform....it's a brand new platform called the GMT 350....I think...lol...anyway, not the same as the TB/Envoy
 

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Originally posted by bakerna+Jun 16 2004, 06:37 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (bakerna @ Jun 16 2004, 06:37 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-doh@Jun 16 2004, 12:24 PM

Towing in this segment isn't a large deal. Mostly fuel mileage and space.

This is were I think the Dakota shines and I thought that the Caynon\Colorado where suppose to be larger than the S-10, built on th Envoy\Trailblazer I had pictured them closer to the Dakota size.
They're not built on the GMT 360 platform....it's a brand new platform called the GMT 350....I think...lol...anyway, not the same as the TB/Envoy [/b][/quote]
The Colorado/Canyon is the GMT 355 platform. Trailblazer/Envoy/Rainier are GMT 360. And yes the GMT 355 is smaller than the GMT 360. GMT 355 is right between S10/Sonoma and Envoy.
 

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Originally posted by ponchoman49@Jun 16 2004, 03:46 PM
I agree 100% with Edmunds on the interior, it is very cheap. Just try pulling down the visor mirror to swing over to cover the side window. It feels like it is being held in by a piece of card board, which essentially is true. The dash is cheap hard plastic, the door panals are terrible and that garbage seat material that car manufacturers are shovong down our throats is even in the better models.
I find the interior design ok, but still cheap. The seats are the same **** as in my 02 Sonoma ZR2. Is GM damned from ever using seats with side-bolsters?

My other quip on the Colorado/Canyon is price. TOO DAMN EXPENSIVE for what you get! A 28K Crew Cab 4x4 3.5L w/ Bucket Seats? Come on... try 25K MAX!.
 

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Originally posted by PBGDude+Jun 16 2004, 10:12 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (PBGDude @ Jun 16 2004, 10:12 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by baker[email protected] 16 2004, 06:37 PM
<!--QuoteBegin-doh
@Jun 16 2004, 12:24 PM

Towing in this segment isn't a large deal. Mostly fuel mileage and space.

This is were I think the Dakota shines and I thought that the Caynon\Colorado where suppose to be larger than the S-10, built on th Envoy\Trailblazer I had pictured them closer to the Dakota size.

They're not built on the GMT 360 platform....it's a brand new platform called the GMT 350....I think...lol...anyway, not the same as the TB/Envoy
The Colorado/Canyon is the GMT 355 platform. Trailblazer/Envoy/Rainier are GMT 360. And yes the GMT 355 is smaller than the GMT 360. GMT 355 is right between S10/Sonoma and Envoy. [/b][/quote]
It would have hit the mark on the GMT 360 chassis though in my opinion
 

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Come again? If the Colorado was built on the GMT360 platform, that would make for one VERY large truck. In any case, I haven't heard any huge raves about that platform (except for the Buick version) besides the straight six engine that the platform employs.
 

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The Colorado's interior is quite attractive, and so far customers have responded to it well. Anyone who might criticize should consider its current competition, though the upcoming Tacoma and Frontier will likely have "nicer" top-end interior styling. For now, the Colorado's interior is identical in quality to the F-150 XLT's interior, right down to the high-density foam in the seats.

The only major objection that I've encountered with Colorado customers is the seat foam's density, from those who are used to Chevy's typically softer seats. Frankly, I think the Colorado's seats are a bit hard, but at the same time, I always feel like I'm sitting in the right position in an LS.

The comment about the 5-cylinders exhaust note not matching the engine's actual output is right-on. It sounds like a 3100 V-6, and a heavily muted one at that.

Ghrankenstein
 

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:angry: I have to agree with others about the POOR interior. The material they chose for the seats are very cheesy compared to my 93 S-10 Tahoe package and my 98 S-10 LS package. I love that plush seating.........I hope this is just an introduction sample or something or its hello Dakota. Now that's a comfortable seating...........ooooooooooohhhhhhh yeah.
 
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