Pros: Stellar exterior design; easy-to-use and modern tech; epic ZR2 off-road variant
Cons: Interior feels cheap on lower trims; low-output engine is a bummer
The 2024 Chevrolet Colorado stands tall as our favorite midsize pickup truck this year for a host of reasons. For one, it drives exceedingly well with a stout engine, solid ride and superb off-road variants for whatever use case. The interior is jam-packed with tech that both looks great and works even better. And sure, the lower trims feel a bit cheap, but a base Colorado Work Truck can be had at a respectably low price if you’re just looking for what the name implies: a work truck.
It’s hard not to hype up the ZR2 straight off the top, too, because this is hands-down our favorite version of the Colorado for having fun and arriving in maximum style. Think of it as a mini F-150 Raptor with a more reasonable powertrain – the chassis and suspension is that good for off-road ventures. And while the Z71 trim does luxury halfway decently, GM has another answer for those who desire a ritzier midsize pickup: the GMC Canyon that we review here. It’s basically the Colorado’s better-dressed twin.
Compared to other midsize trucks, the Colorado stacks up well in a specs comparison. It has the qualities you want with excellent power, great towing (maxes out at 7,700 pounds) and all the interior goodies. The new Toyota Tacoma with its hybrid powertrain has it beat for efficiency, and a Honda Ridgeline will still take the crown for best ride, but we like the Colorado as one of the best overall values and simply the best all-around midsize truck in the game for 2024.
What’s new for 2024?
Just like the GMC Canyon, the Chevrolet Colorado adds an AEV-upgraded off-road trim to the mix with the ZR2 Bison model – you can read all about it here. The 2024 Colorado also ditches the smaller 8-inch digital cluster to make the 11-inch version standard on all trims, and the mid-level turbocharged four-cylinder engine is discontinued. Various package shuffling takes place, but there aren’t many changes simply because the Colorado was all-new for 2023.
The Chevrolet Colorado’s interior ranges from cheap-feeling with lots of hard plastic in the Work Truck to surprisingly nice in the upper trims. No matter the trim, though, it’s a massive improvement in quality and appearance versus the previous generation. The first thing you’ll notice when you step up into the cabin is the screens right in your face. Every version of the Colorado gets an 11.3-inch infotainment touchscreen that includes wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto. Every trim also gets the same the same 11-inch digital instrument panel. All the screens feature easy-to-use controls, quick responses to inputs and run Google Built-in software. That means you have Google Maps as your native navigation system and the ability to download additional apps from the Google Play Store.
The cabin isn’t all screens, though, as Chevy sticks with hard buttons/knobs for vital items like climate controls, drive modes and volume control (weirdly, the headlights are found hidden in the touchscreen, which isn’t great). A hefty, traditional PRNDL shifter is slotted in the center console; there is plenty of space in both the cupholders and door pockets for your beverage necessities.
Unlike the GMC Canyon with its various interior upholstery colors, the Colorado is really only available in various shades of black (the ZR2 goes wild with a gray option). The Z71 trim is a little more exciting with red stitching and red accents throughout the cabin, but this lack of vibrancy is one way to tell the trucks apart. Another is the air vent design and general plushness of the surfaces – the LT and Z71 get padded surfaces, while the Work Truck and Trail Boss are stuck with hard plastic.
The Colorado falls in the midsize class of pickups, and it’s on the larger side of the segment in overall footprint. It only comes in one body style: a crew cab with what would usually be considered a short bed, measuring 5 feet, 1 inch.
Inside, the front row of the Colorado feels mighty spacious and affords a commanding view of the road ahead as you sit high off the ground. The rear seat, as they tend to be in the midsize pickup segment, is a little cramped but still totally workable and comfortable for an average adult at 34.7 inches of rear legroom. Child seats are possible, especially when forward facing, but the rear latch anchor is difficult to use, and we highly recommend seeking professional help to securely fasten a seat in place.
The bed itself might look like a regular pickup’s bed at first glance, but its tailgate is hiding a neat storage trick. A shallow bin of sorts on the inside of it can be flipped up and small items stowed in there. We could see it being helpful for things you always want on hand but don’t want flying around the bed, and possibly even convenient for tailgate parties as an additional place to put things. Less convenient is the ZR2 Bison’s bed-mounted spare tire. Sure, it looks rad, but it takes up a ton of space and nearly eliminates rear visibility.
All Colorados are powered by a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, but there are two engine outputs available. Both the Work Truck and LT trims are fitted with the lower output version that produces 237 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. These trims are available with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive optionally, and every Colorado is fitted with an eight-speed automatic. Fuel economy for the rear-drive trucks is listed at 19 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. These drop to 18/23/20 with 4WD.
The high-output version of the four-cylinder (standard on the Trail Boss and Z71) produces 310 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque. The ZR2 trim gets even more torque, though, at 430 pound-feet. These trucks come standard with four-wheel drive, and fuel economy drops to 17/21/19 mpg for the Trail Boss and Z71. That figure drops even further for the off-road-focused ZR2 at 16/16/16, the penalty for big all-terrain tires and its other off-road benefits.
Starting with the base engine, the Colorado feels on the gutless side and suffers from extreme throttle delay accompanied by an awfully mushy pedal. Maybe it was just our particular test truck, but we think this version of the engine may need some tweaking. Upgrade to the upper trims and their more powerful engine, and the Colorado is on the quick and gutsy side of things. Its eight-speed automatic transmission shifts much better with added power, though we found it still upshifted a little too quickly on occasion. For those who tow, the high-output version here features a tow/haul mode not found on the lower-output version that should make the transmission much smarter when the added torque is needed. And so long as you like the sound of diesels, you’re going to like the sound of this engine, because it’s very whistly and gravelly.
This body-on-frame pickup on its base/ street-oriented trims with rear leaf springs comports itself well in terms of both ride and handling. It’s reasonably composed, comfortable and civilized. A Trail Boss with the optional mud terrain tires didn’t add as much extra noise as we were expecting, but you do notice the firmer reactions to pavement imperfections that in turn send more vibrations through the truck’s frame. Meanwhile, the ZR2 with its giant tires and Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers completely changes the game in terms of ride quality. It’s going to be the best performer both on and off the road. And if you truly want the best off-road performance, there’s the ZR2 Bison that takes things even further.
What other Chevrolet Colorado reviews can I read?
Our first shot at the new Colorado where we dissect the engineering and try out multiple versions of the truck.
We test out the most extreme ZR2 Bison and come away wildly impressed at its capabilities.
Here we focus on the middling Trail Boss trim so see what a modest Colorado has to offer.
The 2024 Chevrolet starts at a reasonable $32,145 for the Work Truck trim. It comes with a fairly low level of standard equipment with some highlights being 17-inch steel wheels, halogen headlights, power-adjustable mirrors, cloth seats, manual tilt steering column (no telescope), single-zone climate control, 11.3-inch infotainment with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, manual front seats and a 6-speaker audio system.
The LT adds more equipment to the party, but the Trail Boss is a big step up with big changes like a 2-inch lift, 3-inch wider track, 18-inch wheels wrapping 32-inch all-terrain tires, the higher-output engine and a whole host of appearance items both inside and outside the truck. The Z71 is basically a more luxurious Trail Boss.
The ZR2 is the top trim with all of the unique off-road goodies – number one of those being the Multimatic DSSV dampers. The list of parts that makes the ZR2 special is a long one, but go check out our full review of the ZR2 Bison to learn more about this awesome off-road Colorado variant.
All of the prices and their corresponding trims are listed below, including the $1,495 destination charge.
- WT: $32,145
- LT: $33,495
- Trail Boss: $38,895
- Z71: $41,795
- ZR2: $48,395
- ZR2 Bison: $60,540
The Colorado comes with a large suite of driver assistance systems as standard equipment including forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and bicyclist detection, auto high-beams, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. Optionally, you can add blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems with steering assist, rear pedestrian alert, adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree camera.
The 2024 Colorado had not been crash-tested by a third party at the time of this writing.