From a segment which appealed only to ‘Taukes’ as well as estate and jungle dwellers once upon a time, the pick-up truck segment has become arguably the most competitive category in the market.
It has been a case of brand after brand, model after model ever since the previous gen Triton came into the picture. And the good thing is that these trucks just keep getting better and better, with the Ford Ranger being the so-called benchmark.
That being said, what you’re looking at now is the latest model to be introduced in Malaysia - the all-new Chevrolet Colorado which will be making its official local debut this month.
Having been rather silent for some time now, Naza Quest Sdn Bhd, the authorised distributor of Chevrolet vehicles here said that the new Colorado will be the company’s most important model in the stable; its trump card in its quest to revive the brand in Malaysia. That is how confident the brand is with the new Colorado.
Whatever it is, manufacturers will always be manufacturers and they will make all sorts of claims. So, ahead of its launch, we got our hands on the new Colorado last month in the Philippines to see if it is really as good as the company says it is.
Specifications of the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado
2.5L Duramax FGT
2.5L Duramax VGT
2.8L Duramax VGT
6-speed AT / 6-Speed MT
2WD and 4WD
Built in Rayong, Thailand
Safety features: 4 airbags, Park Assist, Lane Departure Warning, ABS, EBD, ESC, Panic Brake Assist, Hill- Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC)
Having entered its second generation, the Chevrolet Colorado, which made its ASEAN debut in April in Thailand, will be offered with 3 engines in Malaysia and is already open for booking. They are:
The big news is the introduction of an upgraded version of the 2.5L Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel engine which now offers more power, better fuel economy and lower emissions. While the 2.5L Duramax engine in the pre-facelift model produced 161PS and 380Nm of torque, the updated mill kicks out 177PS and 440Nm of maximum torque. The 2.5L Duramax FGT engine and the 2.8L Duramax VGT engines on the other hand, remain the same.
The engine aside, other additions in the new Colorado include the addition of:
While we are still unsure of how much it will be asking for, the new Colorado’s main rival will of course, be the Ford Ranger, and also the rest of the horde including the Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi Triton, and the Isuzu D-Max.
However, Naza Quest did announce that the truck will be offered in five colour choices; Summit White, Black Meet Kettle, Switchblade Silver, Pull Me Over Red and Blue Mountain, and with a 5 Years/200,000km manufacturer warranty.
In order to keep up with competition, and also to make it look as fresh as possible, Chevrolet has given the Colorado’s front end a complete revamp, featuring a new grille, more muscular hood, slimmer and sharper looking LED headlights with DRL, as well as new 18-inch wheels.
Thanks to the enhancements, the Colorado definitely looks much better than the outgoing model which looked rather conservative.
During the regional test drive event held in Cebu, Philippines, Chevrolet did mention that a wide range of exterior accessories will be offered to give customers the platform to further customize the the Colorado based on their preferences.
That said, we can expect the company to bring in the genuine accessories like the black grille, extended sports bar, rear black bumper and black door handles, which are highly likely to be a hit among Malaysian buyers who just love to customize their trucks.
In the cabin is where the new Chevrolet Colorado has improved the most compared to the outgoing model. While the predecessor’s interior was somewhat easy on the eye and well-built, noise insulation wasn’t that great.
However, after hopping into the new Colorado, the first thing we noticed was that we couldn’t hear the engine idling at all, which is a huge plus point for a diesel vehicle. Even when we were driving, we could barely hear anything from the truck’s surroundings.
We could only hear the engine when we floored the accelerator pedal to work the engine hard, which was quite impressive, really.
Complementing the super quiet interior was the new dashboard built with nice and thick soft-touch plastic. It might not look as stylish as the dashboard of the Ford Ranger or the new Hilux but it is definitely of very decent quality.
The seats and the steering wheel were also clad in leather, giving the Colorado a premium feel which some of its rivals lack.
As simple as it looks, the Colorado is packed with features such as the Mylink infotainment system which supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the 8-inch 0
Whatever a 4x4 is supposed to do; the Colorado does it well - Wading 700mm deep water, climbing a surface that is 40-degrees steep, going through holes and uneven surfaces and everything in between could be done without breaking a sweat.
As lively as it was off the beaten track, the new Colorado is a beast on the road as well. With full torque available from low rpm, we never had to worry about the truck struggling, be it the 2.5- or 2.8-litre engine
During our stint with the Colorado, we drove through the city, the coastal roads, up a hill for close to 30km, through a specially-built off-road track, and even through a small lake. Never once did the new Colorado, which is one of the most powerful models in its segment, felt like it could use more power.
Another plus point is the introduction of the Electric Power Steering, which made it easier to manoeuvre the Colorado in the city and through tight spots.
Passenger comfort has also improved significantly from before, thanks to the new suspension tuning, the Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber, and the improved bushes and mountings which have reduced the level of vibration all around.
In all, the Colorado did whatever we expected it to do. While it impressed us with attributes like the silent cabin, the powerful engine, and generous amount of standard equipment, there is still room for improvement in terms of its design.
Yes, the new Colorado looks better than its predecessor but it is far from being the best looking truck in the segment. Even the interior for instance – minor touches like coloured stitching could’ve been added to give the truck the added visual appeal many buyers look for nowadays.
But these minor things aside, the new Colorado is indeed a very capable proposition that is among the best in class.
On another note, watch this space for more details on the Malaysian version of the Colorado as the launch is just around the corner.
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