This bow-tie-sporting beast can push, pull and wade like how
Photos by Tessa R. Salazar
THERE are just a few vehicles you’ll really feel safe in during this season of heavy rains and sudden floods. And yes, one of them wears a bow tie as a badge, and is as American as they can get.
That gold bow-tie badge proudly emblazoned at the front grille of the Chevrolet Colorado 4×2 LT pickup (2.8-liter, four-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC Duramax Diesel with VGTi, six-speed AT with Active Select) says just about enough of the heritage of this workhorse, and makes you expect that this pickup should, indeed, be best-in-class in power and torque, as claimed by both its maker and Philippine distributor Chevrolet Philippines.
Still, nothing quite prepares us for the feeling of summoning 200 horses, and being pushed by 500 Newton-meters of torque, which only the famed 2.8-L Duramax CRDi diesel engine boosted by the VGTi turbocharger can generate, and the power of which is admirably managed by the six-speed AT with Active Select.
This pushing and pulling power certainly went to good use two years ago, when this author first drove the Colorado for 900 kilometers with a bunch of Inquirer Outreach/Outdoor Club members and lots of personal computers, books and school supplies to be donated to a poor community and its public elementary school nestled in the mountainous area of Kalinga Province, north of Manila.
Not only was its power and handling admirable for the type of roads it was subjected to (combination of expressways, hilly twisties, and treacherous, unpaved high-altitude mountain passes), but the spacious legroom and highly fuel efficient engine contributed much to the comfort and convenience of the driver and passengers.
Now, two years later, and we are happy to see that the latest iteration of the Colorado has retained its strengths. Here are our eight observations of the Colorado 4×2 LT, which should make it a strong contender in the country’s tightly contested pickup war (at least in the 4×2 category):
- We believe the Colorado should be among the top three pickups in the market today, slugging it out with the likes of the Mitsubishi Strada, Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, and Isuzu D-Max.
For the simple reason alone that the Colorado boasts best-in-class power and torque (and it shows in the drive), the Colorado is underrated, and is without a doubt, the dark horse in this category. Since it is underrated, this pickup equipped with a swift and powerful Duramax (variable geometry) turbodiesel engine is definitely a dark horse among the pickup category.
Lawyer Alberto Arcilla, president and managing director of Chevrolet Philippines, said in 2015 that the Colorado’s “signature diesel engine not only underscores an industry leap in acceleration, straight-line performance and off-road capabilities, it also balances its output with improved fuel efficiency.”
- Though the Colorado 4×2 variant offers no traction control, hill assist nor descent control, it still can wade in floodwaters or shallow streams for up to 800 millimeters deep.
- In terms of exterior design, the Colorado goes for the conservative, not-so-bold look. The fascia uses no oversized grille design, and other than the Chevy logo to distinguish it from other brands, the Colorado front design looks generic. The same observation goes for the side and rear designs.
- The interior/dashboard instrumentations are also laid out in a simple manner. Center console instrumentations are understandable in one glance. It could, however, use added safety tech like a backing sensor and/or backing camera.
The legroom for both front and rear is adequate for Asian-sized adults. (Noticeable, though, is the absence of a step board, which could prove useful for pint-sized Asian passengers and drivers).
- The suspension system is firm, but not harsh. Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) is excellent.
- Nonleather seats are a big plus, the bonus is the dynamic gray-white pattern of the fabric, which breaks the visual monotony of the interior.
- The Colorado is quite generous with its compartments. There are four two-glove compartments, one up at the center of the dashboard, and another down at the center console compartment.
And there are cup holders galore—one strategically placed below each air-conditioning vent for driver and front passenger, plus two more at the front side doors, then two more at the center console beside the hand brake.
- Overall, we rate the exterior design of the Colorado at 8 of 10 (for the pleasing conservative look, but it could use bolder touches to make it more distinctive).
The interior is also an 8 of 10 (for ease of use, instant recognition of crucial controls and readings, but could use more tech features), and the performance a 9 of 10 (for the power, ride handling/NVH and acceleration).
The Chevrolet Colorado 4×2 LT goes for P1,278,888. TVJ
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