The Chevrolet Colorado, which debuted in 2015, adds a turbocharged diesel engine in 2016. The diesel-powered midsize pickup truck displayed peppiness, responsive handling, and a tidy highway ride during a one-week test drive. Available in four trims (base, WT, LT, and Z71) in either four-door extended cab or crew cab models, the Colorado ranks as a very capable hauler with a deep cargo bed. Cargo bed functionality and flexibility is underscored with the standard CornerStep rear bumper, 13 tie-down locations, a lockable tailgate, and the EZ Lift and Lower tailgate (standard on Z71 trim). Maximum payload with the 4WD is 1,477 pounds for the short box (5-foot 2-inch) and 1,547 pounds for the 6-foot, 2-inch box.

Colorado’s power choices are a 2.5-liter, 200 horsepower/191 peak torque 4-cylinder; a 3.6-liter, 305 horsepower/269 peak torque V6; and the new-for-2016 Duramax 2.8-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel providing 181 horsepower at 3400 rpm and 369 pounds-feet of peak torque at 2000 rpm. (The diesel engine-powered Colorado includes a smart diesel exhaust brake system that reduces brake wear on steep grades.) An Eaton 6-speed manual transmission is available on select extended cab models. A Hydra-Matic 6-speed automatic transmission is available on select extended cab models and is standard on all other models. The test driven Colorado Z71 4WD crew cab short box with diesel engine and automatic transmission carried a base MSRP of $34,640 and collected estimated mpg of 20 city/29 highway.