Bigger, better breathing engines headline a list of improvements to the 2007 Chevy Colorado line of mid-size pickups.
The base-level four-cylinder engine has been bored out from 2.8 to 2.9 liters, and the 2007 model produces 185 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque. That's 10 horsepower and 5 more pound-feet than 2006. The optional five-cylinder engine has been enlarged from 3.5 to 3.7 liters for 2007, for 242 horsepower and 242 pound-feet, up about 20 over the 2006 figures.
Other improvements for 2007 include a smoother-shifting automatic transmission, a more powerful 125-amp alternator, a standard tire-pressure monitor, and brighter interior trim.
Chevy Colorado was designed for comfort and favors roominess, ride comfort and fuel efficiency over traditional truck virtues such as payload and towing capacity. That's a strong selling point because mid-size trucks are often bought as alternatives to cars, and their owners want more hip room, leg room and head room. Most are willing to sacrifice bed length for cab room.
We think the trade-offs have paid off. The Chevrolet Colorado rides smoothly and feels refined. Order the five-cylinder engine and it accelerates smartly. The Crew Cab features a roomy back seat that's surprisingly comfortable and not bolt-upright. Yet the Colorado fits into tight parking spaces, something that can't be said of full-size pickups. Like all the trucks in this category, the Colorado is substantially smaller and more maneuverable than full-size pickups such as the Dodge Ram or Chevy Silverado. These are important benefits because even those who frequently use pickups to perform genuine truck duties spend most of their time driving with an empty bed.
But don't get us wrong: The Colorado isn't a car with a bed. In fact, the Colorado provides all the trucking capacity most owners will ever use. It has a six-foot bed with Regular and Extended Cabs, and a five-foot bed on Crew Cabs. A properly equipped Colorado is rated to tow 4,000 pounds, enough for transporting ATVs, dirt bikes, personal watercraft, bass boats, and small camping trailers. For most consumer needs, Colorado is more than enough truck to get the job done.
Colorado also offers a utilitarian Regular Cab work truck, a relatively inexpensive vehicle for buyers who want a tool for their work. All told, about a hundred permutations of the Colorado are available, giving buyers lots of choices to fit their needs.
The 2007 Chevrolet Colorado is available in Regular Cab, Extended Cab, and Crew Cab configurations. Regular and Extended Cabs come with a six-foot bed. Crew Cabs come with a five-foot bed.
Three suspension packages are offered: The rugged Z85 is the standard setup and is available with two-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD). The Z71 off-road suspension is also available with 2WD and 4WD. Appropriately, the low-riding ZQ8 sport suspension is only available with 2WD.
New for 2007, the 2.9-liter four-cylinder engine, rated 185 horsepower, comes standard all Regular and Extended Cabs, and on 2WD Crew Cabs with the Z85 suspension. Also new for 2007, the 3.7-liter, 242-hp inline-5 is optional ($1,000) on those models and standard on Crew Cabs with ZQ8, Z71, and/or 4WD. It is also included in the more up-level trim packages.
In Regular and Extended Cabs, a five-speed manual transmission is standard with either engine, and a four-speed automatic ($1,095) optional. The automatic is now standard in all Crew Cabs and with some up-level trims.
The base-trim model is a commercial-grade work truck (W/T), offered as a Regular Cab 2WD ($13,910), Extended Cab 2WD ($16,310), Regular Cab 4WD ($17,310) and Extended Cab 4WD ($19,510). Only the standard suspension is available. All come with hose-it-out vinyl floor mats and durable vinyl seating, ideal for muddy-boot applications (and situations where the buyer isn't the same person as the driver). Air conditioning is standard, though, along with tilt steering, a tachometer, driver information center, AM/FM stereo, cruise control and two 12-volt power outlets. Cloth seats ($58) and carpeting ($70) are available.
The LS trim level makes cloth upholstery standard, adds some brightwork to the interior, features chrome instead of charcoal bumpers, and rides on 225/75R15 tires rather than the standard 205/75R15s.
LT trim adds reclining seats with upgraded upholstery, metallic interior trim, more stereo speakers, color-keyed grille and side moldings, and aluminum wheels. To that the 2LT Package adds bucket seats; power windows, mirrors and locks with remote keyless entry; deep-tinted glass; and a self-dimming rearview mirror. It also makes the five-cylinder engine and automatic transmission standard. Package 3LT includes all 2LT equipment plus additional upgrades like carpeted floor mats, a sliding rear cab window, and fog lamps.
The Z71 off-road suspension requires a minimum of LT trim, and adds an automatic-locking rear differential, P265/75R15 on/off-road tires, and a Smoke Gray grille and wheel flares. Ground clearance at the rear differential is 8.4 inches. Order 4WD and you get skid plates, too.
The ZQ8 sport suspension also requires LT trim, and is offered only with 2WD. The ZQ8 rides lower than base models, with a slight forward rake, and comes with P235/50R18 tires on 18-by-8-inch aluminum wheels. A monochromatic paint scheme and fog lamps add visual distinction. Colorado Xtreme drops the ZQ8 suspension down another 1.6 inches and mounts gas-charged shocks and stiffer anti-roll bars. A unique grille, tailgate spoiler, and side-sill extensions add exclusivity to Xtreme's appearance, along with monochromatic paint schemes limited to red, black, white, blue, or yellow.
Power windows, locks and mirrors are optional ($500) on LT; so are XM Satellite Radio ($199), Gen 6 OnStar ($695), a six-CD changer ($395). A sunroof ($695) is offered on Crew Cabs. A Sun and Sound package ($795) for LT Crew Cabs bundles the sunroof with a six-disc in-dash CD changer. Crew Cabs offer leather seating surfaces ($1,495). Other options and accessories are available as well.
Safety features include dual-stage front airbags and front seatbelt pre-tensioners. Curtain-style side-impact airbags designed for head protection are optional ($395) on all models. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) come standard on all models. A tire pressure monitor, also standard on all models, is