Originally introduced as a 2004 model, the Chevrolet Colorado only has option package and several trim level revisions for 2006. New LT models come with an upgraded cloth material and offer a "Sun and Sound" package that combines a power sunroof with an AM/FM/6-disc CD changer. One new color, Blue Granite Metallic, is also available.
When Chevrolet introduced the Colorado as a replacement for its compact S-10 pickup in 2004, it simultaneously introduced a new generation of larger pickups. In the relatively short time span since its inception, the segment has grown to 12 models. The Colorado is a "real" truck, in that it features a body-on-frame design, and shares the same basic design as the GMC Canyon but offers different trim levels. The Colorado comes in Regular Cab, Extended Cab, or Crew Cab body styles; is available in LS and LT trim; comes in two- or four-wheel drive; and offers two pickup bed lengths (5 feet, 1 inch and 6 feet, 1 inch), three available suspensions, and two all-aluminum inline engines.
The standard Colorado comes with 7.5 inches of ground clearance. The optional Colorado Xtreme sport package features a lower-riding (ZQ8) sport suspension for 2WD models, while the optional Z71 off-road suspension increases ground clearance. The off-road suspension is available on 2WD and 4WD models, the latter coming with skid plates. Two engine packages are available: the standard four-cylinder, 2.8L Vortec 2800, rated at 175 hp, and the more powerful five-cylinder, 3.5L Vortec 3500 engine with 220 hp. Maximum towing capacity is 4,000 pounds with the five-cylinder powerplant. Other noteworthy features include front dual-stage air bags, available side-impact air bags and a tailgate that can be opened so that its top matches the wheel-well height to accommodate 4 ft. x 8 ft. panels.
The 12 entries in the Midsize Pickup segment target customers who don't need the hefty towing and hauling capabilities of a full-size truck and prefer the fuel economy and handling advantages of a smaller pickup. These vehicles have replaced earlier-generation compact pickup trucks. They offer better fuel economy and maneuverability than their full-size counterparts, and more room than former compacts.
Among midsize pickups, the Colorado is second in sales only to the Toyota Tacoma, having sold 128,359 units in calendar year 2005 (compared to 168,831 for the Tacoma), according to theJ.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM The Ford Ranger had the third-highest sales total with 120,958 units. Other models in the segment with more than 30,000 sales include the Dodge Dakota, Nissan Frontier, Honda Ridgeline, Ford Explorer Sport Trac, and GMC Canyon.