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Wyoming Road Trip Part Three - Comparing Midsize Truck Utility and Cost - 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Posts: 10,125
edited August 2015 in Chevrolet
imageWyoming Road Trip Part Three - Comparing Midsize Truck Utility and Cost - 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Long-Term Road Test

This long-term update to's 2015 Chevrolet Colorado compares the mid-size truck's road trip utility to a full-size Ram 1500.

Read the full story here


  • adamb1adamb1 Cookeville, TNPosts: 122
    Yep. When you're buying a truck, your buying utility. Buy the most utility you can afford. Having more utility, power, space than you need most days means comfort and low stress. When you need it all, you'll be glad you have it.
  • iamthestigiamthestig Philadelphia, PAPosts: 85
    In my mind, this is the primary issue with the Colorado and today's bigger "mid-sized" trucks. They're expensive enough to be within arm's reach of a more capable full-sized truck, but the efficiency isn't there to really set them apart. In the end you're paying about the same money as a big truck for similar efficiency and less capability.
  • jfa1177jfa1177 Posts: 52
    Having driven several of the newer full-sized trucks there would be no way I'd want one for a daily driver. They are too big and cumbersome. Yes, they offer more capability than the 'Rado/Taco but at least those are manageable as a daily. When the diesel 'Rado arrives I'm sure it will make a huge difference in fuel economy vs. a full-sized truck.
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    This goes back to a comment I made on a post earlier. People claim they want a small or midsize truck, then complain when it doesn't have the features, towing, and room of a Full Size. You are right that the fuel economy doesn't make it worthwhile to go with the Mid-size. Unfortunately, consumers whine about what they would have to truly give up to get into a cost-affordable small or midsize truck. And the manufacturers are guilty of this as well. The Colorado is almost as large as a current Full size truck and fairly close to a Full Size Truck from twenty years ago. The biggest draw for the Colorado/Canyon is the price difference, even if it isn't all that much. For those with credit that isn't stellar, it may be the difference between getting a new truck or buying a car.
  • metalmaniametalmania Posts: 167
    Disclosure: I don't currently drive a truck and have never owned one. But I'm thinking about it, and if I do it will still be either a Tacoma or Colorado. I don't need a full size truck, don't want to drive a full size (by modern measurements) every day, and a full size crew cab with short bed is too big for my garage. My probable "truck duty" would be mostly just what they sort of advertise these as: light duty home and yard projects, and a recreational transport for bikes, small boats (as in paddle powered), and maybe a small camper. The rest of the time it would be my daily driver. Some reviews of the new GM twins describes them as driving more like a crossover than a typical truck, with the added utility of the bed in back (and the ability to tow and carry more than the average small to mid-size crossover). That's kind of what I'm looking for anyway, not really a rough and tumble, tow a modular home up a mountain behemoth. Don't get me wrong, I really like the modern crop of full size pickups, but I don't need one every day. I know you CAN get a bigger, more capable full size truck for around the same money, but the point is that some of us really don't WANT that, or need it, or have the space to keep it.

    Also, isn't the lifetime avg mpg for this long termer including some significant towing runs, as well hot desert and high altitude time? I'm not trying to make excuses for it, just trying to have a clear understanding of the kind of miles that number represents. I would expect towing loads near the limit for a smaller truck with a V6 to make a bigger impact on mpg than a bigger truck with a V8. We've seen that it IS possible to meet (and actually slightly exceed) the EPA highway rating with this truck, and that actually IS a decent bump from most full sizers without a diesel. The question I guess really is how often are you going to hit that target. And, if you regularly tow near its limit, this probably isn't the right truck for you (but the diesel may change that).
  • metalmaniametalmania Posts: 167
    Here's a question regarding rear seat space and comfort. How does it compare to say a Honda CR-V or a Rav4, etc.? Smaller, or about the same?
  • g35bufg35buf Posts: 89
    I can comment on the back seat space...Basically kids only in a Colorado crew cab...Not even close to the real world space of a CR-V or RAV4...That is a dealer breaker for me...Only the Gen I Honda Ridgeline has a usable back seat in the mid size truck category...and that has a lot to do with width and being unibody based...I went full size RAM 1500 after the Honda and would never accept the usable space of a Colorado (or Taco or Frontier either)...
  • reminderreminder Posts: 383
    I could've selected a full size just the same as anyone else. I compared the motor choices, tow rating, box sizes, interior space.
    In the end it shouldn't surprise anyone that a lower to mid-level trim Silverado is about 3K more than a nearly fully optioned Colorado.
    It's an expensive endeavor to assemble vehicles in general. They all have to have wheels, tires, doors. glass and so on. An AC compressor for the Silverado is likely to be the same part in the Colorado. So in the end, what is it about the full size vehicles that command $50K and up in some cases? A $10,000 diesel option & or some ridiculous decorative trim package?
    Overall, the mark-up on trucks is huge. To me dropping $50K on one is only justifiable if you have to have one to make a living or you are independently wealthy.
    I understand nice things cost money. I own a Colorado that's nearly the same as the one you are testing, except I got the long box.
    In the end, it's all about what works best for the individual. If you have kids that are gonna be 6'5", maybe you shouldn't get one.
    For me, it does everything I need it do and then some.
  • It's just like anything else -- maybe people just want a smaller truck because they don't want a large truck? Money may not even be a factor, but it is nice to save yourself $5000.

    I mean, I can afford a larger dresser, but I bought a smaller one for about the same price. The bigger one is more than I need, and it would not fit very well in my room/life.
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    The truck market is a good example of Supply & Demand. Because gas (especially in the past, 90s-early 2000s) was cheap and plentiful, people migrated to pickups. Part of this, I believe was stagnant development of full size sedans/coupes, lack of V8 power, etc. So the manufacturers started ramping up production and increasing the price. Ford, GM, & Chrysler (or whatever they call themselves) admits that pickups are their leading profit margin products. I remember when my parents bought their first brand new vehicle. It was a 1993 Chevrolet C-1500 Silverado extended cab, short stepside. It had the 5.7 liter V8, Auto, power everything, AM/FM Cassette, bucket seats, console, cloth interior. I think my dad paid right at around 22 grand for it. The only way it'd have cost more was if he'd upgraded the engine to the 454 or went for leather. Now, 22 years later, you can't get a stripped down regular cab for that amount.It'd be in the 40 grand range. And frankly, it kind of shows you how car dealers do it, every year, they go up roughly a grand over the previous year's price.
  • aspadeaspade Posts: 42
    It goes without saying that a smaller truck will never have the space of a full size that's 20" longer but it could have a lot more space than this one does. The Ridgeline fit two genuinely useable rows with another 6" of shoulder room into a package smaller than this one.
  • jfa1177jfa1177 Posts: 52
    The Ridgeline was also based on the Odyssey minivan chassis. No self-respecting trucker is going to buy a minivan-based pickup!
    BTW- 'Rados are body on frame not a unitized chassis like the Ridgeline so there should be space efficiency not available on a Rado.
  • metalmaniametalmania Posts: 167
    reminder said:

    If you have kids that are gonna be 6'5", maybe you shouldn't get one.
    For me, it does everything I need it do and then some.

    It depends... if they take after my wife's side of the family, I'll need a Suburban. If they take after my side... no problem in the Colorado!

  • I tried making the same comparison about cost vs utility on another truck forum when the talk of the town was the upcoming release of the new colorado, and how it was going to "redefine the midsize truck market," but there were a few guys who couldn't make the connection that a full-size wasn't that far off to take the extra step to gain potentially a comfortable 6-seater vs a tight 5-seater with roughly the same gas mileage. But apparently the Sales team at GM did their job to convince the masses. To this the response should be "baaahh".
  • metalmaniametalmania Posts: 167
    I don't see this as GM "convincing the masses", or guys not "making the connection" to take the extra step to get a bigger truck. Of course a bigger truck has more space and capability, and the fuel economy isn't that different between them. But the full size is still a bigger package that I don't want to drive every day, it still won't fit in my garage, and I still don't need the extra capability that it has 99% of the time. The point is the Colorado and Canyon are a more sensible package overall for what my needs and wants actually are (and probably a lot of other people interested in a light duty truck), and if I could fit a few average sized adults in it on occasion for a few hours with reasonable comfort, that's probably good enough. It doesn't have to be a limo in the back, just not punishing. My kids are young, but would be pretty close to fully grown by the time I moved on from the truck should I get one. For most big trips, we'd probably take our van anyway unless it required carriage of stuff that the truck is better suited for. I've been searching for reviews and comments on the space and comfort factor of these trucks, and they range from "plenty" to "cramped". I'll just have to see for myself to decide if it's enough or not. I do wish these new GM twins were about $5k less across the board. Maybe we'll start seeing some incentives for them when the '16 Tacoma hits the lots and all those guys start trading up.
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