WE’RE not kidding – this writer kickstarted the year 2016 on a high (surely) note.
We had the Chevrolet Colorado Sport just in time for the New Year and for the most part, it broke most stereotypes on pickup trucks which still hold true today. Then again, that’s just what we personally think.
Say hello to the Colorado Sport – the fancier sibling among the Colorado brothers.
All buffed up with the right number of attributes that render ride cosiness, this all-road rig has made a strong name for itself in the high-rider brotherhood, especially in the performance and comfort departments.
Having said that, it’s not all good news. The Colorado Sport’s not-so-good fuel economy will make cost-saving ride owners cringe. For a machine that feeds on diesel, one would expect anything less than a double-digit litres per 100km consumption figure but sadly, that’s not the case here.
That heart-wrenching bit aside though, our liking for the Colorado Sport will remain for a while and in saying so, taking one last good look at the truck while returning it to Chevrolet’s headquarters before exiting is easily one of the saddest breakup stories in the history of media test drives.
Feels like a sedan
Bulky, bumpy and difficult to manoeuvre – we are more than glad to be able to exclude these words from our own review of the Colorado Sport. And whatever its stylists did to rid ‘rough’ off the pickup truck formula, it turned out to be a surprising success.
On the outside, prominent features such as swollen side fenders, a rear roll bar, door visors as well as 18-inch allow wheels, are what set the Colorado Sport apart from its other comrades. Completing the sporty look of the truck from front to back are projector headlamps as well as LED taillights.
The overall interior– relaxing, with a small pinch of luxury – feels like a chic sedan and it’s safe to say that the oh-so-comfortable feel of it might even help the Colorado Sport earn the approval of the female driver community.
Leather has been proportionately used in the cabin, sewed onto the seats and steering wheel. The driver’s seat is power-adjusted, which makes it easier for one to achieve the ‘right’ kind of legroom and headroom.
Cabin atmosphere is also well taken care of with the presence of an ice-blue illuminated instrument cluster and a mind-blowing sound system which really doesn’t need to have aftermarket subwoofers to supplement it.
As much as we love ourselves some car-like pickup trucks, no machine is perfect and the ability to return an acceptable fuel consumption figure is its Achilles heel. The best we clocked in by the end of our test drive, mostly on trunk roads and a short soft-roading trip, was 10.4L/100km.
We must reveal that the Colorado Sport consumes more diesel than most of the trucks we have tested. But on the bright side, there is a reason why the Colorado has been billed as the “most torquey pickup truck” among the local motoring community with an impressive 500Nm, although the title does come at a cost.
Transmitting power to all four wheels is a 2.8-litre four-cylinder DOHC Duramax diesel engine and together with a six-speed automatic transmission, the powertrain pumps out 193hp and 500Nm of torque – unbeatable values when compared to others in its class.
Acceleration takes off nicely without delay; we noted zero signs of lag during gear shifts. Despite its large turning radius, at 6.35m, the Colorado Sport is easy to manoeuvre even at U-turns and doesn’t act up while having to quickly switch lanes.
Ride and handling
We pretty much guess that pickup trucks that were built to grace the roads like any other city cars is becoming a trend, and that is something that customers and more importantly, truck lovers, like us truly appreciate.
The suspension of the Colorado Sport is decent, delivering a smooth and comfortable ride even when going over bumps and other irregularities on the road. The truck too felt well-rooted onto the tarmac while taking corners. Well-weighted is exactly how we’d describe its steering as it did not require much muscle to turn, and well-ratioed too as there was minimal spinning effort from yours truly.
Here’s the truth. We’ve been eyeing a number of reputable pickup trucks in the current market to call one our own, and the Colorado Sport definitely has left a bittersweet impression on us. Still, the fuel efficiency which is far from efficient caused a major pounding in this sensible head.
Then again, if you have a difficulty in resisting all things androgynous – masculine on the outside but performs delicately on the road – we’d tell you straight up to give in to this weakness. Start paying attention to the Chevrolet Colorado Sport because it will truck you good.
Specifications of the Chevrolet Colorado Sport 2.8L
Engine: 2,776cc in-line four DOHC Duramax diesel
Transmission: Six-speed automatic with shifter knob
Max power: 193hp @ 3,600rpm
Max torque: 500Nm @ 2,000rpm
Safety features: Dual airbags, electric stability programme, traction control, ABS with EBD and hydraulic + panic brake assist, cornering brake control, hill start assist, hill decent control system
Price: RM138,967 OTR with insurance