You don’t have to drive a big truck if you want to get out in the backcountry. In fact, sometimes a smaller truck is better than a big one.
The vehicle fairies left a 2015 Chevy Colorado in my parking space at work a couple weeks ago. I was interested to see what all the hype was about. This is the truck that won the Motor Trend Truck of the Year, and I wanted to see if it lived up to my expectations.
The Motor Trend folks aren’t looking for the same things I am when they’re testing trucks. Quite often, the truck that gets this award isn’t the one I would give it to, if I were handing out the accolades.
That’s not to say the truck of the year has to be a full-size, one-ton truck, but it absolutely has to be able to get you and a bunch of gear deep into the backcountry. That’s what a truck is for. Either that or hauling several tons of cargo or pulling a giant trailer. The Colorado is a small pickup, though, so it’s not going to be tugging around big trailers or carrying a bedload of gold bullion. It does have a 7,000-pound towing rating, though, which is a lot more than I expected it to be able to pull. That’s a big mark in its favor.
The one I drove was the Z71 Trail Boss package. The extra $3,800 gets you a lot of stuff like a spray-in bedliner and a cargo divider for the bed, but not a lot of off-road-specific stuff, other than the gnarly Goodyear Wrangler off-road tires. But those tires were great. My driveway has been a very impressive test track lately, and I got to do a little mud-bogging with that Colorado. It handled the slippery, gummy mud with no problem. My one knock on the Colorado, and specifically the Trail Boss edition, is the nerf bars that come with the package. Those step rails just get in the way, and they don’t provide any help getting in and out of the truck.
Other than that, though, I can see how this little truck earned truck of the year honors. It gets about 27 miles to the gallon, it hauls 7,000 pounds, and it can get you out into the hills. It may be small, but it’s mighty.