Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon Trucks the 2016 ‘Rebirth’

By Andy Lightbody; AmmoLand Auto Editor
Chevy/GMC reintroduces a “real mid-size” truck that’s way beyond what the competition has to offer!

Top-of-the Line Chevy Z71
Top-of-the Line Chevy Z71 Pulled from their lineup since 2012, the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon are back as completely new and redesigned mid-size pickup trucks. Opt for the Z71 trim with the 4WD package, and it makes a good off-road combination with a pleasing ride.
Andy Lightbody
Andy Lightbody

Grand Junction, Co. –-( The Chevy Colorado and the GMC Canyon mid-size truck lineup is back and with some major redesigns since GM snatched it from their lineup after 2012 model year.

Now, it’s bigger, badder, bolder and pricier than its predecessor. It also is something that is sure to make its Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma competition hope that their new designs can be rushed forward to the auto marketplace… and in a hurry!

It is offered as a 4×2 or 4×4 four-seat extended cab or a five seat crew cab version. From there you have a choice of either a short 5’2” cargo bed, or the longer 6’2” version. A host of trim lines come next and range from no-nonsense Base and Work models to the plusher LT and the top-of-the line Z71.

Powerplants for the Colorado are a basic 2.5 liter four-cylinder that kicks out a paltry 200 horsepower. Opt for the base engine and your towing capacity is right at 3,500 pounds. Step it up to the 3.6 liter V6 and you get 305 horses and gives you a full 7,000 pounds of towing/pulling power.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado 6Cylinder
2016 Chevrolet Colorado 6Cylinder: The larger 3.6 liter V6 engine is the best choice for the 4×4 models. Better power and performance makes the Colorado with the larger powerplant more fun… on and off the road. For 2016, expect that GM is going to add a turbocharged diesel to the option lineup.

New for 2016 is going to be a DuraMax 2.8 liter four-banger diesel with a turbocharger. GM has used this engine in this truck that is sold overseas, and it gets good marks in the power ratings and fuel economy (23/30 mpg). Rated at 181 horsepower and 369 pd/ft of torque, it’s a logical extension that GM is going to bring it here to the U.S. It will however be interesting to see how popular it is with gas prices being low and how it rates in the towing department.

Chevy Colorado Dash
Chevy Colorado GMC Canyon Trucks Dash : Inside appointments and controls are plush, with lots of buttons and switches to keep you busy!

Our test truck was the 4×4 short bed Crew cab model with the Z71 trim, towing package, and the V6 engine mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. Rumor has it that a new 8-speed automatic is also coming soon. While the 6-speed gearbox matches well with the V6, there is a little “nudge and jump” when the truck is downshifting and under load. Hopefully if the 8-speed tranny comes on line soon, it will settle this negative feature down.

On the plus side, the V6 Colorado has a lot of spunk and spirit. It is quick to respond, accelerates smoothly and like a young colt, it likes to race! Unlike competitor’s mid-size trucks, even when hammering it in the acceleration department, the truck is extremely quiet. Road noise, even with aggressive tread tires, the cab remains quiet.

In the ride and handling categories, remember that the Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon Trucks are TRUCKS!

The pickup is not, nor was it designed to be a car or a Mom’s soccer van. In plain English, you can feel its truck-like ride, and that’s a good thing. It is not harsh and obnoxious, and if you enjoy real trucks and SUVs, it falls into this class and actually instills a level of confidence that you know quickly the Colorado is for real… both on and off the road. And while the mid-size truck still look rather large and imposing, steering on the highway, in the city and off the road, is sharp and short. There is virtually no “slop” in the steering wheel’s responsiveness that is mated to a rear solid axles, multi-leaf springs and twin-tube shock absorbers. Up front, you have independent coil-over twin-tube shocks. Match a well tuned suspension with a solid ride, and 17mpg for the city and 24 mpg on the highway is reasonable.

Styling for the Colorado is eye-pleasing and looks like a brawny Chevy product. The specified ground clearance when off on the trails is 8.3 inches. It’s good, but not great, and there were concerns about the plastic front air dam. It’s stylish and adds to the truck’s aerodynamics, but needs to disappear for serious off roading.

Colorado ZR2
Colorado ZR2: Shown off at one of the recent auto shows, the Colorado ZR2 is a concept truck with lots of great off road capabilities with a higher suspension, off-road shocks, and integrated skid plates. Let’s hope that GM incorporates some of these features for 2016, when they add a new 2.8 liter turbocharged diesel engine as well!

Chevy has a concept truck called the Colorado ZR2 that many of us are hoping will show up in the 2016 model year. It’s a “for real” backcountry trail buster and would be ideal for getting into remote hunting, fishing and camping spots!

Inside, the look is plush and luxurious. Controls are laid out well and there are enough buttons and instrumentation to keep you busy, busy, busy. All these features add to the $35,000 plus sticker price, but if you want it all… it can be had in the Colorado!

Chevy 2016 Truck Interior
Chevy 2016 GMC Canyon Trucks Interior: The new trucks are available as either a 4-passenger extended cab, or the more spacious 5-passenger Crew Cab version. Back seat isn’t what anyone would call spacious, but it is comfortable and practical.

Andy Lightbody is a TV/Video producer and host, as well as an outdoor writer/photographer. Lightbody is the former Managing Editor for Western Outdoors Magazine; Senior Editor at Petersen’s Hunting Magazine and Editor of the Guns & Ammo Book Division.

He remains an avid shooter, hunter and angler, as well as a regular contributor to the Sportsman’s Warehouse publication-Sportsman’s News Magazine. Visit Rocky Mountain Television/Productions :

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this bran quality and functionality awesome.

Ivano Honei

GM has been promising a diesel mini truck for years. I will believe it when I see it in a showroom. If it were not for contractors being able to lease GMC trucks, GM would not sell too many as a result of the out of sight price for a vehicle to haul dirt and stone and tools and etc. What good is a truck for hauling with a wimpy automatic? GM stopped making rugged automatic transmissions… years ago. Dealer love these new, computer rich automatics. They cost a fortune to replace and they burn out if you dare tow… Read more »

Clark Kent

Brandt Wilkes: Consumer Reports is a magazine, not a person. They regularly test products and services. They don’t accept advertising so their testing is unbiased. And don’t worry; based upon their review of the Colorado, I won’t be buying one.


What Daniel & Tom said I agree with completely. Don’t forget the stockholders of old GM of which I was one. Lost 99 1/2% of everything in the common and 100% of the Preferred. I still drive a 99 Buick LeSabre which was a pre Obama car. It was my first GM product and will be my last one. Was 100% Ford previous and I am due now for a new Ford. What Obama did was unforgiveable and GM can go to hell with their defective junk.


I really miss the Dodge Dakota. I’ve had three since they came out in 1987. Every one has been very good at least, and each new model that I got was an improvement over the previous versions that I had. My latest is an 4 dr 08, and I want a new model, similar in design to my 08, with a 6 or even 8 spd trans. That would be my perfect truck. I can pull my 20′ boat, get better than my now 20 mpg, and still park in my standard garage. Perfect! Please, Dodge, please bring me this… Read more »


I drive a 2002 S10 and it’s all the truck I need. Easy to maneuver in the city and does all the hauling I need while not being too bad on gas. I wish a true compact truck would be manufactured again. full size trucks are becoming ludicrous in size while “midsize” trucks are akin to a full size from 20 years ago. Bigger, badder, and bolder doesn’t mean better.


After taking billions of dollars of bailout money from our pockets and GMC moving over 70% of the corporation to China, I don’t understand how any red blooded American would support GMC by buying any thing GMC makes.

Calvin Haug

I think it’s a great truck especially for someone who doesn’t need the full size truck.


From Huff/Post: Supporters of the Bush and Obama bailouts are always quick to assert that GM has paid back its debt to the U.S. However, what GM has really done in the decade or so can be summed up as: 1. Taken billions in U.S. government money. (Ironically, much of which we borrowed from China with interest to be paid by our unemployed kids.) 2. Invested billions into joint ventures in China controlled by Chinese state owned enterprises like SIAC. 3. Closed plants in America and laid off workers in the U.S. 4. Built new facilities and hired more workers… Read more »

jim lindsey

And don’t forget the stock-holders that lost everything when Obama declared Bankrupt. My stock shares aren’t worth the paper they are written on now. Thanks Obama.


I will never buy another GM product or a first Chrysler product. I was a diehard Chevy guy all my life until the bailouts. I now drive a F150 and Subaru. How ever I will buy an old GM product it I can get after market products for it.

brandt wilkes

Mr. Kent, with all do respect you know what they say about people and there opinions,and by the way if you don,t like it don,t by it

Mike Hirschfield

I wish they would make an ss model with 5.3 v8 with the 8 speed the mileage would be better and would be a real fun truck to drive and be proud of ! Gm make it at least a special order truck

Clark Kent

Consumer Reports did an actual test of this truck (not a glorified rehash of a Chevrolet P.R. bulletin) and found it wanting. They also reasoned (correctly) that due to the high price tag most folks will buy a full size truck, even if they have to settle for 1 to 2 MPG less than the Colorado.