We test drove the new 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax, which goes on sale soon with its new 2.8 liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, a powerplant also available in the GMC Canyon. Our test vehicles were both Z-71 Trail Bosses, which were fully dialed for off-roading.
Well I hope our opening shot answers your first question, which is what does it sound like. The new diesel engine as you could tell offers climbing torque that gets this truck up a hill without revving it mad.
It’s 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque are well matched with its standard six-speed automatic transmission, the only gearbox available. It works quite well though and its shifting is smoother than I expected.
From inside whether on the trails or out on the paved roads the new diesel engine only really makes itself known at idle and under acceleration. At speed you can barely discern it from a gas engine as its sound just goes away.
It’s power curve is very much more than adequate. Horsepower for acceleration is plenty and with its torque this thing will make a no-drama off-roader. And with its towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds, it’s almost in full-size territory for that.
As far as fuel economy is concerned, I couldn’t test this at this even. But our Chevrolet representative showed us in the trip computer where a previous journalist who hyper-miled was able to achieve 42 mpg average at an earlier even this month. Sounds good, but it’s purely anecdotal.
Handling is just as good as you might expect from the Chevrolet Colorado. I’ve tested it before and have good vibes for its ride comfort and its chassis agility. Our off-road course in Texas here gave me the chance to get a feel for the Z-71 Trail Boss though.
While the mechanicals are all Z-71, the Trail Boss package adds Goodyear Wrangler DuraTec all-terrain tires and black finished wheels. These helped traction out on the rockier and slippery section of our trail.
The 2016 Colorado will be available with the Duramax this year in both two and four-wheel drive but only in crew cab models with trim grades LT through Z71 for retail customers. A base work truck trim will offer the diesel but only to fleet customers.
Chevrolet says the uptick for the diesel engine is $3,750 over a comparably equipped V6 gas engined truck. On fleet vehicles expect that price increase to be a bit more since they don’t have piles of profit to mask its true cost.