The midsize truck segment was reinvigorated by the release of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Adding these two trucks back to the segment ensured the midsize truck market would be competitive once again. At the time it was easy for GM to reenter the market as a leader with many of the other models growing long in the tooth as older version of what had made them successful for many years. As GM quickly took over the market other brands began to take notice and begin updating their midsize trucks to continue the competitive spirit of what we want in our smaller trucks.
While other brands are looking to remake their own image in this segment and have fallen woefully behind the pillars of success from GM, the Colorado and Canyon are positioned to carry on as leaders in the industry for several more years as long as they continue to offer the upgrades and advancements that make a huge difference to customers who want a great small truck with lots of power. The challenge for any manufacturer is balancing that power with the dynamics of necessary fuel mileage in these smaller trucks.
It seems GM has answered the call to have these two leaders in the market bring the right equipment to give customers what they want starting with the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado midsize truck. The engine doesn’t get larger, which helps the fuel mileage, but due to a change to the variable valve timing and the direct injection system the 3.6-liter V6 engine will now offer 308 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque at only 4,000 rpm. This isn’t a huge increase in power as it only equates to three more horsepower and six more lb.-ft. of torque, but it is a bit of a boost.
Key improvements over this small surge in power include the new cylinder deactivation system which has been added to allow the truck to cut two cylinders when possible and save on fuel. Not only will the Colorado save fuel with this system, but it adds two more gears to use an eight-speed automatic transmission to give it better overall use of the low end torque. This addition of gears would normally include an increase in weight, but it actually stays at the same weight because of the use of aluminum and magnesium, making this new Colorado the most fuel efficient model we’ve seen yet.
While there hasn’t been any word that the Canyon will receive the same upgrades as the Colorado, you can expect this truck to be improved in much the same way by the next model year. When you want to stay ahead of the pack this is certainly the way to do it. With these improvements the Colorado becomes the first midsize truck to offer an eight-speed transmission while remaining one of the toughest and most powerful trucks on this class. If you’re looking for a great new midsized truck for you daily ride the new Colorado is the best choice for power and fuel mileage.