Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A grey 2020 Chevy Colorado ZR2 for sale is shown driving off-road.

Do More for Less in a Used Chevy Colorado

The ideal truck can do anything you ask of it—go to work, drive around town, head for the mountain trails, or tailgate at the game. The Chevy Colorado is for drivers who want a do-it-all vehicle but don’t have a do-it-all budget. A two-time winner of the MotorTrend Truck of the Year Award, this midsize pickup is just like you: a workhorse with an adventurous streak.

If you’re looking for a used Chevy Colorado for sale, you’ll find plenty to love about this steed. The Chevrolet Colorado was first unveiled in 2004 as a replacement for the venerable Chevy S10. It was the second-generation model produced from 2015 to 2022, though, that truly captured people’s hearts—not just in America but in Australia, Brazil, and other places, too. With several trim levels featuring various body configurations and suspension designs, there is a used Chevy Colorado ready for whatever you need.

Along for the Ride

The passenger requirements of each truck owner vary. For some, it’s usually just them and maybe a coworker or friend. Others have a crew they need to get around a job site. Some are regularly hauling the family and need the space to fit them. The good news is that the second-generation Chevy Colorado offers two different cab styles, each of which has plenty of headroom over the front seats:

  • The four-door extended cab seats up to five people with 28.6 inches of rear legroom, which is ideal for kids and can handle adults for short-distance travel.
  • The four-door crew cab also seats up to five people with 35.8 inches of rear legroom, making it perfect for a truck full of adults on a longer journey.

Plenty of Payload

One of the reasons you’re buying a truck is to get things from point A to point B. Not everyone needs an industrial-level payload, though. That’s where a used Colorado comes in. The 2015 Chevy Colorado has a maximum payload of 1,580 lbs, which is more than enough for everyday work needs and most adventurers. Note the performance trims have a lower payload because of the different suspension and powertrain designs.

The Chevy Colorado is available with a 62-inch or 74-inch long truck bed, offering either 41 or 50 cu.ft. of space—that’s nearly as much as many full-size trucks. It’s enough to fit generators, power tools, ATVs, dirt bikes, and a host of other gear. The second-generation Colorado’s truck bed has 14 available tie-down points, making it easy to secure your load.

What if you need to tow vehicles or equipment? This is where the Colorado shines. Depending on the engine and configuration, the 2015 Chevy Colorado has a towing capacity of up to 7,000 lbs. That figure increased to 7,700 lbs in 2016, more than any other pickup in its class. From construction rigs to other trucks, hauling is never a problem.

A blue 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is shown parked off-road.

The Power You Need

You’ll need a strong powerplant under the hood to do what you need to with your truck. The base engine option on the second-generation Chevy Colorado is the 2.5L Ecotec I-4. Don’t let the four cylinders fool you—this dual overhead cam, direct fuel injection engine has a capable 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque for getting you and your cargo where it needs to go. The 2022 Colorado’s estimated fuel economy of 22 MPG combined with a 21-gallon tank means you will spend less time filling up.

Other available engines cater to whatever you’re looking for. The 3.6L DOHC V6 cranks things up with 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, giving the Colorado as much power as some full-size trucks. You also have a diesel option that maxes out the truck’s towing capabilities. The 2.8L Duramax I-4 Turbo-Diesel was only offered from 2017 to 2022 and produces a whopping 369 lb-ft of torque.

From 2016 to 2019, the Chevy Colorado had a six-speed manual transmission option for the base 2.5L engine. However, later models are exclusively automatic. The 2.5L and Duramax engines use the GM Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed transmission, and the V6 engine uses the Hydra-Matic 8L45 eight-speed, giving you more gear ratios to manage the added power. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but four-wheel is available as an upgrade if you need more grip for mud, snow, and other low-grip applications.

Cabin Comfort and Command

When you’re sitting in your truck, you need to be comfortable and in control. Chevy Colorado interior pulls this off with an array of features. Starting with the 2019 model year, the base Colorado WT has a seven-inch touchscreen while the LT and higher trims enjoy an eight-inch screen, both of which use Infotainment 3 software that is easy and responsive. Older models also offered the eight-inch display but with older software.

With Infotainment 3, you can connect your devices using Bluetooth wireless, Android Auto, or Apple CarPlay and enjoy music through the immersive sound of six speakers. Want to keep passengers connected? Set up the available Wi-Fi hotspot. You can also get a used Colorado with built-in GPS navigation and Bose speakers.

As for safety, you can find pre-owned Chevy Colorado models with driver assist tools like Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and Rear Park Assist to help you safely get around. The 2015 model scored a four-star rating in NHTSA crash testing, so you can feel secure if disaster strikes. Other optional features include a heated steering wheel and front seats for winter driving.

Off-Road Performance

We know many people whose favorite part about owning a truck is taking it far from any signs of pavement. Luckily, the Chevy Colorado is prepared with multiple off-road options. The Colorado Trail Boss package, available on the LT and Z71 trims for the 2022 model year, is for people who want a truck that can go on-roading or off-roading without breaking a sweat. It has an additional inch of ground clearance for gliding over obstacles and a two-speed transfer case to give you lower gearing for rock crawling or mudding. You are also treated to large all-terrain tires, 17-inch wheels, underbody skid plates to protect against impacts, and red tow hooks for pulling yourself or others.

The Chevy Colorado Z71 and ZR2 progressively step things up for off-road fanatics. The Z71 adds off-road-inspired exterior elements and provides an explosion of interior style with its jet-black upholstery and red accents. Go a notch further with the 2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2, which is so tough that it was the foundation of the GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle used by the Army. The ZR2 adds a Multimatic DSSV suspension for a smooth ride, standard four-wheel drive, and locking front and rear differentials to prevent spinning the tires.

Finally, there’s the special-edition 2019 Colorado ZR2 Bison, which has been referred to as the “Beast Mode” of midsize trucks. The crème de la crème of the Colorado off-road line-up has skid plates and rocker protectors made of boron steel, alloy wheels with fender flares to protect them, and more. The ZR2 Bison adds all-terrain tires to increase grip, winch provisions in the front bumper for pulling, and leather upholstery to drive in luxury.

A red 2023 Chevy Colorado Trail Boss is shown driving down a trail.

A Versatile, Budget-Friendly Truck

If you want a used truck that does a lot without costing a lot, the Chevy Colorado is a great choice for your fleet. For a price far lower than any full-size truck, you get excellent payload and storage, roomy seating, excellent entertainment connectivity, and high-performance options for off-roading and towing. From running errands to venturing off the beaten path, the Chevy Colorado is ready for the ride.