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Pre-Owned Chevrolet Colorado: What's the Best Engine?

An all-new Chevrolet Colorado was recently introduced for model year 2023 (along with a new GMC Canyon, naturally). Unlike its predecessor, however, it now offers only one body configuration, namely the crew cab with short bed.

In addition, only one engine can be found under the hood: a new 2.7-litre turbocharged four-cylinder. Fortunately, the power it delivers varies depending on the model, ranging from 237 to 310 horsepower, and its torque goes from 259 to no less than 430 lb-ft.

Buyers who choose to go for a used Chevrolet Colorado will obviously have more choice, but what’s the best engine? It always depends on your needs. Let's take a closer look ...

Photo: William Clavey

Gasoline Four-Cylinder

First, there's a 2.5-litre four-cylinder gas engine. This one provides 193 or 200 horsepower depending on the model year. That's not much, even for a midsize pickup. Its use is more suitable for day to day driving.

Interesting fact: it could be matched with a six-speed manual transmission until model year 2018. On the other hand, its fuel consumption (from 10.5 to 11.3 L/100 km depending on the version) isn’t much lower than the V6, which makes it even more unattractive.


Let's talk about the V6. With a displacement of 3.6 litres, this seasoned worker is not afraid to roll up his sleeves. With a power of 302 to 308 horsepower depending on the year, it can tow loads up to 7,000 pounds. In addition, its automatic transmission is more modern and has eight gears instead of six, which explains the reasonable fuel consumption. The variable displacement system also helps.

Photo: William Clavey

By the way, it's one of the two engines that powered the fearsome Colorado ZR2, a significantly thirstier truck (14.1 L/100 km), but still running on regular fuel, luckily. It has a rather responsive accelerator that allows for punchy starts.

Diesel Duramax

Finally, in 2016, Chevrolet added a 2.8-litre four-cylinder diesel engine named Duramax. Like all powertrains of this type, the torque and the fuel economy are what really grabs the people’s attention. The first reaches 369 lb-ft—more than enough to compensate for the 181 horsepower—for a 7,600-pound towing capacity, a clear advantage for those who often need to pull heavy loads.

Photo: Chevrolet

With an official average as low as 9.4 L/100 km (4x2 model), the Colorado diesel is frugal in addition to being very flexible and relatively quiet. However, the current high price of diesel is cancelling out all the efficiency gains. You must also consider the higher maintenance requirements of diesel engines, which lead to additional expenses.

In conclusion, our preference is for the 3.6-litre V6, especially for a long-term purchase (resale value included). Reliability is generally good, even though several Colorados have had transmission problems at the beginning of the outgoing generation. Whichever you choose, a proper mechanical inspection is a must before buying.

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