The 2015 Chevy Colorado is a fresh option for midsize truck buyers.
In 1986, Americans bought 1.4 million midsize pickup trucks. Last year, that number was less than 300,000, according to The Detroit News. Those numbers don't make a compelling case for building a new vehicle for the market.
At the LA Auto Show this week, Chevrolet announced it's doing just that, with a refreshed version of the Colorado, the truck that left production in 2010.
Looking at the Chevy's plan for the Colorado, it looks like a good move for a few reasons.
As the midsize truck market has shrunk, only "a few remaining stalwarts" remain, Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, said in an interview. The Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma are splitting the market share.
But "truck buyers heavily skew domestic" — so the American-built (and named) Colorado will have lots of appeal. It could even win over bigger truck buyers, who want a domestic product and realize they don't need a full-size truck.
A diesel engine won't be available until the model's second year. Once here, it will bump up the Colorado's fuel economy and make it a unique offering — the trucks in the segment now run only on gasoline.
The delay could be for development, Brauer hypothesized, or to give Chevy something to announce and promote a year from now, when the first rush of sales has waned.
Because they've been unchallenged for years, Nissan and Toyota haven't refreshed their offerings. "They've gotten kind of lazy in my opinion," Brauer said, adding that he thinks the Colorado will be "very successful," and "pull a lot of market share away."
We haven't seen the Colorado in person, but the photos look great. The interior looks comfortable and is packed with handy storage compartments.
The smaller truck will be able to carry or tow over 6,700 pounds, Chevy says. The diesel engine won't be available until the Colorado's been on the market for a year. Until the diesel engine arrives, customers can take the standard 2.5-liter I4 or option up for the 3.6-liter V6.
Pricing and gas mileage haven't been announced yet. The Colorado will hit the market in the fall of 2014.
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