What's New for the 2004 Chevrolet Colorado? All new for 2004, the Chevrolet Colorado replaces the aged S-10 as the entry-level pickup in the automaker's product line. Chevrolet claims that the Colorado is a “mid-size” truck, about as big as a Dodge Dakota but not as large as the Toyota Tundra. Under the hood, new all-aluminum motors based upon the 4.2-liter inline six that powers the Chevrolet TrailBlazer debut. Displacing 2.8 liters and 3.5 liters, the new engines are designed for optimum power, performance, emissions and refinement. The Vortec 2800 inline four makes 175 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque while the Vortec 3500 inline five-cylinder engine makes 220 horsepower and 225 lb.-ft. of torque. A standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic can drive all four wheels through an aluminum shift-on-the-fly transfer case. Standard Z85, ZQ8 sport and Z71 off-road suspension tuning is available. ZQ8 sport models are equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels shod with P235/50 performance tires, while 2WD Chevy Colorados can be equipped with a High Stance suspension package and beefy 265/75 rubber that provides the appearance of 4WD on a 2WD truck. Chevrolet Colorado cab styles include three-passenger regular, five-passenger extended and six-passenger crew, mounted to a sturdy ladder frame. Extended cab models can be equipped with rear clamshell access panels that provide greater access to the rear of the cab. Chevrolet claims that the available locking rear differential, traction control system and roof rail side impact curtain airbags are all first in the segment. Other extra-cost goodies include remote locking, heated seats, a driver information center with an oil life monitor, OnStar telematics and an XM satellite radio.
Advantages of the 2004 Chevrolet Colorado:
Dedicated sport and off-road models
Available side curtain airbags
High horsepower engines
Objections to the 2004 Chevrolet Colorado:
Towing capacity tops out at 4,000 pounds
Truck buyers may balk at lack of V6 or V8 engine choices
Rear drum brakes
Editor's Advice: GM is going after a thicker slice of the compact truck pie with a bigger, stronger and better small pickup than it has ever fielded. Though maximum towing capacity is down and there are no V6 or V8 engines available, we think the Chevy Colorado will compete nicely against older and less refined competitors. Ruggedly handsome, powered by refined and capable motors, deftly upsized for greater appeal and available in a wide variety of configurations, it's clear that the 2004 Chevrolet Colorado will make a compelling case for pickup consumers in coming years.
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