Chevy Colorado with 2.8L Duramax

Chris Tobin

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I just finished driving a Colorado Z71 Diesel CCLB for a week to review. The review will be out in the April/May 2016 issue of Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide magazine on the newsstand in about two months.

I won't give away any major details here, but put simply it is an impressive lil' truck and the 2.8L diesel engine is very stout. I towed a skid steer on a tandem axle trailer and it did as good as what I would expect from a 1/2-ton gasser towing a heavy load like that. We also did some serious off roading and the small truck impressed in the dirt, water and mud too!! It was also comfortable for regular city driving with the family.

Price is high, but what new vehicles are not these days? If you want/need a truck and like to tow up to 7600/7700 pounds this could be a great truck that will give near 30 MPG on the highway unloaded and upper 20s in the city with a combined MPG around 24 even with heavy towing/off roading and dyno testing mixed in! This could be a great tow/chase rig for a race team with a light weight race car or truck.

BTW it did 152 HP and 330 lbs-ft of torque on the Dynocom Chassis Dyno...

Is anyone looking at getting one of these for their race team??? I suspect the aftermarket performance support will be extensive for the little 2.8L Duramax shortly!!! There already is support for the Colorado in general.
 
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it did as good as what I would expect from a 1/2-ton gasser towing a heavy load like that
That bad, eh? Musta been scary going downhill, and with terrible towing gas mileage to boot.

All in all, I prefer driving a load, instead of having a load drive me.
 

Chris Tobin

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That bad, eh? Musta been scary going downhill, and with terrible towing gas mileage to boot.

All in all, I prefer driving a load, instead of having a load drive me.
Compared to my Silverado 2500 with a 6.6L Duramax it didn't do great, but compared to 1/2 ton trucks I think it did awesome. It has engine braking and built in electronic trailer brake controls so braking was good too. I tried with the trailer brakes off and it stopped okay, as it does have large 4-piston calipers up front, but it did feel better with some trailer braking...

Funny enough that the same skid steer and equipment trailer I test towed with the Colorado Diesel is regularly towed with a newer Ford F-250 with the 6.7L diesel and the Ford gets the load moving better but the rear suspension in the Colorado handled the load better than the Ford! The rear squats several inches (nearly on the bump stops) and feel "loose" with the Ford while the Chevy Colorado felt solid while towing the heavy load and only squatted about 1.5-2-inches and still had plenty of room to go before hitting the bump stops. We did not distribute the weight on the trailer any differently for the Chevy versus the Ford, I simply backed the truck uinder the tongue of the trailer, hooked it up and drove off!!!

I'm sure it would tow one of your Class 11 or Class 5 racers very well!!!
 
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I don't think vehicles smaller than 3/4 ton should be used for towing any real weight, period.

I've been involved with towing since 1958, and it's not nice to have a trailer fishtailing or pushing the tow vehicle.

Not into massive understeer or out-of control flips.
 

Chris Tobin

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I agree, but this lil guy towed like a bigger truck than it is... Tow rating is 7600 # for the 4X4 and 7700 for the 2WD and I would feel comfortable towing that much with a well loaded properly functioning trailer all day every day.
 

Dirty Harry

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I don't think vehicles smaller than 3/4 ton should be used for towing any real weight, period.
Most modern half ton trucks are rated to tow 12,000 pounds, use four wheel disc brakes, and make more power and have more transmission gears than anything from 1958. Fuel mileage on the other hand isn't great...
 

Dirty Harry

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I got to spend a week with a diesel Colorado and a new Tacoma back in December. There were a lot of things that I liked about the Colorado, particularly in contrast to the Tacoma. The Colorado had a fully boxed frame and rear disc brakes, while the Tacoma did not. I thought that the interiors were pretty comparable between the two. The Colorado also kept up with the Tacoma off-road despite the lack of Crawl Control and other gadgets that the Tacoma had.

That said, the 2.8L engine did not impress me. I found it laggy and unrefined, with adequate power (still better than the Tacoma). My understanding is that despite the "Duramax" moniker this is the same VM Motori engine previously used by Jeep in the Liberty. I appreciate the option of a diesel in a small truck, but for $9k more I couldn't justify buying a diesel Colorado over a Tacoma.
 

blue dog

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Why won't Toyota bring the diesel hilux to the states. Should not to hard to meet the EPA requirements. Harry, did the Tacoma have the new 3.5 engine. Hydraulic lifters and vvt, the engine should stand the test of time we expect from a Toyota. how was its power ?
 

Chris Tobin

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I got to spend a week with a diesel Colorado and a new Tacoma back in December. There were a lot of things that I liked about the Colorado, particularly in contrast to the Tacoma. The Colorado had a fully boxed frame and rear disc brakes, while the Tacoma did not. I thought that the interiors were pretty comparable between the two. The Colorado also kept up with the Tacoma off-road despite the lack of Crawl Control and other gadgets that the Tacoma had.

That said, the 2.8L engine did not impress me. I found it laggy and unrefined, with adequate power (still better than the Tacoma). My understanding is that despite the "Duramax" moniker this is the same VM Motori engine previously used by Jeep in the Liberty. I appreciate the option of a diesel in a small truck, but for $9k more I couldn't justify buying a diesel Colorado over a Tacoma.
I know the Dodge EcoDiesel V6 is VM Motori based, but I think this 2.8L is Isuzu based, making it more Duramax than not... But I could be wrong... I will finalize before my write up...

For the size and fuel mileage of the engine I was impressed.
 

Dirty Harry

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Why won't Toyota bring the diesel hilux to the states. Should not to hard to meet the EPA requirements. Harry, did the Tacoma have the new 3.5 engine. Hydraulic lifters and vvt, the engine should stand the test of time we expect from a Toyota. how was its power ?
Toyota said that, in fact, it is hard to meet EPA requirements for the diesels since they are constantly changing. Consider that they used the 4.0L gas engine in the previous Tacoma for ten years. I don't see many diesel engines out there that are the same as they were ten years ago, so Toyota said that it just doesn't make financial sense for them. If GM takes a big bite out of the midsize truck market though that would likely cause them to reconsider.

I have had a couple opportunities to drive the new Tacoma with the 3.5L engine and six speed automatic, and I am not that impressed. The transmission hunted a lot and the engine felt really "buzzy" to me, the powerband is higher than the outgoing 4.0L engine. I am an admitted Toyota fan and they have always been reliable for me and never exactly been huge on power, but I am concerned about the complication of two sets of fuel injectors (direct injection and traditional port fuel injection). Toyota has used the D4S technology in Lexus cars for years with good results, but it just seems more complicated than it needs to be in my opinion. You can still get a 3RZ four cylinder though. :)
 

blue dog

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My first gen Tacoma and 3rd gen 4Runner with 5vz engines have been the most reliable vehicles I have ever had. The new 3.5 Atkins engine should turn out to be just as reliable . I just wish the toyotas would get a little better mpg. After driving full size dodge diesels for well over 10 years straight, I love having something that fits in a parking spot and can make u turns. nothing compares to the resale on Toyota trucks out there, it is actually insane that a first gen Tacoma with 180 k on the clock can still fetch 8 or 9 grand. Anyway. If the hilux diesel were to ever come to the states, I will get right in line. Sorry Chris, did not mean to hijack your thread.

Oh yeah, the Colorado is fugly.
 
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Most modern half ton trucks are rated to tow 12,000 pounds, use four wheel disc brakes, and make more power and have more transmission gears than anything from 1958. Fuel mileage on the other hand isn't great...
"Rated"? Like the way tire plies are rated today?

Disc brakes don't matter when tires are sliding.

My wife's Civic has "more gears" than a 1964 IHC C1200, doesn't make it tow, though. (1958 was not the last time I was involved in towing, nor was 1964 ;) )

Yep, a computer-controlled fuel injected engine gets about the same highway mileage as a well tuned carb combined with a Kettering ignition system.
 

Dirty Harry

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Capable does not equal competence.

Just because we can, doesn't mean we should.

More off road race teams have lost members to towing incidents than racing incidents.
 

DEZERTSUB

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Come on that is a straw man and you know it. Non sequitur. Just because you think that vehicles smaller than 3/4 ton shouldn't be towing "any real weight" doesn't mean that they are not capable of doing just that.

SAE J2807 Tow Tests - The Standard
LOL! Score one for Harry!

Wondering what our buddy Curmy's real issue is with the Colorado?

"just because we can doesn't mean we should"

Lots of people would say the exact same thing about off road racing...

Freedom!
 
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No issue w/ Colorado. Just don't think towing heavy with something light is a good idea.

When I've had the rear of a 3/4 Suburban dance, I shudder to think how a lightweight would have jitterbugged.
 

Chris Tobin

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No issue w/ Colorado. Just don't think towing heavy with something light is a good idea.

When I've had the rear of a 3/4 Suburban dance, I shudder to think how a lightweight would have jitterbugged.
If the rear of a 3/4-ton Sub is dancing around, I'd say the trailer was improperly loaded...
 
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If the rear of a 3/4-ton Sub is dancing around, I'd say the trailer was improperly loaded...
If you had been with me, you'd have felt it was improperly loaded.

Not my Sub, nor trailer, but not that atypical, either.

Some guys go around the world on a moped, I prefer something larger.
 

Chris Tobin

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If you had been with me, you'd have felt it was improperly loaded.

Not my Sub, nor trailer, but not that atypical, either.

Some guys go around the world on a moped, I prefer something larger.
Been there and done that and I don't need to do it again!!! I prefer a well balanced load no matter what I am towing it with!!!
 
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