If there is one truck that we’ve been waiting ALL YEAR to be able to get behind the wheel of, it has to be the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado with the 2.8L Duramax diesel. Why? Because in our minds, a diesel-powered midsize pickup truck has to be the definition of perfection. We recently had the chance to drive the new truck at Knibbe Ranch in Spring Branch, Texas and see if our waiting was worth it!
First off, the truck we experienced the diesel in was the Z71 with the Trail Boss option package. This package includes a killer looking roll-over bar in the bed complete with lights on top. It also includes off-road tires to help, well, off-road. All of that is in addition to the Z71 package, which is already a bit off-road centric.
The truck looks killer in the new Trail Boss trim. There were a couple of colors on hand to sample, and there is even one that’s available in orange. Whichever color you go with, you’re getting a good looking truck.
The off-road course we were on wasn’t complicated by any means, but the truck handled it easily. The diesel engine really shines here with loads of low-end torque to make crawling up a hill of rocks super simple. If you take it slow and easy, the torque does all the work, and you can feel the rear-differential sorting out which wheel needs the power to keep moving.
Compared to other modern diesel trucks we’ve driven, the Colorado is quiet, but not too quiet. If you were to climb into a Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, for example, it would be quieter than the diesel in the Colorado. This is by design, as buyers of the midsize diesel are people who are buying it for the diesel. That means they want the performance and the sound. But it’s not a jarring noise at all, and you can still have a civilized conversation at normal volume when the vehicle is at speed.
At speed on the highway, the loudest noise in the cabin is the tires. The off-road tires ride nice on the road, but because of their design and nature, they aren’t the quietest. That’s okay, though.
During our short 7.5 mile drive route, we averaged around 27 miles per gallon. For a four-wheel drive truck with off-road tires, that’s not too shabby. Obviously, we’ll want to have the truck in for a week-long test to really see where the fuel economy is at on the diesel.
Overall, our first impressions are quite positive. Stay tuned as we plan on having one in for review in the coming months.
Photos by Raven Photographic Studios.