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Colorado challenges Ram mpg, shows Dakota challenges

by David Zatz on

The Chevrolet Colorado is a “what if” study for the long awaited, but eventually cancelled, Dodge Dakota replacement.

The pickup ends up costing around as much as a full size, just as the old Dakota did. The gasoline version hits 27 mpg (highway) with a four cylinder, while the best Ram 1500 reaches 25 mpg — except for the diesel, which pushes it to 28 mpg.

Chevrolet ColoradoThe new diesel version is likely to steal Ram’s fuel-mileage crown, albeit in a smaller segment, but with nearly the same towing capacity. GM’s new 2.8 liter diesel generates 369 pound-feet of torque and 181 horsepower, and allows up to 7,700 pounds of towing with rear wheel drive. One wonders what a Dakota would do with a VM diesel and eight-speed.

The Colorado diesel costs $3,730 more than similar gasoline-V6 Colorados, and will be sold in crew cab form only; but, like the Ram diesels, it will have an exhaust brake. Chevy is building in support for Apple CarPlay.

Chevrolet sold 41,575 Colorado trucks in the first six months of 2015. For the year, we would expect sales to be over 100,000, despite the general unimportance of fuel economy to most Americans. The convenience of the midsized form factor, coupled with the nearly-full-size capabilities of the trucks, seems to be winning friends — in a segment that Dodge pioneered and then abandoned.

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