Motor Trend named the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado pickup its Truck of the Year, edging out Ford’s aluminum-bodied F-150.
The award from the influential magazine should give General Motors a marketing boost as it seeks to revive interest in the market for midsize pickups. It launched the Colorado and sibling GMC Canyon this fall.
“The editors were particularly impressed with Colorado’s handsome, clean-sheet design, ‘right-sized’ package, excellent handling, and overall capability,” the magazine said.
The company’s ability to “create a true North American capable truck for this part of the planet and beat a serious new competitor is just spectacular,” he added.
Chevrolet plans to market a diesel version of the truck and Reuss predicted today the diesel variant and its fuel economy “will surprise people.”
Motor Trend editors tested seven truck nameplates and three variants of those competitors, for a total of 10 entries. They rated each on design, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value and “performance of intended function.”
“Colorado is a smart, capable, and refreshingly honest truck that makes a strong value and efficiency statement,” Motor Trend editor-in-chief Edward Loh said. “It’s perfectly sized and suited for the needs of many of today’s truck users.”
The magazine also praised the Colorado’s “potent yet efficient powertrains,” which include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a 3.6-liter V-6.
The models tested included:
- Chevy Colorado WT and Colorado Z71
- Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD
- Ford F-150 2.7-liter EcoBoost and 3.5-liter EcoBoost
- Ford F-450
- Ford Transit 350 HR and Transit 150 MR
- GMC Canyon SLT
- GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD
Editors put each truck through the paces in real-world road tests without payload or trailered loads, including a 0-60 mph and quarter-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking and maximum lateral grip tests. Testing with payload and trailers was done in the Arizona desert and at a proving grounds.
The contest also included a test to record “accurate, real-world fuel economy” through use of exhaust gas and “flow rate” analyzers to measure tailpipe emissions each second during a three-hour, 88-mile drive around the Los Angeles area, near the magazine’s headquarters in El Sugundo, Calif.
Sandor Piszar, Chevy’s marketing director for trucks, said in a statement that the award “shows how Colorado is changing the game by offering truck customers fresh new choices.”