2015 Chevrolet Colorado's new look is more weekend toy than contractor's tool

/ Updated: November 20, 2013 1:40 PM PST

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71
Antuan Goodwin/CNET

LOS ANGELES -- Chevrolet debuted the 2015 Colorado mid-sized pickup at the 2013 LA Auto Show this week. The new model is set to arrive at dealerships in the fall of next year.

Rather than wearing a downsized version of the highly rectangular facia that Chevy's larger Silverado trucks have, the Colorado's front end appears to have heavy influences from the automaker's sedan models, such as the Malibu or Impala . There even appears to be a hint of Camaro DNA in the Z71 model's projector headlamps. The result looks less like something a contractor would drive, and more like a sporty toy for the weekend; I really like the look.

At launch, Chevrolet will offer the Colorado with a choice of two engines. Those looking for efficiency will be interested in the 2.5-liter 4-banger that outputs 193 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, with what Chevrolet call "class leading fuel efficiency." Those looking for a bit more grunt will have the larger 3.6-liter V-6 option, which bumps output to 302 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque.

The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado will be available in WT, LT and Z71 trims are available, all in either 2WD or 4WD, and all of which are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Electronic power steering and aerodynamic tweaks, such as an active shutter grill that closes at highway speeds to help the truck slip through the air, help the Colorado boost its fuel economy.

Of course, Chevrolet is claiming best in class towing, payload, and fuel economy for the new Silverado. When properly equipped, it should be able to trailer more than 6,700 pounds.

Shortly after launch, the Colorado will gain yet a third engine option: a 2.8-liter Duramax 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine, potentially the most efficient and torque-y mill of the bunch. In its previous appearances, this engine output 180 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque, making it a great fit for a mid-sized pickup. Chevy claims it will also be the only turbodiesel available in this class.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71
The turbodiesel variant should offer gobs of torque and towing capability. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Among the other "bests and firsts," the automaker asserts that the Silverado's cabin will be the quietest in class, though it doesn't look like much to write home about. Like a truck should, the interior appears to be functional and simple. However, the pickup will be available with Chevrolet's newest OnStar and MyLink infotainment, powered by an eight-inch diagonal color touch screen. The instrument cluster also features a 3.4-inch screen for displaying additional driver information.

In addition to the dashboard tech, the pickup will also be available with standard safety features like a rear view camera system and optional features, including Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert.

Pricing and specific fuel economy have yet to be announced for the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, but we expect to learn more as the 2014 launch approaches. Until then, stay tuned to the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2013 LA Auto Show.

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