The good ol' pick 'em up truck continues to evolve into something rather different than the humble hauler of the past. No longer just rough-riding, stiff-suspensioned tools of productivity with spartan interiors, many buyers want a modern truck that can haul friends and family with as much aplomb as a bed full of mulch or an addition's worth of drywall.
The Chevrolet Colorado (and its fraternal twin, the GMC Canyon) in Crew Cab form is very much a product of those elevated expectations. Despite a length of 212 inches (5.4 meters) and a curb weight just shy of 4,400 lbs (2 metric tonnes) in 4WD trim, this is what passes as a mid-sized truck these days.
There's nothing intermediate about the size of the interior, particularly when you open the back doors. Rear seats are surprisingly spacious, with plenty of room for three grown adults to sit side-by-side without an indecent amount of elbow-rubbing. A number of mid-sized sedans on the market today would struggle to deliver the same.
Things are, naturally, even more spacious in the front, with headroom measured in leagues. The two power-adjustable seats offer well-padded support of posteriors of any dimension, staying comfortable whether on a quick run to Lowe's or a long haul out to a distant job site. They're heated, with separate controls for bottom and back, and offer commanding views of the world around. The Colorado may not be the biggest truck on the road, but from the driver's seat it certainly feels like the tallest.
Conversely, though, I found that height to make parking the Colorado a bit difficult. The nose, too, is tall, and getting a good feel for where it ends is a challenge. A 360-degree, overhead-view parking camera would have been very welcomed here, as would cross-traffic alert cameras for pulling out of intersections. A $395 safety package adds lane departure warnings and forward-collision warnings. Rear-view camera is standard, but its position beneath the handle on the tailgate means it provides only a nice view of the pavement beneath the truck when hauling something lengthy. A bit of a shame given that's exactly when you'd most want a rearview camera.
The 6-foot-2-inch bed is a $1,500 option on the Colorado Crew Cab, but if you opt for the 5'2'' bed length, as our truck featured, that may be a view you'll be seeing a lot of. The bed is just wide enough to fit a sheet of drywall or plywood, at least it is above the wheel wells, but you will have to support whatever it is in the middle and leave the tailgate down. Thankfully, a generous selection of tie-downs in the bed make it easy to keep your precious cargo from staying behind when you accelerate ahead.