2022 Chevrolet Colorado Review: Getting Back to Basics

Want a simple truck, like in the good old days? Check out the Chevy Colorado

Michael Harley

Review QuickTakes:

What is the 2022 Chevrolet Colorado?

A midsize pickup truck available in extended cab and crew cab styles, the 2022 Chevrolet Colorado offers a maximum towing capacity of 7,700 pounds and a maximum payload capacity of 1,550 lbs., depending on the configuration and equipment. Three engines are available, and the Colorado comes in four trim levels in addition to specialized variants for off-roading.

What’s New for the 2022 Chevrolet Colorado?

Following a refresh for the 2021 model year, the 2022 Colorado is newly available with a dealer-installed Trail Boss option package. You can apply the Trail Boss treatment to a Colorado LT or Z71, and it includes suspension modifications, skid plates, 17-inch black wheels, red recovery hooks, and removal of the front air dam for an improved approach angle.

A completely redesigned Colorado will arrive for the 2023 model year.

How Much is a Chevrolet Colorado?

This year, 2022 Chevy Colorado prices range from the high $20,000s to the mid $40,000s, including the destination charge to ship the truck from the automaker’s Wentzville, Missouri assembly plant to your local dealership.

2022 Chevrolet Colorado Trim Levels and Configurations

The Chevrolet Colorado comes in two cab styles. The Colorado extended cab includes a long cargo bed, while the Colorado crew cab comes with your choice between a short or a long cargo bed. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is standard, with four-wheel drive (4WD) an option. Depending on the configuration, four trim levels are available:

Chevrolet Colorado WT – This trim level’s name stands for “work truck.” However, Chevrolet equips the Colorado WT better than a typical base model. Standard equipment includes 17-inch steel wheels, a tire fill alert system, a chrome rear bumper with corner steps, and a locking tailgate. Interiors have standard carpeting, floor mats, air conditioning, and vinyl seats. The driver’s seat adjusts four ways, including for height, and Chevrolet includes a tilt steering wheel, power door locks, and power windows as standard equipment.

As far as technology goes, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system is along for the ride. It features Bluetooth to which you can pair two devices simultaneously, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, satellite radio, a Teen Driver parental driving report card system, and six stereo speakers. Unfortunately, the only standard driving assistance feature is a reversing camera.

Chevrolet Colorado LT – With LT trim, the Colorado has 17-inch aluminum wheels, body-color exterior trim, power-adjustable exterior mirrors with spotter glass to better view the truck’s blind spots, and an EZ-Lift and Lower remote-locking tailgate. Remote keyless entry is standard, along with chrome interior trim, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, a six-way power driver’s seat, cruise control, Chevrolet Connected Services, and rear USB charging ports.

Chevrolet Colorado Z71 – Available with RWD or 4WD, the Colorado Z71 adds a standard V6 engine, an automatic locking rear differential, off-road suspension tuning, black recovery hooks, and a hill descent control system. It sits on 17-inch machined-finish aluminum wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires and has upgraded headlights, fog lights, heated exterior mirrors, a sliding rear window with a defogger, and rear parking assist sensors.

Inside, the Z71 features automatic climate control, cloth and simulated leather seats, a 4.2-inch driver information display, and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a high-definition display, cloud connectivity, voice recognition technology, and remote engine starting. The high-definition display improves the reversing camera, and Chevy’s Hitch Guidance technology is also standard.

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 – The Colorado ZR2 is ready for off-roading right out of the box. Taller and wider than a Z71, the ZR2 gets styling modifications that set it apart and improve its clearance. Changes include a modified front end with a unique grille, skid plates, rocker panel protection, fender flares, and a different rear bumper painted black.

The ZR2 also has unique 17-inch aluminum wheels, off-road tires, driver-selected front and rear locking differentials, red recovery hooks, and a spray-in bedliner. A lifted suspension fortified with Multimatic DSSV suspension dampers is also standard, tuned specifically for the ZR2’s off-roading capabilities.

Every ZR2 also comes with trailering equipment and leather seats.

Michael Harley

2022 Chevrolet Colorado Review and Test Drive

By Michael Harley

Test Drive QuickTakes:

General Motors introduced the second-generation Chevrolet Colorado for the 2015 model year. A midsize pickup to complement Chevy’s full-size Silverado, the Colorado has a twin called the GMC Canyon, configured for a somewhat more premium audience and priced slightly higher than the Chevrolet. The less expensive Colorado consistently outsells the Canyon by a margin of about three Chevys to one GMC.

When Chevrolet debuted the second-generation Colorado, it called the model “an all-new midsize pickup with the style and versatility of a truck and the refinement, maneuverability, and efficiency of a crossover.” The automaker promoted the capability of the new midsize truck while touting its smaller size. “Many people like the ‘can-do’ spirit of a truck, but they want a vehicle that is easier to maneuver in traffic and easier to park at work or home. For them, bigger is not necessarily better.”

To stave off the Colorado’s advancing age, Chevrolet treated the truck to a minor refresh for the 2021 model year. The exterior updates included a new grille, front bumper, and tailgate embossed with “Chevrolet,” replacing the brand’s iconic bowtie badge. In addition, the automaker made a handful of changes to the equipment packages and added a few more exterior colors. In 2022, a new Trail Boss package plugged the gap between the rugged Z71 and off-road-ready ZR2, giving Colorado buyers a more affordable way to get off the beaten path.

Michael Harley

Our test vehicle was the most off-road-capable version of the truck: a Colorado ZR2 Bison with a diesel engine. It is a special configuration that appeals only to the most avid adventurers, a collaboration between Chevrolet and noted off-road builder American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) to build a robust pickup truck for “overlanding.” In a nutshell, AEV “armors” a Colorado ZR2 with five boron steel skid plates, which are much stronger and more corrosion resistant than the standard steel skid plates. AEV also adds unique front and rear bumpers that offer a front winch provision (to bolt on an aftermarket winch) and rear recovery points. The off-road mechanical components of the ZR2 are untouched.

For this 2022 Chevrolet Colorado review, we test-drove the ZR2 Bison in Southern California. In addition to the Bison package, it came with a 2.8L Duramax turbo diesel four-cylinder engine, a navigation system, and wireless smartphone charging, bringing the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) to $55,935, including the $1,195 destination charge. Chevrolet provided the vehicle for this Colorado ZR2 Bison review.

2022 Chevrolet Colorado Review: The Design

Undeniably, the 2022 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison projects a purposeful ruggedness. The standard ZR2 package enhances the base truck with a more aggressive front end, oversized 17-inch wheels and tires, protective fender flares, a raised ride height, and a power bulge on the hood. In addition, the Bison’s AEV package adds burly bumpers and tubular rock protection on the sides and rear. While all the add-ons are functional, some may consider the Bison’s over-the-top styling too much.

Michael Harley

The passenger compartment of the Colorado has hardly been updated since its debut, meaning the layout and most of the technology is nearing a decade old. The overall theme is hard textured black plastic and black vinyl, with a splash of painted silver trim for a bit of contrast. The interior feels outdated, however the smattering of old-fashioned buttons and knobs is intuitive and easy to operate.

Michael Harley

The driver faces a four-spoke steering wheel with rubberized buttons for the cruise control, Driver Information Center (DIC) menu selection, and Bluetooth phone activation. Four analog gauges keep track of engine revs (tachometer), vehicle speed, fuel level, and coolant temperature. The gauges are large, have excellent color contrast, and are legible even at a glance. The DIC is equally as simple to operate.

My test vehicle had the larger of two infotainment system touchscreens, an 8-inch display mounted at the top of the dashboard where it is easy to see, read, and reach. The automatic, single-zone climate controls are set immediately below the infotainment screen and feature dual round knobs with the temperature setting illuminated in the center of the right dial.

You shift the transmission using a traditional PRNDL lever on the center console, and Chevrolet adds two average-size cupholders to its right. As expected in this dated cabin, the parking brake is foot operated. The automatic headlights and the four-wheel-drive system’s transfer case controls are to the left of the steering column. Unfortunately, the printed text on them is small and crowded, which makes it challenging to see without peering down and squinting.

Michael Harley

Both front seats (six-way power driver and four-way power passenger) are flat, the cushions are squishy, and the bolsters lack lateral support. Furthermore, the ZR2 Bison’s leather feels like vinyl. They may feel nice at first, but their lack of support causes body aches after time. Thankfully, they both offer powered lumbar support, a slightly redeeming feature.

The back seats lift for under-seat storage and fold to increase utility, but are flat and may be uncomfortable for larger adults. Six-foot adults fit comfortably in the front seats but add two more six-foot adults to the rear seats, and everybody will be cramped. There are 12-volt sockets and USB ports for back-seat passengers but no air conditioning vents.

The ZR2 Bison has a spray-in bedliner from the factory, and fixed metal tie-down cleats are in the corners of the short bed. There is one light on the back of the cab for illumination.

2022 Chevrolet Colorado Review: The Technology

Chevrolet equips the 2022 Colorado ZR2 Bison with its Infotainment 3 Plus system with an 8-inch diagonal high-definition color touchscreen. It may be the most technologically advanced thing about the Colorado.

Michael Harley

With this setup, the Colorado includes simultaneous Bluetooth connectivity for two smartphones, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio (with a free trial subscription), and connected services with access to in-vehicle apps, vehicle personalization, a Wi-Fi hotspot, natural voice recognition, and more. The connected services require a paid subscription to remain active after a short complimentary trial period. Additionally, the test truck had a connected navigation upgrade.

I liked the location of the infotainment display, especially because it is sheltered from sun glare, and I found it easy to operate. Five colored hot buttons on the bottom (home, music, phone, navigation, and comfort) make navigating through the system simple. However, my preferred way of listening to music and digitally navigating via Apple CarPlay proved fussy and frustrating. The tech would unexpectedly stop working, and I found it challenging to get it started again.

In addition, this truck has few driver conveniences besides the heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. Given the Colorado’s basic nature, one unexpected feature is the optional inductive charging pad for smartphones, which is at the base of the center console.

There is a notable lack of driver assistance features on the 2022 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. While the LT and Z71 models offer forward-collision warning, rear parking assist sensors, and lane-departure warning, those features are unavailable on the ZR2 trim. However, the vehicle is equipped with Teen Driver technology, which allows parents to set speed alerts, audio volume limits, and more. It also provides a driver “report card” to alert Mom and Dad to potential topics of necessary conversation. And through the connected services tech, an OnStar suite of safety features such as automatic collision notification is also standard, but only with a subscription after the 90-day trial period ends.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crash-tested the 2022 Chevrolet Colorado. It earned Good scores in most categories but a Marginal rating in the small-overlap, frontal-impact test conducted on the passenger’s side of the truck. In addition, it earned Poor scores for headlight performance. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not published any crash-test ratings for the current Colorado.

Michael Harley

2022 Chevrolet Colorado Review: The Drive

Our 2022 Chevrolet Colorado test vehicle had the optional 2.8L turbo diesel four-cylinder engine, a powerplant noted for its torque, fuel economy, and longevity. While its 181-horsepower rating isn’t much to brag about, 369 lb.-ft. of torque is stump-pulling impressive and significantly eases the burden of towing a trailer. So equipped, a Colorado’s tow rating is 7,700 pounds.

Diesel engines are leisurely in their power delivery, even when equipped with a turbocharger. Mash the accelerator pedal from a standstill, and the Colorado moves away at an unhurried pace. Getting the truck to 60 mph seems to take forever, so pulling onto a busy highway requires planning and proper timing. If you need speed, stick with the standard V6.

The diesel powertrain feels somewhat stronger at moderate speeds around town, especially if you coax the smooth six-speed automatic into dropping a gear where it can spin a bit faster (thereby increasing the turbocharger boost). On the highway, it maintains a set speed effortlessly, even up enormous hills, as the engine’s abundant torque performs its best work. However, remember that the off-road configured Colorado Bison is battling significant aerodynamic drag above 60 mph. As a result, high-speed passing is a nail-biting maneuver unless there is a lot of open space ahead.

Michael Harley

My 50-mile test loop is a challenging mix of highway and mountain driving on paved roads. While the Colorado was okay on the highway portion – the ride was firm and a bit bouncy – the truck was less enthusiastic when we asked it to tackle twisty canyon roads. There, its oversized knobby off-road tires, raised ride height, and 5,206 pounds of mass negatively accentuated the slow steering ratio to make the truck feel ponderous and unwieldy. Thankfully, the vehicle’s brakes are strong with confidence-inspiring feedback through the pedal, so the driver always feels entirely in control.

On the test loop, the ZR2 Bison’s turbo diesel drivetrain averaged 25.2 mpg overall, significantly better than its EPA fuel economy rating of 19 mpg in combined driving. In addition, Chevrolet equips all Colorados with 21-gallon fuel tanks, so the Bison should provide about 400 miles of driving range based on the EPA rating.

Michael Harley

I took the Colorado Bison off-road to examine the truck in its natural habitat, and it performed astonishingly well. The ZR2’s standard Multimatic DSSV (Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve) Position-Sensitive Damping (PSD) system is tuned for rugged terrain, and it never bottomed out or hit its limit of travel. In addition, the vehicle’s two-speed automatic transfer case offers five modes (Auto 4WD, 4HI, 4LO, 2HI, and Neutral) for extraordinary crawl capability in the most challenging environments. And, for even more competency, the ZR2 Bison is equipped with an Eaton ELocker differential on the front and rear axles – simply press a switch on the dashboard to engage on command.

During testing, the Colorado ZR2 Bison bounded over rocks, crawled through deep sand, and climbed steep grades without breaking a sweat. It is one of the most capable vehicles I have ever driven off-road.

Is the 2022 Chevrolet Colorado a Good Truck?

With design and engineering dating back nearly a decade, the 2022 Chevrolet Colorado is not a modern midsize pickup truck. But its styling has aged well, its basic cabin has a practical appeal, and it offers more towing capacity than any vehicle in its segment (aside from the GMC Canyon, which matches it).

Furthermore, the Colorado ZR2 Bison is one of the best off-road-ready models in the segment. However, you should avoid this version unless you plan to take it off-road frequently. The Bison’s overlanding capabilities are extraordinary, but they come at an expense. Conveniences are few and far between, safety features are nearly non-existent, and the on-road driving dynamics are mediocre.

Michael Harley

Chevrolet Colorado Competitors for 2022

Though the current-generation Colorado arrived for the 2015 model year, it remains competitive in its segment. Rivals to the 2022 Colorado include midsize pickup trucks such as the Ford Ranger, Honda Ridgeline, Jeep Gladiator, Nissan Frontier, and Toyota Tacoma. The GMC Canyon is mechanically identical to the Colorado but offers different styling and packaging.

Chevrolet Colorado Features


With the 2022 Colorado, Chevy addresses what most people seek in a midsize pickup truck. There is a basic and affordable version, a handful of off-road models with varying degrees of capability, and a turbo diesel engine that can tow nearly as much weight as full-size trucks. But unfortunately, the Colorado does not earn top safety ratings for passenger protection in crashes or its ability to avoid them in the first place.

2022 Chevrolet Colorado Safety Features

  • Teen Driver – Standard feature provides parents of young drivers a driving report card after their child has driven the Colorado
  • Forward Collision Alert – Available feature warns the driver when a collision may occur*
  • Automatic Emergency Braking – Available feature automatically brakes the Colorado to avoid a collision. Works at speeds under 50 mph*
  • Lane Departure Warning – Available feature warns the driver when the Colorado crosses a lane marker. Works when the driver is not using the turn signal*
  • Automatic Crash Response – Available feature automatically contacts emergency response services through an active connected services plan after a collision with airbag deployment*

2022 Chevrolet Colorado Technology Features

  • Infotainment system – Standard 7-inch and available 8-inch touchscreen display
  • Smartphone connectivity – Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Connected services – Available feature with access to a Wi-Fi hotspot and more*
  • Navigation system – Available feature*
  • Wireless smartphone charging – Available feature*

2022 Chevrolet Colorado Interior Features

  • Automatic climate control – Available feature*
  • Cloth seats – Available feature*
  • Leather seats – Available feature*
  • Heated front seats – Available feature*
  • Premium sound system – Available seven-speaker Bose audio system*

Michael Harley

2022 Chevrolet Colorado Specs

2.5L 4-cylinder engine

  • 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque
  • 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive
  • EPA fuel economy rating of 21 mpg to 22 mpg in combined driving
  • 3,500-lb. maximum towing capacity (when properly equipped and configured)

2.8L turbo diesel 4-cylinder engine

  • 181 hp and 369 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive
  • EPA fuel economy rating of 19 mpg to 23 mpg in combined driving
  • 7,700-lb. maximum towing capacity (when properly equipped and configured)

3.6L V6 engine

  • 308 hp and 275 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive
  • EPA fuel economy rating of 17 mpg to 21 mpg in combined driving
  • 7,000-lb. maximum towing capacity (when properly equipped and configured)

*Availability is subject to specific trim level selections

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Christian Wardlaw
My first word was “car.” That’s what I’m told, anyway. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with them. The design. The engineering. The performance. And the purpose. I’m a car enthusiast who loves to drive, but I’m also most interested in the cars, trucks, and SUVs that people actually buy. Anybody can tell you that a sports car is fast. What you need to know is whether or not you should buy that new SUV, and why. My life purpose is to help you make that decision.
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Michael Harley
I’m one of the lucky few who have been able to turn my passion for automobiles into a professional career. On that note, I’ve written reviews for the industry’s top outlets, been quoted about events and trends by the leading business publications, and appeared on national television discussing new vehicles and safety. As a bona fide “car guy,” I jump at the opportunity to climb behind the wheel of every new car, truck, and SUV — and communicate to others about the experience.