This sees to the introduction of the 2.5-litre variant that is seen as the preferred engine displacement pickup for potential customers in the peninsula although the bigger 2.8-litre Colorado is expected to continue its good run in Sabah and Sarawak.
As such, Naza Quest expects higher sales of the Colorado next year with an annual target of 1,300 pick-ups with more than 50% being accounted for by the 2.5-litre versions.
Since the Colorado was launched here in 2012, more than 3,000 of this nameplate were sold here, with a good majority of its sales (60%) being made in Sabah and Sarawak.
Malaysia is the second country to launch the latest Colorado, which is assembled in Thailand; this Chevrolet pick-up truck was first introduced in Cebu, Philippines a few months ago.
To make the Colorado more appealing to customers in the Asean region and beyond, Chevrolet has focused its research and development resources to come up with features that would be practical and convenient to use.
One such item is the remote engine start feature instead of the common push start facility, laying claim to being the first one with such an item for a pick-up truck.
The logic behind this is that one could start the engine and let the air-conditioner cool down the Colorado interior; the doors are not unlocked by using the key fob to start the engine.
Once you are ready to get going, you can use the key fob to unlock the doors and get into a cool Colorado, which should be welcomed on a hot day. Another neat item is that when the front doors are opened, the windows would be lowered by about 30mm automatically.
This reduces the vacuum inside the car and is said to be aimed at the ladies to make light work of opening or closing the heavy front doors.
The higher ranked models – LTZ and High Country – will have a greater level of features and standard items over the LT variants; there are five in all, three for the Colorado 2.5 (including a manual transmission model) and two for the Colorado 2.8.
During the pre-launch media preview drive to the Hutan Lipur Jerangkang Falls in Pahang, only the top variant (12 of them) Colorado 2.8 High Country was provided although the lead pick-up truck driven by the event organiser was a Colorado 2.5 LTZ.
We initially found the lumbar support for the front seats a bit hard and the seat just marginally short on thigh support.
However, as we piled on the mileage, our body seemed to adjust well to make the drive on highways, B-grade roads and off-road trails reasonably comfortable.
What impressed us the most was the good fuel economy of the 2.8-litre VGT (variable geometry turbo) diesel engine and not hearing the tyre roar when driving on highways.
Compared with the previous engine, the 2,776cc four-cylinder multi-valve diesel engine gained 13bhp to 193bhp and 30Nm more torque to 500Nm, giving the Colorado the boast of the highest torque output in its class.
The transmission remains a six-speed automatic with manual mode selection and a part-time four-wheel drive layout; that means it runs on two-wheel drive with options for selecting four-wheel drive high and four-wheel drive low ratio when the need arises.
We could change from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive high on the fly below 100kph but to engage four-wheel drive low, we have to come to a stop and step on the brake to select this drive mode.
Initial and moving acceleration wasn’t too bad although we had expected more from the 500Nm torque; perhaps the new Colorado is a bit heavier than before. It did require a bit more distance to hit the top speed of almost 185kph (as indicated on the GPS) although the indicated speed on the Colorado’s speedometer was above 190kph; the engine management system will cut off the engine at about that speed.
Although we were going at great guns, our fuel consumption as indicated on the info panel was still above 650km (when we started out the 76-litre full tank mileage was almost 800km).
We had already covered more than 150km by then, taking in city traffic and the high speed run; if that isn’t good fuel economy, we don’t know what is.
Wind noise was reasonably well curtailed during the full bore runs with the most discernible turbulence occurring around the large door mirrors.
The road roar that the tyre usually generates, which is a common sound heard in cars these days, was not discerned at all in the Colorado.
The bushings and linkages of the new suspension package are probably well sorted out to dampen and reduce the flow of vibrations and noise that were picked up from the road by the Bridgestone Dueler tyres on the 18-inch two-tone alloys.
The ride too was also well sorted out, at least that was the impression from the front; we didn’t get to shape an opinion about this from the rear perspective as we were assigned two persons to a Colorado unlike most others media test drive that had three on board.
The Colorado’s off-road manners held up well too during the drive to the Hutan Lipur Jerangkang waterfall, taking to the mud pools along the way with ease in four-wheel high.
We had a go at the Hill Descent Control and it worked to expectation as the Colorado went down the fairly steep incline at its own easy pace, with our foot off the brake and accelerator pedals.
On the drive back to Kuala Lumpur the following day, there was a rattle from the dashboard as if some cable was shaken loose during the off-road session.
Other than that, there was little to pick with the new and well-specced Colorado, which would be retailed from RM99,911 for the manual transmission 2.5-litre LT model to about RM132,874 for the top 2.8-litre High Country.