A red 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 ZR1 is shown parked in the desert during a 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2021 Chevy Colorado comparison.

2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2021 Chevy Colorado: Chevy Truck Challenge

When you think of pickup trucks, Chevy is one of the first brands to come to mind. Chevy is known for its reliability, features, and performance in its lineup of pickup trucks. To satisfy every pickup truck desire, Chevy offers a full size pickup, the Silverado 1500, and a midsize pickup option, the Colorado. Even with the same Chevy foundation, the Chevy Silverado 1500 and Colorado have their differences. Let’s put them head to head, the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2021 Chevy Colorado.

A Look at Performance

Pickup truck drivers expect a high level of performance from their trucks to get the job done. Both the Silverado 1500 and Colorado have impressive performance but are ideal for different situations. The different engine options for both pickup trucks help you to get the exact performance your job needs. Not every pickup truck owner needs the most powerful performance, and the beauty of Chevy pickup trucks is that there is an exact fit for your needs.

The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 has up to 6 engine options, including a diesel engine. The maximum horsepower for the 2021 Silverado 1500 is 420 horsepower when you have the most powerful engine option, the 6.2L V8. Surprisingly, the 2021 Chevy Silverado can have a decent fuel economy for its class. The 3.0L turbo-diesel engine gets the best fuel efficiency out of all the Silverado engines, with an estimated 23 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway.

The 2021 Chevy Colorado is smaller in size compared to the Silverado 1500, so it will have less performance capabilities but is still powerful for its class. The 2021 Colorado can still hold its own in the midsize truck category, and many pickup truck drivers have needs that fall well within what the Colorado can accommodate. There are three engine options, including a diesel engine. The highest level of performance available in the 2021 Colorado is in the available 3.6L V6 engine with 308 horsepower. The 2021 Silverado has the 2021 Colorado beat on fuel economy, with the Colorado’s best fuel efficiency with the diesel engine averaging out at 20 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway.

As you can see, there is a large difference in performance between these two models, which means that you are going to want to make sure you know how much capability you actually need. While the Silverado 1500 is pretty powerful, you may not actually need that much power, and the Colorado could be the better option for you. However, if you do need a greater amount of power, then the Silverado 1500 will be the one you want to go with.

A tan 2021 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is shown driving through the sand

A Look at Capability

Just like performance, capability is vitally important in a pickup truck. Chevy is known for their capability as they engineer their pickup trucks to get any job done the right way. Both the 2021 Silverado and 2021 Colorado are optimized pickup trucks and can accomplish a unique set of tasks. There’s not much you can’t do with either the 2021 Chevy Silverado or 2021 Chevy Colorado.

The 2021 Chevy Silverado can tow a maximum of 13,300 lbs with a maximum payload of 2,800 lbs. Each engine option will give you different towing and payload capacities, but no matter which 2021 Silverado you choose, you can tow some serious gear. Since towing is a major component of the 2021 Silverado, there is technology that helps you connect, disconnect, and drive safely with the extra gear following behind.

Where the 2021 Chevy Colorado’s capability shines is off-road. The 2021 Colorado offers models dedicated to the ultimate off-road adventure. The Colorado ZR2 is fully equipped to handle the back trails with its Multimatic shocks and front and rear electronic locking differentials. It is lifted higher than other Colorado models making it easier to take on the rugged terrain.

Judging the 2021 Silverado and 2021 Colorado’s capabilities is a matter of preference. Not every pickup driver needs a high towing capacity or off-road capability. However, no matter which of these fits your needs better, there is a Chevy truck for you. The bottom line, Chevy produced two trucks that are strong and capable from the inside out.

A Look at Technology

Vehicle technology has moved from a nice-to-have to a must-have for most drivers. Chevy doesn’t skip out on advanced technology in either the 2021 Silverado or 2021 Colorado. The 2021 Chevy Silverado tends to offer more standard technology, but there are some features you’ll find available in both pickup trucks.

Inside the 2021 Chevy Silverado, you have a standard 7-inch touchscreen with the opportunity to upgrade to an 8-inch touchscreen. This houses the Chevy infotainment system, which gives you access to a world of audio entertainment, navigation, and connectivity. The 2021 Silverado also has a Head-Up Display and driver information center just above the steering wheel, so drivers stay informed on the road. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and the 4G LTE WiFi are added bonuses to make the Silverado tech-friendly.

For the 2021 Chevy Colorado, there’s also the capability for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 4G LTE WiFi. It has a standard 7-inch touchscreen with an 8-inch upgrade available, like the 2021 Silverado. It’s easy to stay connected no matter which of these trucks you drive.

A black 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 is parked on a city street at night.

A Look at Safety

In recent years, Chevy has made advanced safety features a priority in their vehicle lineup. This applies to the 2021 Chevy Silverado and 2021 Chevy Colorado, with many safety technologies available as standard or as an option. You will see a lot of cross-over when it comes to safety features because Chevy focuses heavily on providing drivers with a vehicle that is both fun and safe.

The safety features on each of these trucks vary from trim to trim, so make sure you check which ones the trim you are looking at comes with and which ones you can add. However, both of these models do come equipped with a Rear Vision Camera to make backing up easy and Teen Driver as standard.

Available features for both of these trucks include:

  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Rear Park Assist
  • Automatic Emergency Braking

Looking at the Silverado, you also have several features that you can add, including:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Front Pedestrian Braking
  • Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Following Distance Indicator
  • Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
  • Rear Camera Mirror
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • Safety Alert Seat

If safety features are especially important to you, then the 2021 Chevy Silverado is your best pickup truck option as it has more options available. However, the 2021 Chevy Colorado can still help drivers stay safe on the road with its available features and solid construction.

Which One Are You Looking At?

It’s difficult to compare these two pickup trucks since they don’t fall in the same class. We can’t say one is better than the other because they both can easily satisfy a driver’s workload and commuting needs. For prospective pickup truck buyers who know they want to take home a Chevy truck should consider their day-to-day demands and wish list to decide on the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 or the 2021 Chevy Colorado. They are both quality pickup trucks that can work in a variety of scenarios thanks to their powerful performance, impressive capability, advanced technology, and safety feature availability. You can’t go wrong with either, but the 2021 Chevy Silverado is a clear choice for the driver looking for the most variety and features available.