A blue 2020 Chevy Colorado is shown from the front after leaving a used Chevy dealer.

Should You Buy a Used Chevy Colorado?

Isn’t vehicle shopping exciting? Sure, it can be nerve-wracking; however, you have nothing to fear, and this is because we’re here to tell you about one of our most favorite used pickup trucks. When you’re at a used Chevy dealer, you should take the time to explore the lot and learn more about the many best-selling SUVs, sedans, and trucks. Our favorite pickup truck is the Chevy Colorado for reasons including its place as Chevy’s most accessible truck, sporting a lower MSRP than any other available truck by the manufacturer, something that remains to be the case today. The Colorado is one of the most prominent used pickup trucks on the market, with models spanning as far back as 2004 found at a reasonable cost. Is there a specific model year that you should look out for? Keep reading to find out.

Any Changes?

There have been several noteworthy changes that have graced the Colorado since its launch. However, the Colorado is an excellent used truck to purchase because we’re still in the midsts of a long-lasting generation that began years back by this point. For the driver who wants a used model, this is fantastic news because you are still theoretically purchasing a vehicle within the same generation of Colorado vehicles that are sold today.

Even with the upcoming 2022 Colorado, there hasn’t been any indication that it’s aiming to kickstart an entirely new generation for the beloved pickup truck. Surely changes are expected for an automobile over several years, but the Colorado does things differently. Instead of changing up the basic specifications, the changes that have occurred over the past few years aimed to enhance the core experience and simplify things too. Let’s take into consideration how Colorado models have shaped up over the past five years and what kind of performance you should expect out of your pre-owned vehicle.

A red 2020 Chevy Colorado is shown driving on a dirt road with two kayaks on the back.

Half a Decade of Performance

The 2016 Colorado can be found with three available engine types, starting with a 2.5L 4-cylinder that comes paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. This engine could put out 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque and become a mainstay of the Colorado, even to this day with the most recent model. This truck will be just powerful enough to be a reliable companion to the summer vacation of your dreams, with 3,500 lbs of towing capacity for the average consumer. Bringing a boat to the lake or a small camper to the camp-site will be no trouble whatsoever with your Colorado, and that’s even with the base engine.

Stepping up to the next engine is a 3.6L V6 that has seen some slight improvements over the years. This engine comes paired with the same transmission as the previous one, but it’s far more performant, with the 2016 model producing 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. The improvements made over the years shouldn’t deter you from a model that’s five years or older; however, newer models such as the 2020 Colorado only increased this to 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. We feel that the modest 2% increase in torque output and an increase of less than 1% in horsepower doesn’t make up for the extra cost of a newer model with this engine, especially with towing ratings remaining untouched.

Colorado models can tow up to 7,000 lbs, which is exactly double that of the 4-cylinder engine that we mentioned prior. With such a large uptick in towing capacity, the Colorado quickly becomes a hobbyist vehicle to a mid-range enthusiast pickup truck instantly. 7,000 lbs of towing can get you far, and this includes tougher work tasks that you can complete with ease. The last engine that you can fit inside of these Colorado models is a turbo diesel 2.8L 4-cylinder that produces 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.

Optionally, those who purchase a Colorado with this engine will have the choice between the standard automatic transmission or 6-speed manual transmission. Towing for a model with the diesel engine ranges up to 7,700 lbs. If you want excellent towing performance, you’ll want this engine and the proper equipment. The diesel engine of any year is perfect for those who like to take their truck off-roading or who just need a little more power for their hobbies or yard work, and it will last you for a while.

Extra Space for More Cargo

Other capabilities of the Chevy Colorado have also remained similar over the years, including cargo capacities. Used Colorado models found between the years of 2016 and 2020 have an identical setup that includes the option between an Extended Cab and a Crew Cab. The Extended Cab is only available with the 6’2” box that provides you with 49.9 cubic feet of bed volume. Colorado models with the crew cab can be fitted with the same bed, or you can opt for a 5’2” bed that has 41.3 cubic feet of bed volume. Combine this with your towing capabilities, and the Colorado begins to show its wide range of uses.

Inside the Colorado, you can always expect comfortability, and again, there were no changes made in this regard within the model years of 2016 and 2020. Headroom and legroom in the front row will not change if you choose one cab over another, but the back row of seats is the one that will experience differences. The front row in Colorado models will have 41.4-inches of headroom and 45-inches of legroom. Extended cabs will have 36.7-inches of headroom and 28.6-inches of legroom, whereas Crew Cab models will have 38.3-inches of headroom and 35.8-inches of legroom.

A blue 2016 Chevy Colorado is shown parked in a field after leaving a used Chevy dealer.

A Special Case

It’s easy to recommend a used vehicle over a brand new one, but it’s even easier when discussing the Chevy Colorado. For those who are regulars in the new market, the minimal changes that have been made throughout the years may not be what you’re looking for. However, for those who are looking to save some money, but still buy a truck that performs identically to one that you can purchase brand new today, that’s where the Colorado gets its charm. For the budget-conscious driver, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal than a used Colorado model, and you can expect this truck to last you quite a while.

First-time truck buyers should heavily consider the Colorado, but we also think this truck is perfect for experienced truck drivers who don’t want or need the capability provided by a full-size truck. This mid-size model is easier to drive than a larger truck, but you still get many of the same benefits, like good towing capability. We also recommend this truck for those who tend to stray from the beaten path, as the small size of the Colorado makes it ideal for navigating tight trails.

However, if you find yourself needing more power, Chevy still has some options for you. A used Colorado is an excellent option, but it might not work for you. If that is the case, check out a used Chevy Silverado 1500 for a great full-size option or a used Chevy Silverado 2500 or 3500 if you need a lot of muscle and towing capability. You really can’t go wrong with any Chevy truck from pretty much any year.