As it goes, you get what you pay for. However, is that always the case? No question, if you purchase something nearly three times as expensive as something else, you’ll undoubtedly get more than you would from the cheaper product. This is especially true with markets such as automotive. Having more people within that market means manufacturers put plenty of thought and effort into entry-level vehicles for those who either don’t want a more powerful car or can’t afford one.
As it goes with many markets, new technology becomes readily available if you’re willing to pay extra. However, premium features from five or more years ago can now be found in some of the most cost-effective vehicles in a given vehicle lineup. Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about trucks on the higher end of the price range like the Silverado 3500HD. Today, I want to discuss the 2022 Chevy Colorado WT, which is the most cost-effective method of purchasing a pickup truck by the titular manufacturer. Does opting to save the most money possible mean big-name manufacturers leave drivers in the dust? Is the experience uninspired? I’ll answer all these questions and more, so let’s get started.
Chevy’s Most Affordable Truck
The 2022 Chevy Colorado is the perfect entry-level pickup truck that doesn’t break the bank. It starts at $25,200, meaning the Colorado WT is also the most affordable trim in the Colorado’s selection. This is a stark contrast to trucks such as the Silverado 3500HD in its High Country trim level, which costs over $65,000.
Expectedly, the Silverado 3500HD and Colorado please two types of drivers, both of which fall under the same category of “pickup truck driver.” However, someone more akin to hardcore enthusiasts or those who require a hefty vehicle capable of towing upwards of 36,000 lbs will undoubtedly consider a 3500HD. The Colorado is for drivers who either want to get into pickup trucks or don’t want to spend the type of money on a costlier truck—such as the Silverado HD line. Regardless, the Colorado is even more cost-effective than the Silverado 1500, the second-best-selling vehicle in the country. This is nothing but good news, and its specs have plenty to do about it.
Chevy Understands Power
Countless vehicles on the market limit their base trim to one powertrain configuration, often reserving the stronger ones for costlier trim levels. Impressive enough, the Colorado WT is the most affordable pickup truck configuration in Chevy’s lineup; even more impressive is an available 3.6-L V6 engine, which can replace the stock 2.5-L I-4 engine. When considering the starting price of the Colorado WT, the 2.5-L I-4 engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission performs admirably at 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, the base powertrain ensures the Colorado can tow up to 3,500 lbs in its stock configuration.
A towing capacity of 3,500 lbs may not be enough for some drivers, and understandably so. Chevy understands this, too. Otherwise, a 3.6-L V6 engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission wouldn’t be available for the base WT trim. The Colorado WT is a different beast with the V6 engine—seeing 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque increased to 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. It also gets a 54% and 44% increase in horsepower and torque output, respectively.
Aside from a generous bump in engine specifications, towing is vastly improved as well. More specifically, Colorado’s towing capacity doubles when a driver opts for the 3.6-L V6 instead of the standard 2.5-L I-4 engine, going from 3,500 lbs to 7,000 lbs. For a midsize truck, these performance ratings are more than adequate.
Compelling Tech Included
It may have been thought-provoking a decade ago, but you don’t need to go all-in to get a modern multimedia experience in your truck. Case in point, the 2022 Colorado WT comes with a 7” infotainment center, the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System. This infotainment center is in both the WT and the following LT trim—the only difference being a slightly larger, 8” screen on the latter. Pricier 2022 Colorado trims utilize the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus System, available with or without onboard navigation.
However, many drivers will likely not give too much thought to the upgraded infotainment centers, especially considering the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System in the WT retains the most popular features: Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, among others. Aside from features such as cloud-saved preferences, voice recognition, and a few additional apps, the features are comparable.
The Colorado WT offers more than meets the eye, and the seemingly tame infotainment center also offers an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, which many may not expect. Coupled with the best modern-day features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Colorado WT’s infotainment center can truly shine. Best of all, amenities such as navigation and voice recognition are each represented in some form when the driver plugs in their iPhone or Android phone for either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow drivers to transform their vehicle into a far more connected experience. Although Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t new, we’ve reached a stage in the automotive industry where these previously uncommon features have made their way down to the most cost-effective vehicle and trim in the manufacturer’s lineup. Surprising to some, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t new to the Colorado either, with the former releasing alongside the 2016 Colorado and the latter appearing a year later.
Drivers who plug their mobile phones into their Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System will launch the software associated with their phones. For example, Apple CarPlay will launch for supported iPhones and Android Auto for a host of Android-based phones. Hobbyism and professionalism are both complemented by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which lend drivers a toolset of amenities like easy communication, live navigation, entertainment, information from the internet, and more.
Yes, That’s a Power Seat
A brief mention I believe deserves recognition concerns interior comfort. Being the most cost-effective truck in any manufacturer’s lineup leaves drivers thinking that interior amenities are likely less than stellar. It’s hard to blame these drivers, especially considering many cost-conscious vehicles include manually-adjustable seats for their base trims. Offering a 4-way power-adjustable driver’s seat as standard with the Colorado WT, the truck feels authentic to Chevy’s value promise.
It’s Quite Remarkable
Interestingly, I believe the best way to test the strengths of a manufacturer isn’t always to look towards the pinnacle of its accomplishments and focus on what the manufacturer can do when given the limitations of an entry-level price tag. Limits get pushed on both ends of the spectrum; how far can a manufacturer push engine technology, autonomous driving, etc? Or, how much can a manufacturer cram into an affordable vehicle to oust its competition while retaining its price?
Depending on who you’re speaking to, Chevy putting the utmost effort into the Colorado’s performance, technology, and comfort isn’t surprising, given the manufacturer’s history; others may be surprised to hear it. It’s important to look both ways with this sort of thing. The Silverado 3500 is easily a truck any truck driver wouldn’t turn down if given the option at the perfect cost—but it’s also not priced the same, so that’s not a fair argument. However, I feel that Chevy is pushing the bar further on what we can expect when we want a simple, affordable, and dependable pickup truck.