For 2007, Chevrolet’s compact Colorado pickup gets two new engines: 2006’s 2.8-litre four-cylinder is replaced with a 2.9-litre with variable valve timing (VVT), and an increase of 10 hp, while the 3.5-litre inline five-cylinder becomes a 3.7-litre with VVT, for an increase of 22 hp. There’s also a 125-amp alternator to replace the previous 110-amp unit, improved transmission shift quality, a standard tire pressure monitoring system, chrome-finished 15-inch aluminum wheels, and revised interior trim with chrome accents and available Ebony colour. Outside, Pace Blue, Imperial Blue Metallic and Deep Ruby Metallic join the colour palette, while Superior Blue Metallic and Cherry Red Metallic have been retired.

The Colorado, also sold as the GMC Canyon (and the basis of the Hummer H3), comes in a wide variety of models, including Regular Cab, Extended Cab with two rear-hinged rear doors, and Crew Cab with four independently-opened doors; two bed lengths; two- and four-wheel drive is available, and three suspension packages; and trim models are LS and LT, as well as the Colorado Xtreme package. (The Crew Cab is available in upper-line LT trim only.)

All models base with the four-cylinder and can be optioned to the five-cylinder (except for the 4WD Crew Cab, which uses the 3.7 exclusively); transmission choices are a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. All come with rack-and-pinion steering, intermittent wipers, air conditioning, tilt wheel, cruise control and folding outside mirrors; available options include keyless entry, traction control (on 2WD models), XM Satellite Radio, fog lamps, auto-dimming rearview mirror, running boards, power-adjustable seats with leather and heating options, high-back bucket seats, rear sliding window and power-adjustable mirrors.

Suspension choices are the standard Z85 suspension and Z71 off-road suspension, available on both 2WD and 4WD models, and the 2WD-only ZQ8 sport suspension.

Depending on model, the Colorado can seat up to six passengers; the Crew Cab comes with a 60/40 folding rear seat that will hold three adults, while the Extended Cab has four doors and comes with two folding rear seats. Regular and Extended Cab models have a 6-foot-1 (1.85 metre) pickup bed, while the Crew Cab bed is 5-foot-1 (1.55 metre). Both offer two-tier cargo loading and lockable, removable tailgates that can be opened to almost 90 degrees, but can also be set at a 55-degree opening, the same height as the top of the rear wheel wells, to accommodate the ubiquitous 4-by-8 sheet of plywood.

The Colorado is still one of the smallest pickup trucks on the market, and that’s a good thing: not everyone needs or wants an oversized “mini” truck. The wide range of configurations also makes it easy to find the right one, from an easy-to-clean vinyl floor, up to the Xtreme package with 18-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler and lowered suspension. The new engines boost power but with only a small price increase; the Colorado remains a very good, solid-value hauler.

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