Compact pickup trucks are great vehicles that combine the versatility of the cargo-carrying full-size trucks with the calmer driving dynamics and better comfort of passenger SUVs. While they may have given up the limelight to crossovers in recent years, these are still excellent cars with dedicated followers.
Among the more popular is the Chevrolet Colorado. That is not a surprise, as it is relatively inexpensive, features a good selection of different engines, and offers both excellent towing and hauling capacity and a spacious cabin. While there may be alternatives in the compact pickup market that may beat the Colorado in specific categories, few provide a similar level of overall quality and utility.
The Colorado is a little different from most cars or other trucks in terms of its trim layout. Its entry-level trim levels are fairly basic, with upgrades required for some key features. On the other end of the scale, it also features two high-end off-road performance trims.
Whether you are looking for a vehicle at one of those extremes or looking at the middle of the Colorado range for a pickup truck with both brawn and manners, it is important to know which features are included in each trim levels and which ones are available as options.This guide offers a look at each of the different trims that the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado comes in, listing all of the available features for each one to help you find your perfect compact pickup.
Compare the 2018 Colorado base vs Work Truck Trims. What is the difference?
The lowest of the Colorado trim is one of the more confusing ones, as it comes with a selection of both fairly basic and fairly advanced features. Like most entry-level trucks, it has a vinyl interior and power locks and windows, though without keyless entry. It is exclusively available in an extended cab configuration, though this model does not include a rear bench of seats.
Similarly, only the four-cylinder engine and a manual transmission are available. It does come with a power driver’s seat, daytime running lights, and a rearview camera however, as well as a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, USB ports, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It is attached to a nice six-speaker sound system. It has practically no options available outside of a limited palette of colors.
The WT or Work Truck trim level is usually the base model for Chevrolet trucks, and for many this will be the lowest trim level considered. It offers the same basic features as the base model, but has a six-speed automatic transmission instead of a manual.
It is available in both extended and crew cabs, with the extended cab models getting a small second row of seats that is absent in the base model. A V-6 and all-wheel drive are also both available options on the Work Truck model.
The WT Colorado also offers a nice selection of appearance and utility packages. Chrome, Custom Special, and Work Truck Appearance packages can add a little extra flair to the Colorado’s interior and exterior. There are also three different GearOn packages to help organize and secure cargo in the truck bed.
Finally, the WT Convenience Package adds some common convenience features, including remote keyless entry, cruise control, and an easy-open liftgate.
While the base model may make an excellent vehicle for manual transmission enthusiasts, practically everyone else will want to go with the WT. The automatic transmission, the availability of different engines and body types, and the available options packages all make the WT an overall better buy than the base model.
Compare the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado Work Truck vs LT Trim Levels. What is the difference?
The LT is the only trim designation that the Colorado shares with conventional Chevrolet vehicles and, unsurprisingly, it is the trim most suited for regular day-to-day driving. It is a very versatile trim, as it is one of the few that is offered in all three engines; in addition to the four-cylinder and the V-6, it can also be optioned with a turbo diesel that provides the best towing and hauling numbers for the Colorado.
Aside from those options, the Colorado LT includes remote keyless entry, 17-inch alloy wheels, body color accents, and a larger 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Like the Work Truck, the LT can be optioned with a number of optional appearance packages, as well as some nice convenience ones. The LT Convenience Package adds a remote starter, a sliding rear window with a defogger, fog lights, a remote starter, heated exterior mirrors, and an easy-open tailgate.
The Safety Package adds a forward collision warning and a lane departure warning, though neither of those come with any autonomous safety functions. Colorado LT models equipped with a Shoreline, Redline or Chrome appearance packages can also be equipped with an optional Luxury package that adds heating and power adjustment to both front seats, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming mirror, and upgraded headlights. A navigation system and Bose audio are available as standalone upgrades.For most buyers, the LT is the perfect mix of features and utility. The optional turbo diesel engine makes this model the one that can haul the most and tow the biggest trailers of the Colorado lineup. Likewise, it is also the model with the largest amount of convenience features. If you want a truck that is good as both a work car and a comfortable leisure car, then the LT is the best choice.
Compare the Colorado LT vs Z71 Trims. What is the difference?
The first of the two off-road trims that the Colorado comes in, the Z71 is almost the same in terms of equipment as LT. It includes all the same standard features, as well as the automatic climate control, an easy-open liftgate, and powered front seats.
Most of the Z71 features focus on giving it improved off-road abilities though. It has a transfer case shield, a special Z71 suspension system, and an automatically locking rear differential. It carries most of the appearance options over from the LT, and is also available in a special Midnight Edition or the Centennial Edition. The premium audio and navigation are both available on the Z71, but the Safety Package is not.
The Z71 is a good balance of price and ability when it comes to being an off-road specialist truck. The suspension and the differential both help the truck navigate through tougher terrain, while at the same time the Z71 is only a few thousand dollars more than the LT model.
Compare the Colorado Z71 vs ZR2 Trim Levels. What is the difference?
The ZR2 is the off-road master trim for the Chevrolet Colorado. Priced at over $40,000, it is easily the most expensive version of the Colorado and is significantly more expensive than the Z71. For the money, you get a good selection of both off-road performance equipment and nice comfort amenities.
The ZR2 comes with leather seats and wireless device charging, which makes the ride in it both more comfortable and more convenient. However, its strength comes from its performance components. It rides taller and wider than the Z71, to give it more grip and ground clearance. It not only has its own suspension, but also a multimatic damping system. Dusk and Midnight special edition packages are available to customize your ZR2’s look, as well as some of the regular appearance packages like the Chrome one.
The Colorado ZR2 is a very strong off-roader for the money, as well as being the only leather-equipped Colorado model. It is definitely not the model to buy just for the leather though, as the rest of it is a dedicated off-roader and costs as much.
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Which Trim Level to Choose?
While there are five different available trims for the Colorado, most of them are very specialized. The base model is an inexpensive, manual-only model specifically designed for special offers and fleet buyers.
The WT is a rugged and reliable truck that is perfect for smaller jobs that don’t require a dedicated full-size pickup. The Z71 and the ZR2 are both aimed at off-road enthusiasts, giving them a strong and capable vehicle. Only the LT functions more as a generalist trim level, and it is the one that is likely to offer the best value for the average buyer.
If you don’t find yourself drawn to one of the specialist models by your work or hobby orientations, then the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado LT is likely the trim level that will work best for you.
• Why buy a 2018 Chevrolet Colorado? w/ pros vs cons