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  1. The first thing that some in attendance thought was "Where is the Colorado version of this truck?" The Colorado is very capable off-road, but Chevy and GMC don't market anything this extreme- yet. The Z71 Trail Boss is more than most buyers will ever need, but what does "need" have to do with these special edition off-road trucks? The 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro will come in just three colors and orange is not one of them. Buyers will choose from Cement, Barcelona Red Metallic, and Super White. The style enhancements include: Front grille with color-keyed surround, blacked out hood scoop and graphic, color-keyed power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, color-keyed door handles, black overfenders, and a color-keyed rear bumper. Many of the standard features on the TRD Pro are already found on the TRD Off-road, like the V6 engine and the Goodyear Wrangler with Kevlar tires. Here are the big upgrades in bullet point: •16-inch TRD black alloy wheels with Goodyear Wrangler® All-Terrain Kevlar®-reinforced tires •TRD Pro aluminum front skid plate • FOX 2.5 Internal Bypass shocks tuned by TRD •TRD-tuned front springs with a 1-inch lift •TRD-tuned rear suspension with progressive-rate off-road leaf spring •4WDemand part-time 4WD with a transfer case • Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto LSD) •Rigid Industries® LED fog lights •Projector-beam headlights with black bezels, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and auto on/off feature •Taillights with black bezels •TRD Pro badge on front door with diamond-pattern knurled finish •Black TRD Pro and 4x4 rear tailgate badging The interior also has its own changes which include: •Black TRD Pro leather-trimmed heated front seats with TRD Pro logo located in the headrest •4-way adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and 4-way adjustable front passenger seat •Entune™ Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite •TRD shift knob •TRD Pro floor mats •Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth® hands-free phone controls •Rear parking assist sonar •Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) Every TRD Pro also gets the V6 Tow Package that includes a Class-IV towing receiver hitch, ATF cooler (automatic only), engine oil cooler, power steering cooler, 130-amp alternator, 4- and 7-pin connector with convertor, and Trailer-Sway Control (TSC) Having just tested a TRD Off-Road with the Premium and Technology Packages at $37K, expect the 2017 Toyota TRD Pro to be a $40K truck out the door.
  2. Back in 2014, Toyota new the new GM twins were coming. Toyota has huge respect for GM trucks, and American trucks in general. It knows that GM truck fans are loyal, that GM truck valuations are now close to that of its own trucks (which are still the best for resale overall) and that GM's quality is now on-par with the Toyota trucks. Despite all this respect (and maybe a little healthy fear) Toyota doubled down. It added workers and a third shift to its Tacoma facilities so that if it its truck had buyers the trucks would be on lots. Are we trying to "diss" GM here? Heck no! GM too was bold. When GM started to create the new Colorado and Canyon many truck followers said that it was dumb. Who wants a truck that cost almost the same as a 1500, but is smaller? With gas prices low, more naysayers chimed in pointing out that the fuel economy of a 1500 is not that different than a V6 Colorado or Canyon, so why will buyers downsize. This is a great time for all truck makers. With a few notable exceptions (Nissan missed the boat, Honda chose exactly the wrong years not to have any trucks for sale), automakers that focus on trucks are kicking and taking right now.
  3. View attachment: 2015_Colorado_Canyon32.jpg View attachment: 2015_Colorado_Canyon31.jpg A new start Last offered in 2012, the Colorado and Canyon were honorable replacements for the old but respected S-10 and Sonoma. Developed by Isuzu and adapted by General Motors, the first Colorado and Canyon never represented the integrated product that the Chevrolet and GMC lineup deserved. View attachment: 2015_Colorado_Canyon35.jpg The 2015 models are the exact opposite. Developed entirely in-house, the company has been able to engineer two new pickups that mirror the features and packaging of their larger, full-size family members. Now buyers can choose full-size or mid-size without giving up features, options, or comfort. Like many automakers, GM is not linking the size of the vehicle to how comfortable and feature rich it can be. View attachment: 2015_Colorado_Canyon37.jpg That means that the new Colorado and Canyon can now be equipped with features you could not previously find in the last generation. The same Chevy MyLink or GMC Intellilink systems from the Silverado and Sierra are available, with the same large 8-inch screens and same optional navigation. Heated seats, hill-descent, Bose sound system, and a tow-haul mode have also migrated from the full-size models. The 2015 Colorado and Canyon can be purchased with one of two engines. Each has it’s purpose and strong suits. View attachment: 2015_Colorado_Canyon28.jpg 2.5L I4 - 200 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque The base engine, a four-cylinder, is on the roster for customers who need fuel economy over all else. Power is adequate but if you’re planning on any amount of towing or hauling, you’re going to be better off with the V6. With that said, fuel economy is excellent and a two-wheel-drive truck with the 2.5L is rated up to 27MPG on the highway. A four-cylinder, extended cab, two-wheel-drive base truck is offering a significant value to someone who wants a small, affordable, versatile and comfortable vehicle. View attachment: 2015_Colorado_Canyon43.jpg 3.6L V6 - 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque The optional 3.6L V6 is the same engine you’ll find in other GM models like the Camaro. It’s been recalibrated and specifically tuned for use in a truck. Low end torque is improved and the entire engine RPM range feels beefy and powerful. With the optional frame mounted hitch and a 3.6L V6, the Colorado/Canyon can tow up to 7,000lbs. Considering most full-size truck owners tow on average under 5,000lbs, a 305-horsepower mid-size will accomplish a lot more than you might think. View attachment: 2015_Colorado_Canyon45.jpg Two cab sizes Aside from two engine choices, buyers can also pick between extended cab and crew-cab models. Short and long bed options are also available. No regular cab is offered (yet) but the seats in an extended cab can be deleted if a customer desires. View attachment: 2015_Colorado_Canyon54.jpg Behind the wheel This new pair of pickups understandably share the same driving experience. Aside from the outside looks and interior appointments, the engine, suspension, and chassis tuning is exactly the same. View attachment: 2015_Colorado_Canyon02.jpg After a few hours behind the wheel of a few different examples, two things really stand out as major and noticeable improvements over the past generation of Colorado and Canyon. First, the pair now drive far more like a crossover than a truck. A fully boxed frame means less wiggles and shakes, along with a planted feel. Properly tuned steering provides for a lot of confidence that the truck will end up where you intend on the road. These are every-single-day comfortable vehicles. Second, the trucks are surprisingly maneuverable. From super tight u-turns, squeezing through small back city streets, to tight off-road trails; the Colorado will fit in all sorts of places the Silverado never could. View attachment: 2015_Colorado_Canyon19.jpg A few shortcomings For all that the 2015 Colorado and Canyon do right, we still found a few things we didn’t like. For example, the interior is bland and boring. GMC models get a soft touch dash to make up for it but the Colorado is left with a rather cheap looking plastic. View attachment: 2015_Colorado_Canyon30.jpg View attachment: 2015_Colorado_Canyon36.jpg We’re a little confused with the styling direction taken by the two brands. We’re excited that the two pickups look very little alike but while the Canyon is a carbon-copy of the larger Sierra, the Colorado looks nothing like the Silverado. View attachment: 2015_Colorado_Canyon50.jpg Final Thoughts GM argues that many midsize pickup buyers have been disenfranchised by the lack of options over the past decade. They are confident that by offering models in this segment that have the refinement and features of other modern vehicles, they can lure back customers from the crossover and suv segment. With the competition in such rough shape, that argument holds a lot of water. However, a redesigned Tacoma can’t be that far off and it will take time to see if the Colorado and Canyon can establish themselves as the new leaders in this segment. It will be hard to declare these trucks an overnight success but the cards are stacked in their favor. There is no doubt these are the most feature rich midsize pickups ever built. It’s exciting that customers can finally choose a pickup’s size and features independently of one another. That's not something any other automaker offers.
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