• Lots of configurations
  • Available V-8
  • Reasonably priced
  • Four-speed automatic is the only transmission
  • Fuel economy
SUM UP A basic pickup in dire need of a refresh.

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Colorado in 2012

The Colorado gets only minor packaging changes for 2012. The midlevel LS model has been dropped, leaving the WT and the top-level LT. The five-speed manual is no longer available on LT models, which means a four-speed automatic is the only transmission. An automatic locking rear differential is now included on 2LT, 3LT, and four-wheel-drive 1LT models...
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Although the Colorado has had only minor updates in the past several years, its vast list of configurations and budget-friendly pricing have kept it reasonably competitive in the mid-size pickup segment. Available options include two bed lengths, three engines, three cab styles of up to six seats, and numerous suspension arrangements. For 2012, though, the midlevel LS model has been dropped, leaving only two Trim Levels to choose from. WT, or work truck, models are as bare-bones as modern vehicles come; features such as power windows and door locks aren't available, even as options. The top-level LT is lavishly equipped by comparison and comes in three sub-trims, each with its own standard engine, ranging from a fairly anemic 184-hp four-cylinder to a 5.3-liter V-8 that now ranks second in power and torque in its class, with 300 hp and 320 lb-ft, respectively. Both the WT and the LT can be outfitted with two- or four-wheel drive, but only the LT in extended-cab and crew-cab body styles can be equipped with the V-8. The Colorado comes up short in the transmission department, with the sole gearbox being an archaic four-speed automatic; both the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma offer a five-speed. The interior of the Colorado is living in the past as well, with a flat, unsupportive front bench seat, an abundance of hard, ill-fitting plastics, and a layout that was designed before the origin of ergonomics. And although the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma don't offer V-8 power, they have the Colorado beat in towing capacity and fuel economy.

The Range

Drive: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel
Trim Levels: WT, LT
Body style: Pickup, 2- to 6-passenger
Engines: 2.9L I-4, 185 hp, 190 lb-ft
3.7L I-5, 242 hp, 242 lb-ft
5.3L V-8, 300 hp, 320 lb-ft
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Capacities: Towing 1900-6000 lb; payload 1168-1422 lb


Front and side curtain air bags are standard, as are ABS, traction and stability control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

EPA Fuel Economy

All: 14-18 mpg city/19-25 mpg highway

If You Like This Vehicle

  • GMC Canyon
  • Nissan Frontier
  • Suzuki Equator
  • Toyota Tacoma

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2012 Colorado Standard Equipment

Climate Control

  • Front Air Conditioning


  • Auto On Headlights
  • Compass
  • Cruise Control
  • Keyless Entry
  • Power Locks
  • Power Outlet(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Vehicle Information Center


  • Electronic Transfer Case


  • Privacy Glass


  • Cup Holders
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel


  • Auto Day/Night Mirror
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Driver Air Bag
  • Front Fog Lights
  • Front Wipers, Variable Intermittent
  • Head/Curtain Airbag
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Rear Airbag
  • Rear Curtain Airbag
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control


  • Folding Rear Seat

Sound and Entertainment

  • Compact Disc MP3 Capable
  • Compact Disc Player
  • Satellite Radio


  • Blue Tooth Compatible
  • GPS/Satellite Communication

Tires and Wheels

  • Alloy Wheels

Trucks and Towing

  • Tow Hooks
  • Trailer Harness
  • Trailer Hitch
What are the factory warranties? See Warranties
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