2009 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Crew Cab 1LT

As technical editor Don Sherman implied when he reviewed these updated trucks, the Colorado/Canyon twins should have been launched like this--with a small-block V-8 under the hood instead of the weakling four-cylinder or the not-much-better in-line five. The V-8-powered Colorado now has increased towing and hauling capabilities, and it's significantly quicker than its fewer-cylindered stablemates (less than seven seconds to 60 mph, according to both Sherman and General Motors). But what really struck me is the fantastic sound of the 5.3-liter V-8. Floor it between about 2500 and 4500 rpm, and the mill just roars. I actually opened the sliding rear window just so I could hear a less insulated rendition of the motor music. I even think this Colorado deserves more prominent tailpipes (big-tipped, straight dual exhausts, anyone?) to announce its power; I blew away a GMC Canyon at a light, but I don't think the other driver had a clue about what had happened.

Unfortunately, the new powerplant can only do so much toward refreshing this truck. Entering the old-think-GM interior is like stepping back in time. The plastics are hard and unpleasant to touch. The driver's seat is more of the "sit on" than "sit in" variety. The big-buttoned radio works well, but only in a 1990s flashback sort of way. The small back seats and small (five-foot, one-inch) pickup bed hinder the Colorado's usefulness, too. But usefulness is sometimes overrated in the mini-muscle-truck category ...

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

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