2009 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Crew Cab 1LT

Until this year, Dodge was able to make the claim that its Dakota was the only mid-size pickup to offer a V-8 engine. Enter the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon twins and the Vortec V-8, which tops the Dakota in displacement (5.3 vs. 4.7 liters), if not quite in horsepower (300 vs. 302) or maximim towing capacity(6000 lbs vs. 7100 lbs). And indeed, this powerplant certainly adds some needed muscle to the aging Colorado, along with a modicum of entertainment. The interior is OK, but just, with controls and materials that could use some updating. Still, if you're looking for something less than a full-size pickup with a decent amount of power, enough towing capacity to pull a trailer or a boat, and reasonable fuel economy for a pickup (15/21 mpg), the Colorado might fit the bill. And you could probably negotiate a decent deal on one.

Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor

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