2015 Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon Powertrains Detailed

The new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickup trucks will offer two gasoline engine choices when they go on sale this fall, and we now have more official details on these trucks' power ratings and maximum towing capabilities.

The standard engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, which is slightly more than the 193 hp and 184 lb-ft originally announced when the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado originally debuted at the 2013 Los Angeles auto show. This is the same engine as the Ecotec four-cylinder found in the Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Impala, meaning that it has direct injection and variable valve timing for better efficiency, but GM says that the engine has been retuned for better low-end torque in these truck applications. The four-cylinder engine mates with either a standard six-speed manual on some extended cab, rear-wheel-drive models, or a six-speed automatic on most trim levels.

Opting for the larger 3.6-liter V-6 engine means 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque (also slightly more than originally announced), which affords a maximum tow rating of up to 7000 lbs. This engine comes only with a six-speed automatic, and also features direct injection and variable valve timing like the four-cylinder. V-6 models will come with either rear- or four-wheel drive.

GM boasts that both of these powertrains put out more power than the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon's direct competitors, the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma. Looking at four-cylinder powertrains, the Colorado and Canyon's engine trumps the Frontier's 2.5-liter unit that makes 152 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque, and the Tacoma's 2.7-liter engine that makes 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. The optional V-6 engines in these trucks put the Nissan's 4.0-liter V-6 at the top in terms of torque thanks to its 281 lb-ft, but the Colorado and Canyon still top the Frontier's 261 hp, and beat the Tacoma's 4.0-liter V-6 which produces 236 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque.

This power deficiency means that neither the Nissan Frontier nor the Toyota Tacoma can match the GM trucks' 7000-lb max tow rating. The Nissan has a maximum capacity of 6300 lbs, and the Toyota can to up to 6500 lbs.

For the 2016 model year, a 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel four-cylinder will join the Colorado and Canyon's powertrain lineup, but we don't yet know official numbers on this powertrain. We previously estimated specs of 197 hp and 324 lb-ft of torque. By then, a redesigned Nissan Frontier may offer a diesel four-cylinder to go head to head with the GM trucks as was indicated by the Nissan Frontier Diesel Runner concept at the 2014 Chicago auto show.

Stay tuned for more information to come about the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, as EPA fuel economy numbers and official pricing for these trucks should be revealed soon.

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