First Drive : 2004 Chevrolet Colorado & GMC Canyon
By: Alex Law ©, 2003
Posted: 10-01-03 00:10

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You will likely hear a lot about the fact that GM's new compact pickups no longer have a V6 or the highest payload ranking in the class, but the potential for criticism from its competitors does not worry GM even a little bit, and that says a lot about their confidence in the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon models.

GM believes it now has the best compact pickup lineup in the market, and that people who need V6s and maxi-payload capacity would probably prefer a full-size pickup anyway.

Time will tell if they're right about the V6 and the payload issue, but you can see right off that the world's biggest car company is correct about having the best lineup of compact pickups in the market.

In every conceivable way except the ones mentioned above, Colorado and Canyon are better than the S-10 and Sonoma models they replace. In the most significant aspects of a pickup, they are significantly better.

Most importantly, the trucks are bigger, stiffer, quieter, better built, more responsive, and come with much better powertrains. In all, they make much better personal use vehicles than the models they replace and are at least equal as work trucks.

Style is always a matter of taste, but no one could say either Colorado or Canyon are ugly. They're sort of good-looking in a mid-west farmer kind of way.

Sure, they cost a little more than the vehicles they replace, but GM would quietly point out that they deliver a whole lot more for the money.

On paper then, they look like a much better investment than the models they replace, and that proves to be the case on the road as well.

Something about the size, design and build quality of Colorado/Canyon suggests solidity from the outside, and that feeling is re-enforced once you sit behind the wheel. If you've got a really sophisticated spine and are familiar with the old trucks, you might at this point recognize the only carryover part -- the seat frame.

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