Trucks & SUVs

Is the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 Worth the Upgrade Over the Chevy Colorado?

When it comes to same brand rivalries there are few as contentious as Chevy Silverado vs Chevy Colorado. The Chevy Silverado once towered over early renditions of the Chevy Colorado. But lately, the Colorado has become a force to be reckoned with in its own right. How do these two compare now?

The 2020 Chevy Colorado

The 2020 Chevy Colorado ranks fifth among compact pickup trucks in the U.S. News review with a score of 7.1 overall. As far as pickups go, the Chevy Colorado is fairly economical to own with a suggested retail price ranging from $21,300 to $43,000 and fuel mileage ratings between 18 mpg city and 30 mpg highway, largely dependent on the engine chosen to power the truck weighing between 3,936 pounds and 5,011 pounds. Depending on the choice of cab configurations, the Chevy Colorado can seat from two to five passengers comfortably.

In order to achieve a towing capacity of 7,700 pounds and the highest fuel economy, buyers will want to opt for the turbo-diesel engine that produces 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. If off-road capability is important, consider the Z71 package, or for more rugged off-roading, the ZR2 or ZR2 Bison packages.

In the review, U.S. News praised the Chevy Colorado for its powerful engine selections, highly rated towing capacity, user-friendly infotainment system, and cushy ride characteristics. The noted downsides include a somewhat uncomfortable and cramped interior, low-end cabin materials compared to rivals, and a sub-par predicted reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power. 

The 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500

RELATED: The Chevy Silverado Beat Ram and Ford in This Category

The 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 ranks third in the full-size truck category in the U.S. News rankings with a score of 8.3 overall. As it is a larger pickup than the Chevy Colorado, it comes with a slightly higher price tag and a lower city driving fuel economy estimate. The suggested retail prices range from $28,300 to $56,800 for all the bells and whistles.

Fuel mileage, again, depends largely upon which drivetrain/engine combination is chosen and ranges from a low 14 mpg city to a high 33 mpg highway. The Chevy Silverado isn’t much heavier than the Chevy Colorado with curb weights ranging from 4,474 pounds to 5,008 pounds. Comparing available seating, the Chevy Silverado ups the Chevy Colorado by one in every cab configuration by offering seating for three to six people.

Chevy offers five engine choices for the Silverado. The standard offering is a 285-hp V6 backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. To achieve maximum fuel economy and towing capacity, consider choosing the optional 3.0-liter inline V6 turbo-diesel that produces 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. 

The Chevy Silverado received praise in the review for having the superior towing capacity in its class, excellent fuel economy from the turbo-diesel, comfortable ride, responsive handling, and plenty of room for passengers. The lone negative remark is for the presence of poor quality materials in the interior. There is no J.D. Power reliability rating for the 2020 Silverado, but the 2019 model received a rating of four out of five.

The Chevy Colorado or Silverado – which pickup truck is best?

Being a larger, full-size pickup truck, the Chevy Silverado is better than the Chevy Colorado in every truck-like category. It’s also as good or better in categories where the smaller Colorado seems it should have the advantage.

The Silverado has a larger truck bed, so it can haul more cargo. It has larger axles and suspension components so it can carry more weight and tow heavier loads. Its larger cab is more comfortable with more room for larger adults. While it will be more difficult to maneuver in tight parking lots, it is still capable of taking the family out on the town. 

The biggest advantage that the Colorado has over the Silverado is its lower price. A base model Colorado costs about $7,000 less than the base Silverado, and the best equipped Colorado is over $13,000 less than the best-equipped Silverado.

If your pickup needs run toward smaller, lighter loads, the extra expense and larger size of the Chevy Silverado 1500 may not make sense. But if you’re buying a truck to do heavy-duty truck stuff then you will find the Chevy Colorado lacking.