Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Chevy Colorado Is No Longer the Cheapest Truck in America

There are plenty of luxury pickup trucks available for buyers these days. They have spacious interiors, high-quality materials, and lots of technology. But they don’t fit everyone’s needs or budgets. Luckily, there are still affordable trucks available. Unlike last year, though, the 2021 Chevy Colorado isn’t the cheapest truck out there.

Changes to the Chevy Colorado that increased its price for 2021

Though the Chevrolet Colorado was the cheapest truck for the 2020 model year, it doesn’t hold that distinction for 2021, according to MotorTrend. There are a few changes to the truck that explain its price increase. Last year, a lower base trim was available, which started at $22,395. That trim was a two-wheel-drive version that came without rear seats, carpeting, cruise control, or some safety features.

For the 2021 model year, the Chevy Colorado is now the third least expensive pickup. It has a starting price of $26,395 for the Work Truck (WT) trim. The Work Truck trim now has an automatic transmission, an upgrade from last year’s standard manual. It includes rear seats, carpeting, and a power driver’s seat, upgrades over last year’s base model. As with last year’s base model, the WT comes standard with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 200 hp. And all 2021 trims have a new exterior appearance.

Pickup trucks that are more affordable than the Chevy

You can find a couple of new pickups cheaper than the 2021 Chevy Colorado. They include the 2020 and 2021 Ford Ranger and the 2021 Toyota Tacoma. The 2020 Ranger starts at $26,250 for the two-wheel-drive XL trim, according to MotorTrend. And the 2021 Ranger starts at only $24,820, according to Kelley Blue Book. All Ranger trim levels have a turbocharged 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine harnessing 270 hp and matched with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The XL trim offers multiple optional appearance packages for buyers who might want bigger tires, off-road suspension, fog lamps, or other features, but those will cost more.

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma also has a lower starting price than the 2021 Chevy Colorado. You can find a brand-new Tacoma for as little as $25,680, according to MotorTrend. But you’ll have to do a little work to get this price. The listed base price for the Tacoma is $27,395, but the Utility Package will remove the rear seats, rear audio speakers, and sliding rear window. It also trades much of the exterior trim and bumpers for unpainted black ones, MotorTrend reported. The Tacoma’s engine is a 159-hp, 2.7-liter four-cylinder.

A closer look at the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado

RELATED: The 2020 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Can Get Pretty Luxurious

If you’re not interested in the bare-bones Chevy Colorado Work Truck, consider the other available trim levels and options. But you’ll have to pay more. The LT, Z71, and ZR2 trims start at $28,895, $34,995, and $42,795. Overall, Car and Driver believes the 2021 Colorado offers good handling but not a compelling interior because of all the hard plastic. It also doesn’t provide many driver assistance features.

The 2021 Chevy Colorado offers three powertrain options: the four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission, a 308-hp V6 with an eight-speed automatic, and a 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel. Because it’s on the smaller side, the Colorado is also easier to handle. That does give it a tight rear seat, even in the biggest cab size, but the front seats are comfortable. The Colorado also has a larger bed than competitors. Its short box provides 41 cubic feet, and its long box offers 50 cubic feet.

The base trim can tow up to 3,500 pounds. When equipped with the Trailer Equipment package, the Colorado can tow up to 7,000 pounds with the V6 engine or 7,700 pounds with the diesel. All trim levels come standard with trailer-sway control, which automatically applies the brakes for the trailer and truck if the trailer sways too much.

The base Chevy Colorado offers a seven-inch touchscreen, and higher trims boast an eight-inch touchscreen. All trims have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Car and Driver liked the infotainment system but pointed out the Colorado doesn’t offer many advanced safety features. But it does come with a forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and rear parking sensor.

Though the 2021 Chevy Colorado might not be the cheapest on the market, it’s still an affordable small pickup with plenty to offer new-truck buyers.