Chevrolet Colorado In Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)

The Chevrolet Colorado is called the Swiss Army knife of trucks for its versatility.

It can handle driving on highways and off-road trails. Add that to its attractive pricing, reliability and utility, and you get a solid truck that delivers on all fronts.

How does the Colorado fare during the winter? We will find out below.

Here is the short answer to whether the Chevrolet Colorado is good for snow and winter driving:

The Chevrolet Colorado offers stellar performance in winter conditions with its high ground clearance and four-wheel drive. It also has ABS, Stability Control, Traction Control, and other features that enhance driving in snow and winter. 

Is a Chevrolet Colorado Good in the Snow?

The Chevrolet Colorado is a compact truck that delivers the goods in every terrain, snowy roads included.

So, why is the Colorado that great to drive in snow? We’ll call it a mixture of different factors because that’s what it really is. The first factor is a high ground clearance that enables the Colorado plow through deep snow.

Besides its high ground clearance, the Colorado sports other features that enhance stability, traction, and handling in snow. These include the Traction Control System and the Vehicle Stability Assist.

Finally, the engine power also helps with moving the car through snow. Sure, you cannot compare the Colorado’s V6 to the V8 found on bigger Chevy trucks.

Still, the V6 packs enough punch to push your Colorado truck through deep snow.

What Features Will Improve Winter Driving?

That the Chevrolet Colorado drives well in winter season is hardly an accident. General Motors, makers of the Colorado, carefully outfitted the vehicle with features aimed at increasing road grip and overall safety in wintry conditions.

Here are some features on the Colorado that aid winter driving:

Four-Wheel-Drive (4WD)

The base Chevrolet Colorado model is standard with two-wheel drive; upgrade to a higher model and you get four-wheel-drive standard.

Opting for a Colorado that has 4WD is advisable for anyone who wants to tackle snow and ice with this model.

With 4WD engaged, all your wheels get enough power, stopping them from losing traction in slick road situations. This way, your vehicle remains stable even when slush, ice, and snow threaten to cause it to slip.

StabiliTrak Stability Control

The StabiliTrak Stability Control works just like the Stability Control feature you see on most vehicles. GM put this feature on your Colorado to maintain balance while it drives.

This is important for driving in winter situations where low traction may lead to your vehicle losing composure.

The Colorado’s StabiliTrak uses different sensors–yaw sensors, wheel speed sensors, and steering wheel sensors–to monitor your vehicle’s motion.

If your truck is losing balance and is about to skid off the road, StabiliTrak restricts or kills the engine. This is so that the vehicle can decelerate and regain balance.

It may also activate the hydraulic brakes to apply brake pressure on selected wheels. This helps bolster traction in wheels and keeps your Colorado balanced, even in slippery conditions.

Traction Control

Traction Control helps your wheels to maintain decent traction, especially in snow, slush, and ice. Without traction, your tires cannot grip the road properly and may slip.

With Traction Control, the chance of your wheels slipping reduces. Traction Control monitors wheel rotation: if it detects some wheels slipping, it will apply braking power to stop traction loss.

It could also limit torque supplied to the wheels. This keeps them from slipping, especially on roads covered in slush, ice, and snow.

Electronic Brake Force Distribution

The Electronic Brake Force Distribution mitigates wheel lock by ensuring hard braking has limited impact on wheels. This it does by distributing brake force between wheels proportionally.

Through proportional brake force distribution, the EBD minimizes the effects of hard braking on wheels, particularly those likely to lock under braking.

In this manner, wheel lockup is eliminated, and you can brake safely on wet roads.

Antilock Brake System

In the USA, Federal law mandates automakers to install Antilock Brake Systems on vehicles before selling them. This shows how important the ABS is for safe driving. But what does it do? Let’s explain.

The primary job of ABS is to counteract wheel lock. To do that, the ABS uses a variety of on-board computers to assess wheel speed, particularly in braking situations.

If a wheel loses speed and may seize, ABS decreases the brake force on the affected wheel by releasing the brakes. By so doing, ABS keeps your truck’s wheels rolling and staves off wheel lockup.

Please also read our article about driving the Honda Ridgeline in the snow and winter.

Does a Colorado Have Snow Mode?

Some trucks have a Snow Mode feature that increases vehicle stability and control in snowy terrain. Once Snow Mode is engaged, the power tires need to accelerate decreases. This makes for less wheel spin and averts a loss-of-traction event.

Sadly, the Colorado lacks a Snow Mode feature. However, the available 4WD system makes up for this by offering a 4High (4H) mode.

Selecting 4High on your Colorado will adjust your vehicle performance to increase traction in slippery terrain such as snow.

Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on Colorado?

The Chevrolet Colorado can use snow gear. Snow gear help improve traction, stability and control while driving on snow.

It is highly recommended that you install snow gear on your vehicle, especially if where you live gets heavy snowfall.

Snow gears you can fit on your Chevrolet include:

  • Snow socks
  • Snow chains
  • Snow tires
  • Ice studs

It helps to review state/municipal/county laws on winter driving prior to purchasing snow gear. This is to prevent a situation where you buy snow gear only to discover that it is illegal in your region.

It is also important to check your vehicle’s dimension before buying snow gear.

Make sure to check out our article about how long Ford Rangers last.

How Much Snow Can a Colorado Handle?

The Colorado is the vehicle you want to have when your area gets snow of apocalyptic proportions. It’s can handle large swathes of snow with remarkable poise and confidence.

Sitting some 8.1 inches off the ground, the Colorado can drive in deep snow without its wheels stalling.

If you drove a smaller car in the same situation, snow would fill up the wheel wells and force the vehicle to stop.

How Do Colorado Handle Low Winter Temperatures?

The Chevrolet Colorado, much like every other modern vehicle, uses electronic fuel injection in its engine. This protects it against the effects of bad weather. Therefore, even if temperatures drop below 0°F, your Colorado will run just fine.

When your Colorado starts slowly or cannot start in cold weather, carry out a comprehensive diagnosis on it. It could be suffering from a weak battery, bad spark plug, clogged filter (air or fuel), etc.

Can a Chevrolet Colorado Drive on Ice?

As we have emphasized before, you can drive the Colorado safely in any winter condition–and that includes ice. The Colorado’s available 4WD system ensures your tires don’t slip and lose traction on slick surfaces covered with ice.

Then you have the duo of StabiliTrak Stability Control and Traction Control that help the vehicle maintain traction on a slippery pavement.

Nevertheless, you should always drive carefully in icy conditions. This is because your Colorado has a higher risk of rollover on ice compared to regular cars.

Does the Colorado Have 4WD?

The base Colorado comes standard with two-wheel drive (2WD). However, the more expensive models in the Colorado lineup either have four-wheel drive (4WD) as standard or have it as an option.

It is recommended to buy a 4WD-enabled Colorado for safer and more stable driving in winter.

What About Older Colorado Models and Winter Driving?

The first Colorado models released in 2004 had Antilock Braking System as standard equipment. However, Stability Control didn’t become standard until 2009.

If you will buy any of the older Colorados, ensure it has ABS and Stability Control. If it has both, it should drive well in winter.

Do Colorados Need Snow Tires?

You need to buy snow tires for your Colorado. However, this depends on how much snow you get. In a region with only light snow, you can get by with all-season tires.

However, in a cold-weather region, where freezing rain, snow, sleet and ice are common in winter, you will absolutely need snow tires.

If you are considering new winter tires, check out our article about Riken Tires.

Can You Mount A Snow Plow on A Colorado?

General Motors warns against mounting a snowplow on the Colorado models.

However, many owners have plowed and continue to plow snow with the Colorado without experiencing major damage.

Should you mount a snowplow on your Colorado? So long as you will bear any problems arising from plowing with your Colorado, you are free to do so.

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