If you’re looking for a versatile, compact truck, the Chevrolet Colorado is an ideal option.
Called the “Swiss Army knife of trucks”, the Colorado is at home on either the highway or the trail.
In this article, we evaluate the durability of the Chevrolet Colorado to see if it’s a worthy long-term option.
Here is the short answer to how long the Chevrolet Colorado lasts?
Chevrolet Colorados have been reported to go about 250,0000 to 300,000 miles with only routine maintenance. All things being equal, you can get anywhere between 16 to twenty years of service from a new Chevrolet Colorado model.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from A Chevrolet Colorado?
For years, pickups have been the beacons of durability and longevity in the automotive industry. Models like the Chevrolet Colorado are part of the trucks known for their ability to stay in good condition for a long time.
From what we can tell, you should have no trouble getting 300,000 miles from your Chevrolet Colorado. And you don’t have to spend a fortune to keep your Colorado on the road.
Simply following the maintenance schedule will prevent problems from popping up and ensure your vehicle runs flawlessly.
If you plan to get a used Chevrolet Colorado, ensure you get a comprehensive vehicle history from the seller. Yes, the Colorado can last 300,000 miles, but this depends on how much maintenance it gets.
If the seller hasn’t carried out detailed, regular servicing, chances are it will develop problems and break down before the 300k-mile mark.
Maintenance activities recommended by owners to get a Chevrolet Colorado past the 300,000-mile mark include:
- Filter replacement
- Oil and fluid changes
- Transmission flushing
Please also read our article about driving the Chevrolet Colorado in snow and winter.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust on a Chevrolet Colorado?
Rust is a pretty common problem on many trucks, especially those from Chevrolet. For the Colorado trucks, rust usually sets in within the first six to twelve years.
How early or how late you get rust on your Colorado will depend on factors including location and storage.
Particularly, location seems to be a big factor influencing the onset of rust on many Chevrolet Colorado models.
Owners living in cold regions report far more levels of rusting on their vehicles compared to their counterparts in warmer states.
These regions often use salt to thaw ice that forms on the road during winter. While this helps make roads safer, it contributes to rusting.
You see, the salt applied on those roads is corrosive. Once your car’s body encounters road salt, corrosion will set in.
One of the parts that can rust quickly on your Chevy Colorado is the rear wheel wells. Rust occurs in the wheel well because the wheel liners often trap dirt and moisture, two foremost agents of corrosion.
A widespread rust problem on the Colorado trucks is frame rust. From what owners say, the subframe of the Chevrolet Colorados is prone to rusting, especially when constantly exposed to road salt.
CarProblemZoo.com, a vehicle complaints site, received several complaints concerning frame rust issues on the Chevrolet Colorado.
In some of the complaints, some owners said they’d abandoned their vehicles as the rusted frame made them dangerous to drive.
Some safeguards against rusting suggested by Chevrolet Colorado owners:
- Regular washing
- Treating all parts of your car, especially the frame, wheel wells and so on, with rust-proofing products.
- Inspect your car regularly for signs of rust—it is easier to stop rust from spreading than trying to fix it later.
How Long Do Chevrolet Colorado Last Compared to Similar Car Models?
The Chevrolet Colorado is a great midsize truck that offers impressive durability. However, the competition within the midsize truck segment has never been tougher with models constantly upping their game.
To aid your buying decision, we juxtaposed the Colorado’s lifespan with that of rival models in the segment.
Chevrolet Colorado vs. Toyota Tacoma
Asides sharing midsize-truck status, the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado bear many similarities. Both are exceptional off-road vehicles that are comfortable enough to be used for regular driving. And both have roughly the same lifespan.
The Toyota Tacoma can last you 300,000 miles before it needs major repairs, same as the Chevrolet Colorado.
However, the disparity in annual maintenance costs (Tacomas cost $473; Colorados cost $599) means we’d select the Tacoma as the more sensible long-term choice.
Chevrolet Colorado vs. Honda Ridgeline
While the Honda Ridgeline and the Chevrolet Colorado are different, especially in terms of design, they’ll last about the same time.
Owners say you can get 300,000 miles from the Honda Ridgeline. This is about the same number of miles you will get out of a Chevrolet Colorado.
Also check out our article about how long Honda Ridgelines last.
Chevrolet Colorado vs. Nissan Frontier
The Nissan Frontier is a decent midsize truck that holds its value well. However, it is no match for the Chevrolet Colorado regarding reliability and longevity.
As said before, getting up to 300,000 miles out of a Chevy Colorado is possible, if you perform regular servicing.
In contrast, regular maintenance on a Nissan Frontier won’t get you over 200,000 miles of service at best.
Make sure to also read our article on how long the Ford F-150 lasts.
How Reliable Is a Chevrolet Colorado?
Mostly, the Chevrolet has average reliability, especially when compared to other models in the compact truck segment. For example, J.D. Power gives the 2019 Colorado an average 2.5/5 predicted reliability rating.
The model does fare better on RepairPal’s reliability rankings, earning 4/5 reliability rating and ranking 4th out of 7 compact SUVs for reliability.
Nonetheless, the reliability of your Chevrolet Colorado largely depends on how much maintenance it gets. Take care of it well and you’ll increase its reliability significantly.
The Best and Worst Years for Chevrolet Colorado
Going by the number of complaints about it, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado takes the crown of ‘The Worst Model Year’. Several owners lodged complaints with the NHTSA concerning various problems on this vehicle.
The biggest problem on the 2015 Colorados is that the transmission acts erratically–it’s either shifting slowly or not shifting at all.
Steering problems are also common on these models with reports of drivers losing the power steering while driving.
Owners have also complained about recurrent engine problems, which come with exorbitant repair costs.
Because of the few complaints for this model, the 2010 Chevrolet Colorado is the best model year.
For some reasons, the newer Colorados have been plagued with various complaints; hence we’d recommend buying a model from the previous generation.
What About Recalls for These Models?
The Chevrolet Colorado has been recalled 30 times since it started production. With six recalls to its name, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is the most-recalled model year.
We’ve ranked each individual model year according to the number of recalls for it:
- 2015: 6 recalls
- 2011: 5 recalls
- 2006: 4 recalls
- 2016: 4 recalls
- 2007: 3 recalls
- 2004: 3 recalls
- 2009: 3 recalls
- 2005: 3 recalls
- 2008: 2 recalls
- 2012: 2 recalls
- 2010: 2 recalls
- 2017: 1 recall
- 2018: 1 recall
- 2013: 0 recall
Chevrolet Colorado Model Year List
The Chevrolet Colorado has seen two generations since it started production. There’s a three-year gap between the first and the second generation, as the model went on a production hiatus. Here are model years for the Chevrolet Colorado:
- 2004 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2005 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2006 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2007 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2008 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2009 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2010 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2011 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2012 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2015 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2016 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2017 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2018 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2019 Chevrolet Colorado
- 2020 Chevrolet Colorado
Are Chevrolet Colorado Expensive to Maintain?
For a compact truck, the Chevrolet Colorado is a bit pricey to maintain.
The Chevrolet Colorado has an annual average maintenance cost of $599. This makes it more expensive to maintain compared to the average compact truck ($548).
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
The brakes on your Chevrolet Colorado have a lifespan of 30,000 to 50,000 miles. This may vary in your case depending on driving habits and maintenance.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
Generally, OEM tires don’t receive high marks for durability. Expect your Colorado’s stock tires to last 30,000 to 50,000 miles.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
The transmission on Chevrolet Colorados can reportedly last between 130,000 to 180,000 miles.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
The spark plugs on a new Chevrolet Colorado are good for another 100,000 miles. But if you tow regularly or frequently drive off road, you may need to replace them earlier.
What About Insurance Cost?
According to finder.com, an insurance estimate site, the Chevrolet Colorado costs, on average, $1,932 to insure in a year. This may be different for you based on the number of miles driven annually and other factors.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Chevrolet Colorado
Here are ways to extend the life of your Chevrolet Colorado:
- A large number of Chevrolet Colorado owners advise using synthetic motor oil on these models. According to them, this will improve engine performance and also keep it in good condition for long.
- You must get your Colorado truck serviced at intervals recommended in the service manual. This will prevent problems from developing on your vehicle and preserve its prime running condition.
- If you do a lot of off-road driving and towing, we’d advise getting a transmission cooler to prevent your tranny from overheating and failing. The transmission is central to your truck’s operation and if it fails, you may have to abandon the truck.