For those who want a compact track with the sort of rugged capabilities normally associated with full-size models, Chevrolet plans to roll out the Colorado GearOn Edition at the Chicago Auto Show later this week.
The launch of the Chevrolet Colorado late last year marked the maker’s return to the midsize truck market and has scored at least an initial hit with U.S. buyers looking for something fresh in a segment that hasn’t seen much change in recent decades. Chevy planners have promised they’ll offer a variety of updates over the next few years to target unique niches, starting with the GearOn Edition.
“Chevrolet Colorado answers the call for customers who have passions of all types and the GearOn accessory system enables them to bring more adventure wherever they go,” said Tony Johnson, Colorado marketing manager. “And with Colorado offering segment-leading efficiency and capabilities, it’s a combination that maximizes adventure without compromise.”
The Colorado GearOn is, as its name suggests, designed to let users with an active outdoor lifestyle carry all their gear: bikes, kayaks, skis, even a bed-mounted tent. Upper rails are key to the special model’s flexibility, allowing a user to stow tools while maintaining room on the bed for more gear.
Along with those bars, the special edition includes a cargo divider package and tie-down rings, an EZ Lift and Lower tailgate, off-road assist steps, gloss black 18-inch aluminum wheels, front fog lamps and remote start.
(Ford, GM making inroads into California with new products like Mustang, Colorado. Click Here for the latest.)
Chevy notes there are other GearOn accessories that can be purchased separately – or installed before delivery. The latter option means the cost can be rolled into a buyer’s monthly vehicle payments. That’s a the maker is pushing because it gives Chevy an advantage over aftermarket vendors.
Pickup buyers tend to add more options to their vehicles than buyers of any other type of vehicle, on average more than $2,000, according to industry data.
The Chevrolet Colorado GearOn Special Edition will go on sale this spring at a starting price of $31,250 delivery and other fees. It will be offered on LT models in either extended or crew cab packages, with long or short cargo beds and available all-wheel-drive.
(Hyundai pushes the definition of “what is a truck” with Santa Cruz Concept. Click Here to check it out.)
The Colorado has scored a solid hit for Chevy since its launch, winning Motor Trend Truck of the Years honors and coming in as a finalist for North American Truck of the Year – that award going to the new Ford F-150. Colorado has also shown strong momentum in a California market long dominated by imports.
The bigger question is what it will do for the midsize pickup market overall. Once larger than the full-size segment, it has lost almost 90% of its volume over the last several decades, with a number of key players abandoning the midsize market. Many analysts believe a revival could be in the works, spurred by both low fuel prices and the arrival of new product.
Along with the Chevy Colorado, General Motors last year re-launched the GMC Canyon. Meanwhile, Toyota is readying a new version of the Tacoma model it debuted last month at the Detroit Auto Show. And Nissan is expected to weigh in soon with a revised version of its midsize Frontier truck.
(Click Here to check out the new 2016 Toyota Tacoma.)