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2015 Colorado and Canyon will lead segment in tow and power

GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado - Canyon shown
GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado - Canyon shown
GM by permission

The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon will have the most horsepower and tow capacity in the mid-size truck segment when they go on sale this fall according to figures announced by General Motors on Wednesday (June 18).

Will tow up to 7,000 pounds
GM by permission

GM is providing the same power trains for both the Colorado and Canyon mid-size pickup trucks offering two choices to fit customer needs. A base smaller 2.5L I-4 has been rated at 200 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque, while the 3.6L V-6 is rated at 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque.

A key target for GM in developing these new generation Colorado and Canyon trucks was to provide class-leading maximum trailering capabilities. The GM announcement says that, when properly equipped, they will have tow capacity up to 7,000 pounds.

GM adds that both engines are matched to a six-speed automatic transmission and that a six-speed manual will be available on select extended cab 2WD models. The six-speed automatic is tuned specifically for the truck engines, offering features like auto grade braking and tow/haul mode.

“Every decision we made considered the wants and needs of midsize truck customers. The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and 2015 GMC Canyon are engineered to deliver class leading horsepower,” said Anita Burke, vehicle chief engineer for Midsize Trucks. “Not everyone needs the size or the capability of a full-sized pickup. Now customers have a viable option in a smaller package.”

The currently available mid-size segment pickup trucks – Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier both offer four-cylinder and V6 engines. The 2014 Toyota Tacoma V6 produces 236 horsepower with 266 lb.-ft. of torque and, when equipped with the tow package, has tow capacity up to 6,500 pounds. The 2014 Nissan Frontier is similarly equipped with its V6 also delivering tow capacity up to 6,500 pounds with 261 horsepower and 281 lb.-ft of torque.

Both the 2014 Tacoma and Frontier are older generation vehicles and scheduled for new generation models in 2015 (Tacoma) and 2016 (Frontier). We were looking for the new Tacoma early in 2015, but recently sources at Toyota are telling us not to expect the new truck before mid-2015 – saying they want to be sure they get it right.

Nissan had been very tight-lipped on their plans for Frontier – until they revealed their new Diesel Runner Frontier concept in February this year sporting a new diesel engine with 200 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Tow and haul capacities were not addressed, but one could expect this concept Frontier would raise the bar again. And just to add some more fuel to that discussion, Nissan introduced their new global Navara mid-size truck in Asia this month – looking a lot like what is probably going to be the new Frontier in the Americas.

The mid-size truck wars continue to heat up in 2014 as the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon come to market and challenge the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier late this year. We can be sure that a new Tacoma, which is currently the segment leader, will meet them head-on by mid-2015 and likely raise the bar some more. And, when Frontier comes (probably in 2016) - with a focus on a diesel power plant - the bar is certain to move up some more.

Source: General Motors