Best and worst Chevrolet Colorado years — which to avoid
Pulling together stories from Chevy Colorado drivers and matching them with official stats, we've crafted a guide that highlights the Chevy Colorado best and worst years. This isn't just about crunching numbers, it's about painting a full picture with real driver feedback and performance records.
The Chevrolet Colorado is the perfect mid-size pickup truck for anyone who seeks a reliable, safe, and efficient vehicle, but certain model years have been doomed to severe issues. When the time comes for you to make a final decision, it’s good to know about Chevy Colorado best years, as well as the worst Chevy Colorado years to avoid.
We’ll try to make that difference for you as we go through the model years and elaborate on common complaints filed to NHTSA, manufacturer bulletins for repairs, and common problems.
Why you can trust REREV’s advice on which car model years to avoid: Our car experts look at official data, ask real drivers what they think, and talk to experienced mechanics to make sure our list is useful. This reliable info can make buying a car easier for you. Want to know how we do it? Find out more about our research methodology.
How we rated the best and worst Chevy Colorado
You must be wondering if you can trust our guide and reviews of Chevy Colorado’s reliability over the years, and we understand your concern completely. That’s why we didn’t want to write from a biased perspective, but have used proven facts and verified information from NHTSA and other reputable sources instead.
Naturally, we also wanted to give you truthful experiences of other drivers, so we included some details from automotive review websites like Edmunds and KBB. Forums were also pretty useful, but we took those with a grain of salt and double-checked the statements listed there, just in case. These are the best and worst years we came up with:
|Chevy Colorado Generation
|Best Chevy Colorado Years
|Worst Chevy Colorado Years
|2008, 2009, 2010
|2004, 2005, 2006
|2012, 2013, 2014
Most common Chevrolet Colorado problems
Chevrolet trucks are known for their reliability, and Colorado is not an exception. However, it has some common problems by years that you should watch out for. These issues include a misfiring engine, transmission issues, power steering loss, faulty fuel level sensor, malfunctioning A/C blower, soft brake pedals, and a key stuck in the ignition.
1. Misfiring engine
This was a prevalent problem in the 2004-2009 Colorado model years, and this caused the truck to stall intermittently. However, it was later resolved that worn-out valve seats caused the issue. However, other issues like vacuum leaks and bad spark plug symptoms were also culprits.
2. Transmission issues
Several Colorado model years had transmission woes. For instance, in the 2019 Colorado, owners complained about shifting delays, and they explained that it took about three seconds before the truck moved into gear. Additionally, the Chevy Colorado struggled with slipping transmission, which could be a result of worn-out internal parts.
Also, friction between parts like the clutch packs could produce metal shavings, thus contaminating the transmission fluid. In addition, some units of the 2018 Colorado had their share of transmission issues like excessive vibration and shuddering at certain speeds.
Replacing the transmission fluid or purchasing a new torque converter seemed to solve the problem for some drivers; however, others complained about the same issue after a few weeks of changing the transmission fluid or torque converter.
3. Power steering loss
While several other Colorado models had been reported for loss of power steering, this issue was prevalent with the 2015 version. According to several drivers of this model year, the service power steering or StabiliTrak warning lights come on before they lose their power steering control. Experts suggest that the cause could be damaged belts, steering pumps, or low fluid levels.
4. Faulty fuel level sensor
Many Colorado drivers with the 2004-2012 redesign have reported inconsistent and inaccurate readings on their fuel gauges, causing their trucks to run out of gas at an alarming rate. Some also noted that their fuel gauges would stop working, preventing them from knowing if they had enough fuel.
According to mechanics, the erratic fuel gauge condition in these pickups may result from a faulty fuel level sensor which required replacement. Replacing this part could cost between $50-100, including labor costs.
5. Malfunctioning A/C blower
Many 2004-2010 and 2012 Colorado owners complained of a malfunctioning A/C blower, which would sometimes only function at certain speeds or stop working altogether. This was caused by a faulty blower motor resistor block, which could cost between $15-60 to replace, including labor costs.
6. Key stuck in the ignition.
Owners of some 2015 Chevy Colorado units complain of the difficulty they face when getting their keys out of the vehicle’s ignition. This may result from key debris, a locked steering wheel, a damaged ignition cylinder, or a locked steering wheel. Either way, having your key stuck in the ignition is a more serious issue than it seems at first, especially if you are in a rush.
Worst Chevrolet Colorado years to avoid
Looking at the Colorado as a whole, the model didn’t have that many issues, although certain model years proved to be worse than the rest. So, if you plan on buying one, you are probably wondering – what are the worst Chevy Colorado years?
The worst Chevy Colorado years include the 2004 and 2016 Colorado, but these are the model years you should avoid in general:
We’ll also be discussing the main issues of those model years so you can know exactly why they should be avoided for the sake of your nerves and your wallet.
First-generation Colorado (2004-2006 model years)
The first generation of the Chevy Colorado sprung up with several issues. Particularly with the 2004 Colorado year model, car users and experts mainly criticized the horsepower because they felt it was underpowered. In addition, these models experienced some transmission and braking system issues. Owners reported that their brakes would fail or the wheels would lock during emergencies. Also, these years were known to overheat, and its cooling systems did not provide satisfactory results.
On the 2005 Chevy Colorado, things weren’t too different from the 2004 model, as they shared similar problems. The first problem for this model was with its ABS brakes. Also, it had issues with its air conditioning system, which made driving in hot climate conditions stressful.
The 2005 model developed a new issue that wasn’t present in the 2004 model, which involved a faulty electrical system that caused the cruise control failure. Another issue drivers complained about was the dim backlights and headlights.
Second-generation Colorado (2015 and 2016 model years)
The Chevy Colorado skipped 2013 before releasing the all-new 2015 year model. However, this improved version came with new issues. These problems included audio system failure and freezing mini-screens, making it difficult and frustrating for people who relied on the screen to reverse their trucks.
Another major problem in the 2015 model year was the transmission, causing the vehicle to make grinding noises when shifting from manual to automatic. Most owners of this year’s model reported using a lot of money to fix rough shifting and transmission leaks.
The 2016 Chevy Colorado had severe issues with its sensors that offered signals to the vehicle’s computer, thus leading to intermittent engine malfunctions. It also suffered multiple limitations on its pump suction that caused leaks. These issues led to the disruption of Colorado’s fuel system, causing a significant impact on the vehicle’s fuel economy.
Another reason you should keep away from the 2016 Chevy Colorado is that its emission control device tends to malfunction continuously, thus making the vehicle fail the emissions test.
What are the best Chevrolet Colorado years to buy?
At its best, the Chevy Colorado delivers remarkable off-road capabilities and horsepower that will take you wherever you please, whether driving in the city or out in the country.
Thankfully, most Colorado year models will give you these benefits without saddling you with deal-breaking problems. So, if you are wondering what are the best Chevy Colorado years to buy, these are the ones you should focus at:
2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 year models are some of the best Chevy Colorado year models you can buy. These models have few complaints and problems until they reach an average of about 70,000 miles, usually costing less than $1,000 to fix.
Nevertheless, you should be aware of the absolute best-rated model years and these include the ones that had the least number of complaints – the 2010 and 2014 Colorado.
2010 Chevy Colorado
Among the first-gen models, the 2010 Colorado is the best-rated one since it received the lowest number of complaints. By taking a look at NHTSA records, you’ll see that it has less than 100 complaints for the entirety of its production run, and quite some time has now passed since the model was released.
That speaks volumes about the car’s reliability and it only had some slight issues with the fuel delivery system and interior accessories. As long as you keep those two in check, you won’t have to deal with any transmission or braking system faults which were common for the rest of the first generation.
2014 Chevy Colorado
As for the second-gen model, the 2014 Chevy Colorado proved to be the best possible option as it had close to zero complaints. It’s an impressive feat only accomplished by a few trucks in the class, so we can warmly recommend this one to you. Not only does it have great reliability scores, but it also doesn’t bring the problems that the following 2015 and 2016 models had.
Is the Chevrolet Colorado worth buying?
The Chevrolet Colorado is reliable and could give you a great on/off-road experience. However, you can only enjoy this experience if you avoid the worst year models with overburdening issues.
What year is the best Colorado truck?
The 2022 Chevrolet is considered the best model year for the Colorado family.
What year did the Chevy Colorado have transmission problems?
The Chevy Colorado had a transmission issue dominance in 2015, 2016, and 2018 model years.
Which Chevy Colorado engine is best?
The 2.8L Duramax turbo engine in the Chevy Colorado family delivers the highest torque, towing capacity, and fuel economy.
Is a Chevy Colorado reliable?
The Chevy Colorado is a truck you can trust and has a high-reliability score, with most users expressing satisfaction in its 2022 model year.