DETROIT (WWJ) – Chevy’s new Colorado compact pickup has been named Motor Trend Truck of the Year.
The new mid size pickup was cited for what Motor Trend called a “right-sized” package, as well as its fuel efficient powertrains and handling. The 2015 Colorado emerged as Truck of the Year by a rare unanimous vote.
“Colorado is a smart, capable, and refreshingly honest truck that makes a strong value and efficiency statement. It’s perfectly sized and suited for the needs of many of today’s truck users,” Edward Loh, Motor Trend’s editor-in-chief, said in a statement.
The Truck of the Year award is only open to all-new or significantly updated trucks and vans for the upcoming model year. For 2015, seven contenders were invited to compete; three competitors were asked to bring a powertrain or body style variant for a total of 10 vehicles overall:
Chevrolet Colorado WT and Colorado Z71
Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD
Ford F150 2.7L EcoBoost and 3.5L EcoBoost
Ford Transit 350 HR and Transit 150 MR
GMC Canyon SLT
GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD
To determine which truck deserved top honors, the Motor Trend test team subjected all of the contenders to numerous instrumented and real-world road tests. First up was standard testing, which included: 0-60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip – all without payload or trailered loads.
A specific payload was then added to each truck and van, and the vehicles were then driven more than 250 miles to the Arizona/Nevada border to evaluate ride quality and loaded fuel economy. The vehicles were driven up and down the famed Davis Dam in Bullhead City, Arizona, for further assessment, including an instrumented test designed to simulate a passing situation while carrying a load.
The team then moved to a world class automotive proving grounds for instrumented acceleration tests with nominal weight trailers. Truck and trailer were also driven through a short handling course to evaluate acceleration, braking, maneuverability, and outward visibility. The final phase of evaluation involved a 21-mile road loop through hills of Arizona’s Hualapai Mountains.
Following the team’s intensive evaluation, the trucks were shipped to Motor Trend headquarters in El Segundo, California, to undergo proprietary “Real MPG” fuel-economy testing. Using advanced exhaust gas and flow-rate analyzers, Real MPG measures tailpipe emissions every second during a 3-hour, 88-mile drive around the Los Angeles area, to record accurate real-world fuel economy.
Once testing was completed, select editors convened to determine which truck would be crowned Truck of the Year. The winner is not chosen from a direct comparison against the other contenders, but rather as a result of how each contender performed in testing and against the award’s six criteria: Design advancement, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value, and performance of intended function.