Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon offer 27 mpg highway

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. said Sunday that its new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups powered by its 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engines have segment topping highway fuel economy.

The Detroit automaker said Environmental Protection Agency ratings for its two-wheel drive trucks powered by the four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission will get 20 miles per gallon city, 27 mpg highway and get a combined rating of 22 mpg.

Four-wheel drive trucks with the four-cylinder engine in the midsize trucks will get 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway and a combined 21 mpg, GM said.

Two-wheel drive Colorados and Canyons powered with a six-speed manual transmission will get 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined, the automaker said.

The midsize segment, which has shrunk significantly over the past two decades, includes the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier as competitors. GM is re-entering the segment after a two-year hiatus with newly designed trucks the company hopes will appeal not only to shoppers in the segment, but to drivers of crossovers, cars and full-size trucks.

“Offering segment-leading four-cylinder fuel economy is yet another item to add to the Chevrolet Colorado’s long list of segment leads,” Tony Johnson, Colorado marketing manager, said in a statement. “It shows once again how the midsize segment can benefit from a fresh competitor offering the latest technologies.”

GM executives had said the midsize trucks would be segment leading for fuel economy and top its old generation of trucks, even as the new trucks got bigger than the previous generation; the old Colorado's best fuel economy on a four-cylinder two-wheel drive was 25 mpg highway.

GM earlier released fuel economy ratings for its 3.6-liter V-6 Colorados and Canyons with six-speed automatic transmission: 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and a combined 21 mpg for two-wheel drive trucks and 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined for four-wheel drive trucks.

The new Colorado and Canyon started shipping to dealers last week. GM will add a 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel to the trucks’ lineup for the 2016 model year.

GM said payload ratings for the Colorado and Canyon powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine also are segment leading at 1,590 pounds and 1,620 pounds, respectively. The difference is because of slightly different curb weights; the Colorado has heavier steel wheels.

“Having segment-leading V-6 and four-cylinder efficiency, plus the highest payload rating, proves GMC has applied the latest technologies in just the right places, and our customers reap the benefits,” Kenn Bakowski, Canyon marketing manager, said in a statement.

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