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Chevy, GMC add diesel midsize trucks for ’16 model year

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. said Tuesday its 2016 Chevrolet Colorado and 2016 GMC Canyon diesel pickups will go on sale this fall, with a base LT diesel Colorado starting at less than $32,000.

The automaker did not release fuel economy estimates for the four-cylinder, turbo-diesel, saying it would be available closer to launch. But Chevy said it projects fuel economy will top the midsize Colorado’s segment-leading gasoline fuel economy ratings. The 2.5-liter, four-cylinder Colorado pickup with automatic transmission achieves 27 miles per gallon highway.

Mark Reuss, GM’s head of global product development, last year said the diesel Colorado’s fuel economy would “surprise” people. When asked later if he thought it would top 30 miles per gallon highway, he would not comment or elaborate.

The 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine powering the Colorado and Canyon will generate 181 horsepower and 369 foot-pounds of torque and boosts maximum trailering capacity to 7,700 pounds on two-wheel drive trucks and 7,600 pounds for four-wheel drive trucks.

“Simply put, there’s no other midsize truck that can do what Colorado can with its all-new Duramax diesel,” said Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet truck marketing, in a statement. “Along with greater capability and efficiency, it expands the Colorado lineup to give customers more choices and the capability of exploring more possibilities on and off the road.”

The trucks have been a hit for GM since the Colorado and Canyon went on sale last fall. Sales of the Colorado through the first half of 2015 totaled 41,575. GMC has sold 15,017 of the more premium Canyon trucks through the first six months of 2015.

The Colorado diesel will be available in LT and Z71 crew cabs, in either two- or four-wheel drive. The Canyon diesel will be offered on SLE and SLT crew cabs, in either two- or four-wheel drive. GM said the Colorado and Canyon diesels are priced $3,730 higher than a comparable V-6 Colorado or Canyon.

The diesel trucks come with features such as a smart diesel exhaust brake system, six-speed automatic transmission with a vibration absorber to reduce powertrain noise and vibration, integrated trailer brake controller and Z82 trailering package.