We can’t deny that pickup trucks are the in-thing these days, and you can attribute this segment’s popularity to the revised vehicle excise tax rates at the start of 2018 – the very thing that pickup trucks are exempted in.
The new range-topper gets all the goodies of the range-topper plus aesthetic updates to keep it on the par with fresher pickup truck options. While I’m not really fond of special edition models, this one from the Golden Bowtie could serve as an exception. Here’s my full review.
The Colorado High Country Storm inherits the macho design of regular Colorados but in a package that’s busier than a wall street guy’s schedule. The fascia features the updated split grille, wrapped in shiny chrome, plus a couple of other things that are in black, like fog lamp bezels, door handles, side mirror covers, roof rails, and front skid plate.
Of course, it’s impossible to miss the decals that come off the showroom, found on the hood and on the sides. The High Country Storm variant also has a black sports bar that decorates the bed, which, when viewed from the side, enhances the visual appeal of the pickup. My favorite, however, are the LED daytime running lights and 18-inch alloy black rims. Those are really nice touches, but I just really wish this pickup comes with LED or HID headlights and fog lamps, as well, to match the white DRLs.
The added aesthetic features don’t really affect the 1,329-Liters of cargo bed volume, while there are available tie-hooks just in case you need them. The tailgate is a bit heavy, though.
Spacious, comfy, and tall – those three words best describe the Colorado’s interior, at least in the front cabin. It has a really high driving position, which works well with the kind of nose-down hood for an unimpeded driving view. Leather populates most part while there are some soft plastics found by the door panels, around the cupholders and air-conditioning controls.
While the mentioned traits make for a well-executed cabin, there’s a copious amount of piano black plastics found by the gear lever, which, by experience, can be easily scratched and don't really age well. And a little bit of nitpicking – the driver’s sun visor doesn’t have a vanity mirror.
At the back, space is of a typical pickup truck but the bench seat’s cushion needs a bit of softening. Leg-, head-, and wiggle-room are okay for those who stand at 5’10” and below, but taller passengers would need to compromise. There’s an armrest, too, but it doesn’t have cup holders, so you’re stuck in storing your bottles (or lidded cups) by the doors.
For ride comfort, the Colorado has grown so much from before in terms of its shock absorbers. Even with leaf spring suspension at the back, its ride quality remains composed when going over unforgiving roads. It’s better than most pickup trucks these days, but long three-hour drives are a bit of an issue with the flat seats and non-telescopic steering wheel. Nevertheless, NVH isolation is also up there, at best.
Here’s where the Colorado High Country Storm shines pretty well. Just like the Malibu, this pickup truck has a remote start feature, as well as remote window up/down. It’s a nifty thing to have especially when you’ve left your car in a sunny parking lot. Aside from that, convenient features like automatic on/off headlights with levelizer, auto climate control with pollen filter, speed-sensing door locks, cruise control, and auto-dimming rear-view mirror come standard with the range-topping High Country Storm trim.
At the heart of the dashboard lies Chevy’s eight-inch infotainment system that houses Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Smartphone integration is quite seamless and idiot-free, while seven speakers produce the sound for your music. The speaker setup isn’t the best, though, but it isn’t bad at all. The USB port is also conveniently found inside the console box for easy cord organization, while three 12V sockets exist in the cabin – two by the center console and one behind the console box.
The Colorado High Country Storm’s advanced tech features don’t just bring convenience; they provide peace of mind and safety as well. Apart from the usual dual airbags, ABS with EBD, and three-point seatbelt for all occupants, this pickup truck also has Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control, Trailer Sway Control, Stability Control, and tire pressure monitor.
However, the list doesn’t end there. The new top-of-the-line variant also gets active features like Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning – both suitable for highway use and only send out audible/visual signals.
Driving & Handling
Carrying over the 2.8-Liter Duramax Turbo Diesel with VGT from the other Colorado variants, the High Country Storm delivers brute force without hesitation. With the maximum 500 Nm torque available as early as 2,000 RPM, you’ll never run out of the needed pull even with the slightest press on the accelerator. The six-speed transmission makes for a solid highway cruiser, but that doesn’t mean that the truck is a pain to drive in heavy traffic. Overall, the engine-transmission combo employs a balance of finesse and ruggedness, which are things that traditional pickup truck buyers would take great joy in.
As a 4x4 variant, the Colorado High Country Storm comes with dual-range 4x4 capability, switchable through a knob on the center console. It works generally okay on light to medium off-roads, but the lack of rear differential might be the kicker for hardcore off-roaders.
A little bit of tucking in and tippling is quite expected on a pickup truck, but the Colorado does so with confidence. The electronically-assisted steering takes out the pain in maneuvering this huge machine while keeping it composed when needed and open for varying inputs. The front and rear disc brakes need improvement, though, as they’re a bit spongy during the review.
The Colorado High Country Storm registered above-average fuel efficiency numbers even with its huge engine. An hour of driving within heavy city traffic read back 7.8 km/L, while faster paces during a peaceful Sunday drive clocked in 12.0 km/L at an average speed of 60 km/h. Highway cruising at 90 km/h returned 15.1 km/L.
Take note that these numbers were taken with only two people on board with minimal cargo.
Smart, capable, and with commendable fuel-efficiency, the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado High Country Storm may be a conscious effort to refresh the Colorado nameplate, but it’s executed by ticking the right boxes. It is, by all means, a candidate that’s worthy to be included in your pickup truck shortlist – that’s if its P1,638,888 price tag isn’t too much for your budget. Yes, that amount of money could already buy you a mid-variant SUV but then again, we’re talking about pickup trucks, right?
2019 Chevrolet Colorado High Country Storm Exterior Photo Gallery