BACK in the nineties, when I still lived in Manila, I fell in love with the Chevrolet Silverado. Not really having the money to buy one, I would be content to just look at any Silverado that came into view. Then again, being of a (sometimes) practical mind,
I thought (theoretically) of the pros and cons of owning such a vehicle.
I stand at 5’11”, six-foot-one in cowboy boots, and standing beside the Silverado, I am still dwarfed by the truck. You’d have trouble finding parking for it, and it’d be really hard to drive it in traffic. It’s so big, you wouldn’t see if there was a Kia Pride behind you. Besides, it guzzles gas like heck, and even if you’re rich, you’d feel the pinch sooner or later. And you can’t go hauling stuff every day in the truck’s massive bed, just so you’d be able to use it. So I gave up my dream of owning a Silverado, both because I didn’t have any money, and because it does seem so impractical.
Fast forward a decade or so later, I still don’t have money, but I got to be friends with Frankling Ong and Sidney Po, the folks at Chevrolet Cebu, located down along the National Highway in Mandaue, and I got the chance to test drive their new Chevrolet Colorado.
Named after the state that has the Rocky Mountains, the pickup looks beefy and muscular enough to tackle the famed mountain range itself. It’s not as big as the old Silverado, but I find its size just right for my frame. The mid-sized pickup truck isn’t much longer and bigger than a standard sport-utility vehicle, and being that, it’s easy enough to drive around town, park in a shopping mall garage, or do most things smaller vehicles do.
What it does best is be macho, though, without being going overboard. It looks as stylish out rolling in the mud as it does parked in front of a swanky club. And it comes with four doors, which means the passengers riding in the back don’t have to twist themselves in ungodly contortions when getting out of the back seat.
It comes in two versions, the top two models having the same 2.8 liter, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, double-overhead cam Duramax Diesel engine, both capable of pounding out 180 horsepower. The only difference between the two are the transmissions: the 4X4 MT LTZ comes with a manual tranny, while the 4X4 AT LTZ comes with, you guessed it, an automatic gearbox. The LTZ’s automatic transmission has a selector that allows the driver to select between two 4X4 modes, as well as a 4X2 mode.
One of the best things about the Duramax engine is its Variable Geometry Turbo, which aids in producing power all throughout the engine’s RPM range. It’s different from an ordinary turbocharger in that the VGT has vanes inside the turbo housing, which open or close, depending on engine speed. At low revolutions, the vanes close, accelerating the exhaust gases towards the turbine, making the turbine spin faster. At higher engine speeds, the vanes open wider, allowing more exhaust gases to enter the housing, in turn forcing more air towards the intake. This allows the engine to produce power in low-rpm and high-rpm conditions, as well as in-between.
The lower model, the 4X2 MT LT, comes with a 2.5 liter, 4-cylinder, 16-valve double-overhead cam Duramax Diesel. Though turbocharged, it uses a regular turbocharger and gives out only 150 horsepower.
Interior-wise, the pickup looks as good inside as out, with comfortable seating for four passengers, plus the driver. The instrument cluster is reminiscent of the Chevy Camaro’s, and the vehicle has features that rival those of most nice sedans.
Sadly, I had to return the keys to Sidney and Franklin, but I went home with a smile on my face. Yeah, one day, I’ll have one. (Jigs Arquiza)