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Best & Worst Years of Chevrolet Colorado – Graphs & Owner Surveys

The best years of the Chevrolet Colorado are: 2019-2021, 2011-2012, 2016-2017, and 2005. The years you should absolutely avoid are: 2004, 2006-2008, 2009-2010, 2015, and 2018. Most issues are related to the engine, particularly faulty thermostats and timing chain problems.

Chevrolet Colorado pickup trucks at the mountain top

When the Chevrolet Colorado first arrived in 2004 as a compact pickup truck, it replaced a very long-in-the-tooth S-10 that had been in production for over 20 years. Along with its GMC Canyon counterpart, these new small Chevy trucks injected much-need life into a faltering lineup. 

By the end of first-gen production, the segment itself was in decline, which led to a two-year hiatus before the second-gen Colorado debuted in 2015. Newly midsized, the reinvigorated Chevy Colorado joined a revived entry-level pickup truck segment and has been improving every year since. 

With a brand-new 2023 Colorado hitting dealerships as we speak, now is the perfect time to look back over nearly 20 years of FIXD data to determine the best and worst model year Colorados made during this span. Some years are tremendous value and reliability deals, others are absolute bombs, so read on before you go shopping!

Best Years



Top marks for FIXD and Owner Reliability Scores


FIXD Reliability Score jumps 4 points


Great purchase values, notable reliability uptick


Reliability moves up one year after 1st-gen launch

Worst Years



Bumpy launch of all-new Colorado


Reliability trouble with two new engines


New V8 powertrain wreaks reliability havoc


Challenges with first year of 2nd-gen model


Significant drop in FIXD Reliability Score

Chevrolet Colorado Engine Reliability Score, Safety Ratings, MPG, and Value v.s. Maintenance & Repair Costs Year by Year

The first chart below, Chevrolet Colorado Reliability Score, is the main driver of our model year rankings. It is a combination of objective FIXD device data and subjective owner-reported information. Typically the first year of a new generation – like 2015 – will struggle with reliability as the kinks are worked out, which is reflected in the chart. 

From there, we blend in published government safety scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and fuel efficiency figures per fueleconomy.gov

We also incorporate market values from Kelley Blue Book (KBB) against owner-reported annual maintenance costs. That goes into the ranking decision along with owner survey answers and pertinent safety recalls. Lastly, with details on common Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs), we can create the final rankings below. 

The reason for the gap between 2013 and 2014, on all charts, is that Chevy took a 2-year hiatus on Colorado production between the first- and second-gen models. If you’re in the market for a car, take a look at our article on the USA’s most reliable and cheapest to repair cars in the U.S. Don’t get stuck with a lemon, use our data to help you shop.

Engine Reliability Score – Over The Years

Chevrolet Colorado Reliability Score

The FIXD Reliability score (green line on the Chevrolet Colorado Reliability chart) is based on the number of CELs thrown by each model year. After tallying them up, we weight this objective score by mileage and convert it into a 1-10 scale where 10 is the best and 1 is the worst. 

By asking Colorado owners, “How reliable would you say your car is?”, we can pull together a subjective reliability score for comparison. This multiple-choice question offers answers from “Just Point A to Point B driving” to “I could take a cross-country trip, no problem.” After converting the answer into a 1-10 scale, we create the gray line above.

As you can see, the objective and subjective reliability scores mostly move in the same direction. But occasionally, like in 2006, the scores diverge dramatically in what is typically a rebuke of the aforementioned positive owner sentiment. We’ll explain this in the relevant sections below but it helps illustrate the importance of analyzing both sets of data. 

You can find out more about our reliability scoring process at the bottom of this article and learn about some of the most common CELs to expect from Chevrolet.

NHTSA Safety Score – Over The Years

Chevrolet Colorado NHTSA Safety Rating

As you can see on the chart above, the Chevrolet Colorado (green line) generally underperformed the auto industry average (gray line) on safety for first-gen production (2004-2012) but stepped up its safety game for the second-gen model (2015-2022). 

Both the gray line – average crash test safety rating across the industry – and the green line – Colorado safety ratings – illustrate published NHTSA data. 

Understanding how a given model year of the Colorado ranks for safety is important as it plays a big role in keeping insurance premiums down. If you live in one of the states listed below, we can show you the cheapest vehicles to insure in yours. 

What Used Cars Are the Cheapest To Insure In:
North Carolina
New York

MPG – Over The Years

Chevrolet Colorado Average MPG

By averaging the combined fuel economy figures – from fueleconomy.gov – across all trims of each model year, we can create the above Chevrolet Colorado Average MPG chart. Normally, vehicles become more fuel-efficient over time as powertrain technology improves to counter the inevitable creep in curb weight. 

However, average Colorado fuel efficiency has generally hovered between 18 and 20 mpg for going on 20 years. This is partly due to the introduction of larger engines over the years that when combined with weight increases, lead to unimpressive fuel economy. 

The gray line on the chart above represents the average fuel economy for the diesel-powered Colorado that has been for sale since 2016. As you can see, diesel efficiency goes down over time, which is partly due to heavier models – like the ZR2 – being offered with this powertrain in later years.

Current Market Value of All Chevrolet Colorado Years & Cost Per Year to Repair and Maintain Each

Chevrolet Colorado Market Value vs Cost of Repairs

This chart plots current Chevrolet Colorado market values from KBB against annual maintenance costs per owner surveys. It’s a valuable set of data points in defining why some model years are best avoided. For example, values drop into 2006, which is one reason these Colorados are on our list of models to avoid as we look at below. 

When shopping for a used Chevrolet Colorado it’s important to keep in mind that not all vehicles are cared for equally. To protect yourself from lemons, take along a FIXD Sensor on your test drive. FIXD connects to a free app on your smartphone to tell you more about the vehicle you’re checking out, including check engine lights and other hidden issues that the owner or dealership may be attempting to hide. Click here to learn more and get FIXD for only $19.99 (regular price $59)!

Important Features Timeline

Chevrolet Colorado Timeline of Important Features

2004 – 1st-gen Colorado debuts as a compact pickup with 4- and 5-cylinder engines

2005 – No major changes for 2005

2006 – Air-conditioning made standard, Xtreme package brings lowered suspension

2007 – 2.8L I4 replaced by 2.9L unit and 3.5L I5 swapped for 3.7L variant

2008 – Carryover year

2009 – Facelifted exterior, new 5.3L V8 offered, Bluetooth newly available

2010 – Side-impact airbags become standard, base model renamed Work Truck

2011 – No major changes for 2011

2012 – Automatic locking rear differential added to higher-spec Colorados

2013 – First year of Colorado production hiatus

2014 – Second year of Colorado production hiatus

2015 – 2nd-gen Colorado arrives as a midsize pickup with new powertrains and more tech

2016 – 2.8L turbodiesel I4 debuts with 7,700-lb towing capacity

2017 – V6 powertrain overhauled, off-road focused ZR2 model unveiled 

2018 – Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 7” infotainment display become standard

2019 – 3rd-gen infotainment software rolled out, manual transmission discontinued 

2020 – Tire Fill Alert and remote-locking tailgate added to roster of features

2021 – Exterior refresh, 8” touchscreen included on LT models and above

2022 – Trail Boss model added to lineup for final year of 2nd-gen production

The Best Years of the Chevrolet Colorado

2023  Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss display.

Taking into account FIXD and Owner reliability, government safety scores, fuel efficiency, and Colorado owner survey responses, we’ve come up with this list of the best Chevrolet Colorados. Pertinent recall information and notes about common DTCs are included as well. 

2019-2021 Chevrolet Colorado

2019 Chevrolet Colorado pickup display.

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 9-10/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 9-10/10

KBB Value: $22,795-$27,481

Fuel Economy: 19-20 mpg (gas), 21 mpg (diesel)

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $250-$571

Safety Rating: 4.4/5

From 2019 to 2021, Chevy Colorado reliability saw constant improvement culminating in 10/10 ratings for both the FIXD and Owner Reliability Scores in 2021, the only time this alignment has occurred. Safety stays steadily high with a 4.4 rating during this stretch and gas-powered fuel economy steps up by one to an average of 20 mpg in 2020.

This improvement in average fuel economy is largely due to the discontinuation of the thirsty chassis cab Colorado as there were no powertrain updates, but nonetheless, it is a high point. However, diesel-powered efficiency dropped in 2019 versus earlier models. This can partly be explained by the fact that Chevy offered the diesel powertrain on more Colorado models, like the heavy ZR2, over the years. 

Other highlights include the highest KBB market values of any Colorados, three years of annual maintenance costs below the average of $624 and no safety recalls for the 2019 or 2020 Colorado. There was just one recall for the 2021 model related to incorrect seat belt bolts that impacted fewer than 500 vehicles. 

If your Colorado does have a recall, any Chevrolet dealer should remedy the problem free of charge for a model up to 15 years old. You can use this NHTSA VIN tool to determine if your truck has any open issues. 

Owners of these late-model Colorados universally agree the seats are comfortable and the entertainment system is easy to use. The latter point correlates with Chevy rolling out its third-generation infotainment system for the 2019 Colorado along with more USB ports. 

Some 30% of 2020 and 2021 Colorado owners report using their trucks primarily for outdoor and off-road use. This is more than twice the average of 14% for this metric and corresponds with the hardcore ZR2 model finding its way into more driveways after debuting a couple of years earlier. 

As you might expect, these Colorados show low odometer readings of between 25,000 and 57,000 miles along with below-average time in the shop each year. When there is trouble, DTC P0128 is one of the most common culprits. It means the thermostat is acting up, a critical component of the engine coolant system.

DTC P018B is another common cause of Colorado CELs which means the fuel pump is acting up. Expect to pay between $450 and $600 to have this work done by a mechanic or check out our fuel pump replacement article for tips on going the DIY route. 

If DTC P0024 pops up, you should stop driving and get this issue addressed right away. It has to do with the variable-valve timing (VVT) system, specifically incorrect exhaust camshaft timing.

2011-2012 Chevrolet Colorado

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 8/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 8/10

KBB Value: $4,968-$5,840

Fuel Economy: 19 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $400-$750

Safety Rating: 4/5 

At the end of first-gen production, the Colorado’s FIXD Reliability Score spiked four points and the Owner score stayed high at 8/10. On top of that, the average safety score ticked up to an even 4.0, KBB market values improved, and annual maintenance costs declined. These are hallmarks of vehicles worth purchasing. 

An above-average contingent of owners say driver visibility is excellent and about 30% of those owners are confident their Colorado will run past 200,000 miles. Buttressing the positive owner sentiment is that only 8% think repairs are expensive, well below the average of 13% for this metric. 

One of the common trouble areas in all Colorados, a faulty thermostat, applies to these 2011 and 2012 models as well. As indicated by DTC P0128, you may be on the hook for a new unit as we dive into this P0128 explainer video

DTC P0420, which means the catalytic converter is due for replacement, could run you upwards of $2,000 at a shop, but our DTC P0420 DIY guide can help you save some money. And DTC P0017, for a timing chain replacement, could set you back about $1,000.

Fortunately, the 2011 and 2012 Colorados are largely headache-free, spending no more than one day per year in the shop on average with total costs between $400 and $750. 

As for recalls, there were five issued for the 2011 Colorado. The most significant issue was related to a missing hood latch that impacted about 119,000 vehicles. Of the two recalls for the 2012 model, the same latching issue had the biggest impact. 

2016-2017 Chevrolet Colorado

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 8-9/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 9/10

KBB Value: $16,461-$16,422

Fuel Economy: 19-20 mpg (gas), 23-24 mpg (diesel)

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $464-$1,150

Safety Rating: 4.2-4.4/5 

For the 2016 model year, Chevy added a Duramax diesel powertrain option to the Colorado lineup. This was followed up in 2017 with an overhauled V6 that made more power and swapped a 6-speed automatic for an 8-speed unit. Typically, reliability would suffer with this kind of powertrain rejiggering, but instead, the FIXD Reliability Score stepped up three points versus 2015.

One downside is that the average gas-powered fuel economy drops in 2017 as a result of both the more potent V6 and the addition of the thirsty ZR2 to the lineup. The same is true of the diesel-powered Colorados, which is mainly due to Chevy spreading this powertrain throughout the lineup, including into heavier models. 

There is no obvious reason behind the way KBB values drop in 2016 and stay flat into 2017. However, given the strong reliability of these Colorados and average mileage of about 100,000, it does present an excellent value for those looking to buy a used model. 

Looking over the 2016-2017 survey data reveals an interesting point common to all second-gen Colorados: owners like the seats. Between 2015 and 2022, 18% of owners on average think the seats are comfortable versus 9% that don’t. 

Doing the same math on first-gen models produced between 2004 and 2012 results in the opposite sentiment. An average of 9% find the seats to their liking, while 32% don’t. 

These statistics align with the all-new 2015 Colorado press release where Chevy notes the use of “dual-firmness foam for greater comfort on long drives and high-wear…” for the seats. So, if you value keister comfort, look to the second-gen Colorado. 

The most common cause of a CEL for these Colorados is DTC P0496. It means there is an issue with the Evaporative Emission Control (EVAP) System purge flow valve, a unit that costs between $150 and $200 to replace. The DTC P0128 thermostat issue common to so many Colorados is another common problem area for the 2016 and 2017 models.

And DTC P0024, which indicates an issue with the VVT system, could be a serious problem that should be addressed quickly. On the service front, be aware that the 2017 Colorado does tend to spend more time than average in the shop each year, three days, which translates to relatively high annual maintenance costs of over $1,000. 

Fortunately, the recalls on these Colorados were low-impact. Of the four issued for the 2016 model, two were related to improper airbag inflation that affected less than 2,000 vehicles combined. And the single 2017 Colorado recall, for a faulty fuel pump flange weld, impacted just 895 vehicles. 

2005 Chevrolet Colorado

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 3/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 9/10

KBB Value: $3,536 

Fuel Economy: 19 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $550

Safety Rating: 4.2/5  

One year after the first-generation Colorado debuted, reliability stepped up strongly, likely helped by Chevy ironing out early production kinks. The FIXD Reliability Score of 3/10 is relatively low, which is why this 2005 Colorado is at the bottom of our “best of” list, but it still represents a solid improvement. 

As well, these Colorados boast high Owner Reliability Scores, commendable fuel economy, market values that move the right way, and annual maintenance costs that run below average. 

Other notable points are that 40% of 2005 Colorado owners think driver visibility is excellent and 30% expect their truck to hit the 200,000-mile mark. With average odometer readings of 165,000 miles on a nearly 20-year-old truck, that’s a positive sign. 

Those same owners – two times more than average – think the entertainment system stinks and the stereo is garbage. This is perhaps unsurprising as these early Colorados came only with a 2-speaker AM/FM audio system with the option for a CD player and four or six speakers. 

The most common trouble code encountered on the 2005 Colorado is DTC P0455 for a leak in the EVAP system. Fortunately, it is often corrected by tightening the gas cap. DTC P0446 is also EVAP system-related but this means it may be time for a new fuel tank pressure sensor that should cost less than $200.

When the engine idle speed is running on the low side, look out for DTC P0506. Like DTC P0507 – for too high of an  idle speed – this problem is often caused by a vacuum leak.

For the most part, these older Colorados are easy to maintain and well-built. They average just over a day in the shop each year and saw only three recalls from the NHTSA. Two of those three, for an issue with brake lamps not illuminating properly, impacted about 590,000 vehicles.

The Worst Years of the Chevrolet Colorado

Closeup photo of Chevrolet Colorado storm pick up break light.

Working with the same information to determine the best Chevrolet Colorados, we’ve compiled a list of model years to avoid. You can expect more issues with reliability, higher maintenance bills, and in some cases lower safety ratings with these poor-performing Colorados. We are starting from the absolute worst and progressing to the least worst.

2004 Chevrolet Colorado

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 1/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 9/10

KBB Value: $2,908

Fuel Economy: 19 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $417

Safety Rating: 4.25/5

The 2004 Colorado earns the dubious “Worst of the Worst” badge due to its bottom-of-the-barrel FIXD Reliability Score. As the originator of the Colorado nameplate, this is almost expected due to the commonly-seen botched launch of a new vehicle as it relates to reliability. 

Owners certainly like their 2004 Colorados and maintenance costs skew low, but so do KBB market values. While it might be easy to chalk this up to an old truck with lots of miles, these 2004 models only average 158,000 miles, which is lower than several newer model years.

Illustrating the subjective nature of owner sentiment, 25% think their Colorado is cheap to repair, while the same percentage say just the opposite. However, there is no disagreement that the seats are uncomfortable and the entertainment system is the pits. 

Two of the most common DTCs – P0455 and P0446 – help keep the annual service costs low. The first is for an EVAP system leak that is often caused by a loose gas cap. The latter is triggered by a malfunctioning gas tank pressure sensor with replacement running between $70 and $170. 

However, if you see DTC P0300, be ready to shell out up to $1,500 for a new variable camshaft timing solenoid. Be sure to check out our DTC P0300 DIY guide for tips on how to save money on this potentially expensive repair. 

As for recalls, there were three issued for the 2004 Colorado, and like the 2005 model, the most significant were two related to brake lamp malfunctioning that affected nearly 600,000 vehicles.

2006-2008 Chevrolet Colorado

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 1-2/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 7-10/10

KBB Value: $3,419-$5,192

Fuel Economy: 18 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $313-$563

Safety Rating: 4.2-4.5/5 

The reliability rollercoaster of 2006, 2007, and 2008 Chevy Colorados correlates with a major powertrain reshuffling that took place in 2007. At the time, Chevy swapped the existing 4- and 5-cylinder motors for two new units, each with more displacement.

It resulted in consistently low FIXD Reliability Scores and some major mismatches with the Owner Reliability Score. This divergence in reliability scores is at its most extreme in 2006 when owners rated their Colorados 10/10 – the highest possible score – but FIXD devices point to 1/10 – the lowest possible score.

Digging into the survey data, we can see that in 2006, every owner felt their Colorado could drive across the country without issue. And yet, there were 7,300 DTCs recorded by FIXD devices that year, which is triple the average. So, be sure to consider both scores if you’re looking to buy a used Colorado.

These Colorados are also marked by safety scores that start to slip going into 2008, a reduction in fuel economy, and flat market values for the 2006 model year. 

As noted in the 2016-2017 Colorado section above, first-gen Colorados have generally unloved seats. It holds true with these 2006-2008 models as an above-average percentage of owners, from all three years, feel the seats are uncomfortable.

Of the aforementioned 7,000-plus DTCs, the most common is DTC P0017. It is one of the most common causes of a CEL on the Colorado and means the variable camshaft timing solenoid is acting up. Expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,500 to have this repaired. 

The thermostat plays a critical role in keeping the engine coolant system operating properly, but when P0128 lights up, it means the thermostat may be stuck open. Our DTC P0128 explainer video goes into more detail on this, but a replacement unit typically costs about $250.

Another common DTC for 2006-2008 Colorados is P0171. It indicates the air-to-fuel ratio is out of balance and could mean it’s time to clean the Mass Airflow (MAF) sensor, or replace it, a job that costs about $300. 

There were four recalls on the 2006 Colorado and three on the 2007 model. Of those, an issue with a missing child seat tether anchor was common to both model years and affected 192,000 vehicles. One of the two 2008 recalls was for a faulty brake lamp switch that impacted about 186,000 vehicles. 

2009-2010 Chevrolet Colorado

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 3-4/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 6-8/10

KBB Value: $5,569-$5,755

Fuel Economy: 19 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $563-$1,250

Safety Rating: 3.8-4/5 

The 2009 and 2010 Chevy Colorado finds its way onto our list of worst model years due to a combination of low reliability, poor safety, big maintenance bills, and market values moving the wrong way.

A new 5.3L V8 that was introduced to the lineup in 2009 is the most likely reason behind the weak FIXD Reliability Scores and annual maintenance costs that year which, at $1,250, are two times higher than average. 

The steady decline in safety is harder to explain as 2010 was the first year that side-curtain airbags were made standard. And yet, the NHTSA applied a special safety concern to these model years for the side-impact test noting “the intrusion of the left front door” during testing. It led to a 3/5 rating for this test and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety agreed. 

That safety agency rated the 2010 Colorado “Poor” in its side-impact testing, the lowest possible rating. Test notes state that the side-curtain airbag did not deploy properly for the rear passengers, which led to the window frame hitting the dummy’s head. Bottom line – the safety record for the 2009 and 2010 Colorado stinks.

It’s not all bad news as a relatively high percentage of owners primarily use their 2010 Colorado for towing, no doubt putting the 6,000-lb abilities of the V8 to work. As well, 38% of 2009 owners think their truck will run to 200,000 miles even with odometer readings averaging just 125,000 miles. 

But ultimately, this is tempered by the nearly three days per year that 2010 models spend in the shop and $1,000-plus repair bills. 2009 owners support this in surveys, where 25% think their Colorados are expensive to repair. So do yourself a favor and avoid these model years. 

Two of the most common issues seen in the 2009 and 2010 Colorado – faulty thermostats and timing chains – are widespread across all 20 years of production. DTC P0128 pairs with the thermostat, a roughly $250 fix, and DTC P0017 is associated with a timing chain problem. This latter issue could cost you over $1,000 to repair. 

If you see DTC P0135, it means the heating element within one of the oxygen sensors is not working properly. This issue typically costs $200-$300 to have repaired at a shop. 

There were three recalls for the 2009 Colorado and of those, two were related to a brake lamp problem that could result in the lamps staying on continuously or not illuminating at all. The 2010 Colorado was subject to a pair of recalls, and one of them, which impacted 119,000 vehicles, was for a missing hood latch. 

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

2015 Chevrolet Colorado display at an  auto show

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 5/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 9/10

KBB Value: $19,523

Fuel Economy: 20 mpg

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $650

Safety Rating: 4.4/5 

Although the 2015 Colorado boasts strong figures for market values, fuel economy, and safety, the low FIXD Reliability Score weighs it down. As the first model of the second-generation Colorado – replete with all-new powertrains – this is not unexpected.

Supporting the objectively poor reliability of these models is the above-average time spent in the shop each year for trucks that typically only have 75,000 miles. As well, 50% of owners don’t see their Colorado hitting the 200,000-mile mark. 

When you factor in the seven recalls on the 2015 Colorado, which is the most of any year, it’s easy to see why we can’t recommend these trucks. Piling on, those recalls were a hodge podge of issues that clearly point to build-quality struggles like loose seats, loss of power steering, brake fluid leaks, and incorrectly wired airbags. 

There are bright spots like owners reporting great driver visibility and approving of the cabin storage space. Plus, these 2015 Colorados are ranked as one of the highest for use as an office on wheels. This correlates with the fact that the second-gen trucks are larger than the first-gen models and the addition of a Wi-Fi hotspot to the list of features that year.

On the DTC front, it’s all about the balance of engine air and fuel or lack thereof. DTC P0496 means the EVAP system is struggling with purge flow. DTC P0171 is triggered by an air-to-fuel ratio imbalance on cylinder bank 1 and DTC P0174 pops for the same reason, but for cylinder bank 2. Both of the latter two point to an issue with the MAF sensor. 

2018 Chevrolet Colorado

FIXD App Engine Reliability: 7/10

Owner-Reported Reliability: 9/10

KBB Value: $22,117

Fuel Economy: 19 mpg (gas), 23 mpg (diesel)

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $400

Safety Rating: 4.4/5  

The 2018 Chevy Colorado is our pick for “best of the worst” years because it has plenty of positives, like a high safety score, low maintenance costs, and solid resale values. But unfortunately, the FIXD Reliability Score dropped two points in 2018, so we can’t recommend it. 

That drop is driven by having too many trouble codes relative to the average mileage of these trucks, which is just 61,000. And two of those codes are severe engine-related problems. DTC P0019 means the correlation of the camshaft and crankshaft position is incorrect, which can lead to major powertrain problems. 

DTC P0024 is also camshaft-related, specifically for the timing on the exhaust side. It is serious enough that you should stop driving until it’s fixed. Another frequent offender is DTC P0128 for a malfunctioning thermostat. Check out our DTC P0128 explainer video for more information on this topic.

There are other positives such as the well-liked entertainment system, which correlates to a 7” infotainment display and smartphone mirroring becoming standard in 2018. And these model years are great for towing per owners, which lines up with the arrival of a diesel powertrain in 2016 and a more potent gas-powered V6 in 2017. 

As well, there was only one recall on the 2018 Colorado for a fuel pump flange weld that can fracture. It impacted 895 vehicles, which is relatively very low.  


What years of the Chevrolet Colorado have engine and/or transmission problems?

The 2010 Colorado is the most likely of any model year to experience engine problems with a 28% chance of a $500+ repair being engine-related. And the 2009 model has a 50% likelihood of an expensive repair being tied to the transmission, which is almost five times higher than average. Little wonder that both of these Colorados are on our list of model years to avoid. 

What is considered high mileage for a Chevrolet Colorado?

Across 20 years of FIXD data, the Colorado averages 112,000 miles. Only five model years crack the 150,000-mile mark and the 2011 Colorado is the only one to hit 175,00 miles on average. 

Given that, it’s reasonable to say 125,000 miles is considered high mileage for a Chevy Colorado. That may leave you as much as 50,000 miles to work with before the motor calls it quits. Keep in mind that the year of the Colorado you buy may determine whether you can afford to drive those extra miles.

What other vehicles should I consider? 

These days, the midsize pickup truck market has begun to heat up with competition like the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, and Nissan Frontier all worth your consideration. Though no longer in production, an older Dodge Dakota is another option and if you want to keep it in the GM family, the GMC Canyon is a more upscale twin to the Colorado, while the full-size Chevy Silverado offers more capability. 

What owners of the Chevrolet Colorado like to use their car for:

Frequent Use Categories: How Useful? (Out of 5 Stars)
Family Vehicle ***
Lots of Driving (travel/long commute) ****
Hauling/Towing ***
Office on Wheels *
Sport/Fast Driving *
Luxurious Driving *
Outdoor/Off-Road **

A Note About Data and Information Sources

This article has many details about Chevrolet Colorado reliability; here’s what we used for our assumptions and recommendations.

  • FIXD Reliability Score & Data: Engine reliability information is captured via the FIXD App

The FIXD Reliability Score is calculated using the number of DTCs per year, weighted by mileage. This is then turned into a scale of 1-10 for easy graphing. 

This is an objective score.

  • Owner Reliability Score & Data: This data is the result of surveying Chevrolet Colorado owners who use FIXD. 

The Owner Reliability Score comes straight from owners of the Chevrolet Colorado.  

This is a subjective score.

To determine the Owner Reliability Score we ask each car owner:

How reliable would you say your Chevrolet Colorado is?

a. Just point A to point B driving

b. A Daily Commuter

c. Good for a 100-mile road trip

d. Good for a 500-mile road trip

e. I could take a cross-country road trip, no problem

From here we translate their answers into the Owner Reliability Score:

a. = 2

b. = 4

c. = 6

d. = 8

e. = 10

Keep in mind, owners may think their car is more or less reliable than it actually is. 

One potential problem is that people often buy the same make or model they are used to when they go car shopping, just a newer year.

Ford, for instance, has a number of consumer loyalty awards for the Ford F-Series, Ford Mustang, and Ford Expedition.

Car owners may be so loyal to the make or model they currently own that they would have trouble accurately comparing their cars’ reliability to others. 

It’s for this reason that we ask car owners a question that is relative to mileage rather than relative to other cars. 

Still, be mindful of the accuracy of these Owner Reliability Scores, people’s perceptions and unconscious blindspots can skew data. 

We suggest looking at both the FIXD Reliability Score and the Owner Reliability Score for this reason.

  • KBB Value: Average private-seller valuations as supplied by Kelley Blue Book (KBB), based on a Chevrolet Colorado with typical mileage for that respective model year.
  • Fuel Economy: Mileage-per-gallon estimates according to the EPA MPG on Fueleconomy.gov
  • Annual Maintenance/Repair: Upkeep expenses as reported by surveyed Chevrolet Colorado owners
  • Safety Rating: Crash test data collected and reported by NHTSA. We average all ratings for each year to come up with a simplified, average safety score. This makes it easier to look at on a graph.


  1. Chevrolet Colorado model-specific information. Retrieved July 19, 2023, from https://www.edmunds.com/ 
  2. Chevrolet Colorado model-specific recall information. Retrieved July 19, 2023, from https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls  
  3. Chevrolet Colorado model-specific information. Retrieved July 19, 2023, from https://www.auto-brochures.com   
  4. Chevrolet Colorado model-specific information. Retrieved July 19, 2023, from https://media.chevrolet.com/media/us/en/chevrolet/home.html 
Profile Picture of Niel Stender

Niel Stender grew up doing replacement work on his old Cherokee and sweet Mitsubishi Starion, which led to a degree in mechanical engineering and a job at Ford as a vehicle dynamics engineer. His writing infuses that automotive background with sales and marketing experience. Writing about cars for close to a decade now, he enjoys digging into some of the more technical mechanical systems under the hood and throughout a vehicle.

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.


About the Author

Niel Stender

Niel Stender

Niel Stender grew up doing replacement work on his old Cherokee and sweet Mitsubishi Starion, which led to a degree in mechanical engineering and a job at Ford as a vehicle dynamics engineer. His writing infuses that automotive background with sales and marketing experience. Writing about cars for close to a decade now, he enjoys digging into some of the more technical mechanical systems under the hood and throughout a vehicle.

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