• 2018 Chevy Colorado: “Active Tow” Feature, 100th Anniversary, and More (News)

    2018 chevy colorado duramax diesel
    2018 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax Diesel

    Chevrolet is celebrating 100 years of Chevy Trucks with the 2018 Chevy Colorado 100th Anniversary edition. This is a unique appearance appearance package that will be available on Z71-equipped crew cab and extended cab models. It’s identified by a special Centennial Blue paint job, color-matched grille and rear bumper, chrome tow hooks and door handles, spray-in bedliner, special badging, and unique 18-inch rims. Stay tuned for more details about Chevrolet’s 100th Anniversary edition trucks coming at the end of this month.

    Chevrolet has announced a new feature called “Active Tow”. Chevy says it “helps reversing driver align the vehicle with a trailer.” How does it work? Is it similar in setup and function to Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist? We do not know all the details yet. We reached to Chevrolet for comment, and we will update you as soon as we get more details. Active Tow will be standard on all 3.6L gas V6 and 2.8L turbo-diesel Colorado trucks.

    In other 2018 model news, heated exterior mirrors will now be available as an optional feature. Chevy is also adding Satin Steel Gray Metallic and Kinetic Blue exterior colors into the mix.

    The Active Tow, heated exterior mirrors, and new color choices will also be available on the Colorado ZR2 trucks.

    Pricing for the 2018 Chevy Colorado starts at $20,995 (including destination charges).

    We cannot wait to test 2018 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks. In the meantime, check out this direct towing comparison of GM’s two midsize pickup truck on the Ike Gauntlet™ – world’s toughest towing test.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    49 thoughts on “2018 Chevy Colorado: “Active Tow” Feature, 100th Anniversary, and More (News)

      1. Talking about more news I just got on e-mail from Bollinger motors and they have a sketch available now showing the 4 door version of the B1 off road convertible SUV Pick Up Truck. Breakover angle is now 31 degrees and they still maintain 15.5 inches of ground clearance + or – 5 inches with the adjustable pneumatic suspension and they stated that engineering the B1 to production is under way. The total vehicle length in 4 door will only be 159 inches. The overall length of a 2017 Tacoma is 212 inches 4 inches longer than my 2015 Tacoma making these trucks too long to maneuver and park and the great thing about the electric Bollinger Truck is that it can still carry longer board feet of lumber and it is shorter. Imagine that?

            1. The Original Jay S – – –

              TOJS: “Oh dear.”

              Talking about “dear”, I just got an email from John Deere, and they have photos available for the CommandView™ III Cabin showing multi-door and multi occupant capability. It has a 620 HP PowerTech PSX 13.5 L Engine and HydraCushion™ suspension. It has over 2 feet of ground clearance; can tow entire buildings; haul 10,000 lbs; and can go almost anywhere:

              Oh, but I seem to have digressed and gone off topic. Gee, that’s never happened before at TFLT, has it? (^_^)…


          1. Samari was an awesome vehicle but it does not have the payload or the ability to close the tailgate with a 12 maybe 14 foot lumber in it. In fact no ICE engine truck can do it. Longest item you can haul in a truck bed with the gate up is about 8 feet. Samarai, maybe 2 feet in the back and no where to put a sled or quad.

        1. That 4 door Bollinger has a shorter wheelbase than a Wrangler Rubikon(sp) 4 door.
          And the payload of a one tone truck, and the space of a one ton truck..


    1. In the video comparing the gas Colorado with the diesel version, pulling over 6000 lbs up the Ike, the diesel got a full

      40 percent better fuel economy!

      Holy Cow.

      And it has an automatic engine brake that makes it so you don’t have to hit the brakes. Wow.

      That’s how a truck should be.

      1. Yep. I think the diesel is worth the extra money. It is the one I would go for. I also think the GMC version looks better than the Chevy version. Trouble is a fully loaded GMC diesel is one pricy mid size truck.

        1. @ Jason:
          I’m the other way around.I like the ‘uncluttered’ look of the Colorado front end. Not a big fan of flashy chrome plated plastic grills.

        1. Another Daniel twilight zone moment.

          Did you not see how the Canyon “automatically” braked the vehicle with the engine??

          I guess you could say the the operator had to turn on tow/haul mode, so it is not fully automatic like the single pedal tech of the new electric vehicles, but its pretty automatic here.

          And that is a big difference from the Colorado which obviously did not have it.

          This video on this page could not make it clearer.

          I’m really just talking to the rest of the readers, because we all know we have a few intellectually challenged drug users who frequent the page.

        2. We just all watched the video, Daniel. Do we need an intervention?
          If engine brakes that automatically brake the vehicle don’t exist, then TFL and others are really pulling our legs.

          And maybe aliens exist

            1. Rambro – – –

              R: “Aliens do exist.”

              Absolutely! I was married to one for 26 years…


        3. It is “automatic” in the sense that cruise control is an “automatic” throttle. I don’t call cruise control “automatic throttle” (because I think that would be incorrect) and I think people would look at me a bit funny if I did. Semantics aside, the exhaust braking the diesel has is quite nice. I’ve driven newer gas powered vehicles that will downshift for me “automatically” to slow the vehicle down when descending as well. With a closed throttle they can be pretty effective.
          I’ve towed with a number of gas powered vehicles over the years and have never had any difficulty manually downshifting the automatic to slow the vehicle on downgrades. I did not find this difficult to do and never felt that I “needed” the transmission to do it for me “automatically” but I do appreciate the feature.

          1. Engine braking is a skill very few people have, and downshifting to engine brake a heavy load is even more of a rare skill

            And yet, pulling heavy loads has become common place.

            Therefore, danger lurks, and accidents happen.

            We should demand automatic engine brakes on all our trucks and vehicles that will tow heavy loads. Period!

            1. Not sure why you think downshifting is a hard skill. Unless you consider driving for the first time is a hard skill.

              If you can up shift, you can learn how to downshift.

              Transmissions now days are fully synchronized.

              Not exactly like putting your head to the grindstone.

            2. Don’t know that it is so much a skill as an awareness-it doesn’t require any special level of “skill” to pull a lever down a notch or two. It’s about as difficult as hitting a tow/haul button or setting the cruise control speed-as would be needed to activate the “automatic” engine braking.
              I’m all about having added features available and I myself bought the 2.8 in part for the exhaust brake but I’m not keen on having something forced on me because of the fear of others.
              Have you seen a lot of wrecks where an “automatic” exhaust brake would have made the difference? Is there any evidence that requiring these features would make a significant (if any) difference in the loss of life and property?
              I’ve read about probably hundreds of accidents and I can’t remember a single one where there was any indication that an exhaust brake would have made the difference. I see a surprising low number of accidents with pickup trucks pulling trailers period-I would expect there to be more.
              There are stupid people out there to be sure, I just don’t think there are so many that we need to add nannies to everything.

            3. I didn’t say downshifting is hard, I have done it since I was a 3 year old driving a mini bike.
              I said it is not a common skill. And with a heavy load, that is a REALLY rare skill.
              If you disagree, you don’t get out much. Which also might be part of your guys’ problems.

              We need it to be automatic for everyone, because I know how to tow, but I am not the only one on the road.

            4. Engine braking by downshifting is common with those that know how to really drive a manual trans.Same with rev matching.I learned all that back in the 60’s.

              You boys want to drive something,and Mr.Truck probably has the experience of driving an over the road rig with a set of unsynchronized Spicer boxes.
              In the 70’s I drove long haul double tankers.350 Cummins,(no,not the ‘big cam’).My bid Kenworth had the 4&4 boxes,my last bid truck,a Pete,had the 5&4 boxes.That’s 16 forwards,and 20 forwards respectively.
              Max engine rpms on the Cummins was 2150,downshift at 1850 rpms.When not pulling a grade,I would use 1st position on the Jake brake switch,(just use one head) to drop from max to shifting rpms.

              Tricky to learn,but with a lot of miles,you could shift almost as fast as a air split 13 spd RoadRanger.
              That’s the way a lot of over the road tractors were back in the day.

          2. I agree sparky.
            I don’t think there should be any mark down in points for 5 brake applications in 7 miles on a 7 percent grade. That’s less than 1 application per mile.

            That’s most certainly less brake applications per mile in normal city traffic.

            The length of the brake applications is what is important.

            I think your old method of testing brake temps after the down hill is better.

            The actual cost of brake pads is very small.

            Changing synthetic oil every 3.5 to 5 thousand miles is going to cost more than changing brake pads.

            Changing synthetic every 10,000 miles would be much more than changing brake pads and shoes on
            my Ford. That’s why I don’t use synthetic.

            I have about 225,000 miles on my 400m. Almost all of it towing a 3500 lbs trailer while hauling a 1800 lbs truck camper.

            I do this towing mainly in the Sierra’s on curvey two lane roads. That expains the relativly low miles I have in the 21 years that the motor has been in the truck.
            (I switched out a 351m for the 400m after 13 years and 115,000 miles. It’s a 1980 Ford camper special.).

            If you want to cheaply save on brake wear. Buy a truck with a manual transmission.

            Having someone else change the brakes on a 1 ton is expensive.

            But so is having someone else change your synthetic oil.

            1. That is one complaint I have about the 2.8-the required synthetic oil is expensive and currently somewhat difficult to find. I haven’t driven it enough to have a real solid feel for oil life but I would gather it’s probably closer to 5-7 thousand miles between changes.

          3. Exactly. It’s a braking aid. If someone doesn’t understand the need to activate tow mode or manually downshift, what makes this individual that posts under so many names think that these same individuals would remember to activate their exhaust brakes?

            And there would be no point to leaving it active when it’s not necessary

        1. Not all engine brakes are exhaust brakes, and not all engine brakes are automatic, or as automatic as these with a tow/haul mode. I know, its difficult for you.

          1. Drifts,
            Correct, and none of the exhaust brakes work at all below 15 MPH.
            That pretty much makes them all but useless on curvy Sierra two lane mountain roads.

            If you are pulling in the Sierra’s. You better anticipate your required speed and brake and downshift accordingly or you will experience heart shock
            20 feet from a 180 degree hairpin turn with at least a 20 foot drop, (it honestly looks like a 45 degree rise/fall in the turn) that’s when the torque converter clutch unlocks and you loose your exhaust brake and the truck surges forward.
            You can not downshift fast enough.
            There are very few milliseconds for you the react with increased braking pressure.
            Make sure you don’t over react and lock up the brakes on the sand covered asphalt. You don’t want to lock up a tire.
            I love a manual trans mission.

          2. Correct me if I’m wrong but the only real “engine” brake is a Jake brake-and you can not get those on a pickup truck (although I understand that there is an aftermarket version available for the Cummins). Anything available on a pickup truck is going to be an exhaust brake. Anything factory is going to be a function of the VGT now-a-days.

          3. @DRiggs: The Colorado/Canyon diesel come with an Exhaust Brake.

            Since you’re an expert, whey don’t you educate us on the difference between the two?

            1. Man, you guys really need to get out.

              All right then kitties,

              All of them are engine brakes because you are using the engine to slow and not the friction brakes.

              Some of of them are exhaust brakes.

              Set, and subset.

              Ahi, yai, yai.

            2. Driggs, by your explanation, every vehicle with selectable gears has an engine brake. In fact, even a dragster with no transmission has an engine brake

    2. What percentage of truck buyer pull a horse trailer?
      I admit that only a small number of truck buyers regularly pull anything. But the majority of those that do will be towing a boxy RV trailer.
      That makes this tow test irrelevant to most truck buyers.

      I would admit I don’t think these small trucks should be pulling boxy trailers.

      But I think you should state that if that is your reason for pulling a rounded nose horse trailer.

      1. @ Buddy,
        “What percentage of truck buyer pull a horse trailer?”

        Around my area,a whole bunch pull horse trailers. There’s a ton of big ranches all through the valley I live in.Small equipment owner/operators/and contractors.Just normal everyday stuff around here.

    3. Wait. Heated mirrors we’re not available previously? Or is it now a individual box check item? I find it very surprising that a 2017 Denali trim or even the LT1 didn’t have heated mirrors.

    4. Wow…the 2017 says it starts at $20,000 and now your saying it starts at $1000 bucks more for the 2018…amazing!!!

    5. We can’t wait to test the 2018? Why tfl would be excited to test a 2018 when they didn’t change much in engines and drive train from 2017? Did I miss something your article?

      1. Gotta keep the manufacturers happy so they will keep providing products to test. It’s called politics. :). To me Chevy is rightfully focusing on the Silverado. They need to get back in the game with their money maker.

        1. Not sure if politics has anything to do with it? If the main portion of the product didn’t change, why would you be excited about testing it?

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