2015 Chevrolet Colorado upsets Ford F-150 for Motor Trend Truck of the Year title

Updated Dec 9, 2014
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Despite Ford singlehandedly capturing the truck world’s attention for the last six months as it ramped up production on the completely redesigned 2015 F-150, the much-hyped aluminum full-size truck found itself at the wrong end of a major upset to General Motors’ new midsize pickup in Motor Trend‘s 2015 Truck of the Year testing.

The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado was picked as the top truck after it and six other “all-new or significantly updated” pickups were put through a harsh set of tests. You can read more about the testing process and the magazine’s thoughts on the non-winning contenders here.

The magazine’s testing director, Kim Reynolds, said the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is “the perfect-size truck,” while associate editor Scott Evans added that he thinks the small pickup will be popular with small businesses. Case in point: the magazine notes that you can buy three Colorados for the price of the $74,665 Ford F-450 it tested as part of the competition.

The testers loved the Colorado’s smooth ride and value, noting that the truck doesn’t feel cheap and that there aren’t many visible signs of cost cutting. The testers also found the Colorado to be the most fuel efficient in the midsize segment. Plus, senior features editor Jonny Lieberman said, “The Colorado has the best steering I’ve ever experienced on any truck, full stop.” You can read the magazine’s full thoughts on the Colorado here.

As to why the new F-150 didn’t win, Motor Trend editors said while the truck makes a great first impression, they found more and more to dislike as they spent more time with it. Reynolds called the new F-150’s design, “heavy-handed,” while Lieberman said it didn’t look enough like the Atlas concept it was based on. Reynolds also bashed the truck’s steering, calling it “truck-sloppy” and called the brakes “very soft on application and very grabby once they engage.”

However, the thing Motor Trend testers held against the aluminum F-150 most was its inability to best Ram’s EcoDiesel 1500 in a fuel efficiency comparison—even with the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. The magazine found the Ram 1500 beat the F-150 by a wide 21-percent margin in fuel economy testing, noting that when a 350-mile test was done with a 1,000-pound load, that margin was increased to 35 percent in favor of the EcoDiesel. The editors concluded that while the 2.7L EcoBoost’s ability to perform like a V8 is impressive, if you push it like a V8, it still returns the fuel efficiency of a V8, which kind of defeats the purpose.