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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, first time posting on this forum.

I'm in the market for a mid-size truck, and the 15+ Colorado has caught my eye as there are a lot of good used examples in my price range ($20-23k). I'm very interested in the diesel but will have to do my own research to see if it's worth it vs the gas V6. I drive 70+ miles each day at 65-75mph, so the diesel efficiency would be nice. The fiance drives a diesel Range Rover and I really like the torquey nature of the engine.

Anywho, here are my questions:

1. Do all of the Z71 package trucks come with the locking rear differential? If so, is there a specific way to tell which trucks are equipped with them, other than trying to find the original spec sheet? I only buy 4x4, no 4x2 if that matters.
2. For diesel trucks, is it common for people to delete the emissions stuff, DEF, etc? I know it would require a tune to function properly, but if it eliminates finicky emissions stuff and improves MPG or power, I'd at least consider it.
3. Are there any glaring issues I should be looking for as I begin test driving trucks? I read something about a transmission flash to check for, but anything else would be helpful as I often travel out of state to buy my vehicles, because it seems WI adds a 4x4 tax to every vehicle, and I know what our salt does to vehicles in short periods of time.


I will be using the truck off-road 3-5 times a year and am planning a trip to Colorado for next year, so any vehicle I buy would be getting better AT tires, probably a level, and maybe going further for things like a winch, etc..

Thanks!
 

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The diesel won't take the same MPG hit by adding and leveling like a gas would. Your commute is similar to mine so I guess I can add in my feedback with gas if it interests you.

For the emissions stuff... NJ tests all diesels for proper function on emissions after model year 2011 iirc so I don't think here you can delete it like on the older trucks. YMMV.

I am relatively sure the Z71s mostly got the locking rear. Window sticker would tell as would the rpo sheet which can be looked up via a QR code in the door?

The transmission update pertains to the 6 speed on the gas and diesel. For the 8 speed you want to check if the fluid was updated.

As far as test driving... look for sluggish shifts, shakes... the usual. It would be pretty easy to tell on a used one of the updates hadn't been performed!

My commute is give or take 75 miles each way a day roughly 90% highway. I average 21-24 mpg depending on speed... I attached a screen shot of my gas logs so you can see DIC data vs calculated. I fill up at the same pump and do a two click fill. First click, wait 30 seconds then second click. (I'm not anal... the station is down the street from my house lol) The lower mpg readouts are my city driving while not going to work and school...

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1. No. Even with the Z71 trim and 4x4, you have to specify LSD on the order. AFAIK, the only way to tell is to look at the window sticker. Or jack up both rear tires and spin one to see what happens.

2. No, that's not really common. Most people tend to leave the engine alone to preserve the warranty. Contrary to popular belief, emissions stuff isn't really finicky at all.

3. I think the #1 problem is the transmission shudder. It's not bad, and the truck is still very drivable. But it seems to be very annoying. I don't have that problem, so I don't really know

Be sure to look at Carfax, or something similar. It won't tell you everything, but it can give you some clues.

The diesel engine is great if you live at high altitude, or tow a trailer. Otherwise, I'm not really sure it's worth it - financially speaking. The gas engine is very good.
 

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If you want to accessorize, this is a great truck.
I want to say that all Z71 come with G80 rear locker, but in case Im wrong on that, I do know all Z71 with tow package come with it. I know you gotta have the tow package.
can't comment on the rest. I LOVE my truck. Replace all oils with new.
 

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To know if you have the part time Eaton G80 locker, In the glove box, there is an RPO list.
Look for "G80"
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Good luck on your search!

I'm nearly positive the G80 rear locker comes on all Z71 models. If you go to the Chevy Colorado build and price page, select the Z71 trim, and then click the little icon to view the Z71 highlights, you can see it is included in the package, regardless of 4x2 or 4x4. Also, if the truck as the trailering package, it will have the G80 also.

I can't comment much on the diesel stuff.

If you get a 2015 or 2016, they all have the 6 speed whether its a V6 or diesel model. The 2017 and up V6 models have the 8 speed (these are the ones with the shudder issues you've likely read about...although GMs latest TSB seems to help this issue greatly). The 15 and 16 (V6) 6 speed was known to have a hesitation to shift down under load at low rpms. This was dubbed the "chuggle". It was due to the transmission tuning (for the best MPGs) and had two or three transmission TSB recalibrations come from GM, but the last one (which came out 2 or 3 years ago I think) seems to have fixed this. The diesel (no matter what year) has the 6 speed, but it is tuned differently and does not seem to suffer from the "chuggle".

I have a 2015 crew cab with the V6 in 4x2 with the G80 rear locker, and I average between 22 - 24 in the warmer months of the year.
 

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OP, just so you know,
The diff lockers in the Z71 and ZR2 are different. The Z71 is an automatic centrifugal part-time and the ZR2 is manually selected at the switch. And NO, I haven't heard of the Z71s getting the ZR2s lockers.
 

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Run the numbers. With the snappy and quick V6 I get a reliable 25 mpg highway, 23 with a full road. The premium cost for the diesel engine and more expensive fuel may not make sense. The V6 is certainly more fun to drive.
 

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When looking to buy, I was interested in the diesel for the mileage and higher towing capacity. Then I ran the numbers. Premium for that engine, fuel averaging $0.47 or better per gallon, DEF and the real amount of towing I really do ( maybe 10% per year); I determined that it would take me close to 100,000 miles to break even. That was base on the mpg statements on the sticker. I bought the v6. On several trips of over 100 miles one way I have gotten 28.4 mpg and typically average 21 mpg with 80% urban driving. I will say that when I do tow, 16' tandem axle with a 35hp 4x4 tractor, I get an average of 16.3mpg.
 

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And will there be a Diesel pump when you really need one?
If you do long hauls, there is an extra capacity fuel tank for our trucks. But then, I think a larger class is better e.g. 150, 250 class
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The diesel won't take the same MPG hit by adding and leveling like a gas would. Your commute is similar to mine so I guess I can add in my feedback with gas if it interests you.
Interesting, I hadn't really taken that into consideration. I will definitely be going level + slightly larger tires, so that could play a factor as well.

If you want to accessorize, this is a great truck.
I want to say that all Z71 come with G80 rear locker, but in case Im wrong on that, I do know all Z71 with tow package come with it. I know you gotta have the tow package.
can't comment on the rest. I LOVE my truck. Replace all oils with new.
I definitely want the tow package as well as the Z71. I own a 70's Harley that spends most of its time being trailered to and from various shops, or back home when it breaks down :D

Run the numbers. With the snappy and quick V6 I get a reliable 25 mpg highway, 23 with a full road. The premium cost for the diesel engine and more expensive fuel may not make sense. The V6 is certainly more fun to drive.
Those are great numbers for an NA V6, is yours 2wd or 4wd? If I could get anything consistently north of 21 mpg with a level + tires I would be happy with either engine option.

When looking to buy, I was interested in the diesel for the mileage and higher towing capacity. Then I ran the numbers. Premium for that engine, fuel averaging $0.47 or better per gallon, DEF and the real amount of towing I really do ( maybe 10% per year); I determined that it would take me close to 100,000 miles to break even. That was base on the mpg statements on the sticker. I bought the v6. On several trips of over 100 miles one way I have gotten 28.4 mpg and typically average 21 mpg with 80% urban driving. I will say that when I do tow, 16' tandem axle with a 35hp 4x4 tractor, I get an average of 16.3mpg.
Again, very good MPG numbers for the v6! My towing is never really going to be anything more than two motorcycles at a time, unless I needed to move a family member's vehicle short distances on rare occasions, so towing isn't something I do frequently, or something that requires me to be concerned with getting maximum towing capacity.

For me, a diesel purchase would be 1) for MPG, 2) simply because I enjoy driving diesel engines.

And will there be a Diesel pump when you really need one?
If you do long hauls, there is an extra capacity fuel tank for our trucks. But then, I think a larger class is better e.g. 150, 250 class
Every gas station here has diesel, all the farm boys drive diesels so the market here is huge.
 

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I can’t speak to the diesel but as mentioned, 25 mpg on the highway is doable...up to 65 mph anyway. Above that it is going to drop off. My average for the last 30K miles is 21.6 mpg. That includes a couple winters. That is very good for a 4WD truck.

Regarding rust, they use salt on our roads here but I have not had any issues on this truck or any of my new vehicles manufactured after 2000. Of course, collision or other damage may negate the corrosion protection built into vehicles.

Good luck with your search! The twins are really quite nice to drive.
 

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I've driven all over this country and have never had an issue finding a station with diesel unless I was in the middle of a large metro area. So if you are regularly driving downtown Chicago or something, it may be an issue, otherwise no.

It's, without question, the best vehicle I've ever owned.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you everyone! I like car/truck shopping almost as much as acquiring them, so finding the right Colorado shouldn't be too hard..
 

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All Z71s have the tow package and G80.

All diesel equipped Colorado/Canyons come with the tow package and G80.

In California and similar states wherd diesel averages $0.40+ more expensive than regular unleaded it will take between 90,000 and 150,000 miles to recoup the upcharge for the diesel. Historically diesels held their value beter than gasoline powered vehicles but that has slowly started to change as diesel emmissions equipment became more finicky and less reliable. That last point is debatable so I didn't include it in my calculations.

The driving range on a single tank of fuel is much better in the diesel and many people prefer the driving experience of a diesel despite the 0-60mph time being significantly slower than the V6. It also doesn't suffer the 8spd transmission shudder issue present in many V6 trucks. On the flip side, the diesel tends to have more warranty issues related to the emissions system components as well turbocharger and related parts. To the best of my memory the diesel is the only engine spining bearings or bending rods too.

So basically buy what makes you happy and cross your fingers. Rangers and Tacos have their own suite of common issues. :)
 

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I just got back from a trip to Tennessee from Northern Ohio and my overall fuel mileage was 22.5 and that was driving down the interstates at 70-75 mph, round trip was 1331 miles. My last fill up was just after crossing into Ohio from Kentucky and I had about 255 miles to home, pulled in my driveway and still was just above the 1/2 mark. I drove up and in to the Smokey mountains and lots of slow driving through Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Nashville, so I don't feel that 22.5. was bad at all. These trucks are great....
 

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I came out of my 2012 F-150 ecoboost to a diesel Colorado. My average Colorado mpg is 26 and the F-150 was 16. F-150 had more go in the pedal but other than that I like everything else about my Colorado better.
 
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