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If you have your mind set on skipping past the full-size Silverado (or F-150 or Ram 1500, for that matter) and heading for the somewhat more manageable 2016 Chevrolet Colorado—or the closely related GMC Canyon—you’ll be facing a dilemma: do you get the V-6 gasoline engine, or the new-for-2016 Duramax 2.8-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder?

There is, of course, one other engine choice in the lineup—the 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. Many shoppers will skip right past this engine, which makes 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. It has a distinct lack of the low-rev torque you need for heavy loads; yet it’s worth considering if you plan to use the Colorado mainly without cargo, as a commuter vehicle or everyday driver, saving some light-load cargo for the weekends.

ALSO SEE: 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel: First Drive

Those interested in four-wheel drive should also note that the 2.5-liter is only offered in 4WD Extended Cab models; other Colorado models in Crew Cab form can’t be had with that combination.

The V-6 versions of the Colorado are at the heart of the lineup—available in pretty much every cab and cargo box, in each trim, and with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The Duramax diesel is almost as widely available, but it’s not available in Extended Cab models and is required to be paired with certain other options—which makes its price of entry a bit higher (about $31,090 in base Work Truck form, up to around $40k in the form we recently saw and tested).

Click on to the following pages to consider some key differences between the Colorado V-6 and the Duramax diesel version, and be sure to read our full review of the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado for plenty more detail in other areas like safety, cabin appointments, and technology features.

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