The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado will start at $20,995, while its more upmarket cousin, the GMC Canyon, will start at $21,880. The trucks mark the return of GM to the midsize segment, which it had left in 2012. The Colorado will slot below the larger Silverado in both size and price, while the Canyon will be the smaller brother to GMC's Sierra full-size truck lineup.
The base prices announced Tuesday are for rear-wheel-drive, four-cylinder models with a six-speed manual transmission. The direct-injected 2.5-liter engine makes 200 horsepower. A six-speed automatic gearbox will be another $650.
A 3.6-liter V-6 making 305 horsepower will be optional, with pricing for that and four-wheel-drive to be announced later. Fuel economy numbers for both engines will also be announced closer to the trucks' on-sale dates.
A diesel engine will be introduced next year, GM said.
All Chevy models come with power windows, backup camera and locking tailgate. GMC's Canyon includes a power driver's seat, LED daytime lights and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Both models will also come standard in extended cab configuration (with a second set of rear-hinged doors). A crew cab setup with four regular doors will be optional.
Other add-ons include an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, leather seats, remote start, locking rear differential, Bose stereo system, Wi-Fi hotspot and forward collision and lane departure warning.
A loaded Chevy Colorado Z71 4x4 with the V-6 will go for $34,990, while a GMC buyer with deep pockets can take home a maxxed-out V-6 Canyon for $37,875. All prices include destination.
When these trucks hit the market this fall, Southern California -- particularly Los Angeles -- will be their main target. More midsize trucks are sold in L.A. alone than in any other state in the nation, except Texas.
The midsize market is ripe for a new entry. Both Ford and Chrysler's Ram division pulled out of the segment several years ago, citing weak demand. The remaining players, Nissan's Frontier and Toyota's Tacoma, haven't had a meaningful update since 2005.
Yet the market has been reasonably healthy, pulling in around 280,000 sales in 2012 and again in 2013, GM said. In addition to luring away existing truck fans, GM's duo also hopes to attract owners of small crossovers and SUVs who relish the utility of a pickup, but not the size or lower fuel economy of a full-size truck.
Ford sees it differently, claiming its customers are better served by either its industry-leading F-150 full-size truck or its crossovers and SUVs.
If GM's midsize trucks do prove there's life yet in this segment, both Chrysler and Ford will have to play catch-up, as neither is planning anything similar for the U.S. market.