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2015-up Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon

How to upgrade the stereo system in your Colorado or Canyon

chevrolet colorado

In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your truck's stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. We'll tell you all about:

Then, use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your pickup.

Overview of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon

The average full-size pickup truck these days is well above average when it comes to size, power, luxury, and sheer brute force. So if your daily task list involves towing a yacht up a gravel-strewn mountain road in a hailstorm with a golf cart in the bed and five friends on board, that might very well be the type of truck you need.

But if you’re like most of us, you don’t do that sort of thing very often, so you can get through the week just fine with a solid, capable truck that can haul people and stuff without blocking out the sun or running up the gas card balance.

gmc canyon

And that’s why the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon are so popular. These handsome mid-size trucks can do pretty much anything you need to do and fit into a normal-size parking spot while you’re out doing it. In this case, mid-size is the right size.

The stock stereos, however, are just middling. If you’re tired of settling for "okay" audio, our experts can help you find the gear you need to get the sound you want.

chevy colorado gmc canyon radio

The optional LCD receiver can be found in the upper trim levels (Crutchfield Research Photo)

The factory stereo system

From 2015-2018, the stock radio lineup consisted of a 4.2" LCD radio or the optional 8" LCD. The removal and replacement process (see below) is the same for both. Whether you’re dealing with the 6-speaker base system or the 7-speaker Bose® system, that process is mostly the same as well, with the addition of a center dash speaker that you’ll get to when you start removing the corner dash speakers anyway.

You’ll need to bypass the Bose amp, which is a bit of a hassle, but do-able for the average DIY-er. If you have questions or run into trouble, remember that your Crutchfield purchase comes with free tech support for the life of your gear.

2019-up Bose® note: GM made some changes for the 2019 model year, and as a result, radio replacement is not recommended for 2019-up Canyon and Colorado models equipped with the factory Bose radio. You can still upgrade your speakers, though.

chevy colorado factory radio

The standard radio was this 4.2" LCD receiver (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory radio (2015-2018 models)

Before you do anything else, set the parking brake and disconnect the negative battery cable to prevent any electrical shorts. Just because this isn’t a full-size truck doesn’t mean you want it to run over your foot.

Once that’s done, use your panel tool to release 12 retaining clips and pry off the receiver trim panel. To protect the finish, we suggest sliding an index card between the panel and the dash.

Next, remove the four 7mm screws securing the receiver/climate control panel. Pry out the panel to release five retaining clips, then disconnect the wiring harnesses and remove the panel. Disconnect the wiring harnesses from the tuner module, then push up the release tab and remove the module.

chevy colorado radio removal

Use an index card to protect the dash while you're prying on things (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Installing the new receiver isn't that hard, and between your Crutchfield MasterSheet and the instructions included with the deeply discounted dash kit and wiring harness interface from Crutchfield, you’ll be okay. That said, there are some things to keep in mind....

To install your new aftermarket receiver, you'll need to modify the dash cavity to create the necessary space. This will involve using a rotary tool to cut out the plastic rails inside the dash opening. It's not that hard, really, but you’ll obviously want to work carefully (and wear eye protection) while you’re doing it.

Also note that once the dash mods are made and the new receiver is installed, you won’t be able to re-install the factory radio.

Detailed stereo and speaker removal instructions

MasterSheet image
With step-by-step disassembly instructions and plenty of up-close, detailed photos, our exclusive Crutchfield MasterSheet™ takes the guesswork out of removing the factory stereo and speakers. It's free with your Crutchfield order, or you can purchase one separately for just $9.99.

Replacing the factory radio also means losing certain factory features, like the USB input, the satellite radio connectivity and the factory navigation system. There are plenty of aftermarket receivers that include some or all of those things, so you won’t have to go without if you don’t want to.

That wiring harness interface we mentioned above is an essential part of this installation because it retains the audible safety alerts delivered through the factory radio. Those are very important, and we always caution potential customers that we won’t be able to provide tech support to any installation that doesn’t use the required harness. Depending on how your truck is equipped, the harness we recommend will also allow you to retain OnStar and the factory backup camera.

Tools needed: panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension

Read our Car Stereo Buying Guide for shopping tips and advice.

Steering wheel audio controls

In most cases, it's reasonably easy to retain your truck's steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo. When you enter your vehicle information, our database will choose the adapter you need to make your factory steering wheel controls work with a compatible aftermarket receiver.

chevy colorado rear door speaker

The Colorado/Canyon's door speakers are pretty easy to deal with (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the factory speakers in your Colorado or Canyon

The Colorado and Canyon have speakers in the doors and dash. Models with the Bose system add a center dash speaker to the mix.

chevy colorado gmc canyon corner dash speaker

The corner dash speakers can be replaced by a wide variety of aftermarket models (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the corner dash speakers

The corner dash tweeters are just a smidge under 3" in diameter, so there are plenty of aftermarket options available. The base system’s corner speakers are wired in parallel with the front door speakers. The Bose models run off the factory amp.

When it comes to removing the speakers, the job’s pretty simple. Starting at the top edge, pry out the driver-side pillar trim panel. Push down on the retainer strap to release it, then pull up the trim panel to remove the panel.

Next, pry open two screw covers on the passenger’s side pillar trim panel and remove one 10mm screw from each location. Pry out the trim panel to release one clip, then pull up the trim panel to remove it. Once both panels are out of the way, remove one 7mm screw from each location.

Pry up the top dash panel to release fourteen retaining clips, then twist the sensor assembly to release it from the panel and remove the panel. After all that, just remove the two 7mm screws securing each speaker, then pull the speaker out, disconnect it, and set it aside.

There aren’t any mounting brackets or wiring harness adapters available, so you’ll need to use our universal backstraps to secure the new speakers in the factory openings and Posi-Products connectors to connect to the factory wiring.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm and 10mm sockets, ratchet and extension

chevy colorado gmc canyon center dash speaker

The center dash speaker is part of the Bose system (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the center dash speaker

The Bose system includes a center dash speaker, and since you’ll expose it anyway when you replace the corner dash speakers, it’s probably wise to replace this one with a 3-1/2" aftermarket model while you’re in there.

With the dash panel out of the way, all you need to do is remove the two 7mm screws securing the speaker grille. Pry up the grille to release two clips, then remove the grille. Remove the two 7mm screws securing the speaker, then pull it out, disconnect it, and remove it. You’ll need to use Posi-Products connectors to connect this speaker, too.

Before you put the dash back together, be sure to test the corner dash and (if applicable) center dash speakers before you put the dash back together.

Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm and 10mm sockets, ratchet and extension

gmc canyon front door speaker

You'll have lots of aftermarket options for the front doors (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Removing the front door speakers

The 6"x9" front door speakers can be replaced by a healthy variety of same-size, 6-1/2", or 6-3/4" models. The base and Bose speakers are the same size and are removed in the same way, but when you’re choosing replacements for the low-impedance Bose models, pay close attention to the impedance specs. Replacing the stock speakers with 4-ohm aftermarket models will result in lower volume levels, which is really not the point of installing new speakers!

Removing the old speakers is a reasonably easy job. You’ll start by prying out the screw cover behind the door release and removing the 7mm screw. Starting at the rear edge, pry up the power switch panel to release the retaining clip, then disconnect the wiring harnesses and remove the panel.

Pry out the door panel trim strip to release those retaining clips, then remove the panel and remove the exposed 7mm screws. Moving down the door, remove two 7mm screws along the bottom edge of the door panel, then pry out the sides and bottom of the door panel to release nine clips. Disconnect the door release cable and wiring harness, then remove the panel and set it aside.

gmc canyon front door speaker bracket

Crutchfield includes mounting brackets with your speaker purchase (Crutchfield Research Photo)

With the speakers exposed, your next task is to remove the 7mm screw securing the top of the speaker. Pry out the top of the speaker, disconnect the harness, and remove the speaker. Once the new speaker is secured to the adapter bracket (included with your Crutchfield speaker purchase), you’re ready to connect it to the factory wiring with Posi-Products connectors. Be sure to test your new speakers before you start reinstalling the panels.

That process is basically everything you did before, but in reverse. We discovered a trick that makes it easier, though. Slide the weather strip off the door panel, then pry out five retaining clips along the top edge of the door panel and place them into slots in the door steel. Fit the weather strip into the window track, THEN reinstall the door panel by reversing the removal steps.

Tools needed: Panel tool, small flat blade screwdriver, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension

chevy colorado crew cab rear door

Replacing the Crew Cab's rear door speakers is basically the same as it is up front (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Replacing the rear door speakers

Replacing the speakers in either cab style is a reasonably easy task in these trucks.

Crew Cab: The Crew Cab’s stock rear door speakers are 6-3/4" models, and there are plenty of same-size or 6-1/2" aftermarket speakers that will fit in this location. They’re pretty easy to deal with, too. You’ll use the same basic tools and techniques you used for the front doors, so we’ll skip the details and save some space. The step-by-step breakdown can be found in your Crutchfield MasterSheet, of course.

The mounting bracket needed for the new speakers will be included with your Crutchfield speaker purchase. And, because (for most people) splicing is a pain, we highly recommend Posi-Products connectors for these speakers.

Be sure to test the speakers before you put the doors back together, of course. And when you do, our trick with the weather stripping works well on these doors, too.

Tools needed: Panel tool, small flat blade screwdriver, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension

chevy colorado extended cab

You'll need to deal with the seat belt on the Extended Cab's rear doors, but it's not that hard to do (Crutchfield Research Photo)

Extended Cab: The Extended Cab’s stock rear door speakers are also 6-3/4" models, and you’ll have lots of same-size or 6-1/2" aftermarket speakers to choose from. The removal and replacement process will be familiar if you’ve already done the front doors, but there are some differences, mostly because you have a seat belt to deal with. There’s nothing complicated about it, (all you have to do is remove a Torx T30 bolt, open the anchor cover, and disconnect the belt) but it’s important to make absolutely sure the belt is reconnected properly when you’re putting things back together.

The mounting bracket needed for the new speakers will be included with your Crutchfield speaker purchase. And, yes, you will need Posi-Products connectors for these speakers.

Tools needed: Panel tool, small flat blade screwdriver, 7mm socket, ratchet and extension

Read our Car Speakers Buying Guide for more information.

Sound Ordnance B-8PTD

A powered sub like the Sound Ordnance B-8PTD could be a good choice for your truck

Bass in your Colorado or Canyon

These trucks have plenty of cabin space for people and stuff, but there’s not much space for bass. A subwoofer box simply won’t fit behind the rear seats, so unless you like bass a lot more than rear seat passenger/cargo room, your best bet is a compact powered subwoofer. Honestly, in a space this size, a good powered sub will more than do the job for all but the most devout bassheads. If you have questions or want some advice, talk to a Crutchfield Advisor.

weathertech floor liners

If you drive a truck, you need a set of quality floor liners from WeatherTech

Other options for your Colorado or Canyon

Here are some other smart ideas for your Chevy Colorado or GMC Canyon.

Rear-view camera

These are mid-sized trucks, but they can still be a handful in tight parking spots. A rear-view camera will enhance your safety and peace of mind.

Floor mats

Driving a truck eventually leads to doing truck-type things, which can take a toll on your truck's carpeting. WeatherTech floor mats and liners will help protect your floors from dirt and damage.

Remote start and security systems

Adding remote start capability to your vehicle lets you warm it up in the winter or cool it down in the summer. The iDatastart system is incredibly convenient and makes it easier than ever to install a remote start system, so we highly recommend it. The module requires a vehicle-specific T-harness (sold separately) to connect with your vehicle's computer, security, and ignition systems, so we ask that you call to order so that we can make sure you get the right harness for your ride.

You can also talk to your Crutchfield Advisor about a security system. They’re not as easy to install (we usually suggest letting a professional do the job), but we can help you choose a system that’ll work in your vehicle.

Let's get started!

Ready to shop? Use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your car or truck. If you have questions of your own, give us a shout via phone, chat, or email

  • Billy from Hoboken

    Posted on 9/18/2023

    Do you know what size factory speaker wire is used in theses trucks? I would like to avoid running new wires if possible but I am having trouble finding anyone that knows what gauge wire is used or the maximum power I can safely feed through them. Looking to run in the 75w-125w range and I am a bit uncertain about going over 75w on the factory wire and wonder if even that is too much.

    Commenter image

    Crutchfield Writing Team from Crutchfield

    on 9/19/2023

    Billy, With questions like that, it's always better to have a conversation with a real live human. Give us a call and talk to one of our advisors. We can help you choose the right gear and give you the right advice on how to install some new speakers.
  • Snake G

    Posted on 7/18/2023

    I know that this is an older article. However, concerning the "2019-up Note," has this changed yet? Meaning: does Cruthfield now carry harnesses and modules to connect an aftermarket head unit to the 2019- up Colorado.

    Commenter image

    Jon Paul from Crutchfield

    on 7/19/2023

    Snake, As a matter of fact, we do. You can't replace the Bose radio in these models, though.
  • Todd Culbertson from Allen, Tx

    Posted on 6/18/2020

    With regard to bass, it is definitely possible to build an enclosure which fits under the rear seat of the crew cab. There are a few places which sell ones that fit 2x 10", there is the JL StealthBox (which only fits ok but is crazy expensive), or you can build your own like I did, using 2x Rockford Fosgate P3SD2-8.

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