First Look: 2023 Chevrolet Colorado

Big changes come to Chevy’s mid-size rig including a new powertrain and new trims.

By Matthew Guy Wheels.ca

Jul 28, 2022 5 min. read

Article was updated 10 months ago

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Medium-sized trucks have once again become a large-sized business. After years of playing second fiddle to big-bro Silverado, the scrappy Colorado has received a major overhaul including a tweaked exterior and snazzy cabin plus a new engine pipped from – you guessed it – the Silverado.

Automakers know a sure-fire method into the hearts of most gearheads is to take an engine from a large vehicle and shoehorn it under the hood of a smaller one. In this case, that’s the 2.7-litre Turbo mill from the Silverado 1500 pickup truck, the lone engine choice for now. It’ll be available in one of three states of tune depending on trim level: 237 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque in WT and LT trucks, 310 hp/390 tq as standard in Z71 and Trail Boss (optional in WT and LT), topped with 310 horses and 430 lb-ft of twist in the almighty ZR2. Those latter two versions will have a different RPO code than the base tune and are hairier-chested than any of the engines available in today’s Colorado.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado

As with the Silverado, the words ‘four cylinder’ appear exactly zero times on the spec sheet, save for a lone ‘I-4’ notation buried in the engine specs. It is clear GM wants to downplay the fact this thing is a four banger and focus on its 2.7-litre displacement, a number shared with Ford’s base engine which notably has two more cylinders. This author can’t fathom why, however; if the performance of this mill in the larger Silverado is any indication, it’ll be a cracker in these lighter-weight Colorado pickups. An eight-speed automatic handles shifting duties on all trucks, though option mix will dictate if drivers are in command of a single-speed or two-speed 4x4 transfer case and if there is a convenient ‘auto’ setting. Towing is capped at 7,700 lbs for the trucks making 310 hp.

2023 Chevroleyt Colorado

Readers with keen eyes will have noticed we’ve mentioned a Trail Boss variant, new for 2023. This trim adds a factory installed two-inch lift kit to the truck, jacking ground clearance to 9.5 inches compared 7.9 inches on a WT or LT. This permits the ZR2, which stands about 11 inches above terra firma, to remain top dog. Chevy says the Trail Boss has a track width equal to that of the ZR2 – 66.1 inches or about 4 inches wider than WT/LT/Z71 – making this new trim the potential sweet spot for drivers who don’t want or need the gonzo ZR2.

In terms of off-road cred, the ZR2 once again punches its man card. Those tremendous Multimatic DSSV dampers, first seen about five years ago on the original Colorado ZR2 and now appearing on the Silverado ZR2 and Sierra AT4X, are installed front and rear to play with the independent setup (fore) and solid axle with leaf springs (aft). Note they are now outboard-mounted units, a significant change from the previous truck. Power locking front and rear diffs are part of the ZR2 package, with the Trail Boss getting a G80 limited-slip differential out back only. There will also be a Desert Boss package available on ZR2 bringing 17-inch bead locks, a roof-mounted light bar, and a unique underbody camera (more on that in a moment).

2023 Chevrolet Colorado

Detroit truck makers continue to bean each other over the head with innovations in the box and tailgate area. This new Colorado will be available with a nifty tailgate storage system in which users can drop the ‘gate and pop the cover off a four-inch-deep cubby that’s inset right into the tailgate. It’s an ingenious use of space since the inside of a tailgate is generally just open area which sits there doing nothing. GM suggests this is a good spot for some tools or a set of jumper cables or even beverages; your author is simply grateful for extra covered storage in a pickup truck. We’ll keep an eye on how that extra weight of tools affects the lifespan of the tailgate hinges, by the way. For now, we’re branding it A Very Good Idea.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado

Note well: marketing spox are describing the 2023 Colorado offerings as a “streamlined lineup built around a single wheelbase and single cab configuration to create a unified Colorado pickup family”. In other words, they’re dropping the Extended Cab body style and binning the long box option which used to be available on Crew Cab, limiting Colorado to four full doors and a five-foot two-inch box. This writer thinks not enough people were buying the Extended Cab model (whose overall length was shared with the short box Crew) while bed-wetting accountants nixed the notion of a longer frame being developed but for a long box Crew Cab. If you want a Colorado in one of those body styles, hightail it down to your GM store for a 2022 before they’re all gone. Overall length isn’t much different from the current Crew Cab short box at about 213 inches, but wheelbase is up 3.1 inches thanks to a front axle which has been pushed forward. This will likely improve the truck’s ride and definitely helps with some off-road measures.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado

The new interior is light years ahead of the current truck, ditching the functional but PlaySkool appearance for a cabin rivalling its Silverado brother. An 11.3-inch color infotainment is standard kit and is accompanied by an eight-inch color instrument display which can be customized to the driver’s content. Sporty round outboard ventilation registers give a hint of Camaro, while some models are gifted with wrapped and stitched knee pads on the doors and center console. A bank of switches, which have become something of a GM trademark in their pickups, reside just south of the centre vents and offer up controls for the likes of lane-keeping in all trims and locking diffs in off-road variants.

That 11.3-inch screen does a lot of duty, including the display of numerous camera views for trailering or off-road use. The latter actually includes an underbody camera available on ZR2 so drivers can curse the rock they didn’t see, plus a yaffle of views to help spy lane hoggers when hauling a load. Smartly jumping on current popular trends, the system can also show current altitude and GPS location in an ‘Overlanding’ display which is sure to delight drivers who like sleeping in a tent on top of their truck.

Production for the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado begins in the first half of the next calendar year at GM’s facility in Missouri. Pricing and additional details will b




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