Detroit’s truck makers love beating each other over the head. Witness the power wars happening at one end of the table, endless innovations in the cargo box at the other, plus the current obsession with off-road one-upmanship. And that’s even before all hands start cranking out electric trucks packing a bazillion horsepower.
The midsize segment is not immune. Chevrolet has introduced the ’23 Colorado, a truck with upgrades suitable for keeping up with (and passing) the Joneses. Oh – and they also pulled a trick taken from the Book of Detroit: Take the engine from a larger machine and stuff it up the nose of a smaller one.
Gone are the 3.6-liter V6 and small-displacement diesel engines. In their place is a turbocharged 2.7L available in three states of tune and lashed to an 8-speed automatic. Base and LT trims will get 237 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque, while the Z71 and new Trail Boss are the recipients of 310 hp/390 lb-ft (this is optional on WT and LT). Rounding out the trio is a further 40 lb-ft bump in torque for the almighty ZR2 off-roader. It’ll escape no one’s notice that GM doesn’t refer to this mill as a ‘four cylinder’ in any of its marketing bumfs for Colorado or Silverado.
Styling is tweaked up front to provide angrier headlamps and a face full of grille. Tail lights now mimic those found on big-bro Silverado, though the doors and cab itself look to largely mirror last year’s truck. To these jaundiced eyes, the ‘Colorado’ door script – called the paragraph by many in the biz – is positioned far too north on the metal surface and would be better served either closer to the rocker panels or not applied at all.
Speaking of cab configurations, Colorado will now be available only as a Crew Cab with a 5’2” box; the Extended Cab configuration is gone and so is the Crew’s long box option. It’s very likely the EC’s take rate was low, while the need for a longer frame for a CC long box was probably nixed by nerdy accountants. Overall length doesn’t change much from the existing long box Crew, though its wheelbase is over 3 inches longer thanks to a front axle being pushed forward.
New cabins await those who climb aboard, binning an interior that was getting long in the tooth. An 11.3-inch touchscreen serves as the focal point, dishing up audio information plus a host of camera views. A suite of trailering tech is available, again taken from Silverado, and the truck maxes out at 7,700lbs towing capacity depending on spec. Displays for g-force and wheel slip are shown as part of a Baja readout, while the Overlanding readout jumps on current trends to offer altitude and GPS locations. Those round outboard vents evoke the Camaro, at least to this author’s myopic eyes.
The dandy ZR2 trim remains the big gun, with nearly 11 inches of ground clearance and nifty Multimatic DSSV shocks (now outboard on the rear) making it a great fit for off-road duty. Slotting in below this trim is a new Trail Boss, a truck that retains the ZR2’s wide stance but trades away the DSSVs for simpler suspenders. A new Desert Boss package (one too many bosses?) is available to layer on top of the ZR2 and brings beadlock-capable wheels and a roof-mounted light bar.
One notable new option is a cargo hold built into the tailgate, accessible once the ‘gate is lowered. Two tabs rotate out of the way permitting this cubby’s lid to swing open and reveal a 4-inch deep space great for small tools and a set of jumper cables. This truck-loving author will take all the covered storage he can get.
Production for the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado will kick off in the first half of 2023 at GM’s plant in Missouri. Pricing and additional details will be released closer to the start of production.
Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.