Midsize trucks are undergoing a renaissance. We've already seen the long-awaited new Nissan Frontier, amd we know a new Ford Ranger will be here before long; now, Chevy is here with the all-new 2023 Colorado.
Fine, "all-new" may be pushing it a bit; GM reportedly torpedoed an all-new midsize truck platform for the Colorado and a Wrangler/Bronco competitor to cut costs. But the new Colorado is substantially enhanced in a way that should make it one of the most compelling offerings in the segment. Your move, Toyota.
Chevy simplified the Colorado engine lineup. It is getting one engine, the "2.7-liter Turbo," which Chevy won't say is a four-cylinder. It comes in a base version (237 horsepower, 259 lb-ft), a Turbo Plus version (310 hp, 390 lb-ft) and a High Output version for the ZR2 (310 hp and 430 lb-ft).
That engine pairs with what Chevy calls the "second-generation" eight-speed automatic transmission, which has been retuned for better performance and downshifting. With GM aiming to go zero-emission by 2035, this may be Chevy's last combustion-powered Colorado.
Off-roading is a key appeal for mid-size trucks. Chevy is leaning into that hard with three off-roading trims for the new Colorado — each standard with at last the Turbo Plus engine. The Z71 is an off-roading version of the standard truck with 8.9 inches.
The Trail Boss adds a two-inch suspension lift and a three-inch wider track for 9.5 inches of ground clearance. The ZR2 keeps the wider track (technically 0.1 inches wider), gets a three-inch suspension lift and Multimatic DSSV dampers. It has 38.3º approach, 24.6º break-over and 25.1º departure angles. A Desert Boss package for the ZR2 adds more protection and beadlock wheels.
The Colorado uses Off-Road, Terrain and Baja drive modes. It comes equipped with ten cameras, including underbody cameras standard on the Z71 and ZR2. Chevy is offering more than 200 accessories at launch.
Chevy isn't giving the Colorado the MultiPro tailgate. But the midsize truck does receive a cool new tailgate with useful functionality. The tailgate will get a 45-inch wide and 4-inch deep storage compartment that is water-tight and drainable to use as a cooler.
Up to 17 available tie-downs and bed pockets allow you to create customizable, tri-level storage. The Colorado also has grooves in the bed wall for motorcycles and bicycles and the ability to drive with the tailgate halfway open.
Chevy is upgrading the Colorado interior. The brand says buyers will be able to choose between four unique interior trims. And Chevy is giving the Colorado an available 11.3-inch touchscreen display paired with an eight-inch digital instrument display
Trucks equipped with the Turbo Plus engine are rated to tow up to 7,700 lbs. That dips to 6,000 lbs with the ZR2 and 3,500 lbs with the base engine. Chevy has a new trailering app with Hitch Guidance and Hitch View. WT and LT trim Colorados can handle up to 1,684 pounds of payload.
The Colorado is a 2023 model year vehicle, and Chevy says production will begin in the first half of 2023. No word yet on pricing.
Ford's new midsize truck should arrive next year