What kind of car is the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado? What does it compare to?
The Chevy Colorado is a mid-size pickup truck related to the GMC Canyon. It competes not just with the Nissan Frontier and Ford Ranger, but also smaller trucks such as the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz and full-size trucks such as the Chevy Silverado and Ford F-150.
Is the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado a good truck?
Review continues below
We’ll have to wait until we drive it, but the redesigned Colorado looks and sounds like a winner, and its standard features and alluring interior promise to improve on the old model’s TCC Rating of 5.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What’s new for the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado?
Most of the 2023 Colorado is new, with a fresh exterior look, a modern interior spread, and a single powertrain shared with the larger Chevrolet Silverado. Sold in Work Truck, LT, Trailboss, Z71, and ZR2 grades, each model offers a different spin on how owners might use the truck, or more importantly, how they want to be seen while using the truck.
They all sport a ridge down the hood that dips down into thin headlights across the top of the grille. The rest of the nose is a heavy black plastic grille, with the base WT having all the character of a work boot with a toe cap. Its 17-inch steel wheels under squared-off fenders lead down a body that only comes in a crew cab configuration with a short 5-foot-2 bed.
The Trail Boss adds a gray lower lip to emulate a skid plate, and black fender flares that show off its 2.0-inch factory lift as well as its 18-inch wheels wrapped in knobby all-terrain tires.
The LT opts for a more street-friendly look, with 17-inch wheels and all season tires, as well as a body color bar that splits the upper and lower grille elements to welcome effect.
The sporty Z71 takes it a step further with a gloss black grille, black bumper and mirror caps, and LED lighting front and back.
Like the kid on the playground you know not to trifle with, the ZR2 looms taller, wider, and burlier with its 3.0-inch factory lift. It wraps 33-inch mud terrain tires around 17-inch wheels, has a pronounced skid plate under the front end for a greater approach angle, and wears a dual black bar across the face like a dumbbell. There’s plenty of accessories to flex the off-road bully even more.
Inside, the new Colorado has a much more refined take, with twin screens spanning a horizontally themed dash flanked on either side by turbine style vents like the Chevy Blazer. The various trims sport different flourishes, such as silver accents and soft-touch trim on the LT, and black synthetic leather with red accents on the Z71. Climate dials and a volume knob grace the interface, but the center console takes an asymmetrical shift, with drive mode and electronic parking brake buttons on the driver side, and the mechanical gear shifter on the passenger side. It makes the mode selector easier to reach for the driver, Chevy says.
There are up to five drive modes, ranging from Tow/Haul that adjusts the 8-speed automatic transmission to better tow up to 7,700 lb, to a Terrain mode for crawling and a Baja mode for zipping through off-road courses without obstacles. Powering all of these expeditions is a 2.7-liter turbo-4 shared with the full-size Silverado, but tuned in three different keys. The base output, standard on WT and LT grades, is 237 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque; they can tow up to 3,500 lb.
The Turbo Plus churns out 310 hp and 390 lb ft, and is standard on Z71 and Trail Boss, but available on the other two grades. Towing maxes out at 7,700 lb.
The ZR2 comes standard with the high-output engine making 310 hp and 430 lb-ft, though it can be optioned on other models through dealers. Towing capacity drops to 6,000 lb on the ZR2, but on other grades with the high output turbo-4 the tow rating remains at 7,700 lb.
The ZR2’s engine is used in the base Silverado, and in our testing it proved punchy, responsive, and serenely quiet for a full-size truck, but it could start to run out of breath when pushed to pass at highway speeds.
Chevy says even the base turbo-4 has 18% more horsepower and 36% more torque than the current Colorado’s 2.5-liter inline-4 (we sure hope so), and the other turbo-4 grades are improvements over V-6 and turbodiesel options on the outgoing Colorado.
Chevy claims the 8-speed automatic is a new iteration with quicker downshifts, and the Colorado eschews the 10-speed automatic ubiquitous in other Chevy big rigs because the Colorado doesn’t need the ratios, according to Chevy.
Four-wheel drive is available across the lineup, but standard on Trail Boss, Z71, and ZR2. The front wheels ride on coil-over shocks and the rear suspension features a solid axle on leaf springs, though the ZR2 gets Multimatic dampers. It also has locking front and rear differentials. Trail Boss and Z71 grades add an electronic limited-slip rear differential.
The Colorado stretches out on a wheelbase that’s 3.1 inches longer, though the overall length is within a fraction of an inch. It has the same 5-foot-2 short bed, but Chevy hadn’t confirmed interior specs by press time and said the longer wheelbase accounts for a larger engine compartment, so we don’t expect the crew cab to be any roomier. The ground clearance on WT and LT trucks rises from 8.3 to 8.7 inches, and the height increases by half an inch.
The bed has eight tie downs standard, but it can be accessorized with nine more, and 14 pockets provide the kind of organization that would please Marie Kondo. Two tire grooves in the front bed wall, and a gate that can be half raised while supporting 500 lb add some versatility to what can be hauled in the bed. Though the tailgate doesn’t flex the multifunction capability of GM’s larger trucks, there is an available storage feature in the tailgate itself. When it’s down, a locking lid hinges up to reveal a 4.0-inch deep and 45-inch long storage area with a drain, so it can double as a toolbox or a cooler, good for work, better for the weekend. Payload maxes out at 1,684 lb in WT and LT grades.
Towing should be easier with standard hitch guidance lines in the rearview camera and a zoomed-in angle of the hitch. Optional features include 10 camera views, with one under the body of Z71 and ZR2 models to provide more eyes when off-roading or towing.
How much does the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado cost?
Pricing won’t be announced until early 2023, but expect it to cost a few thousand dollars more than the current $30,000 base truck. The WT lives up to its name for 2023 with 17-inch steel wheels and manually adjustable front seats covered in cloth, but it also makes big strides in standard technology with an 11.3-inch touchscreen with wireless smartphone connectivity, an 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster, and two USB ports. Options range from synthetic leather and 8-way power front seats to a sunroof, which is a first in a Colorado.
The standard bounty continues with driver-assist features intended to make hauling safer. It comes with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, and automatic high beams. Optional are blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and a surround-view camera system, but it won’t come with GM’s Super Cruise hands-free highway driving system quite yet.
Where is the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado made?
In Wentzville, Missouri, at GM’s Wentzville Assembly.