It has been eight years since we last got an updated Chevrolet Colorado model, and while the current generation is still a strong seller for Chevy, it’s no secret that it’s also aging, especially in the face of updated rivals like the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma. Chevrolet has sought to change that in a big way with the unveiling of the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado, which aims to be a more potent offering for the new model year.
Colorado’s Crisper Styling Preps It For The Young Buyers
As mentioned, the Colorado’s styling was starting to noticeably age, and this new suit of clothes adds some much-needed youth to the truck’s lines. The front fascia is more assertive than before, and while the front grille will undoubtedly raise plenty of debate in discussions around the water cooler, it does allow the truck to fall closer in line with the bigger Silverado. The rear fascia is also sportier looking than before, and the whole setup rides on an all-new frame too.
The ZR2 model returns for 2023 and is naturally the model that benefits the most from the Colorado’s styling transformation. However, second place goes to the 2023 Trail Boss that debuts for the new model year. While it’s not quite as spicy as the ZR2, it manages to achieve the back woods look perfectly and adds many of the Silverado version’s touches to the Colorado, including the blacked-out wheels as well as the trademark red tow hooks. When compared to its rivals, the Colorado’s transformation allows it to shake off some of the dust, and it could also allow the model to have an opportunity to stand out better in the crowd, especially when to the art of attracting buyers at the showroom.
Improved Interior Adds Much Needed Personality
Along with the exterior, the interior of the Colorado has also been heavily revised for 2023 with changes aimed at eliminating some of its plasticky motif. That’s especially apparent in the ZR2 model, which has a cabin that finally does a better job of providing distinction from other Colorado models and personality thanks to extra trim and strategic badge placement. Meanwhile, the rest of the lineup benefits from an all-new 11.3-inch infotainment system which is standard on all Colorado models. An eight-inch digital instrument cluster that’s nestled inside an all-new dashboard.
There’s also an abundance of physical switches and dials to help keep things simple for buyers and a factory sunroof makes its way to the Colorado for the first time ever. The bed itself doesn’t go too far outside the box as far as radical features go, but the tailgate is the lone exception to the rule, thanks to an optional storage compartment in the piece itself that offers storage for smaller items, especially those that would be badly damaged in the bed if left with bulkier cargo. The seats also appear to be redesigned with enhanced levels of support and colored contrast trim when paired with certain trim levels.
Four Cylinder Or Bust Defines Colorado For 2023
The biggest changes, though are found under the hood where Chevy engineers did a complete reboot of the performance hardware. The old V6 and all of the naturally aspirated four cylinders have been pitched along with the spunky turbodiesel four-cylinder. In their place is an all-new 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder available in three different flavors depending on the model it’s equipped to. In its base configuration, the engine produces 237 hp but goes up to 310 hp when the Colorado is equipped with the other two versions.
The engine shares some of its core attributes with the Silverado’s four-cylinder, but it has been modified to work with the Colorado’s smaller proportions. These differences are also reflected in the torque value, with the base engine making 390 lb-ft of torque while the beefier version bumps that up to a stout 430 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic continues to be standard, and the truck can be equipped with either two or four-wheel drive.
The suspension design is largely unchanged from the old model, which is good news for ZR2 owners since that means the Multimatic sourced DSSV suspension returns to duty for 2023. Ground clearance also creeps up as you climb through the model family, with the Trail Boss and the ZR2 models having 9.5 and 10.2 inches, respectively. Meanwhile, the Z71 version has 8.9 inches of clearance which is a nice bump up over the 7.9-inch rating boasted by the base model. Five main trim levels will be offered (WT, LT, Z71, Trail Boss and ZR2 with four of these being carried over from the outgoing generation. The ZR2 will get an all-new sub-variant called the “Desert Boss.” As the name implies, this version was designed for high-speed desert running. The bulk of the ZR2 package gets carried over, but Desert Boss models stand out thanks to black badging, off-road lighting, a sport bar, and meaty 33-inch wheels mounted on beadlock wheels.
When Can I Buy A 2023 Colorado?
Chevrolet didn’t release either final fuel economy numbers or pricing for the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado but look for those figures to be released in the near future. The pricing itself will probably not change too much from the outgoing model, but it will still be a key factor when it comes to competing with the Toyota Tacoma and the Ford Ranger. The battle with the Ranger will be key for mid-size truck buyers, especially now that the ZR2 and the upcoming Ranger Raptor will be poised to do battle in sales here in the U.S. for the first time ever. Both of these trucks promise to bring big things to the off-road segment, with sales in this rapidly growing niche surging despite recent economic headwinds hindering automotive sales as a whole.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.