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2023 Chevrolet Colorado Debuts With Sharp New Looks, Improved Cabin

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Debuts With Sharp New Looks, Improved Cabin

Turbocharged four-cylinder replaces all of last year's powertrains

  • Significantly improved cabin design
  • Tough new exterior
  • Turbocharged four-cylinder in three states of tune
  • Kicks off the third Colorado generation for 2023

What is the Colorado?

2023 Chevrolet Colorado

We greeted the second-generation Chevrolet Colorado with a strong reception when it was released for the 2015 model year. It was good to see another truck enter the midsize fray — giving buyers an alternative to the bare-bones Nissan Frontier and then-ancient Toyota Tacoma — and we gave it high marks for its solid driving performance and intuitive cabin layout and tech interface. However, a number of pickups released since then have moved the goalposts, leaving the current Colorado looking a little dowdy in comparison.

The Bowtie is looking to reset expectations with the redesigned 2023 Chevrolet Colorado. The body looks tougher and more trucky, and the interior looks dramatically improved in terms of styling and materials used. And in place of the previous model's diverse powertrain lineup, there's a single turbocharged engine in several states of tune that covers the entire range. Here's everything we know about the new Colorado. 

What's under the Colorado's hood?

2023 Chevrolet Colorado

While the previous Colorado offered a budget-friendly four-cylinder, powerful V6 and fuel-efficient diesel, the new truck covers the bases with a single turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four.

The standard-output version, which comes on Work Truck (or WT) and LT models, produces 237 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque, which is quite a bit more than the current four-cylinder's 200 hp and 191 lb-ft. While EPA- or even manufacturer-estimated efficiency numbers aren't available yet, GM says it should achieve roughly the same fuel economy as the outgoing four-cylinder. More power without a hit to mpg? That's progress we can get behind. Also worth noting is that the base Colorado powerplant's tow rating stays unchanged at 3,500 pounds.

A more potent version of the same powertrain is optional for these models and standard on the Z71 and Trail Boss. In this application, the turbo 2.7-liter produces a healthy 310 hp and 390 lb-ft. That represents a minor bump of 2 hp compared to the V6 but a whopping 115 lb-ft increase. Maximum towing capacity rises to 7,700 pounds with this powertrain, or 700 pounds more than the V6 managed.

Unfortunately, there's no next-gen equivalent of the diesel, which was both relatively fuel-efficient and torque-rich. Instead, the off-road-focused ZR2 will come with the 2.7-liter in an even mightier tune, with 310 hp and 430 lb-ft on tap. All versions of the Colorado feature an eight-speed automatic transmission and cylinder deactivation under light loads, allowing the motor to run as a two-cylinder for decreased fuel consumption.

There are a few more important specs to note. Shoppers looking to beef up the Colorado's off-road capabilities without jumping all the way to the ZR2 might find an answer in the new Trail Boss trim level. It features a 2-inch lift and a 3-inch-wider front track, along with Z71 upgrades like a limited-slip rear differential, hill descent control and all-terrain tires. The ZR2 returns for 2023, building off that kit with a 3-inch lift, Multimatic adaptive dampers, power-locking front and rear diffs, 33-inch mud-terrain tires and skid plates, among other upgrades. And the new ZR2 Desert Boss package goes even further, with beadlock-capable wheels, a front fascia with even more clearance, underbody camera and a roof-mounted light bar. Your move, rumored Ford Ranger Raptor.

How's the Colorado's interior?

2023 Chevrolet Colorado

While the Colorado's powertrain revisions and exterior design changes are certainly enticing, the significantly upgraded interior is the third pillar of meaningful enhancements. The overall look isn't too dissimilar to the much-improved Chevrolet Silverado 1500, with a conjoined digital instrument panel and central touchscreen, plus simple climate controls on the center stack and hints of Camaro in the turbine-style air vents. There are even woven dashboard materials in upper trims — a far cry from the hard plastic-heavy interior of the current Colorado. All in all, the new Colorado's cabin looks much more impressive this time around.

The 2015-2022 Colorado wasn't the most spacious midsize truck on the market, but the rear seats were usable in a pinch. The same appears to be true of the new Colorado, which features nearly identical headroom and legroom specs despite a wheelbase stretched by 3 inches. We expect that people looking for a more spacious truck will continue to check out the Jeep Gladiator and Honda Ridgeline.

How's the Colorado's tech?

Even budget-friendly workhorses are expected to keep up with the times, and the Colorado definitely delivers on the tech front. An 11.3-inch touchscreen is standard across the board, as is wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. On the options list, you can also spec dual-zone automatic climate control, a wireless charging pad, a sunroof, and underbody and hitch cameras.

On the safety front, every Colorado comes with the Chevy Safety Assist suite, which comes with forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning and automatic high-beam control. Adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot monitor and a 360-degree parking camera are all available.

Edmunds says

The redesigned 2023 Chevrolet Colorado is packed with enhancements like an upgraded interior, a gutsy turbocharged powertrain and a rugged new look. Its release date next spring seems so far away.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado