Looking to maintain its sales momentum in the competitive midsize pickup segment, Chevrolet introduces the ’23 Colorado with a refreshed exterior and interior as well as improved performance.
New to the Colorado is the turbocharged 2.7L 4-cyl., first offered in the larger Silverado pickup and Cadillac CT4-V sedan. Although the 2.7L is the lone engine option, it comes in three power levels.
The base Turbo engine, standard in the WT and LT trim levels, produces 237 hp and 259 lb.-ft. (351 Nm) of torque. The Turbo Plus mill makes 310 hp and 390 lb.-ft. (529 Nm) and is standard on the Z71 and first-ever Trail Boss models and is optional on the WT and LT (pictured, below). The Turbo High-Output generates 310 hp and 430 lb.-ft. (583 Nm) and is standard on the ZR2.
The previous Colorado’s base engine was a 2.5L 4-cyl. making 200 hp and 191 lb.-ft. (259 Nm) of torque. The truck’s 181-hp, 369-lb.-ft. (500-Nm) 2.8L turbodiesel 4-cyl. and 308-hp, 275-lb.-ft. (373-Nm) 3.6L V-6 options also are dropped from the lineup for 2023.
All three 2.7L engines share the same block and heads, but the base engine is less complex, says Kevin Luchansky, assistant chief engineer-2.7L Turbo. The higher-output engines are shared with the Silverado, with more power attributed primarily to increased turbo boost pressure, he says. All run on regular unleaded fuel, he adds.
Luchansky says the upgraded engines already are on the market in 2022.5 model-year Silverados.
Chevrolet streamlines the Colorado lineup by building all five trim levels on a single Crew Cab configuration and 131.4-in. (3,338-mm) wheelbase that is 3.1 ins. ((79 mm) longer than the current Crew Cab/short box model.
The Z71 and ZR2 models, joined by the Trail Boss, get enhanced off-road capability. Included is Off-Road Performance Display, an available app that helps drivers monitor their real-time off-road performance with different readouts for Overlanding (altitude and GPS guidance), Terrain (pitch, roll and tire pressure) and Baja (g-force, wheel slip indicator and transfer case status) driving situations. The available underbody camera on the Z71 and ZR2 are a first for the segment, Chevrolet says.
The Trail Boss features a 2-in. (51-mm) lifted suspension and wide chassis that allow more ground clearance and a 3-in. (76-mm) wider front track than WT and LT for enhanced off-road driving capability. The ZR2 (pictured, below) features a high-performance 3-in lifted suspension and upgraded Multimatic DSSV dampers.
The base Turbo engine has 3,500 lbs. (1,588 kg) of maximum trailering capacity, while both the Turbo Plus and Turbo High-Output engines have maximum trailering capacity of 7,700 lbs. (3,493 kg).
Chevrolet says it is offering more than 200 off-road accessories, more than double from previous years, to let owners build their dream off-road truck.
Depending on the model, up to five drive modes are offered: Normal, Tow-Haul, Off-Road (for general off-pavement driving), Terrain (designed for low-speed rock crawling) and Baja (designed for high-speed desert running).
The Colorado offers four interior trims (pictured, below), each with a standard 11.3-in. (29-cm) color infotainment touchscreen. It is customizable, as is the standard 8-in. (20-cm) digital color instrument display. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard across the Colorado lineup.
The ’23 Colorado offers improved cargo bed functionality with features including a first-in-segment available tailgate storage system, mid-position tailgate and available 110V power outlet.
“The new Colorado is a lifestyle enabler,” Nicholas Katcherian, vehicle chief engineer, says in a news release. “Because outdoor activities are a big part of our Colorado customers’ lifestyles, we’ve made the truck even more capable to support them – from increased bed functionality to comprehensive performance enhancements that help take them farther.”
The beefed-up engine and off-road enhancements are meant to help the Colorado remain competitive in Wards Intelligence’s Small Pickup segment. Colorado sales for the first six months of 2022 totaled 44,190, up 13.7% from a year earlier, and jumped 52.3% year-on-year in the second quarter.
The Toyota Tacoma leads the segment by a wide margin, while the Colorado was followed closely by the Nissan Frontier, Jeep Gladiator and new-to-market Ford Maverick.
Production of the ’23 Colorado begins in the first half of next year at General Motors’ Wentzville, MO, assembly plant. Pricing and other details will be released closer to the start of production.
– with Bob Gritzinger