A new turbo engine, tons of cameras, offroad capabilities and more.
With a new Ford Ranger on the way and a refreshed Nissan Frontier posting massive sales growth, it was time for General Motors to refresh its mid-size pickup truck offering. The 2023 Chevrolet Colorado debuted earlier this week, with an updated GMC Canyon likely to follow. Chevy knew it needed some major improvements to rival the Ford Ranger, which is why the Colorado gets a re-engineered chassis, new trim levels, fresh technology, and aggressive styling. There's a lot to love about the all-new Colorado, but here are five of our favorite features:
Under the hood, the Colorado simplifies its engine offerings, ditching the 3.6-liter V6 and 2.8-liter diesel options from the previous model. In their place, a new 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder arrives with three states of tune. GM fans will recognize this engine from the Silverado 1500 (and Sierra 1500) and the Cadillac CT4-V. Base Work Truck (WT) and LT trims produce 237 horsepower and 259 lb-ft, which is enough to tow 3,500 pounds.
These trims can optionally produce 310 hp and 390 lb-ft, while the Z71 and Trail Boss include this higher output as standard. Finally, the ZR2 gets a higher output tune that delivers 310 hp and 430 lb-ft. Max towing capacity is 7,700 pounds, which will likely be close to the Ranger's max rating.
Inside, the Colorado's dated interior gives way to a more tech-driven cabin, highlighted by an optional 11.3-inch infotainment screen. As with the updated Silverado and Sierra, the infotainment is powered by Android Auto, giving owners access to Google Maps navigation and Google Assistant. Drivers will be able to say "Hey Google," and receive the answer to almost any question on the go. The system can even tell you a joke if you need entertainment.
Adventure enthusiasts will enjoy the new-for-2023 Colorado Trail boss trim level, which includes a two-inch lift kit. True off-road warriors will opt for the ZR2, which bumps the lift up to three inches and adds Dynamic Spool-Valve dampers from Multimatic. Chevy says these dampers provided offer "unlimited tuning variability," offering more precise dampening control both on and off the road.
An optional Desert Boss package on top of the ZR2 trim brings 17-inch bead-lock wheels, sturdier bumpers, sail panel and sports bar, roof-mounted lights, and Desert Boss decals. We can't wait to see how the Desert Boss stacks up against the Ford Ranger Raptor.
The new infotainment system can display up to 10 camera views, including a clever underbody view on the Z71 and ZR2 models. These cameras will ensure that the Colorado is easy-to-park on the road, and drivers won't damage any of the bodywork or puncture a tire off-road. Owners who use their truck to tow will also love these cameras, which include a Hitch View as part of Chevy's Trailering App. The view provides a zoomed-in angle of the hitch, letting you line it up perfectly with the trailer.
Innovations like the Hyundai Santa Cruz's built-in trunk and the Honda Ridgeline's speaker system have shown that modern truck owners use their truck beds for more than just a large storage area. Not to copy the smaller compact trucks, Chevy came up with a new tailgate storage system that measures 45 inches wide and four inches deep. This area is perfect to use as an ice box during a tailgate party since there is a drain plug to empty out the water when the ice melts.