Ford might be a bit worried after seeing what Chevy has accomplished with the new Colorado.
The midsize pickup segment in the USA has been rather underwhelming for some time. The Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, and Toyota Tacoma have all been in need of a comprehensive update, but Ford and Chevy are finally coming to the party. An all-new Ranger is on the way and it'll go up against this, the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck. The new Colorado arrives with butch styling, a new 2.7-liter turbocharged engine, a tough Trail Boss, and a vastly improved interior. Until the new Ranger gets here, the new Colorado looks like the new midsize pickup boss.
The Chevrolet Colorado's release date is sometime in the first half of 2023. This is when production of the new truck will begin at the General Motors assembly facility in Wentzville, Missouri. It's not yet clear if the Chevrolet Colorado will be coming out before or after the new Ford Ranger.
At the time of writing, the Chevrolet Colorado's price hadn't been revealed by the automaker. The 2022 model starts at $25,735. However, that price is for the cheapest Extended Cab and the new Colorado only comes with a Crew Cab. Based on all of this, we assume that the new one will begin at about $28,000 MSRP.
The new Chevrolet Colorado pickup's main rival will be the all-new Ford Ranger, but we also don't know how much that will cost yet. The trusty Toyota Tacoma must be counted among other rivals but the Japanese truck now appears comprehensively outgunned by Chevy and Ford's latest efforts.
GM has delivered some great designs recently, including the new Cadillac Celestiq and bold Chevy Blazer EV. The Chevrolet Colorado's exterior keeps this streak going with a successful redesign. Muscular proportions and bulging bodywork give the Colorado more presence than before. The frontal aspect appears taller, with a large grille tucked between smaller headlight clusters. Fender flares are prominent, and the taillights have a more intricate design than before.
As usual, different trims have a unique look. Base models have a more rugged appearance with 17-inch wheels, while 18-inch wheels are fitted to upper trims along with glossier grilles. The Trail Boss rides on 32-inch-diameter all-terrain tires, while the Z71 and ZR2 come with LED lighting. The ZR2 has 33-inch-diameter mud-terrain tires.
For the first time, a sunroof will be available on the Colorado on four-wheel-drive versions of the LT, Z71, and ZR2. The ZR2 also comes with what Chevy says is the first built-in tailgate storage solution in the segment. The lockable tailgate lid conceals a compartment that is four inches deep and 45 inches wide. This nifty feature is available on other trims as well. Reconfigurable bed rails, cargo lamps, and a tailgate audio system are just a few of the available accessories.
A new ZR2 Desert Boss Package includes an off-road bumper and front fascia, a sports bar with a Sail Panel, and a roof-mounted light bar. Based on pictures shared by the manufacturer, the Chevrolet Colorado's colors will include red, blue, silver, and what looks like Sand Dune metallic from the previous ZR2.
Now only available as a Crew Cab with the short box, the Chevrolet Colorado's dimensions have increased for 2023. Compared with the previous model in Crew Cab/short box guise, the new one's wheelbase is 3.1 inches longer at 131.4 inches. The Colorado's height varies between 78.8 and 81.9 inches, the length is between 212.7 and 213.2 inches, and the width is 84.4 inches for all variants.
The track width varies as well, with the ZR2 having the widest front (66.3 inches) and rear (66.3 inches) tracks. Ground clearance starts at 7.9 inches for base models but goes all the way up to 10.7 inches for the ZR2. The approach/departure/breakover angles are up to 38.3/25.1/24.6 inches respectively for the ZR2. Although the ZR2 is the best off-roader of the lot, the Trail Boss is also capable with its 2-inch suspension lift.
The Colorado's curb weight starts at 4,716 pounds for the WT and LT but increases to 5,298 lbs for the ZR2.
Whereas the previous Chevrolet Colorado's engine choices were more varied, the new one comes with just one 2.7-liter four-cylinder turbocharged four-cylinder. This is the same engine used in the larger Silverado and the Cadillac CT4-V, and it's offered here in three outputs. The best one has some great specs.
The low-output version makes 237 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque (18% more horsepower and 36% more torque than the 2022 Colorado's base engine), while the mid-level one produces 310 hp and 390 lb-ft. Finally, the high-output models make the same 310 hp but more torque at 430 lb-ft. Regardless of the model, an eight-speed automatic transmission is standard.
The 2023 Colorado's 0-60 mph times haven't been published, but the more important towing figures have. The low-output engine can tow up to 3,500 pounds while both the Turbo Plus and Turbo High-Output models manage a much better 7,700 lbs. The ZR2 has the most powerful engine as standard but because of its specific suitability for off-roading, its towing capacity is limited to 6,000 lbs.
Rear-wheel drive is standard but four-wheel drive is available - and standard on specific trims. Whereas base models have an open rear differential, the Trail Boss and Z71 have a limited-slip diff and the ZR2 has power-locking front/rear differentials. Hill descent control is standard on the Trail Boss and Z71.
To suit a variety of driving conditions, there are five selectable driving modes: Normal, Tow/Haul, Off-Road, Terrain, and Baja. The Baja Mode is specifically for high-speed desert running.
The new 2.7-liter engine's mpg ratings and range estimates have yet to be published by the EPA. In the larger and heavier Silverado, this engine manages up to 19/22/20 mpg city/highway/combined, so we expect the new Colorado to be more efficient than that.
The previous Chevrolet Colorado's interior had a drab design and too many hard plastics, but the new one appears to be a dramatic improvement. There is a new 11.3-inch diagonal touchscreen interface with higher resolution. It provides access to Google Built-In for easy access to music, maps, and more. This interface is joined by a standard eight-inch color instrument display. Wrapped and stitched knee pads and round outboard vents are attractive new touches, and the standard Crew Cab ensures that there will be enough space for those in the second row.
Base Chevrolet Colorado seats are covered in hardy materials, but the Z71 comes with cloth/leatherette upholstery and the ZR2 has both heated front seats and an eight-way power driver's seat.
Other highlights include a segment-first electronic parking brake, an extra-large wireless phone charging pad, and available safety gear like adaptive cruise control and an HD surround-view camera system. Chevy says that with up to 10 available camera views, the new Colorado has more available camera views than any other truck in the segment.
The Chevrolet Colorado's cargo space includes the bed but also new lockable storage inside the tailgate. Standard on the ZR2, this space is 45 inches wide and four inches deep. There are eight standard fixed tie-downs but up to 17 are available, and two motorcycle/bicycle tire grooves can be found in the front bed wall.
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