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2023 Chevrolet Colorado Preview

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

SEE ALSO: Official 2023 Chevrolet Colorado Sales Release

2023 Chevrolet Colorado

By Thom Cannell
Senior Editor
Michigan Bureau
The Auto Channel

  • Longer
  • More models
  • Special edition, enhanced off road
  • Clearly aimed at off roaders
  • Engines now 2.7L with a variety of power output

There’s a new Boss in town, several in fact and all are called Chevrolet.

For 2023 General Motors has completely revised the Colorado lineup of Work Truck, LT, Trail Boss, ZR2 and ZR2 Desert Boss. All ride on new platforms sharing a longer wheelbase and wider track and are manufactured in Wentzville, MO. Also, they share a 2.7-liter inline-four cylinder motor (no more diesel) with varying power.

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Bolder and arguably aimed at the off road set, the all-new Colorado boasts a more refined interior which Chevrolet promises to be “Work ready.” When not working, a standard 11.3-inch (diagonal) color infotainment system is paired with “a segment-first standard 8-inch digital fully color instrument display.” Each is customizable.

The heart of Colorado is now a 2.7-liter ripped from the engine bay of Silverado and upgraded (betcha’ Silverado will be too) with a more rigid cylinder block casting and stiffer, by 30%, crankshaft. Why this? The engine and its four trims: base 237 hp/259 lb. for WT and LT, a hugely upgraded version for Z71, Trail Boss and available for WT and LT boasts 310 hp and 390 lb-ft and finally the High-Output motor for ZR2 makes 430 lb-ft of torque and yields a max trailering rating of 6,000 pounds. All are mated to GM’s second generation 8-speed automatic and have active cylinder management for fuel economy. Note that diesel motors are still closet Chevrolet’s heart, but for Silverado and large trucks.

The new transmission is, in many cases, equipped with five drive modes: Normal, Tow/Haul, Off Road, Terrain (rock crawl) and Baja (higher speed. Modes are selected by a knob to the left of the gear shift.

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All 2023 Chevrolet Colorados ride on a 3.1-inch longer chassis; wheelbase is now 131.4-inches for all models while length is 213-inches, plus or minus a few tenths. Much of that increase delivers more-forward front axle, wheels and tires and so delivering better Approach and Departure angles. Additionally, at the rear axle damper were moved outboard for better protection and some, like ZR2, continue to use Multi-Matic dampers.

Of the models, Trail Boss is a game changer for Chevy and aimed at both lifestyle and modest off roaders. It’s also, according to engineers, likely the best choice for customization. For 2023, all models are Crew Cab/short box (5’2”) and the tailgate, while not a Multi-Flex, does have a lockable storage compartment that’s 4-inches deep and 45-inches wide, plenty of room for beverages or fishing and hunting gear.

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Of course, there’s more, from the first (optional) under-body camera to trailering tech for easy hook up, surround cameras with up to 10 views, and like the athletic hood, level body profile, use of Google Built-In software to run the infotainment system (Apple Car Play and Android Auto are baked in, and wireless), modern standard safety (Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indicator and IntelliBeam® automatic high-beam assist), with optional Blind Zone Steering Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Braking , Adaptive Cruise Control , HD Surround Vision and Rear Pedestrian Alert.

What we’re most interested in is the ZR2 Desert Boss option package. It adds that big U-shaped bull bar, aluminum skid plates, bead-lockable wheels and tires. We, like you, only have to wait a few long, long months.


Along with new exterior styling and proportions, the 2023 Colorado introduces an all-new interior that blends refinement and functionality with work-ready durability and comfort. Across the 2023 Colorado lineup, there are now four unique interior trims choices for customers.

The class-leading, standard 11.3-inch-diagonal color infotainment1 touchscreen is the centerpiece of the cabin and is accompanied by a segment-first standard 8-inch-diagonal fully digital color instrument display, both of which are customizable. The four distinct new interior options feature sporty round outboard vents, wrapped and stitched knee pads on the doors and center console for select models, and more adventurous contrast stitching on select models.

“We set out to design the Colorado as a tough, muscular and capable midsize truck, which we think especially came through in the wide ZR2 trim with the aggressive grille shield.” said Phil Zak, executive design director. “Across all trims, the exterior’s presence and attitude is reflected in the interior, which is designed around the large center stack screen.”

Leaning into the success from the current generation, the 2023 Colorado has a significant number of on- and off-road accessories available for any trim. In an effort to allow each customer to build their off-road dream truck, the off-road accessory portfolio has more than doubled from previous model years.


A 2.7L Turbo engine, proven in the full-size Silverado, is new for Colorado and powers all five models with three distinct output variants that exceed the output of the current model.

2.7L Turbo Variants – GM estimated

Output Variant


Torque (lb.-ft.)

Max Trailering4


2.7L Turbo



3,500 lbs.

Standard: WT & LT

2.7L Turbo Plus



7,700 lbs.

Standard: Z71 & Trail Boss

Available: WT & LT

2.7L Turbo High-Output



7,700 lbs.

Standard: ZR2


The engine receives several enhancements in the 2023 model year to help optimize performance and refinement. They include a more rigid cylinder block casting and a 30% stiffer crankshaft, which complement a fully forged bottom end as well as materials used in diesel engines to deliver the durability customers expect.

This single advanced engine delivers more horsepower and torque than the previous three engines offered. The new base 2.7L Turbo engine, for example, offers 18% more horsepower and 36% more torque than the current Colorado’s base engine. In addition, the higher-output versions of the 2.7L engine line up produce more horsepower and torque than the current model’s available 3.6L V-6 and 2.8L turbo-diesel engines. 

A second-generation eight-speed automatic transmission complements the new engine, with refinements designed to offer smoother shifting and quicker downshifts, for a feeling of greater comfort and power on demand. It also excels in low-speed mobility, particularly in off-road scenarios.


The 2023 Colorado lineup arrives re-engineered with three distinct chassis setups to support everyday tasks and off-road adventures, without sacrificing off-road capability, or on-road comfort:

  • Standard: WT, LT and Z71 trims
  • 2-inch Factory-Lifted, Ultra-Wide Stance: Trail Boss
  • High-Performance 3-inch Factory-Installed Lift & Wide Stance: ZR2

“The new Colorado is a lifestyle enabler,” said Nicholas Katcherian, vehicle chief engineer. “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.”

All models are built on a new chassis that gives the 2023 Colorado a 3.1-inch-longer wheelbase than the current Crew Cab/short box model. A shortened front overhang that contributes to a more aggressive stance also significantly improves the truck’s approach angle.

The Trail Boss features a 2-inch lifted suspension and wide chassis that produce more ground clearance and a 3-inch wider front track than WT and LT for enhanced off-road driving capability. ZR2 is the most capable of them all, with a high-performance 3-inch lifted suspension and upgraded Multimatic DSSV dampers.

2023 Colorado Dimensions


2023 WT & LT

2023 Z71

2023 Trail Boss

2023 ZR2


131.4 in.

131.4 in.

131.4 in.

131.4 in.


213 in.

213 in.

213.2 in.

212.7 in.

Maximum Height:

78.8 in.

79.6 in.

79.9 in.

81.9 in.

Track (front):

62.8 in.

62.6 in.

66.2 in.

66.3 in.

Off-road Approach Angle:


29.1 deg.

30.5 deg.

38.3 deg.

Off-road Departure Angle:


22.3 deg.

22.4 deg.

25.1 deg.

Break-over Angle:


19.5 deg.

21 deg.

24.6 deg.

Ground Clearance:

7.9 in.

8.9 in.

9.5 in.

10.7 in.

The increased clearances enable customers to tackle more challenging terrain. With the increased approach angle, for example, the Colorado can climb more vertical terrain than before, without suspension or bodywork interference.


To support the new Colorado’s increased off-road and trailering capabilities, up to five selectable drive modes, depending on the model, are offered. Each is tailored for different driving conditions, and they are accessible using a knob located on the center console, to the left of the gear selector. The five drive modes include:

  • Normal: A balanced mode for everyday on-road driving
  • Tow/Haul: Transmission shift points, throttle response and additional calibrations optimized for trailering and hauling
  • Off-Road: Specific tractive and other dynamic performance features designed for general off-pavement driving
  • Terrain: Designed for low-speed rock crawling, with specific throttle control, brake performance and other calibrations, with three settings 
  • Baja: Developed for high-speed desert running, with specific throttle control, transmission shifting and other body/drivetrain control calibrations.

Enhanced Driver Awareness Technologies

Colorado’s technologies also include an enhanced roster of safety and driver awareness features. The standard Chevy Safety Assist2 package includes Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indicator and IntelliBeam® automatic high-beam assist.

Available features for all models include Blind Zone Steering Assist2, Rear Cross Traffic Braking2, Adaptive Cruise Control2, HD Surround Vision and Rear Pedestrian Alert2.

New and Enhanced Technologies

Colorado’s new 11.3-inch-diagonal infotainment screen is the gateway to new and innovative technologies designed to make the driving experience more enjoyable and more intuitive — especially when trailering or driving off-road. Highlights include:

  • Customizable and configurable screens with higher resolution than previous models
  • Segment-first available Google Built-In2 for accessing maps, music, vehicle functions and more
  • All-new 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
  • More camera views than any competitor in its class, with up to 10 camera views2 accessible on the infotainment screen — including a segment-first available underbody camera on Z71 and ZR2.

Colorado’s camera technologies are also integral in a suite of trailering technologies4 pioneered on the Silverado. Hitch Guidance2 is now standard, while Hitch View2 and Chevy’s Trailering App5 are new in 2023. Hitch Guidance features a guideline to help line up the trailer and hitch, and Hitch View provides a zoomed-in view of hitch to help with alignment with the coupler.

The Trailering App is designed to help drivers with all stages of trailering, from hitching to on-road assistance and even responding to potential hazards. The features are accessible from the built-in infotainment app or through a smartphone.