After seven years of the same old Colorado, Chevy’s mid-size pickup enters its third generation for 2023 with an all-new model that’s grown in width, wheelbase, and maturity. The Colorado will be powered exclusively by a turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four and eight-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower and torque vary depending on trim level from a 237-hp base engine, up to the ZR2’s high-output 310 horsepower version with a muscular 430 pound-feet of torque. The interior is a major area of improvement, including an enormous new 11.3-inch infotainment touchscreen as standard equipment. No matter the job, the Colorado now has the advantage in terms of power and tech over other senior-citizens in the aging mid-size segment, such as the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, and Honda Ridgeline.
What’s New for 2023?
The Colorado is all-new for 2023, with a redesigned body, updated powertrain options, and a vastly improved interior. The Colorado will only be sold as a crew cab with a five-foot short bed, but remains available in either rear- or four-wheel-drive configurations.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
While our heart beats for the high-flying ZR2 trim with 10.7-inches of ground clearance, 33-inch tires, and enough LED lighting to work the stage at a techno concert, our brain and wallet determine that the mid-range Colorado Z71 is a more realistic, higher-value choice. The Z71’s pricing is further from full-size pickup territory than the loaded ZR2 off-road killer and has a more premium interior than the Trail Boss while maintaining rugged exterior styling with 18-inch wheels wrapped in 32-inch tires.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Every 2023 Colorado is powered by Chevy’s turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four engine with various outputs determined by trim level. An eight-speed automatic serves as the transmission for all Colorados. WT and LT models come standard with 237 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque at 5600 rpm. That’s far more than the 159-hp four-cylinder in the base Toyota Tacoma. The better-equipped Z71 and Trail Boss models use the 301 horsepower version of the same turbo 2.7-liter with 390 pound-feet of torque at 3000 rpm, giving it more power and torque than the V-6 powertrains found in the Jeep Gladiator, Honda Ridgeline, and Tacoma. It’s also available as optional equipment for WT and LT trims. The high-output big-daddy turbo-four is saved for the crown-jewel ZR2, and delivers 310 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 430 foot-pounds of torque at 3000 rpm. If those numbers sound familiar, it’s because it’s the same engine offered on Chevy’s full-size Silverado 1500. The V-6 and the Duramax Diesel that were available on the previous Colorado are no longer offered. The new Colorado continues to use an independent front suspension with a solid rear axle with leaf springs. The ZR2 however, mounts big Mutlimatic DSSV dampers up front, with the rears DSSV’s now mounted to the outside of the frame. WT and LT trucks use an open rear differential, while Trail Boss and Z71 pickups get a limited-slip unit; only the off-road ZR2 comes with power-locking front and rear diffs.
Towing and Payload Capacity
The Colorado offers the most towing in the mid-size pickup segment, with a max capacity of 7700 pounds. While the 237-hp base engine found in WT and LT trims manages just 3500 pounds of pull, the Z71 and Trail Boss. That’s more than any Jeep Gladiator, Nissan Frontier, Ford Ranger, and Toyota Tacoma. Max towing drops to 6000 pounds in Colorado ZR2.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Neither the EPA nor Chevrolet has said how fuel-efficient the 2023 Chevy Colorado will be in the city or on the highway. Once those estimates are announced and we have the chance to run one on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route—part of our extensive testing regimen—we can evaluate its real-world mpg. For more information about the Colorado’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The new Colorado makes leaps in terms of interior design. Every Colorado will be a four-door crew cab. Inside, there’s a new center console, the shifter moves closer to the passenger side of the cab, and the cupholders are located directly in front of the center console instead of being tucked opposite the gear selector. A new gauge cluster, infotainment screen, and steering wheel complete the updated design. The interior specs reveal overall headroom has dropped by an inch versus the last pickup, but legroom and shoulder space is roughly the same. The new 2023 model also marks the first time Chevy has offered a sunroof as optional equipment on the Colorado. Taking a slice from the Honda Ridgeline book of tricks, ZR2 models come standard with a shallow 45-inch-wide lockable storage box in the tailgate.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every new Colorado gets a large 11.3-inch infotainment touchscreen as standard equipment, the biggest display in the segment. The 2023 Colorado also gets wireless phone-charging capability but still retains USB ports should your smartphone require it. Available as a subscription service, the Colorado can be equipped with Google Built-In to handle navigation, music, and other vehicle functions personalized through your Google account. Every Colorado comes standard with wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Chevy’s list of driver-assistance features for the Colorado are part of its standard chevy Safety Assist package. For more information about the Colorado’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features are likely to include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
As more information becomes available, we’ll update this story with more details about:
- Warranty and Maintenance Coverage