2023 Chevy Colorado Overview: Sights, Sounds, and Sensations From Behind the Wheel

The mid-size pickup phase at present has essentially the most dated autos available on the market. The newest Frontier is a very good truck, however is usually a restyle of the outgoing truck that has been round for a really very long time. The Gladiator is the one different competitor within the mid-size truck class on the North American market, however is extra of a way of life car than an all-around conventional pickup.

However, that’s about to alter this yr with the 2023 Chevy Colorado hitting sellers quickly, and next-gen Tacoma and Ranger reveals anticipated earlier than yr’s finish.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
(Picture/Bryon Dorr)

I spent a while on-road within the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado Work Truck (WT), LT, Z71, and Path Boss fashions. And I went off-road within the Z71 and Path Boss. I additionally crawled across the 2023 Colorado ZR2 (however didn’t drive it, but).

There’s a lot to love about these all-new mid-size Chevy pickups, however additionally they miss the mark in some key areas.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Overview

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
The 2023 Colorado Z71 entrance finish options color-matched accents, LED headlamps, and fog lights; (photograph/Bryon Dorr)

Let’s dive straight into the 2023 Chevy Colorado fashions, beginning with my general impressions. Then, I’ll work my manner up via the lineup, particularly the stuff you received’t discover on a spec sheet.

First off, the 2023 Colorado is definitely an all-new next-generation truck. Apart from a number of sections of the body and the carry-over 8-speed automated transmission — and nonetheless, no handbook choice — the truck is really all-new.

For 2023, the Chevy Colorado solely is available in a crew cab, just about the identical dimension cab because the outgoing mannequin. It has a 5-foot, 2-inch mattress. The general truck width primarily stays the identical because the outgoing mannequin, however the entrance axle strikes 3.1 inches ahead, and the entrance wheel wells get bigger throughout all 2023 fashions.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
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The WT and LT trims have a one-speed switch case, with both 2WD or AWD system. All different Colorado fashions carry a two-speed switch case commonplace, offering 2WD, AWD, 4WD Excessive, and 4WD Low driving choices.

Every of those, together with driving modes (if outfitted), are managed by a rotary dial with a center button, discovered subsequent to the gear selector on the middle console. Chevy expects 90% of Colorado’s offered to have 4WD.

2023 Colorado Engine Choices

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
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Chevy solely presents one engine on the 2023 Colorado, a 2.7L I-4 VVT Turbo. The automaker first launched this motor on the 2019 Silverado. Greater than 300,000 of those engines have hit the street since manufacturing began in 2018.

The model fitted within the newest Colorado is 99% an identical to the Silverado’s, which means it’s a confirmed performer, and most aftermarket mods will work on each vans.

This engine additionally boasts extra horsepower than the outgoing V6, and extra torque than the outgoing diesel, a major win right here. The I-4 additionally weighs in 80 kilos lower than the earlier V6.

One of many massive keys to this small motor’s energy is its cooling. An electrical water pump — versus a conventional belt-driven pump — retains issues cool always, even when the truck comes again to idle from a giant effort.

It additionally makes cab and engine heating quick, which can are available notably helpful in chilly climates.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
Engine balancing gears, which make an annoying whine within the 2023 Colorado; (photograph/Bryon Dorr)

My solely actual gripe concerning the new Colorado’s engine is the sound. It places out loads of energy for on- and off-road adventures, nevertheless it doesn’t sound nice. Chevy tuned it to “sound extra like a truck,” which even consists of energetic sound tuning via the audio system within the cab.

However I’m not a fan. And to high it off, the engine has a whine that kinda drives me nuts. After speaking to the lead engine engineer on the undertaking, I discovered that whine comes from the engine’s stability gears.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
2023 Colorado Path Boss grille, which is missing fog lamps; (photograph/Bryon Dorr)

3 Variations of two.7L I-4 Turbo

The four-cylinder is available in three configurations within the Colorado.

The bottom engine is known as the two.7L Turbo (L2R), comes commonplace on the WT and LT, places out 237 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, and may tow as much as 3,500 kilos. Chevy expects the bottom engine to solely represent 10-20% of Colorado gross sales.

The center-tier engine is the two.7L Turbo+ (L3B), which places out 310 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque, and may tow as much as 7,700 kilos. It’s accessible on all however the ZR2.

And the top-spec engine is only a tune on that center engine. It’s referred to as the two.7L Turbo Excessive-Output (L3B). It has the identical horsepower and towing, however bumps torque to a powerful 430 pound-feet. The Excessive-Output engine comes commonplace on the ZR2, and as an choice on all different Colorado fashions.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
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Plus, its tune places out extra torque than every other gas-powered mid-sized truck, by lots. Solely the Gladiator diesel presents extra torque, and it’s not sufficient extra to note.

When you purchase the Colorado with the mid-spec Turbo+, it’s precisely the identical because the top-tier engine, minus the tune. The supplier can add this high-output calibration later — even years later — because it simply requires a pc flash. This tune is just not accessible on the bottom engine, as some elements are completely different, and it may’t deal with the additional energy reliably.

Noticeably absent on the 2023 Colorado is a hybrid choice. I’d have beloved to see a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) on this truck, as it’s a nice dimension truck to run errands round city in full EV mode, after which journey off the crushed path on weekends.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
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Wheels & Tires

One replace for the 2023 Colorado is the bolt sample on the wheels. The sample now mirrors that of the Silverado, opening up a bunch of OEM and aftermarket wheel choices for Colorado homeowners.

Don’t fear, I requested the Chevrolet engineers concerning the smallest wheel and largest tire doable for this truck with out modification. Typically, extra sidewall and a bigger tire present extra off-road functionality.

The reply they gave was a 17-inch wheel — which comes on the ZR2 — with 31.7-inch tires on the Z71, or 33-inch tires on Path Boss. No phrase but on ZR2, nevertheless it comes with 33s and there was a suggestion that one thing bigger would match with out modification.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
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The complete-size spare beneath the truck mattress has been raised 2 inches over the outgoing truck, providing higher clearance and departure angle on the rear of the truck.

We all know this spare location will match a 33-inch tire — as comes on the ZR2 — however rumor is that a fair larger tire would possibly match.

2023 Colorado Mattress & Tailgate Updates

Chevy lowered the bedsides of the truck only a bit, making it simpler to achieve over the facet to entry gear.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
2023 Chevy Colorado StowFlex tailgate; (photograph/Bryon Dorr)

The actual improve story, although, is the tailgate, which has higher aerodynamics, is dampened, and has a mid-catch and optionally available storage hatch.

The odd-shaped lip on the highest of the tailgate seems to be prefer it would possibly hinder aerodynamics, however actuality proves fairly the other — Chevy added it solely for the aero advantages and gas economic system.

Lastly, the StowFlex gear storage inside the tailgate choice is fairly slick. It comes commonplace on the ZR2, however is an choice on all different fashions.

Contained in the 2023 Colorado

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
2023 Colorado LT inside; (photograph/Bryon Dorr)

Whereas I’m not a fan of the engine sound, the cabin on the brand new Colorado is fairly quiet for a pickup. And there have been no squeaks or rattles in any of the fashions I drove. It appears these vans are put collectively fairly properly.

The brand new inside general seems like a pleasant place to be. It’s fairly good for the worth level of the car throughout the board.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
2023 Chevy Colorado Work Truck inside; (photograph/Bryon Dorr)

On the draw back, do be aware that the WT and Path Boss have very cheap-looking, and feeling, rubber and plastic in every single place — the worst being the steering wheel, which you contact each time you drive the truck.

Throughout all fashions, the one contact level that aggravated me was the door pull on the within. It’s onerous plastic and simply feels low cost. A disgrace, because it’s what you contact each time you shut the door.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
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The motive force’s seat has good adjustability and feels fairly snug. However the passenger seat on all fashions requires handbook adjustment for ahead/again and tilt. There isn’t a lumbar, base angle, or top adjustment accessible.

Whereas the WT has no telescoping steering wheel, the opposite fashions do, however they don’t telescope sufficient to get in an ergonomic driving place for taller folks — like me at 6’3″ with lengthy arms.

As with many trendy autos, the sprint and hood really feel very tall, even for a tall-torsoed particular person like myself. The visibility remains to be good, however you simply don’t get the massive glass greenhouse that you just use to have in autos. For that, blame security and aerodynamics/gas economic system.


2023 Chevy Colorado Review
2023 Chevy Colorado 8-inch instrument show; (photograph/Bryon Dorr)

A brilliant, lovely, and responsive 11.3-inch central touchscreen comes commonplace throughout all 2023 Colorado vans, together with an 8-inch coloration instrument show — all digital sprint, no analog gauges.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
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You’ll discover partaking, cool graphic pages on the massive infotainment display for every driving mode. Relying on the truck mannequin, these modes embrace Regular, Tow/Haul, Off-road, Terrain, and Baja.

Baja mode comes on the Colorado ZR2 and helps dial in all techniques for managed high-speed unfastened circumstances driving.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
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Terrain mode is mainly one-pedal driving for slow-speed rock crawling and works in 4WD solely. You have to have Hill Descent Management off or the truck received’t assist you to enter Terrain mode. This was annoying, and one thing the engineers learn about, so anticipate an over-the-air software program replace quickly.

Hill descent management works as much as 8 mph, and you’ll alter it with the throttle pedal at 1 mph increments. Often, you must use the toggle on the steering wheel for this, which nonetheless works with the system as properly.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
(Picture/Bryon Dorr)

It is a fairly slick system that labored very easily in my testing. The one half that I didn’t like was that you must go a number of pages deep within the infotainment system to toggle Hill Descent Management on or off, versus a tough button for it.

The large central show additionally exhibits off the (as much as) 10 digital camera views on provide within the new Colorado. This consists of an accessible underbody digital camera on the Z71 and ZR2.

The digital camera system is fairly excessive res, very configurable to your wants, and I got here away impressed.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
Below rear bench storage bin has little or no usable area; (photograph/Bryon Dorr)

Extra Enjoyable Information You Have to Know

The steering is a bit heavier than the outgoing Colorado. I discovered this to be a very good factor, and helps with the phantasm of a top quality steering really feel — it’s all fly-by-wire today. The brakes are progressive and sufficient and the throttle response is superb.

After all, the most recent security suite, Chevy Security Help 2, is commonplace throughout 2023 Colorado fashions.

The 2023 Chevy Colorado additionally presents best-in-class towing, at 7,700 kilos, which ties with the Gladiator.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
Glovebox sticker on all 2023 Colorado fashions; (photograph/Bryon Dorr)

Contained in the glove field and proprietor’s handbook is a discover stating that the 2023 Colorado, throughout all fashions, “shouldn’t be used to hold a slide-in camper.”

Once I requested the representatives at Chevy about this, they stated it was a authorized factor, as no particular campers had been licensed for the car, nevertheless it was one thing they had been engaged on.

I used to be additionally assured that by including a truck camper — so long as remaining beneath the GVWR — the manufacturing facility guarantee on the truck will stay totally intact.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
Whereas I just like the design aesthetically, the Tail lights protrude and are asking to interrupt when exploring off-road; (photograph/Bryon Dorr)

2023 Colorado Fashions

Now, let’s dive into the particular professionals and cons you’ll need to learn about every of the 2023 Chevy Colorado fashions.

I bought a little bit of time with every of the fashions launching this yr: WT, LT, Z71, Path Boss, and ZR2.

Sadly, I wasn’t capable of drive the ZR2 but, however was capable of drive all others on-road. I additionally spent a while on some reasonable grime roads within the Z71 and Path Boss.

2023 Colorado Work Truck (WT)

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
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  • I like the metal wheel look.
  • Fabric seats are snug sufficient and may work properly for all kinds of individuals’s dimensions and shapes.
  • The motive force’s seat is energy adjustable and adjusts sufficient to get snug even for lengthy journeys.
  • The large brilliant display is spectacular for a base-model truck and is the usual display throughout the vary.
  • Even with the bottom motor, it comfortably cruises over 70 mph on the freeway. 


  • Lower than 8 inches of floor clearance.
  • No telescoping steering wheel.
  • Little bit of a harsh experience.
  • Appears to have sufficient energy to get the job achieved, however positively struggles till the RPMs construct.
  • The engine sounds prefer it’s working onerous just about anytime you could have over 20% throttle utilized.
  • Transmission shifts are comparatively abrupt by trendy transmission requirements.
  • Contact factors are rubber and plastic, and really feel low cost — as you’d anticipate in a base mannequin work truck.
  • Much less sound deadening within the engine means extra cabin noise.
  • The stereo is okay, however the sound it produces is fairly skinny.

2023 Colorado LT


  • Good leather-based really feel on the steering wheel.
  • Silver sprint/vent/steering wheel accents are a top quality look.
  • The upper-performance motor is a noticeable improve.
  • Cool all home windows down piano key on the middle stack, however no all-up button wherever.


  • Exhausting plastic within the palm at 9 & 3 on the steering wheel isn’t properly thought out.
  • Lower than 8″ of floor clearance.

2023 Colorado Path Boss

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
(Picture/Bryon Dorr)


  • Means higher off-road — apart from ZR2 — due to further observe width, suspension tuning, and 2-inch carry.
  • 9.5 inches of floor clearance.
  • Wider fenders to deal with 3-inch wider stance and hold the rock chips within the paint to a minimal.
  • Totally different springs and shocks than different fashions, providing a way more snug experience over tough terrain — however little question not so good as ZR2.


  • Has Work Truck inside, and no choice to improve at present — an upgraded inside is rumored to be coming for the Path Boss.
  • The black plastic entrance grille and trim look low cost to me, not rugged like I’m positive was supposed.
  • No fog lights.
  • The halogen headlights are not so good as the LEDs on Z71 and ZR2.

2023 Colorado Z71

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
(Picture/Bryon Dorr)


  • Perforated seats and purple accents feel and look good.
  • Higher suspension on street than Work Truck and LT.
  • LED lighting seems to be and performs properly.
  • The painted entrance trim seems to be significantly upscale from black plastic on Work Truck and Path Boss.


  • 3-inch narrower trackwidth than Path Boss hinders efficiency off-road.
  • Flat-sounding Bose stereo.
  • The excessive price ticket compared to off-road functionality/consolation.

2023 Colorado ZR2

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
(Picture/Bryon Dorr)


  • Spectacular beginning value at $46,800.
  • Will in all probability accommodate larger tires than the already spectacular 33-inch tires — mounted on 17-inch wheels — that come on it.
  • Off-road simple buttons are commonplace, with E-lockers entrance and rear.
  • A formidable 10.7 inches of floor clearance.
  • Rock sliders for physique safety commonplace.
  • DSSV dampers must be wonderful on and off-road, because the last-gen had been.
  • Aluminum skid plates for underbody safety with out tons of weight.
  • Baja Driving mode will doubtless be a ton of enjoyable within the desert.


  • No good engine notes to take pleasure in whereas flogging it off-road at velocity.
  • DSSV dampers don’t provide essentially the most experience consolation in onerous technical rock crawl conditions.
2023 Chevy Colorado Review
(Picture/Bryon Dorr)

2023 Chevy Colorado: Remaining Ideas

I don’t love the engine be aware of the brand new four-cylinder engine, however I do respect the torque and spectacular gas economic system — I noticed 22 mpg within the Z71 I drove.

The inside is a giant step up from the earlier technology, however may nonetheless use some upgrades in ergonomics and touchpoints. The screens are spectacular for a mid-size pickup, and work properly, however do require too many screens for some features.

2023 Chevy Colorado Review
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The backseats provide good headroom, okay legroom, and a cushty again seat cushion angle. The entrance passenger seat would profit from extra adjustability.

If I had been shopping for one in every of these vans at launch, I’d in all probability maintain out for the ZR2. If that was out of my funds, I’d be hard-pressed to decide.

The inside and entrance grille of the Path Boss simply feels low cost to me, however the truck has noticeably higher on- and off-road manners than the remainder of the lineup. The Z71 seems to be and feels good, however simply isn’t nearly as good off-road.

I actually hope Chevy and AEV workforce up once more and provides us a Bison version, because the final technology is without doubt one of the finest off-road-capable vans with a manufacturing facility guarantee I’ve ever pushed.

With 2023 Colorado pricing beginning at simply over $30,000 and vans hitting supplier heaps this summer season, I’m going to foretell that it sees preliminary gross sales success.

Large query marks stay about its opponents, with a number of next-gen vans being revealed later this yr, so solely time will inform how Colorado stacks up in opposition to its actual competitors.