For many years now, the Colorado has been one of the most popular midsize trucks on the road, providing impressive power in a size ideal for a wide range of drivers. This year, the all-new 2023 Chevy Colorado is the launch of a new generation with an incredible redesign and a powerful engine that makes it the most exciting midsize pickup on the market. Over the years, the Colorado has earned a reputation as one of the best trucks for going off-road. The updates and new features for the 2023 model reinforce this legacy while also going further than ever, thanks to its ZR2 trim.
Performance for the Chevy Colorado is reaching incredible new levels thanks to the standard 2.7L Turbo engine that has proven itself in the Colorado’s big brother: the Chevy Silverado. This is the only engine the Colorado has, and honestly, the only one it needs; however, there are three versions of it available. The Standard 2.7L Turbo engine delivers 237 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque, while an available 2.7L Turbo Plus version boosts up to 310 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. The final ZR2-exclusive High-Output version of the engine delivers the same horsepower as the Plus but with a beastly 430 lb-ft of torque. This makes it easy to get a Chevy Colorado with exactly the right amount of power for what you need, and you can enjoy up to 7,700 lbs of maximum towing capacity with the Turbo Plus engine.
Off-road performance with the Colorado is fantastic as well. While two-wheel drive (2WD) is standard, available four-wheel drive (4WD) elevates things, and an available factory-lifted suspension provides you with fantastic ground clearance. The ZR2 trim is about to set a new standard for factory off-road midsize trucks, thanks to five available drive modes, including a Baja mode and an off-road performance display to keep you informed on the trail. With a stunning 11.3-inch standard infotainment display and an available 11-inch driver information center, the 2023 Colorado also comes loaded with better technology than ever before.
With any truck, even a midsize model, few things are as important as the engine and the kind of power it delivers. So much of your driving experience comes down to the engine in your truck, including the amount of towing you can do. The 2023 Chevy Colorado has a single engine, making it easy to get the right amount of power, but is tuned to deliver different levels of performance and capability depending on the trim and options you choose.
With the starting WT and LT trims, you get the standard version of the engine: a 2.7L Turbo that delivers 237 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque. If you go up to the Z71 or Trail Boss trims, then you get a 2.7L Turbo Plus version of this engine, which provides 310 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque, which is also available on the lower two trims. Finally, the ZR2 off-road-focused trim features a 2.7L Turbo High-Output engine that delivers a similar 310 hp but boosts the torque up to 430 lb-ft for incredible overall performance. No matter which engine you choose, it comes paired with a second-generation eight-speed automatic transmission that has been refined to offer smoother shifting and quicker downshifts than previous models to improve power-on-demand and feel particularly good at low speeds for going off-road.
The engine and trim you choose will also impact the work the 2023 Colorado can handle, so this is an important decision. With the standard engine, the WT and LT trims offer up to 1,684 lbs of payload capacity, while the Trail Boss and Z71 trims can handle up to 1,587 lbs, and the ZR2 can support up to 1,151 lbs. In terms of towing, the available Turbo Plus engine can pull up to 7,700 lbs of weight behind the Colorado, while the ZR2, with its High-Output version, is good for 5,000 lbs of towing capacity. This difference is due in large part to the design and features of the ZR2 that emphasize off-road performance over getting work done and towing.
For years now, the Colorado has been one of the most popular options on the market for an off-road pickup, and the all-new 2023 model is set to build on that. While the ZR2 trim is the undisputed star of the show for taking the updated Colorado off-road, there are several great options that can work well if you are just looking for light-duty trail performance. You will have to consider each of these models and the kinds of trails you want to tackle before deciding on which one is right for you.
With its powerful standard and available engines, any Colorado model is built to tackle whatever you throw at it, though the higher torque of the Turbo Plus and High-Output engines are certainly your best bet. The WT, LT, and Z71 trims all come with a standard chassis. If you go with the Trail Boss trim, however, you get a two-inch factory-lifted chassis with an ultra-wide stance that gives you great clearance and stability on the trail. You get 7.9 inches of ground clearance with the TW and LT trims, 8.9 inches of clearance with the Z71, and 9.5 inches of clearance with the Trail Boss.
As we said, however, if you really want to experience everything the 2023 Colorado can do on the trail, you owe it to yourself to check out the ZR2 trim. The ZR2 features a high-performance three-inch factory-lifted chassis with a wide stance that makes it stable and ready to climb over anything the trail throws at you. With this trim, the Colorado has 10.7 inches of ground clearance, nearly three inches higher than the standard model. It also has a 38.3-degree approach angle, a 25.1-degree departure angle, and a 24.6-degree break-over angle.
With the ZR2 trim, you get 17-inch wheels with 33-inch mud/terrain tires, segment-exclusive multimatic DSSV dampers, and aluminum skid plates to protect the underside. Most models feature four selectable Drive Modes: Normal, Tow/Haul, Off-Road for loose surfaces like gravel, and Terrain for steep hills or crawling over things. The ZR2 features an exclusive Baja mode perfect for driving on sandy terrain and tackling trails at high speeds rather than low-speed rock crawling. A first-ever ZR2 Desert Boss package includes 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels, an off-road bumper and front fascia, and a roof-mounted light bar.
Standard and available technology for the 2023 Colorado is some of the best in the Chevy lineup, starting off with the stunning 11.3-inch infotainment display that comes standard in every model, even the starting WT trim. This is joined by a standard eight-inch digital Driver Information Center, though there is an available 11-inch driver information center if you want to elevate your tech experience. The 2023 Colorado supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with available Google built-in functionality, plus an available extra-large wireless charging pad that is perfect for keeping all of your devices charged while you are on (or off) the road.
The Colorado features a class-leading 10 available camera views that function with the large and gorgeous infotainment display to keep you informed of your surroundings. This includes available and innovative new underbody cameras that give you forward and rear-facing views underneath your truck, which are perfect for navigating the trail and rough terrain. Speaking of the trail, a new off-road performance display provides you with information such as your truck’s pitch and roll, g-forces, and an altimeter so you can stay in control and see exactly what is happening to your truck in real-time. Combining this with standard Chevy Safety Assist, which includes a forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, and a lane keep assist with lane departure warning, gives you a safe and remarkable midsize truck.