2023 Chevrolet Colorado
2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2; (photo/Chevrolet)

More Off-Road Options: Fully Refreshed 2023 Chevrolet Colorado

The Chevrolet Colorado is getting its biggest makeover in 8 years. And beyond the updated styling, it adds an array of new tech features, a new off-road package, and a beefier powertrain lineup.

Despite the ongoing semiconductor shortage that has hammered automotive production, the Chevrolet Colorado has continued to gain traction with midsize truck buyers since it returned to the market nearly 8 years ago. And the bowtie brand is betting it will build even more momentum in an increasingly competitive segment with the launch of a complete update for 2023.

Set to reach showrooms about a year from now, the next-generation Colorado will get a near ground-up makeover that Chevy officials are betting will appeal to a broad spectrum of buyers, whether they stick to highways, tow trailers, rock crawling, or Baja racing.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado
2023 Colorado Z71, Trail Boss, and ZR2 (R-L); (photo/Chevrolet)

“The all-new Colorado is enhanced in every way,” said Scott Bell, global vice president of Chevrolet. “With its rugged and sporty styling, enhanced capability, new technology and customization options, it’s designed to do more for discerning customers and still offer them great value.”

More Off-Road Colorado Pickup Options

2023 Chevrolet Colorado

Bell and the product development team offered some insights on the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado during a background briefing. 

Though there’s a new chassis, the basic dimensions for the 2023 truck are largely the same as the outgoing Colorado — but for the added 3.1 inches of wheelbase, which bring shorter overhangs than before. The look is “more rugged” than the old truck, said design manager Sam Zhao, with a more sculpted hood and body panels.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado
The 5’2″ bed is the only choice on the 2023 Colorado; (photo/Chevrolet)

Unlike the outgoing Colorado, the new 2023 model will be offered with only one Crew Cab configuration and a 5’2” “short bed.” But it also introduces a new in-tailgate storage system.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado

One of the highlights for 2023 is the fact that buyers now will have three off-road-oriented packages to choose from, including the now-familiar ZR2 and the new for 2023 Trail Boss. That latter trim model gets a 2-inch lift to its suspension, as well as a wider front track to boost off-road capabilities, Chevy noted.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado
2023 Colorado Trail Boss; (photo/Chevrolet)
2023 Chevrolet Colorado
2023 Colorado Trail Boss interior; (photo/Chevrolet)

Colorado ZR2: “The Most Capable of Them All”

Among the three off-road packages, the ZR2 remains “the most capable of them all,” the automaker said in a statement. To start with, it gets a 3-inch suspension lift compared to the base WT and LT models. And there are newly upgraded Multimatic dampers.

The shocks are also moved to an outboard position which, according to chief engineer Nick Katcherian, improves the ZR2’s road manners, “whether on the highway, Baja racing or rock crawling.”

2023 Chevrolet Colorado
2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2; (photo/Chevrolet)

The 2023 Colorado ZR2 gets unique LED lights, an aluminum skid plate, and front and rear electronically locking differentials. It rides on 17-inch wheels with 33-inch tires. And its revised front and rear bumpers provide for a 38.3-degree approach angle, a 25.1-degree departure angle, and a 24.6-degree breakover angle. 

New Colorado Desert Boss

2023 Chevrolet Colorado
2023 Colorado ZR2 Desert Boss; (photo/Chevrolet)

If the ZR2 isn’t extreme enough, Chevy is also adding the ZR2 Desert Boss upgrade for sandy adventures. It brings 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels, a brush bar, roof-mounted light bar, and an underbody camera.

Depending on the model, the new Colorado offers an array of different cameras and up to 10 different camera views that can be displayed on the new, 11.3-inch touchscreen atop the center console — which is paired with a new, 8-inch digital gauge cluster.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado
Overlanding Off-Road Performance Display shown on 11.3-inch-diagonal infotainment screen; (photo/Chevrolet)

The screen also can be equipped with a unique off-road app to track your performance while dune bashing or rock-crawling.

2023 Colorado: Focus on Functionality

2023 Chevrolet Colorado
Colorado Z71 towing a personal watercraft; (photo/Chevrolet)

As befitting a pickup, most of the changes for 2023 are focused on functionality. That includes a new trailering assist system that is paired with the onboard camera technology. It’s meant to make it easy to hitch up and then tow under even the most adverse road conditions.

The Colorado’s towing capabilities get a big bump for 2023 thanks to a new powertrain lineup. The old diesel has been dropped but Chevy is betting few buyers will care once they check out the new 2.7L turbo-four. It is, in effect, three engines in one.

Three Engines in One

2023 Chevrolet Colorado
The 2023 Colorado’s 2.7L turbo engine; (photo/Chevrolet)

For the base Colorado WT and LT trims, it pushes out 237 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque and offers towing capacity up to 3,500 pounds. That’s an 18% boost in horsepower and 36% more torque than the old base engine, according to Chevy.

With the Z71 and Trail Boss models, the 2.7L Turbo Plus package boosts power to 310 horsepower and 390 pound-feet and towing capacity to 7,700 pounds. It’s also available as an option on the WT and LT packages. 

The ZR2 model gets the beefy 2.7L Turbo High-Output package, power climbing to 310 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. 

Chevy has yet to release official EPA ratings but claims it has added a number of fuel-saving features, including displacement-on-demand, which shuts down two of the engine’s four cylinders when power demands are low. 

The 2023 Chevrolet Colorado will be offered in both two- and four-wheel-drive. The ZR2 offers a two-speed 4WD transfer case. All models run with an updated eight-speed automatic transmission.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado
2023 Colorado ZR2 interior; (photo/Chevrolet)

2023 Chevrolet Colorado: Pricing & Availability

No word on specific interior trim options or paint choices, but that will all trickle out soon enough, as these things do.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado
2023 Colorado Work Truck; (photo/Chevrolet)

Pricing won’t be released until closer to the truck’s on-sale date, though the current base WT model starts at $25,500, and the ZR2 has a starting price of $42,900. We would expect the 2023 Colorado to get a slight price bump, due to current world economic conditions and a few more standard features.

Look for an expanded list of accessories for the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado, Katcherian noted, about 200 in all, with Chevy planning to have most of them available at launch. 

2023 Chevrolet Colorado
2023 Colorado ZR2 Desert Boss; (photo/Chevrolet)

Like the current Colorado, the 2023 model will be produced at General Motors’ assembly plant in Wetzville, Missouri. It’s expected to start rolling down the line sometime during the first half of 2023.

Paul Eisenstein

Paul A. Eisenstein is an award-winning publisher, photographer, editor, and one of the world’s most widely published automotive journalists. His work appears in a wide range of print, broadcast, and electronic outlets, including AutoWise, GearJunkie, NBC News, Forbes Wheels, and his own automotive website, TheDetroitBureau.com. He’s a North American Car and Truck of the Year juror, and board member and past president of the Automotive Press Association. J.D. Power also named him a “Pioneer of the Internet."