2023 Chevy Colorado pickup features major interior and engine updates

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The Chevrolet Colorado gets a makeover.

General Motors’ mainstream brand has unveiled an all-new 2023 model of its midsize pickup that grows in length, interior tech and model trims while downsizing its engine and bed options. Responding to America’s thirst for all things off-road, the Colorado line will add rugged Trail Boss trim to its base Work Truck, LT, Z71 and ZR2 model line.

The Colorado is Chevy’s starter truck and the 2023 model gets the benefits of the full-size big brother Silverado – especially the 2.7-liter turbo-4 engine that’s now at the heart of the lineup as well as a modern dash. – 11.3 inch digital touch screen mounted. As GM pours capital into an uncertain, all-electric future, its gas-powered truck lineup is key to profitability, and the Colorado — like Silverado — is packed with new trims and features that can drive sticker prices up to more. of $50,000.

“The all-new Colorado is improved in every way,” said Chevrolet Vice President Scott Bell. “With its rugged and sporty styling, enhanced capabilities, new technology and customization options, it’s designed to do more for discerning customers.”

Those discerning customers embraced the latest-generation Colorado’s crisp handling—a Chevy truck signature—as well as its tree-chewing ZR2 design. Customers also noted the truck’s outdated plastic interior and base engine offerings, and fixing those shortcomings tops the list of 2023 upgrades.

“While the interior is overrun with cheap plastics and even the largest cab size has a small rear seat, the truck retains a pleasant driving position and athletic handling,” noted the auto enthusiast magazine. Car and Driver of the outgoing model. “Colorado has a good enough resume to suit many pickup buyers, but he lacks the qualifications to appeal to a wider audience.”

This wider audience has an array of choices in a segment that has grown significantly since the Colorado’s introduction in 2015. There’s the GMC Canyon sibling as well as the newly redesigned Ford Ranger, Jeep Gladiator, Nissan Frontier and the perennial sales leader Toyota Tacoma. Along with these ladder frame killers, the midsize car segment added unibody pickups like the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Honda Ridgeline. In 2021, the GM twins sold 97,133 units, just behind the Taco’s 252,520.

To stay ahead of the rush, the ’23 Colorado brings a significant interior makeover with standard, high-resolution, configurable digital instrumentation and the largest-in-class infotainment screen. The layout mirrors a Silverado dashboard that itself has been redone for the 2022 model year. The touchscreen upgrade includes a new Google-based software system that will make smartphone users feel right at home. them when using features such as maps and music. The 2023 model will also offer a sunroof for the first time.

“Across all trims, the presence and attitude of the exterior is reflected in the interior, which is designed around the large center console screen,” said design director Phil Zak.

The Colorado sits on a redesigned ladder frame for better interior space and improved dirt evacuation. Chief engineer Nick Katcherian said the truck gains 3.1 inches of wheelbase – part of which goes to increased rear legroom – as well as a front axle that has been advanced for a better angle of approach.

Behind the front bumper and aggressive blacked-out maw, the engine compartment hosts GM’s torque-rich 2.7-liter turbo, which is also used in the CT4 performance sedan in Silverado and Cadillac. The turbo-4 has three different configurations in the new pickup and replaces the base 2.5-liter 4-cylinder from the previous model, as well as the 3.6-liter V6 and 2.8-liter diesel. Truck buyers are fond of diesels, and they will miss the oil burner.

“The 2.7-liter offers the perfect blend of attributes for a three-engine lineup,” Katcherian said of the fuel economy, low-end torque and turbo power attributes.

The 2.7-liter will be offered in Work Truck and LT models with 237 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque. In the Z71 and Trail Boss off-road models, it will produce 310 ponies and 390 lb-ft of torque, and in the top-line ZR2, the four-cylinder will replace the 308-hp, 275-torque V6 with 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft. ft. of torque (the same numbers as in the full-size Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups). Like the Silverado (and unlike the Cadillac’s 10-speed), the Colorado’s turbo-4 will be mated to an 8-speed transmission.

Unlike other brands, Chevy doesn’t offer a hybrid variant – its electrification options are based on a separate Ultium battery-powered skateboard chassis. Colorado is not yet offered on Ultium.

“The industry is not going to convert to electric vehicles overnight,” Bell said. “We will stick with our customers who want an internal combustion engine variant.”

As well as having the most powerful engine in the lineup, the ZR2 is the most capable, from its dual-locking differentials to its Formula 1-inspired Multimatic shocks (although its 6,000 towing capacity drags the 7 700 books of the other versions). So you know it’s the alpha male of the lineup, it’s fitted with a power dome hood, 33-inch all-terrain tires and a wider stance.

The personality of the ZR2 inspired ruggedness throughout the lineup. The truck has 10 best-in-class camera views, including an underbody lens on the Z71 and ZR2. The cameras complement the towing technology pioneered on the Silverado, such as Hitch Guidance. Responding to customer demand for more custom options, Colorado’s off-road accessory portfolio has more than doubled from previous model years.

“The new Colorado is a lifestyle enabler,” said engineer Katcherian. “Because outdoor activities are such an integral part of the lifestyle of our Colorado customers, we’ve made the truck even more capable of supporting them.”

First offered in Colorado, the Trail Boss version features 32-inch tires, a 2-inch suspension lift and a 3-inch widened chassis beyond the standard Work Truck and LT. But wait, there’s more: a special-edition ZR2 Desert Boss model will be offered with standard 17-inch beadlock wheels, lightbar and underbody camera.

Complementing the Colorado’s mud bathing and towing ambitions are five drive modes, including Normal, Tow/Haul, Off-Road, Terrain and Baja. The truck’s new electrical architecture also enables a suite of standard safety features such as forward collision warning, lane-keep assist and automatic high-beam assist. Options include rear cross-traffic braking and adaptive cruise control.

Running against the vehicle’s customization theme, the Colorado will only be offered in a crew cab with a 5-foot-2 short rear box. The long can option was canned.

The pickup, however, offers a new tailgate storage box (a narrow cargo area in the tailgate) that measures 45 inches wide and 4 inches deep. The tailgate also has mid-level adjustment to carry longer items in the bed, and the bed features grooves for bicycle and motorcycle tires in the front wall.

Colorado will come out of the chain in the first half of next year at Assembly in Wentzville, Missouri. Pricing and more details to come.

Henry Payne is an auto critic for The Detroit News. Find him at [email protected] or Twitter @HenryEPayne.

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