New Chevy Colorado offers big-truck power at a lower cost
By Larry StewartAugust 08, 2022
Chevrolet turned up the power in the redesigned 2023 Colorado, driving the five models with three ratings of a 2.7L I4 Turbo engine proven in the full-size Silverado.
Hard cost numbers are not yet out on the 2023 models but if the difference between them and the full-sized Chevy Silverado 1500 hold true, the Colorado could offer a pretty capable, lower-cost option.
The 2022 Colorado LT four-wheel drive, for example, currently sells for about $10,000 less than a 2022 Silverado LT. The mid-sized truck averages about five or six city/highway-combined miles per gallon better than the full-sized truck. That’s about a $21,000 annual savings on a truck driven 30,000 miles per year at $3.85 per gallon for regular gasoline.
Of course there are differences in cargo and towing capacity between the Colorado and Silverado but the mid-size made another big step up in 2023, and even the 2022 Colorado models will do a lot more than many field managers typically need.
Colorado’s new base 2.7L Turbo engine offers 18% more horsepower and 36% more torque than the current Colorado’s base engine. Higher-output versions of the 2.7L I4 turbo produce more horsepower and torque than the 2022 model’s available 3.6L V6 and 2.8L turbo-diesel engines.
This version of the 2.7L I4 Turbo is beefed up with a more-rigid cylinder block casting and a 30% stiffer crankshaft, which complement a fully forged bottom end as well as materials used in diesel engines to improve durability.
The 2.7L Turbo standard in the work truck (WT) and LT models makes 237 horsepower and 259 foot-pounds of torque.
A 2.7L Turbo Plus rating standard on the Z71 and Trail Boss, and available in the WT and LT models steps up to 310 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds, more than doubling the standard tow rating to 7,700 pounds.
- The 2.7L Turbo High-Output standard in the ZR2 turns the Turbo Plus’s torque up to 430 foot-pounds and will tow 6,000 pounds.
The second-generation eight-speed automatic transmission is refined to offer smoother shifting and quicker downshifts to improve the driver’s feeling of comfort and power on demand. Chevy says it also excels in low-speed mobility, particularly in off-road driving.
All models are built on a new chassis that gives the 2023 Colorado a 3.1-inch-longer wheelbase than the current Crew Cab/short box model. A shortened front overhang improves the truck’s approach angle. The lineup is re-engineered with three distinct chassis setups to support everyday tasks and off-road adventures without sacrificing off-road capability, or on-road comfort:
- Standard: WT, LT and Z71 trims
- 2-inch Factory-Lifted, Ultra-Wide Stance: Trail Boss
- High-Performance 3-inch Factory-Installed Lift & Wide Stance: ZR2
To support the new Colorado’s increased off-road and trailering capabilities, up to five selectable drive modes, depending on the model, are offered. Each is tailored for different driving conditions. They are accessed using a knob located on the center console. The five drive modes include:
- Normal: A balanced mode for everyday on-road driving
- Tow/Haul: Transmission shift points, throttle response and additional calibrations optimized for trailering and hauling
- Off-Road: Specific tractive and other dynamic performance features designed for general off-pavement driving
- Terrain: Designed for low-speed rock crawling, with specific throttle control, brake performance and other calibrations, with three settings
- Baja: Developed for high-speed desert running, with specific throttle control, transmission shifting and other body/drivetrain control calibrations.
Colorado’s technologies also include an enhanced roster of safety and driver awareness features. The standard Chevy Safety Assist package includes Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indicator and IntelliBeam automatic high-beam assist.
Available features for all models include Blind Zone Steering Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, HD Surround Vision and Rear Pedestrian Alert.
A new 11.3-inch-diagonal infotainment screen is the gateway to new technologies designed to make driving more enjoyable and more intuitive, especially when towing a trailer or driving off-road. Highlights include:
- Customizable and configurable screens with higher resolution than previous models
- Segment-first available Google Built-In for accessing maps, music, vehicle functions and more
- All-new Off-Road Performance Display: an app that helps drivers monitor real-time off-road performance with readouts for Overlanding (altitude and GPS guidance), Terrain (pitch, roll and tire pressure) and Baja (g-force, wheel slip indicator and transfer case status)
- More camera views than any competitor in its class, with up to ten camera views accessible on the infotainment screen, including a segment-first available underbody camera on Z71 and ZR2.
Colorado’s camera technologies are also integral in a suite of trailering technologies pioneered on the Silverado. Hitch Guidance is now standard, while Hitch View and Chevy’s Trailering App are new in 2023. Hitch Guidance features a guideline to help line up the trailer and hitch, and Hitch View provides a zoomed-in view of hitch to help with alignment with the coupler.
The Trailering App is designed to help drivers with all stages of trailering, from hitching to on-road assistance and even responding to potential hazards. The features are accessible from the built-in infotainment app or through a smartphone.
Production for the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado begins in the first half of 2023 at General Motors’ Wentzville, Mo., assembly facility. Pricing and additional details will be released closer to the start of production.