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  • Writer's pictureCory Fourniquet

2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Desert Boss in New York

Riding on a heavily modified and updated version of the old pickup's frame, this 2023 version says goodbye to multiple cab/bed configurations in favor of a simplified approach of the crew cab being the only variant offered.

Trims range from the base work truck, or WT, trim to the Everyman LT, up to the near luxurious Z71. Off-road fans rejoice with an improved version of the ZR2 with its segment-exclusive DSSV spool-valve dampers that are essentially F1 tech in an off-road pickup. New for 2023 is a Trail Boss model that copies the playbook of the larger Silverado, adding a 2-inch lift versus a standard Z71 off-road model. Trail Boss also gets a wider track giving it a more sure-fitted approach. Trail Boss has the best approach, departure, and break-over angles as well as the most ground clearance of the model line (outside of the ZR2).

All models will receive some variant of the same 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that is also used in the larger Silverado. No more V6 option for this platform, though it is not really needed with the 2.7 offering up to 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. Max tow ratings top out at 7,700, a competitive number for the segment.

Updated styling outside, 3.1 inches of increased wheelbase, and a much improved modern interior round out the big reasons to shop the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado. This Trail Boss version is a no-frills off-road pickup. With cloth seats and a work truck-like interior, this Trail Boss can go get dirty on the trail and then clean up easily when you get home. Colorado also offers a segment-leading 11.3-inch color touchscreen infotainment system paired with a standard 8-inch or optional 11-inch digital gauge cluster.

All seats were comfortable and supportive with the back seat having enough room for my 5'10" frame to fit nicely behind my normal driving position. The rear seat does fold up with the use of a lever revealing underwear storage while not giving rear passengers a thinly padded and uncomfortable seating surface. I was actually surprised at how cushioned the rear seat was for a pickup.

The tailgate wars have made their way down to the midsize segment. Colorado makes its tailgate stand apart from the rest with an industry-first in-tailgate storage solution. Hidden under a flap inside the tailgate, this storage cubbie is large enough for essential tools, jumper cables, or a tailgate cooler thanks to its drain plug.

Modern amenities abound in Colorado making it and the GMC Canyons market disrupters yet again. We are already seeing Toyota readying its first all-new Tacoma in almost 2 decades while Ford readies their next Ranger. Nissan just updated their Frontier and the Jeep Gladiator was all new just 3 short years ago.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Specs:

  • 2.7-liter 4-cylinder Turbo Plus Engine

  • 310 Horsepower

  • 430 lb.-ft. of Torque

  • 8-speed Automatic Transmission

  • Autotrac® 2-speed Transfer Case with Push Button Controls

  • Hill Descent Control

  • Driver-selectable Full-locking Locking Front and Rear Differentials

  • Drive Mode Selector

  • DSSV Multimatic Suspension Dampers

  • Off-road Front Fascia, Rear Bumper, and Fender Flares

  • Taller/wider Stance

  • Flow Tie

  • 17" Beadlock Capable Aluminum Wheels with Tech Bronze Decorative Ring

  • 17" LT285/70R17 blackwall 33" OD MT2" OD MT Tires

  • Bed-mounted Sport Bar with "ZR2" Sail Panel

  • Off-road Front Bumper with Safari Bar

  • 40" Roof Off-road Light Bar

  • Underbody Camera

  • Red Tow Hooks

  • Power Adjustable Driver's Seat with Lumbar

  • Heated & Ventilated Driver and Front Passenger Seats

  • Heated Steering Wheel

  • Jet Black/Artemis Perforated Leather-appointed Front Seat Trim

  • Dual-zone Automatic Climate Control

  • 8-inch Driver Information Digital Cluster Display

  • 11.3-inch Touchscreen Infotainment

  • Proximity Key with Push Button Start

  • EPA Fuel Economy 17/19/18 (city/hwy/cmb)

  • Starting Price: $48,295 (ZR2)

  • Price As Tested: $62,120

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