2023 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Trail Boss Review & Test Drive

The Chevrolet Colorado remains a truck that shouldn’t be overlooked for those seeking a midsized truck, and for the new 2023 model year redesign, the Colorado gets a new standing amongst its specialized segment. Having grown larger and placed in a more competitive standing, the new Colorado garners more attention because of how expensive full-size trucks have become. In the natural compromise of going for a midsize truck, the Colorado serves up some extra abilities with its decent powertrain that is now just one engine.

For my first encounter with the newly redesigned Chevy Colorado, I get the Trail Boss trim, which adds in some rugged features, such as a 2-inch lift, 3-inch wider track up front, and aggressive approach and departure angles. In a nutshell, the new Colorado Trail Boss trim gives buyers an alternative to the Z71 trim with more of a focus on off-roading but makes a compromise with interior features and options, giving you basics, which include an abundance of hard plastics, cloth seats, dim halogen headlights, and no fog lights. However, you get the fundamentals of a 4WD system with a 2-speed auto transfer case with a shield and factory-installed 2-inch lift, all go the distance for some added off-roading ability.

Powertrain and Driving Character

The newly redesigned 2023 Chevrolet Colorado gets a new 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that’s good for 310 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque in most trims, whereas the top-of-the-line ZR2 trim gets a bit more torque at 430 lb-ft. There’s also the base WT (work truck) and LT trims only get 237 horsepower from the 2.7-liter turbo-4, but you have the option of upgrading to the more powerful turbo-4 with 310 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque in the LT trim.

In my Trail Boss trimmed test vehicle, the new turbocharged 4-cylinder is a surprising engine as it surges with power sent through the 8-speed automatic transmission to get the Colorado up to 60 mph in about 7.3 seconds, which isn’t bad. There’s just a small hint of turbo lag out of the hole, but the engine comes to life with plenty of midrange grunt for conquering off-roading challenges and towing up to 7,700 pounds.

Where the Colorado shines is in the area of performance for a midsized truck. The drivetrain feels substantial in being able to get the job done without issue. The only concern is how coarse the engine sounds and feels when you rev it out. Otherwise, there’s a lot of pulling power, and the ride quality is decent despite having the 2-inch lift and 32-inch Goodyear Territory A/T off-road tires.

Driving the new Colorado Trail Boss on the road feels natural, and it adapts well to give you confidence without any noticeable compromise in having the lifted suspension. The brakes feel strong, with very little application required to bring the Colorado to a stop. Off-road, the Colorado Trail Boss also feels at home where it doesn’t beat you up so much other than the cloth seats feeling a bit hard after 30 minutes to an hour of driving.

Fuel Economy

With the new Colorado having the new turbocharged 4-cylinder, engine fuel economy is somewhat improved over the outgoing V6 engine but only slightly and just in the base WT and LT trims that get up to 25 mpg highway. Unfortunately, the new 4-cylinder turbo drinks a bit more fuel than the old V6, which I can forgive, considering it outputs a few more horsepower and a lot more torque. My Colorado Trail Boss test vehicle gets mostly consistent fuel consumption figures, mostly matching the EPA estimates of 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined in the real world.

Interior and Technology

The new Chevrolet Colorado does a few things a little different with how it integrates more controls into the infotainment system, which is now a large 11.3-inch touchscreen standard across all trim levels in addition to a new 8-inch digital gauge cluster, also standard for all trims. The integration features that are commonly easy to access on the dashboard or door trim, such as the headlight controls and window lock-out switch, is now embedded into the infotainment touchscreen. Such a simple change is often annoying if you ever need to manually switch your lights on.

The new cabin layout is simplistic and very basic in the Trail Boss trim to keep costs down. Here, you can see the obvious compromise in the Trail Boss trim to give you more capabilities in the drivetrain and omit the creature comforts in the interior that are found in the Z71 and ZR2 trims. However, you still get a bevy of standard features, such as a power driver’s seat with power lumbar, wireless or USB-connected Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and a remote-locking EZ-lift tailgate with a StowFlex sealed storage compartment.

The cabin of the new Colorado is marginally more accommodating than the previous generation. There’s still a lack of rear seat room, as you would expect in a midsize truck, even with the single offering of its crew cab setup. Thankfully, the front seats seem to have a bit more room for adjustment, and having the Trail Boss trim makes things easy to clean and wipe down with the hard plastics throughout mixed in with a few rubberized surfaces.


Another welcoming aspect of the new Colorado is having several standard driving aids on all Colorado trims, which feature automatic emergency braking/front collision alert, lane departure mitigation, and automatic high-beam assist. Features such as blind-spot monitors with rear-cross traffic warning, heated outside mirrors, rear parking sensors, and rear automatic braking are all bundled up in an optional safety package available in any trim level. Adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree camera system can also be added as part of a technology package to any trim level.


Chevrolet kept things simple and civilized for the pricing scale that starts at $29,200 for the base WT trim before any fees or options. My 2023 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss test vehicle, with just a handful of options, comes in at $41,195, which includes a destination charge of $1,495.

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