It’s been firmly established that I’m not a pickup truck guy, or person to be politically correct. Sure, I understand that there are such people, craftspeople who do things with their hands like build stuff or make sure our toilets flush who need such a thing, and when I do need something like that, they are who I call. But I’d rather be slung low to the road in a nice coupe or sedan.
That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a good pickup truck. I do.
So when I get to spend a week with a pickup truck I try to enjoy it as much as I can. Like recently when Chevy sent me a 2023 Colorado for a week. I last had one in 2021, and as I pointed out then this brought out the “lists” of things that I could do with the truck during the week. This ended up with trips to home improvement warehouses, thrift stores, and the big box club we belong to.
That 2021 Chevrolet Colorado was the top-of-the-line ZR2. It was a nice midsize truck, and I enjoyed my week with it. Fast forward two years and the latest version of the Colorado was in my driveway. This one, however, was just a bit different. Okay, maybe a lot different.
In 2022 Chevy released the Trail Boss package that could be installed by the dealer. This gave the truck a bit more of an off-road stance, bigger wheels, and some appearance tweaks. For 2023 the Trail Boss joined the lineup above the WT (Work Truck) and LT trims and under the Z71 and ZR2. A 2 wheel and 4 wheel drive is available as are long and short beds.
This full-on Trail Boss comes with 32-inch all-terrain tires and fender flares. In fact, it’s even got an extra 1.5 inches of front suspension travel versus the WT, LT, and Z71 trims, with an additional inch of travel in the rear. It doesn’t have the Multimatic spool valve dampers and lockable front and rear diffs of the ZR2 but shares its rear limited-slip diff with the Z71. And perhaps best of all, it’s a lot more affordable than the ZR2. For the record the MSRP for the Trail Boss is $38,700, the ZR2 meanwhile comes in at $48,295.
It was the Trail Boss that Chevy sent me.
The Colorado is all new for 2023. It’s like the Colorado we know and love, but it’s been to the automotive gym, pumped some iron, and come back looking meaner, tougher, and more enticing than ever before. It didn’t just get a facelift; it got a full-blown makeover.
On the outside it looks nothing like the almost laid-back previous generation. It’s like Chevy took a page out of the truck design bible, with sharp angles, bold lines, and an imposing grille that’s enough to make even the toughest wilderness shy away. This new Colorado looks like the automotive equivalent of a heavyweight boxer – tough, rugged, and built to take a beating.
Under the hood the turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four with 237 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque in the WT (Work Truck) and LT trims, is replaced in the Trail Boss with a 2.7 that pumps out 310 horsepower and 391 lb-ft torque. This matches the horses in the top ZR2 trim and isn’t far off the 430 lb-ft torque. And while it may not have the same torque as the ZR2 there is little doubt this thing can conquer trails like a mountain goat on steroids.
To me though, where the 2023 Colorado Trail Boss truly shines is on the inside. It’s like Chevy finally decided to take interior design seriously. The cabin is a comfortable, high-tech haven. The materials used are top-notch, and there’s an air of sophistication that wasn’t present in previous models. You get a sense that you’re in a truck that’s not just for hauling cargo; it’s a place where you can actually enjoy spending time.
The infotainment system is intuitive and easy to use, and you can connect your smartphone for seamless integration. The seats are plush and supportive, making long journeys a breeze. And there’s plenty of space in the back for passengers or gear – it is a truck, after all.
Now, I’d be lying if I said it’s all sunshine and rainbows. The 2023 Colorado Trail Boss does have its quirks. It’s not the most fuel-efficient truck on the market, and the ride can be a bit on the stiff side. But if you’re looking for a true, rugged, do-it-all truck, these are small sacrifices to make.
While I might not be a truck person, I really like this new version Colorado. It’s a breath of fresh air in the midsize truck segment. It’s a truck that knows how to balance work and play, looking sharp on city streets and conquering the wildest trails with ease. It’s a truck that’s finally grown up, and I, for one, am loving the new, improved, and tougher Colorado Trail Boss. It’s like a bull in a China shop, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
No, this time around there were no lists to fill. And truth be told I was a little bit disappointed if I’m honest.
2023 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss
MSRP (as tested): $41,195
Engine: 2.7 liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder, 310 horsepower @ 5600 rpm, 391 lb-ft torque @ 2000 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed shiftable automatic
Fuel Mileage (EPA): 17 city, 21 highway, 19 combined
Fuel Mileage (as tested, mixed conditions): 20 mpg
Base Curb Weight: 4525 lbs.
Exterior Dimensions (Inches)
Ground Clearance, Front: 9.5
Cargo Bed Length: 61.7
Cargo Bed Width at Floor: 58.9
Cargo Bed Width Between Wheelhousings: 45.5
Cargo Space/Area (cubic feet): 41.9
Maximum Towing Capacity (pounds): 7700
Maximum Trailer Weight, weight distributing hitch (pounds): 7700
Passenger / Seating Capacity: 5
Front Head Room (inches): 40.3
Front Leg Room (inches): 45.2
Front Shoulder Room (inches): 57.4
Front Hip Room (inches): 54.7
Second Row Head Room (inches): 38.3
Second Row Leg Room (inches): 34.7
Second Row Shoulder Room (inches): 56.3
Second Row Hip Room (inches): 53.1
Basic: 3 yr./ 36,000 mi.
Drivetrain: 5 yr./ 60,000 mi.
Rust: 6 yr./ 100,000 mi.
Roadside: 5 yr./ 60,000 mi.
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