Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
4 minute read
29 Jul 2022
10:54 am

Chevrolet unpacks updated Colorado as the Ranger and Hilux rival South Africa won’t get

Charl Bosch

New engine line-up, now made of a single turbo-petrol four-cylinder, takes a thinly swipe in ZR2 guise at the V6 in the new Ford Ranger Raptor.

Front has been restyled to resemble to the bigger Silverado.

Reintroduced to the United States in 2014, after bowing out two years before, General Motors (GM) has given the fraternal twin of the Isuzu D-Max, the Chevrolet Colorado, an extensive mid-life overhaul just under twelve months after applying a number of similar touches to the senior Silverado.

Although lightly updated since its initial unveiling, the “model year 2023” updates represent the most extensive afforded to the Colorado, which uses an Americanised version of the platform that underpins the D-Max, MU-X and the now discontinued Australian Holden Colorado.

New 2023 Chevrolet Colorado revealed
Unlike the erstwhile TrailBlazer, the Z71 comes with a number of off-road features, instead of being an appearance package.

GM’s rival in the States for the Ford Ranger, the twin of the Toyota Hilux, the Tacoma, Nissan’s Frontier spun-off of the Navara and to a lesser extent, the Jeep Gladiator, the exterior rework comprises a Silverado inspired front facia, new bonnet and front wings, as well as a choice of eight colours.

As standard, all models regardless of trim level, receive a long wheelbase loadbed with no less than eight tie-down hooks, integrated grooves and a number of 110-volt power outlets.

New 2023 Chevrolet Colorado revealed
Entry-level WT or Work Truck joins the rest of the range as being offered solely in double cab bodystyle.

In another first, Chevrolet has redesigned the tailgate to feature not only an integrated storage compartment that additionally acts a cooled stowage facility, but also a so-called midway gate in the form of a heavy duty flap that prevent loose items from falling out in the case of the tailgate being down.

ALSO READ: Toughened-up Chevrolet Silverado flexes its muscles

As before, the Colorado line-up spans five trim levels; the entry-level WT or Work Truck, LT, the off-road inspired Z71 similar to upmarket division GMC’s Canyon AT4, the newly added off-road focused Trail Boss that sports a unique front facia and 51 mm suspension lift, and the flagship ZR2 that is 76 mm higher than the WT and outfitted with Multimatic sourced adaptive dampers and shock absorbers.

New 2023 Chevrolet Colorado revealed
Trail Boss joins the Colorado range after being limited to the Silverado till now.

Inside, and addressing a previous point of content that hamstrung the pre-facelift Silverado, Chevrolet has overhauled the Colorado’s interior by equipping each model as standard with better materials, an eight-inch digital instrument cluster and a brand-new 11.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with added off-road menus and displays.

Standard safety items include Autonomous Emergency Braking with Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning as well as Lane Keep Assist, Following Distance Alert and depending on the trim grade, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control and a surround-view camera system.

New 2023 Chevrolet Colorado revealed
New tailgate comes with an integrated storage area that is also cooled.

Measuring 79 mm longer in the wheelbase department than the now outgoing model, Chevrolet has also refreshed the Colorado’s engine line-up by dropping not only the previous normally aspirated 2.5-litre petrol engine, but also the free-breathing 3.6-litre V6 and the 2.8-litre turbodiesel.

Residing in their places is the 2.7-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder that debuted in the Silverado and in three states of tune; 177kW/351Nm in the WT and LT, 231kW/529Nm in the Z71 and Trail Boss with the option of featuring in the former pair, and exclusively for the ZR2, 231kW/583Nm.

New 2023 Chevrolet Colorado revealed
Updated interior comes as standard with an eight-inch digital instrument cluster and a brand-new 11.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

The standard transmission is an eight-speed automatic that wholly replaces the previous six-speed self-shifter and officially also the six-speed manual dropped back in 2019.

Along with the new engine, the Colorado also boasts a reconfigured drive mode selector with five settings; Normal, Tow/Haul, Off-Road, the rock-crawling Terrain and in the case of ZR2, meant to be Chevrolet’s rival for the new Ford Ranger Raptor, a high speed off-road Baja setting.

New 2023 Chevrolet Colorado revealed
ZR2 is aimed squarely at the Ford Ranger Raptor.

For its part, the ZR2’s unique frontal appearance, adjustable dampers and 33-inch all-terrain tyres wrapped around 18-inch alloy wheels translates to a claimed ground clearance of 272 mm, which stands in contrast to the 32-inch wheels and 241 mm of the Z71 and Trail Boss.

Claimed approach, breakover and departure angles for the ZR2 stand at 38.3-degrees, 24.6-degrees and 25.1-degrees respectively, with those for the Z71 and Trail Boss rated at 30.5-degrees, 21-degress and 22.4-degreees.

New 2023 Chevrolet Colorado revealed
Model shown here with the optional Desert Package.

In addition, both the Z71 and ZR2 feature an underbody camera with ten viewing angles, with the latter also being the recipient of the optional Desert Package comprising a sports bar, bull-bar, special decals, LED lights mounted on the sports bar itself, and 17-inch wheels.

Going on sale from the first half of next year, production will continue to take at the Wentzville Plant in Missouri, with pricing likely to start at $30 000 (R492 031) as opposed to the current $27 700 (R454 309) now that the range is double cab exclusive and no longer with the availability of an extended cab or single cab.

New 2023 Chevrolet Colorado revealed
Surprisingly, little alternations have been inside the ZR2’s cabin.

Unsurprisingly, the Colorado is not earmarked for South Africa following GM’s much publicised departure five years ago.

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