EXCLUSIVE Hands On: The All-new 2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Is Full of Surprises

Here's what this new truck is all about!

The 2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 may be one of the most capable trucks, period.

Andre had direct access to the Desert Boss version of the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 at the GM proving grounds, and he went to town. In this video, he not only roots around the shiny and greasy bits, he hops inside too. We get to see a hands-on, up-close perspective of this (pretty much) all-new pickup truck.

Quick details on power and torque

The base model WT and LT get the 237 horsepower 2.7-liter Turbo that makes 259 lb-ft of torque. Then, there’s the 2.7L Turbo “Plus,” which is standard on the Z71 and new Trail Boss. It makes 310 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. And, finally, standard on the ZR2, the 2.7L Turbo “High-Output,” makes 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. Simply put, it’s the same output 2.7L turbo available on the larger Silverado 1500, with three different tunes.

All of the exterior sheet metal is new, as is the interior – which looks like a smaller version of the new Silverado’s interior. That’s not a bad thing. While it still looks like a Colorado, it does ride on a longer wheelbase. It’s also wider as well. Even the bed and tailgate have been tinkered with, and they hold a few surprises too.

Engineers have updated the DSSV spool-valve suspension, but the overall concept and architecture are similar to the previous suspension. Still, some aggressive retuning, new turbocharged powertrains and other new gizmos adds up to something fascinating.

The overhauled 2023 Chevy Colorado also includes an entry-level Z71 trim, as well as a mid-range Trail Boss trim for off-roaders.

Too “Tacoma” for y’all?

Oddly, one of the first popular remarks about the new Colorado had to do with its styling. Many commented that it looks “exactly” like a Toyota Tacoma. Interestingly, many people said the same thing about the Nissan Frontier when that new model came out. Other than the headlights, which do look a bit like a Tacoma, I personally don’t see the similarities. Sure, all midsize pickups have a similar silhouette, door and window sizes are pretty similar too, but come on. Maybe it’s because it dominates the sales charts and you see them everywhere, you can’t help but see a bit of Tacoma in its rivals?

Check out this video below and let us know what you think of the new Colorado:

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.