2023 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss

Leading the charge in a highly competitive market, the Chevy Colorado and its counterpart, the GMC Canyon, dive headfirst into the mid-size pickup truck arena. In this fiercely contested ring, they spar with tough rivals like the Nissan Frontier and Ford Ranger, while also grappling with nimble contenders such as the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. Not to shy away from a challenge, they fearlessly face off against the heavyweight champions of the field, including their own siblings, the Chevy Silverado and Ford F-150.

DESIGN

The 2023 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Trail Boss Crew Cab showcases a familiar yet purposeful design, highlighted by its striking Glacier Blue Metallic exterior. The hood features a distinctive ridge that seamlessly flows into sleek headlights above a rugged black plastic grille. Alongside, you’ll find 18” dark argent wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires and squared-off fenders, giving the truck an imposing presence. This configuration offers a crew cab style with a 5-foot-2 bed.

Packed with the $620 Advanced Trailering package, the Colorado boasts must-have towing components, including a trailer hitch, receiver, electrical harness, and hitch guidance, elevating its functionality for transporting goods. Alongside, the $545 Trail Boss Convenience package 2 brings in the seamless EZ Lift and lower tailgate, a pioneering General Motors feature that simplifies the truck’s tailgate operation, ensuring effortless cargo loading.

Furthermore, the Convenience package 2 incorporates several practical elements like a tailgate keyed cylinder lock, stowflex trailgate storage, and an 8-way driver power seat. Of particular interest, the stowflex trailgate functions as a dependable, waterproof storage compartment embedded in the tailgate, serving as a versatile solution for tool storage, emergency gear, or even doubling as a cooler, complete with a convenient drain option.

Boosting its practical allure, the Trail Boss variant integrates the $375 Convenience package, integrating must-have attributes such as a sliding rear window, rear window defroster, and cruise control. These everyday conveniences enhance the driving journey, ensuring improved visibility, comfort, and command for truck enthusiasts, effectively amplifying the Colorado’s versatility for diverse work and lifestyle requirements.

PERFORMANCE

Introducing a diverse range of power solutions, the Colorado series stands out with its trio of turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder engines. The Trail Boss variant takes performance to the next level, boasting the 2.7-liter Turbo Plus engine, a robust powerhouse that produces an astonishing 310 horsepower and a torque-punch of 390 pounds-feet. Seamlessly paired with GM’s advanced 8L80 eight-speed automatic transmission, this configuration ensures a remarkable driving experience.

The Trail Boss model boasts an 8-speed automatic transmission that typically delivers smooth transitions, albeit experiencing sporadic delays when shifting down. The distinctive rumble of the engine, a standout feature in the entire lineup, becomes notably pronounced in the Trail Boss, thanks to its comparatively limited soundproofing.

While the standard Colorado can handle towing up to 3,500 pounds, the Trail Boss significantly boosts this capacity to an impressive 7,700 pounds, complemented by a payload capacity of 1,684 pounds. Despite its agile feel, in contrast to its larger relative, the Silverado, the Colorado’s driving dynamics may not evoke a significant level of excitement, owing to its front coil-over shocks and supported solid rear axle with leaf springs.

However, the Trail Boss maintains control even when cornering, thanks to its precise, lightweight steering and a robust braking system with a responsive pedal. Catering to the off-road enthusiasts, Chevrolet has tailored a trio of models, among which the Trail Boss, with its increased height, stands out.

Enhancing its off-road capabilities, the Colorado is equipped with an impressive array of 10 camera views, including unique underbody perspectives in both forward and reverse, as well as a bird’s-eye view, tire-specific angles, and front and rear visual aids. Specialized modes such as Terrain and Off-Road are designed for specific off-road situations, ensuring optimal crawling abilities and accommodating less challenging off-road terrains, respectively.

Expanding the off-road functionalities, Chevrolet offers two variations of hill descent control for the Colorado. The first type, accessible via the center screen, dynamically regulates descent speed in response to throttle and brake usage. The second type, exclusive to Terrain mode, facilitates one-foot driving, featuring eight settings (L1-L8) conveniently adjustable through a plus/minus toggle on the gearshift.

To exemplify the versatility of these settings, at L1, the vehicle comes to a complete stop as the driver eases off the throttle, whereas L8 supports speeds of up to 5 mph. In order to cater to the needs of off-road adventures, the instrument cluster and center screens display specialized pages featuring crucial off-road information, including altitude, pitch and roll angles, g-forces, and live transfer case updates.

VERDICT

Priced at $37,000 as the standard offering, the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Trail Boss Crew Cab comes to a total of $41,055 when you factor in all the options mentioned in the review.

Competition

The 2024 Tacoma has undergone a substantial transformation, receiving noteworthy enhancements across powertrains, suspension, cab sizes, safety features, and connectivity options. This overhaul offers an array of versatile configurations, underpinned by a new high-strength steel frame, an extended wheelbase, and a design that evokes the nostalgia of the original HiLux small truck.

Ford’s Ranger, previously lagging behind in the race for innovation, has at last surged ahead with the dynamic Raptor performance model, hinting at the possible release of a Lightning electric version in the near future. This potential addition to the lineup would follow in the successful footsteps of Ford’s F-150 Lightning, signaling a commitment to cutting-edge technology and an enhanced driving experience for its customer base.

Bringing a breath of fresh air to the competition, the Nissan Frontier commands attention with its bold new look, advanced technology, enhanced suspension, and a touch of timeless allure that appeals to those who cherish tradition. On the other hand, the Honda Ridgeline maintains its distinct identity as the crossover SUV equipped with a practical bed, solidifying its place in the market with a size that confidently sets it apart from the compact Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz.

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