Smaller trucks have become bigger business, and GM is paying attention. For 2023, it’s unveiling an all-new version of its Colorado midsize truck, and judging by a virtual first look at it, it’s a considerable improvement over the outgoing and aging model.

It gets a new chassis and engine, updated styling, much-improved interior, and several new features. Its mechanical-twin GMC Canyon will also get the makeover, with the wraps coming off that one soon.

Colorado and Canyon sales are always just a sliver of the full-size Silverado and Sierra numbers, but the midsize market is viable and this new truck should make a splash — especially since the Colorado looks to be a well-rounded mix of work-weekday and weekend-fun trims.

Those five trims are the WT (Work Truck), LT, Z71, Trail Boss, and ZR2. That last one has an available Desert Boss package that further improves its capability as a desert racer — no doubt since Ford will have the Ranger Raptor for 2023.

android, first look: 2023 chevrolet colorado

2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, Trail Boss and LT Photo by General Motors

The current Canyon comes in extended cab with long box; or crew cab with short or long box, but the new one comes only in crew cab with 5-foot-2 bed, and with no plans to add other configurations in future. It improves efficiency at the factory – as before, it’s built in Wentzville, Missouri – and crew cabs are the most popular among all trucks, large or small, so you make what people are buying.

The 2022 Colorado offered a 2.5L four-cylinder; 3.6L V6; or 2.8L diesel. All of those are retired, and instead you now get three versions of a turbocharged 2.7L four-cylinder borrowed from the full-size Silverado. The WT and LT get the base version, making 237 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque. The Turbo Plus makes 310 horsepower and 390 lb-ft — it’s optional in the WT and LT, and standard in the Z71 and Trail Boss.

The ZR2 gets the High-Output version – the one Silverado offers as its entry powerplant – making 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. All three versions mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and GM notes that the higher-output versions make more horsepower and torque than the outgoing V6 and diesel do. Fuel economy numbers haven’t been determined yet.

All versions of the 2.7L engine include active fuel management, which seamlessly and automatically shuts down to two cylinders when full power isn’t needed, for improved consumption numbers. The 237-horsepower version tows up to 3,500 lbs, while the Plus and High-Output can pull up to 7,700 lbs. That’s also the maximum on the current Colorado, but only if you order the diesel – on gasoline it’s a maximum of 7,000 lbs – and retains Chevy’s bragging rights of 200 lbs more than the Ford Ranger.

android, first look: 2023 chevrolet colorado

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss Photo by General Motors

The wheelbase is 79 mm (3.1 inches) longer, and the front axle is moved forward and the overhang shortened, which improves the off-road approach angle. The wheel bolt pattern now matches that of Silverado, so accessory rims can be swapped between them.

The bed gets a number of improvements, including a multi-position tailgate for carrying longer items; four stake pockets; ten in-bed pockets; eight standard tie-downs with room for up to nine additional added-ons; and front grooves for positioning motorcycle or bicycle tires. The brilliantly simple in-bumper steps carry forward. A locking storage compartment inside the tailgate is standard on the ZR2 and optional on other trims, and it includes a drain so you can wash it out or use it as a cooler.

android, first look: 2023 chevrolet colorado

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Work Truck Photo by General Motors

New interior features include a standard 11.3-inch infotainment screen, connected through Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and available Google Built-In. Novel driver-assist technologies missing on the current truck include standard emergency front braking, high-beam assist and lane-keep assist, plus available blind-spot monitoring, panoramic camera, and adaptive cruise control (but not the Super Cruise hands-free version).

Other items, depending on trim, include an extra-large wireless charger (many phones won’t fit in the current one), dual-zone climate control, and, for the first time, a sunroof. There are still dials and buttons for the climate control, which is always a good thing, while the redesigned console includes a conventional gearshift lever and 4×4 dial. We’re going on U.S. specs, and any Canadian differences are yet to come, but it looks like lower trims will be available in 4×2 or 4×4, and of course with the Trail Boss and ZR2 in 4×4 only. All four-wheel models include an “Auto” mode, which lets you drive in 4×4 on hard surfaces.

android, first look: 2023 chevrolet colorado

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Z71

android, first look: 2023 chevrolet colorado

2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Photo by General Motors

android, first look: 2023 chevrolet colorado

2023 Chevrolet Colorado LT Photo by General Motors

android, first look: 2023 chevrolet colorado

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss Photo by General Motors

android, first look: 2023 chevrolet colorado

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss Photo by General Motors

android, first look: 2023 chevrolet colorado

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Work Truck Photo by General Motors

android, first look: 2023 chevrolet colorado

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Photo by General Motors

android, first look: 2023 chevrolet colorado

2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Desert Boss Photo by General Motors

android, first look: 2023 chevrolet colorado

2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Photo by General Motors

android, first look: 2023 chevrolet colorado

2023 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, Trail Boss and LT Photo by General Motors

The Trail Boss sits 51 mm (2 inches) taller than the base WT and with a wider stance, thanks to 32-inch all-terrain tires on 18-inch wheels. The ZR2 continues as the roughest-stuff off-roader, with a 76-mm (3-inch) lift, DSSV (dynamic suspensions spool valve) variable dampers from Canadian company Multimatic that have been retuned for the new chassis, cast-iron control arms, front and rear electronic locking differentials, and 17-inch wheels clad in 33-inch mud/terrain tires. The new Desert Boss is an available package on top of that and adds beadlock-capable wheels, unique front bumper and fascia, sports bar with sail panel, roof-mounted light bar, and an underbody camera so you can see what you’re racing over.

The midsize truck market may be relatively small, but it’s fiercely-fought among the Colorado and Canyon, Ford Ranger, redesigned Nissan Frontier, SUV-based Honda Ridgeline, Jeep Gladiator, and the reigning sales champion Toyota Tacoma, which is also the only midsize to outsell its brand’s full-size truck — both before and after the Tundra’s redesign.

As of the end of 2022’s second quarter, the current Colorado is in second place behind the Toyota “Taco” in Canadian sales, and it’ll be interesting to see how this new truck does. We’ve yet to drive it, and pricing will be announced closer to its launch early in 2023, but from our first virtual glance, it looks like this all-new Chevy has the goods.

MOTOR'S NEWS RELATED

Join Road & Track and Car and Driver on Our Annual Car of the Year Tests

Check out today's coolest new cars alongside editors at Performance Car of the Year, Lightning Lap, and 10Best Awards.

View more: Join Road & Track and Car and Driver on Our Annual Car of the Year Tests

Satisfying Subaru SUVs That People Love Driving and Owning

Satisfying Subaru SUVs that people love driving include the 2022 Crosstrek The 2022 Forester is another Satisfying Subaru SUV that people love Don’t overlook the 2022 Outback for a stress-free driving experience Subaru makes a reliable and safe sport utility vehicle, but that’s not all. These Satisfying Subaru SUVs ...

View more: Satisfying Subaru SUVs That People Love Driving and Owning

Holiday Rambler Eclipse RV Debuts With Theater Seats, Drop-Down Loft

It’s available with three different floor plans.

View more: Holiday Rambler Eclipse RV Debuts With Theater Seats, Drop-Down Loft

Genesis prices 2023 G80 electric car at $81,000, expands EVs to more states

Genesis on Thursday expanded the breadth and availability of its electric car lineup on its path to becoming a fully electric automaker by 2030. The luxury brand’s newest car, the 2023 Electrified Genesis G80, will cost $80,920 (including a $1,095 destination fee) when it goes on sale in September. The ...

View more: Genesis prices 2023 G80 electric car at $81,000, expands EVs to more states

This C5 Corvette Turned Off-Roader Could be Yours For Small Bucks

Photo: Caleb Hodshire/Facebook Fans of the Chevrolet Corvette and off-road vehicles now have a golden opportunity to combine their two passions for a small amount of money. A tuning enthusiast in Illinois, who specializes in Corvette conversions, is selling on Marketplace a fifth-generation (C5) 1999 Corvette built to venture ...

View more: This C5 Corvette Turned Off-Roader Could be Yours For Small Bucks

Audi heads to F1, 2025 Cadillac Celestiq, 2023 Electrified Genesis G80: Today's Car News

Audi confirmed it will enter F1 for the 2026 season. The automaker will team with a thus far unknown chassis partner to provide power units that will be built in Germany and run on synthetic fuel. Alfa Rome announced it will split with Sauber, and all points sign to Audi ...

View more: Audi heads to F1, 2025 Cadillac Celestiq, 2023 Electrified Genesis G80: Today's Car News

Genesis expands GV60, an electric SUV, availability to four more US states

Where is the Genesis GV60 available to buy Electrek’s Take Now might be your chance if you’ve been waiting to buy the Genesis GV60 EV SUV. The Korean luxury automaker announced Tuesday that its flagship electric SUV, the GV60, will be available in four more US states starting in ...

View more: Genesis expands GV60, an electric SUV, availability to four more US states

Our Long-Term 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing Is off to an Unforgettable Start

With our 668-hp, six-speed-manual sports sedan, the highs are high, and the lows are low.

View more: Our Long-Term 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing Is off to an Unforgettable Start

Dodge goes electric in style | Autoblog Podcast #744

Tested: Best Car Vacuums for 2022

China: Power to the people or to the carmakers?

Tesla premium connectivity through Starlink V2 confirmed

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning strapped to dyno despite challenges

1983 DeLorean DMC-12 with 5,397 miles for sale

Numbers of Koenigsegg CC850s increase to 70 due to high demand

Tech Deep Dive: What Makes the New Porsche GT3 RS the Most Extreme 911 Ever

4 Terrible 2022 Subcompact SUVs That Consumer Reports Predicts Owners Will Hate

Xiaomi in talks with BAIC to produce electric cars, says Bloomberg

Audi Has Decided to Enter Formula 1 in 2026 After Much Speculation

North Dakota Swing Ahead For WoO: What To Watch For

OTHER MOTO NEWS