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The 2023 Chevrolet Colorado Z71.Handout

Chevrolet’s redesigned Colorado mid-size pickup truck will have a new exterior look, improved interior and enhanced technology when it appears on dealers lots in the middle of 2023.

In the first major redesign for the popular truck since 2015, General Motors designers have kept the size close to the current model, but pushed the front axle slightly forward to give the vehicle a more aggressive stance and better ground clearance when off-roading.

There is just one cabin/cargo box configuration. The cargo box is the same 1.575-metre (5-foot-2-inch) “short box” found in the current model, and the crew cab comes with a full rear seat. Chevy spokespeople said at a media briefing this week that the cabin space is largely unchanged from the current model, although measurements are not yet available.

The 2023 Chevrolet Colorado LT model. The major redesign is the popular truck's first since 2015.Handout

Chevrolet has also chosen to pare the engine choices down from the current i4, V6 and diesel options. The 2023 Colorado will have the 2.7-litre four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine only, but with three power levels. The standard engine in the two lowest trim levels is rated at 237 horsepower and 259 lb.-ft. of torque. The sporty off-road Z71 and Trail Boss models will have 310 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque, and the ZR2 model will have 310 horsepower and 430 lb.-ft. of torque.

The sole transmission offered is an eight-speed automatic. Towing capacity is up to 2,493 kilograms (5,500 pounds) on the Trail Boss and Z71 and some versions of the WT and LT models. Transport Canada fuel consumption ratings are not yet available.

Five trim levels will be offered: the bare-bones WT (work truck), LT, Trail Boss, Z71 and ZR2. All configurations will run on regular unleaded fuel, Kevin Luchansky, assistance chief engineer, said. Wheel sizes vary between 17 and 18-inch, depending on model.

Photos provided by Chevrolet show squared-off fender flares that resemble the full-sized Silverado pickup. The hood profile has been tweaked, the grille placed slightly higher and accented with slim headlamps. The Z71 and ZR2 models will have LED headlamps.

One of the niftier innovations is the optional watertight built-in tailgate storage – 1.1 metres wide and 1 metre deep, it is enough to hold a few tools or several cans of your favourite beverage.

Chevrolet representatives say interior materials have been upgraded across the trim levels.Handout

The interior displays a simplified dash layout, with circular vent outlets and a 29-centimetre (11.4-inch) diagonal infotainment screen and an array of control buttons underneath. The shift lever has been moved slightly right, making way for a drive mode selector on models equipped with four-wheel drive. Chevrolet representatives say interior materials have been upgraded across the trim levels.

Wireless phone charging is included, and the infotainment screen is customizable. Google Built-In, which offers access to Google apps and services, including hands-free help and live traffic updates, will be available.

Chevrolet has also added cameras, with up to 10 camera views displayed on the screen. There’s even an underbody camera on the Z71 and ZR2. The optional off-road performance display lets drivers monitor the real-time off-road performance.

Three trim levels – four-wheel drive LT, Z71 and ZR2 – also offer an optional sunroof for the first time.

Chevrolet has put heavy emphasis on the truck’s off-road versions. The ZR2, for example, comes with a high-clearance front fascia and cut-out corners, 17-inch wheels with 33-inch all-terrain tires, and shock dampers provided by Multimatic Inc., a Canadian company that specializes in racing suspension.

Five trim levels of the redesigned Chevrolet Colorado will be offered.Handout

The ZR2 Desert Boss package adds a sports bar with sail panel, roof-mounted light bar, underbody camera and black badging to heighten the appeal.

The ZR2 also sits 48 millimetres higher than other models to enhance ground clearance during off-road driving. Off-road approach angle – effectively the ability to crawl over a steep slope – is 38.3 degrees, while the ZR1 has off-road approach angle of 29.1 degrees.

The Colorado and sister truck, GMC Canyon, revived the mid-sized truck segment when they were reintroduced in 2014 after a two-year absence. In recent years, the two models have seen market share slip as new competitors appeared: the Ford Ranger, Jeep Gladiator, Honda Ridgeline and Nissan Frontier. In 2021, a year disrupted by supply challenges, Ford sold 11,200 Rangers in Canada, Toyota sold 6,654 mid-size Tacomas and GM sold 5,572 Colorados and 4,865 Canyons, according to reports sourced from the manufacturers.

Chevrolet says production of the 2023 Colorado will begin in the first half of 2023 at General Motors’ Wentzville, Mo., assembly facility, where the current model is built. Pricing will be announced closer to release date.

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