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The 2023 Chevy Colorado is here, but you might not recognize it. Chevrolet has redesigned its midsize truck from top to bottom, inside and out, and one of the biggest changes is the powerplant. At first glance, you might scoff at the automaker’s choice to put the same engine in all Colorado trims. However, it comes in three power outputs.

2023 Chevy Colorado engine option #1: 2.7-liter Turbo

2023 Chevy Colorado engine
Three 2023 Chevy Colorado models: Z71 (left), Trail Boss, and ZR2 | Chevrolet

The first 2023 Chevy Colorado engine, upon which the other two are based, is the 2.7-liter Turbo. This inline-four is the weakest of the lot, producing 237 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque. Its max towing capacity is 3,500 pounds, but don’t let that fool you. It can still hold its own against competitors like the Toyota Tacoma.

This engine is standard on the WT and LT trims. The maximum height for these two models is 78.8 inches, making them the shortest in the series. However, the front track measures 62.8 inches — 0.2 inches longer than the Z71. On the flipside, it’s 1.1 inches shorter than the Trail Boss and 3.1 inches shorter than the ZR2.

Off-road approach and departure angles are not available for the WT and LT trims. So if you’re looking for something more off-road-ready, consider upgrading to one of the other two engine power outputs.

2023 Chevy Colorado engine option #2: 2.7-liter Turbo Plus

The second power output for the 2023 Chevy Colorado engine is the Turbo Plus. It generates 310 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque, a big boost over the base Turbo. The maximum trailering almost doubles, with a rating of 7,700 pounds.

This engine power output option is standard on the Z71 and Trail Boss and an available option on the WT and LT. 

The Z71 has a maximum height of 79.6 inches, while the Trail Boss stands 79.9 inches. The front track for the Z71 measures 62.6 inches; by contrast, the Trail Boss’ front track is nearly four inches wider, at 66.2 inches.

In addition, the Z71’s off-road approach angle is 29.1 degrees, while the off-road departure angle is 22.3 degrees. The Trail Boss’ numbers are 30.5 degrees for off-road approach and 22.4 degrees for off-road departure.

But the ground clearance is what might catch many buyers’ attention. In the case of the Z71, it’s 8.9 inches, while the Trail Boss stands 9.5 inches off the ground.

According to Chevrolet, the Trail Boss has a two-inch lifted suspension and wide chassis to provide more ground clearance and a three-inch wider front track than the WT and LT for better off-roading capability.

Engine option #3: 2.7-liter Turbo High-Output

It should come as no surprise that the ZR2, the range-topping 2023 Chevy Colorado, boasts the most power. The appropriately named 2.7-liter Turbo High-Output actually shares a lot in common with the Turbo Plus. 

Like the Turbo Plus, the Turbo High-Output harnesses 310 hp and can tow 7,700 pounds. But the difference is in the torque, which gets a boost from 390 lb-ft to 430 lb-ft.

In addition, the ZR2 is also the tallest Colorado, standing at 81.9 inches. Its ground clearance is an astonishing 10.7 inches, making it ideal for off-roading. In fact, its off-road approach is 38.3 degrees, while the off-road departure angle is 25.1 degrees.

So, which is the best engine option for the 2023 Chevy Colorado? It boils down to your budget and needs. If you plan to head off-road, the ZR2 with the 2.7-liter Turbo High-Output engine is doubtless the best choice, but all three options are capable of getting the job done.


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