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Now in its third-generation, the Chevy Colorado has been completely redesigned for the 2023 model year. There’s a lot to like including a new engine lineup that’s both more powerful and fuel-efficient, a fresh interior with higher quality materials, and a standard crew cab configuration.

According to Chevy, you can drive away with a 2023 Colorado for just $29,200 plus a mandatory $1,495 destination charge that brings the total to $30,695. This isn’t a bad starting price, but is a $30k Colorado something that you’d actually want to drive? Or is it replete with basics like manual windows that you’ll be cranking down to make up for the lack of air conditioning?

The base 2023 Chevy Colorado WT trim is actually quite livable

As it turns out, the base 2023Colorado—which is called “WT” trim (short for Work Truck)—is actually pretty well equipped. It does indeed have both power windows and air conditioning, not to mention power door locks with keyless entry and a generously sized 11.3-inch infotainment screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto connectivity.

Plus, the base engine has 237 horsepower compared to only 200 horsepower for last year’s model. A suite of safety features is also included in the base price, with automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and more.

So what exactly does upgrading to the next level LT trim for $33,095 bring to the table? Well, it certainly looks more high-end with body-color bumpers and door handles replacing the bargain basement black plastic counterparts on the WT, along with a handsome set of argent alloy wheels rather than painted steelies.

Selecting an LT also unlocks the ability to order further extra-cost convenience packages with such niceties as fog lamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, LED lighting, heated front seats, and a sunroof.

Chevy’s starting price for the 2023 Colorado is pretty accurate

To address the question posed in the title of this article, is the Colorado’s base price realistic or instead, some sort of bait and switch? Indeed, you can get a reasonably well-equipped midsize quad cab pickup for just a tick over $30k or the more upscale LT for about $2,400 more than Chevy’s minimum price of admission.

However, an important caveat is that buyers wanting to take advantage of these deals will need to be comfortable with the base 237 horsepower engine and two-wheel drive.

Opting for the 310 horsepower “Turbo Plus” 2.7-liter engine increases the Colorado’s price by $1,420 for the WT or $1,285 for the LT trim (per Chevy’s website). That’s actually not too unreasonable, but if you live in a snowy climate or actually intend to use your Colorado for some light off-roading, the four-wheel drive configuration will hurt your wallet more so than the upgraded powerplant.

Specifically, a 4wd LT starts at $33,995 with the base engine, while the LT rings in at $36,395. If opting for both the 310 horsepower engine and 4wd, that will push the starting price to $35,415 for the WT or $37,680 for the LT and for those prices, we’d recommend stretching for the Trail Boss.

The Trail Boss is our favorite trim

At $38,495, the 2023 Colorado Trail Boss comes standard with the more powerful 310 horsepower engine, four-wheel drive, and a factory 2-inch suspension lift. Other off-road accouterments include a limited-slip rear differential, recovery hooks, and bespoke 18-inch diameter high-gloss black wheels shod with 32-inch diameter all-terrain tires.

Yes, it’s a bit of a reach from a sub-$31k work truck, but you’re getting a truckload of value for the additional cost, pun intended. Arguably, the Trail Boss has better off-road chops than the hallowed Z71 that retails for more than $41,000.

Though the Z71 has a longer list of convenience items, we’ll take the savings and the 2-inch suspension lift that the Trail Boss offers, not to mention a few additional exterior colors, such as Nitro Yellow Metallic and Sand Dune Metallic that aren’t available in the WT or LT.