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At the Midwest Automotive Media Association spring rally, I had the unique opportunity to put a variety of trucks through the paces. With a dedicated off-road course, pickups like the Ford F-150 Raptor, Nissan Frontier, and Chevy Colorado showed us what they were capable of. Eager to see what the 2023 Chevy Colorado Trail Boss is all about, and while it was impressive, it did have one noticeable shortcoming. 

Is the 2023 Chevy Colorado good off-road?

The Chevy Colorado is available with some capable off-road options. One of these is the 2023 Colorado Trail Boss, and it brings quite a bit to the table. While the Trail Boss name is not new to Chevy trucks, it is a new option on the brand’s midsize pickup. Essentially, it’s got a work truck interior with the features needed to go off-road. 

The 2023 Chevy Colorado Trail Boss is a decent off-road truck.
2023 Chevy Colorado Trail Boss | Chevy

At the MAMA spring rally held at Road America, I tested the new Chevy Colorado Trail Boss on one of the more technical off-road courses. It included tight turns, a rock garden, and some legitimately rugged terrain. 

Even at some of the more difficult portions, Chevy’s midsize truck could handle whatever you threw at it. And I can understand why many folks seem to love the Colorado. 

One thing annoyed me about the Colorado Trail Boss

While this pickup was able to complete the off-road course time after time as MAMA members tested it, I did find one annoyance. The steering seemed to take away from engagement with the trail. Now this did make navigating everything easier, but when I am off-road, I like to feel connected. 

Unlike the 2023 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X, which has heavy steering, the 2023 Colorado’s setup feels light. That does not mean that the Colorado feels vague by any means, but it does not feel like an old-school truck. And that might be something that folks may be looking for in an off-road pickup. 

Additionally, because this is now the third generation of the Chevy Colorado, you can only get it with a four-cylinder engine. This powerplant has been featured in the Chevy Silverado 1500 before, and it does appear to be reliable. But if you want a V6 engine in your truck, you will need to look elsewhere. 

Does Chevy make good trucks?

At the end of the day, I did find the 2023 Chevy Colorado Trail Boss to be good at what it’s intended for. It handled off-road use while still feeling relatively comfortable on the road. Even though I would enjoy a more connected feel, like what’s in the Nissan Frontier, folks have complained about that. According to Car and Driver, it was one of the few downsides of Nissan’s midsize truck. 

The rear end of the 2023 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X midsize truck.
2023 Nissan Frontier | Eric Boman, MotorBiscuit

Overall, I can see this pickup truck being popular with consumers who want off-road capability but don’t need all the bells and whistles. The Trail Boss package is cheaper than some of the higher trims offered to Chevy’s midsize truck. But you still get things like skid plates and 4WD.

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