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Regarding midsize pickups, the Chevy Colorado has been a popular choice among truck enthusiasts since its introduction to the class in 2015, after being categorized as a compact model for over a decade. The 2023 Chevy Colorado is available in several trims, including the Trail Boss and Z71. While these two trims share many features, there are some key differences between them that may influence your buying decision. We’ll look closer at four of the most significant differences between the 2023 Chevy Colorado Trail Boss and the Z71 trim levels, helping you decide which one is right for you.

1. Exterior differences

A red 2023 Chevy Colorado midsize pickup truck model with Trail Boss markings on the vehicle's bed
2023 Chevrolet Chevy Colorado Trail Boss | Chevrolet

While they may appear nearly identical at first glance, the 2023 Chevy Colorado Trail Boss and the Z71 actually have a few key differences worth noting. Pickup Truck +SUV Talk states that upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that the Trail Boss boasts a wider stance, with its Goodyear Wrangler KO2s extending beyond the fenders. Additionally, the Trail Boss features halogen headlights, while the Z71 comes equipped with LED headlights.

Another subtle distinction is the body-colored molding on the Z71’s front grille, compared to the Trail Boss’s black plastic molding. While these differences may seem small, they can impact the overall performance and style of the truck. It’s essential to carefully consider these factors when deciding between the Trail Boss and Z71 models.

2. Differences in interior features

Moving on to the interior, the contrast between the Trail Boss and Z71 becomes more apparent. The Trail Boss interior features black plastic without any discernible pattern or style. This gives it a practical feel, which is excellent for those who plan to take it on off-road adventures and need an easy-to-clean interior. The cloth seats also make it simpler to wipe off any dirt or debris.

Meanwhile, the Z71 interior offers a more luxurious experience, with red stitching throughout and leather-appointed seats. The added comfort and style make it feel more upscale and refined, which may appeal to those who prioritize a more comfortable ride. However, the leather-appointed seats may be more challenging to clean and maintain than the cloth seats in the Trail Boss.

3. Performance and capability differences

Under the hood, both the 2023 Chevy Colorado Trail Boss and Z71 are powered by the Turbo Plus engine tune, a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to an updated eight-speed transmission. This configuration delivers an impressive 310 horsepower and 319 pound-feet of torque, providing ample power for most driving scenarios. Additionally, both models can be upgraded to the Turbo High-Output version of the engine, which delivers even more impressive numbers with 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque.

One of the most noticeable differences between the trims is the Trail Boss’s wider track and 2-inch factory lift, giving it a more imposing presence on the road. However, this added height may come at the cost of fuel economy, and official EPA ratings have yet to be released.

4. Feature and option differences between the Z71 and Trail Boss models

The differences between the Trail Boss and Z71 trims of the Chevrolet Colorado midsize truck continue to stack up regarding the available features and options. The Z71 model offers a 120-volt plug in the bed, a manual tilt and telescoping wheel, and the option for heated-and-cooled seats, remote start, and a heated steering wheel. Dual-zone climate control, lumbar support, and power front seats are available amenities on the Z71 but not on the Trail Boss.

Additionally, the Z71 comes standard with cruise control, which is only an option on the Trail Boss. Regarding tires, the Trail Boss boasts beefier 32-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires as standard, while the Z71 features less aggressive 32-inch tires. Both models offer larger wheel options, with 20- and 22-inch wheels and the standard 18-inch wheels on both. Finally, if you’re in the market for a sunroof, you’ll only find it on the Z71 and ZR2 models, as it’s not an option on the Trail Boss.

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