While the previous Colorado offered a budget-friendly four-cylinder, powerful V6 and fuel-efficient diesel, the new truck covers the bases with a single turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four.
The standard-output version, which comes on Work Truck (or WT) and LT models, produces 237 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque, which is quite a bit more than the current four-cylinder’s 200 hp and 191 lb-ft. While EPA- or even manufacturer-estimated efficiency numbers aren’t available yet, GM says it should roughly the same fuel economy as achieving outgoing four-cylinder. More power without a hit to mpg? That’s progress we can get behind. Also worth noting is that the base Colorado powerplant’s tow rating stays unchanged at 3,500 pounds.
A more potent version of the same powertrain is optional for these models and standard on the Z71 and Trail Boss. In this application, the turbo 2.7-liter produces a healthy 310 hp and 390 lb-ft. That represents a minor bump of 2 hp compared to the V6 but a whopping 115 lb-ft increase. Maximum towing capacity rises to 7,700 pounds with this powertrain, or 700 pounds more than the V6 managed.
Unfortunately, there’s no next-gen equivalent of the diesel, which was both relatively fuel-efficient and torque-rich. Instead, the off-road-focused ZR2 will come with the 2.7-liter in an even mightier tune, with 310 hp and 430 lb-ft on tap. All versions of the Colorado feature an eight-speed automatic transmission and cylinder deactivation under light loads, allowing the motor to run as a two-cylinder for decreased fuel consumption.
There are a few more important specs to note. Shoppers looking to beef up the Colorado’s off-road capabilities without jumping all the way to the ZR2 might find an answer at the new Trail Boss trim level. It features a 2-inch lift and a 3-inch-wider front track, along with Z71 upgrades like a limited-slip rear differential, hill descent control and all-terrain tires. The ZR2 returns for 2023, building off that kit with a 3-inch lift, Multimatic adaptive dampers, power-locking front and rear diffs, 33-inch mud-terrain tires and skid plates, among other upgrades. And the new ZR2 Desert Boss package goes even further, with beadlock-capable wheels, a front fascia with even more clearance, underbody camera and a roof-mounted light bar. Your move, rumored Ford Ranger Raptor.