The Ford Ranger returned to the U.S. market for the 2019 model year following an extended absence, but this time around, it’s a mid-size pickup competing with the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and Chevy Colorado. The all-new, next-generation Ranger has already launched in some other parts of the world, but won’t land in the U.S. until next year, alongside the new Ranger Raptor, marking the first of an eight-year production run. However, the new Ranger and Ranger Raptor will have the brand new 2023 Chevy Colorado to contend with soon, as that model – along with the Raptor-rival ZR2 – has been revealed.
Interestingly, due to past sales results, the third-generation 2023 Chevy Colorado offers fewer configurations than its predecessor. That means a four-door crew cab with the shorter five-foot-two-inch bed, and no more short cab and long-bed configurations. The new Colorado is larger than the current-gen model as well, measuring 2.3 inches wider with a 3.1-inch-longer wheelbase. Things get bigger inside too, where buyers will find a new, larger 11.3-inch infotainment screen.
One of the most notable changes present in the new Colorado is its revamped engine lineup, as the mid-size pickup has dropped its diesel powerplant and will now only be available with one single powertrain option – GM’s turbocharged 2.7L I-4 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Output varies by trim, with the WT and LT producing 237 horsepower with 259 pound-feet of torque, the Z71 and new Trail Boss (as well as the WT and LT, as an option) offer up 310 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, and the ZR2 cranks out 310 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque.
The all-new Trail Boss bridges the gap between the regular Colorado and ZR2 by giving customers the same wide stance, but a smaller two-inch lift, 17-inch wheels, and 32-inch Goodyear Territory AT tires. The more hardcore ZR2, on the other hand, comes equipped with 17-inch wheels, 33-inch mud-terrain tires, Multimatic Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers, and front and rear electronic locking differentials. The optional Desert Boss package adds even more in the way of beadlock-capable wheels, a bash-bar front bumper, roof-mounted light bar, and underbody camera.
Pricing for the 2023 Chevy Colorado has yet to be announced, nor did GM provide an exact launch date for the new pickup, but it’s expected to enter production in the first half of 2023, just in time to do battle with its Blue Oval-based rival.