The revolving door on test vehicles is constantly in motion at our office in Prescott, Arizona. This fall, for the first time that I can recall, we found ourselves with an extra without an editor. I was headed to the mountain town of Bisbee for the weekend, and even though most of my miles would be on-road, I decided to take the 2023 Chevy Colorado 4WD Trail Boss for an extended spin.
My 5’3 stature can be a challenge or advantage, depending on the situation, and getting into the Trail Boss was definitely the former. With no grab bar on the driver’s side (there is one on the passenger’s side, where the short people go, I guess), I was forced to grab the steering wheel to hoist myself up and in each and every time. It was a tiresome and cumbersome ritual I could do without.
Once inside, the front cab is roomy with a refreshingly bare-bones amount of buttons (bells and whistles) to push, and the 11.3-inch touchscreen was easy to see and navigate. As to drive settings, 4H, 4L, 2H, and Auto are your choices, and modes include Terrain, Baja, Tow/Haul, and Off-Road. The backseat was fairly crowded, typical of a mid-size truck, and it was a definite squeeze to put an extra person, a small dog with their accoutrements, and a few backpacks and gear at the ready.
I was pleased with the fuel economy, which averaged 20.9 miles per gallon over 800 miles of mixed highway, city, and light trail riding, including time spent in serious headwinds on the highway. The sweet spot was on rural highways; 45-65 mph yielded a 30.9 average mpg.
Road noise and NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) were surprisingly minimal, equal to that of my Subaru Forester (if not better), with a surprisingly smooth ride—one of the best I’ve had in recent truck models. Pick-up-and-go in the Trail Boss left little to be desired due to the 2.7-liter engine with 310 hp and 430 pound-feet of torque; it was fast and responsive without the jerkiness experienced with some drivetrains.
On light trails, I can only describe the Trail Boss as extremely surefooted. The Goodyear Wrangler AT tires had no slippage in gravel and dirt and felt connected to the road surface at all times, inspiring driver confidence. The Trail Boss’ approach angle of 30.5 degrees, departure angle of 22.4 degrees, and 21 degrees of break-over angle are more than adequate for light trail use. The Chevy 4WD Trail Boss bridges the gap between a daily driver and a weekend warrior at an affordable price point and is worthy of consideration in what is becoming a cut-throat mid-size market.
Low NVH for a truck
Surefooted, light trail capable
No grab handle on driver’s side
Cab room in back seat is crowded, typical for mid-size truck
$41,195 as tested | chevy.com
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