Of all the distinct trim grades the all-new 2023 Chevrolet Colorado comes in, the down to basics Trail Boss off-roader is likely the most interesting to me.

Think of it like a basic Work Truck (WT) trim grade with a higher level of off-road capabilities, the more powerful engine option yet without all of the expensive trimmings. It offers a bridge between the Z71 and the top-dog ZR2 in terms of performance, but in a more utilitarian plain wrapper equipment level.

To start with, it gets the 3.5-inch wider track of the ZR2. Styling mods include the ZR2’s fatter fender flares to wrap its unique 18-inch gloss black alloy wheels and 32-inch all-terrain tires. Grille work is basic black from the Work Truck as is the lower fascia. Basic are most of the black plastic trims like door handles and mirrors. Trail Boss graphics can be found at the rear quarters and a logo at the grille.

When it comes to capability, the Trail Boss’s unique chassis and suspension is a 2-inch step up from the Z71 with special off-road springs and dampers front and rear.

All the key off-road measurements are improved as a result. Ground clearance is 9.5-inches, approach angle 30.5 degrees, departure angle 22.4 degrees, break-over 21 degrees. Not all the way up there with the ZR2, but substantially better than the Z71.

Powering the Colorado Trail Boss is the 2.7-liter “Turbo Plus” four cylinder engine with 310 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. The engine gets several key refinements for 2023 including a fully forged bottom end with a 30% stiffer crankshaft and a more rigid cylinder block casting.

It comes mated to an 8-speed automatic and electronically controlled four-wheel drive system with Auto, 2-High, 4-High and 4-Low mechanical modes in addition to a wide variety of software traction modes.

Even though it has a higher suspension lift and better off-road clearances, it still benefits from a tow rating of 7,700 pounds and a payload rating of 1587 pounds, same as the Z71. You don’t lose towing and payload capabilities here like you do when you step up to the ZR2.

The cabin of the Trail Boss is basic Work Truck in terms of its feature content as well as its trims. Seating and trim is a rugged black wear resistant combination of cloth and vinyl. While the 11.3-inch touchscreen is standard, expect a more basic equipment level unless you opt for an expanded package.

Like all 2023 Colorado models, the Trail Boss comes only in a 131.4-inch wheelbase crew-cab configuration and a 5-foot cargo box. Optional on the cargo box are a wide variety of gear aids like the 4-inch deep by 45-inch wide tailgate storage box. You can also opt for the cleat and rail system and a spray-in bed liner among other things.

The 2023 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss will arrive in showrooms by mid-2023 and will be built at the GM plant in Wentzville, Missouri. Pricing and final specifications like fuel-economy and option packages will be available closer to that time.