Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A red 2023 Chevy Colorado for sale is shown with the Trail Boss trim, driving down a dirt road.

How to Get the Perfect Chevy Colorado

There’s never been a better time to be a midsize truck fan, with amazing options available from just about every automaker. That being said, few models can compete with the incredible features and options of the Chevy Colorado, making it one of my favorite vehicles on the market. Before you go looking for a Chevy Colorado for sale, however, it helps to have a game plan and know what you’re looking for; that’s why I always do a lot of research—to figure out the perfect combination of what I want—and then I’m ready to shop!

…and that’s usually the time everything falls apart. I get to a dealership, knowing just what I want, and they might have something similar but not quite what I’m after. Thankfully, we can avoid wasting time on this these days since good dealerships show their inventory online, making shopping easier than ever before. Even still, you can figure out exactly what you want but be unable to find it at any local dealerships—and this is particularly true if you have a specific vision in mind, such as with an exterior color that’s not the most popular. Fortunately, there’s a solution for your dilemma: custom order your next Chevy Colorado!

Why Custom Order Your Colorado?

Allow me to (initially) answer that with some math that you’ll probably hate: the Colorado is available in five different trim levels—the WT, LT, Trail Boss, Z71, and ZR2. Those last three are only available with four-wheel drive (4WD) and a 310-hp engine; the first two trims, however, can be had with rear-wheel drive (RWD) or either the 310-hp engine or one tuned to deliver 237 hp. That means there are four versions of each of those two trims—and now we’re up to eleven different models to start with, yet we haven’t looked at any available packages, features, or special editions.

Ultimately, if we kept going with this math, we’d end up with hundreds if not thousands of possible combinations of features available in a final Chevy Colorado; if we looked at different paint colors, things would grow to be astronomical. No Chevy dealer in the world can possibly carry all of these—or even a fraction of them—on their lot. This means you have a relatively tiny selection of vehicles available to you compared to everything Chevy offers on the Colorado. Are you starting to see the problem with simply shopping off the lot?

All of this is assuming you’re willing to go to a dealership and consider what they have to offer with little or no preconceived notion about what you want or need in your next truck. If you’re anything like me, you have particular features in mind, or you’ve already determined everything you want down to the last detail. That’s great, and honestly, for how much vehicles cost, you deserve to get all the specifics you need in your next truck. But perusing the trucks that a dealer has on hand will likely make that impossible; you might get lucky and find what you’re looking for, but the chances are pretty slim—and that’s unacceptable.

So, the biggest reason to custom order your next Chevy Colorado is evident: it’s the surest way to get everything you want. Is it the quickest way to get a Colorado? No; if you need something immediately, today, or tomorrow, then choosing a truck that’s as close to what you want and driving it home from the dealership will be your best choice. But if you’re in a situation where you can wait a bit, then custom ordering your truck is the way to go to ensure you get absolutely everything you want.

A blue 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is shown parked off-road in a desert.

Figuring Out Everything You Need

This can be tricky, and we don’t necessarily have time to get into every particular item today, but my approach is to start big and then work my way to the smaller details. There’s only one cab size and bed length for the Colorado, which simplifies things, so you should choose if you need RWD or 4WD and which engine you prefer since this can impact some options available to you.

If you prefer RWD and only need the power of the standard 237-hp engine, then the WT or LT are probably your best bet. On the other hand, if you want 4WD to boost traction in rough weather and you prefer the extra oomph of the 310-hp engine, then you have a lot more options to choose from.

That’s when it’s time to start narrowing things down and look at specific details of the exterior and interior in these trims. Keep in mind that some features can be exclusive to certain trims, but these are usually standard on a higher trim level and available on lower ones. The biggest factor to consider is that the WT has the fewest available options, so certain features simply cannot be had on the starting trim. You should also consider how you plan on using your truck; the Trail Boss, Z71, and ZR2 are all great for hitting the trail, but the ZR2 is your best choice if you plan on having some seriously demanding off-road adventures.

Finally, let’s be realistic: your budget is a major factor as you’re trying to figure out which combination of features is perfect for you. There’s a significant price difference between the entry-level WT and the most tricked-out ZR2. You should take some time to look at the features that are standard and available on different trims to put together something that’s perfect for you; if you want the eight-way power driver’s seat, for example, then it’s standard on the ZR2, but it’s also available on lower trims, which can keep your costs down. This scrutiny lets you figure out what you need and how to make it fit your budget.

How to Custom Order Your Next Vehicle

Once you know exactly what you’re looking for and are ready to order your next Chevy Colorado, then do something crazy: work with a car dealership. It can be tempting to try to handle everything on your own, but it really does help to have an expert working alongside you, ready to answer your questions and help you with everything you need.

This salesperson can also ensure you don’t overlook any options or miss something, as there are a lot of details to work out when ordering a vehicle, and that extra set of eyes can help. There’s nothing worse than going through all the effort of custom ordering a truck, only to later realize you missed something you wish you had (and could’ve had for little or no extra cost). It’s worth it to find a dealership you can trust and work with to order your next Colorado.

A grey 2023 Chevy Colorado ZR2 is shown driving.

The Future of Car Shopping

I feel like the days of massive car dealerships with large inventories of new models just sitting around for someone to wander along and buy them will soon come to an end. There will always be a need for pre-owned vehicles and dealer lots with plenty of models available, but we could see a time when all new-car-buying is done by custom order. After all, it’s shaping up to be the best way to shop.