The new Chevrolet Colorado is on the way to dealers, and the spec sheet is impressive. For one, the 2.7-liter turbocharged L3B engine is rated to tow up to 7,700 lbs, making it a class-leading trailer rating for a gas-powered midsize truck. So, given that capability, it was only a matter of time before somebody took the new midsized truck up the most demanding road in America, the Eisenhower Pass in Colorado, while towing a large Roamer1 off-road camping trailer.
2023 Chevrolet Colorado vs. Ike Gauntlet
The Eisenhower Pass is significant in several ways. Crossing the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains, the “Ike” has a maximum elevation of 11,158 feet (over 2 miles) above sea level, making it one of the highest vehicular tunnels in the world. The tunnel is the longest mountain tunnel and highest point on America’s Interstate Highway System. This 8-mile stretch of grueling highway has climbs as steep as a 7% grade, making it the ideal location for truck makers of all types to test the towing and hauling performance of their products ahead of publishing official GVWR, GCWR, payload and trailering ratings. To the industry, it’s known as the Ike Gauntlet.
Getting up the mountain seemed pretty easy for the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado, with enough power to reach the top of the incline. It recorded 3.6 MPG, which isn’t great, but when going up the side of the mountain with a nearly maxed-out truck. That said, the downhill performance wasn’t great either. Our friends at TFL Truck recorded 11 brake applications when putting the vehicle in cruise control and heading back down the mountain. Despite this, the brakes didn’t overheat. Compared to other midsize trucks, more aggressive grade shifting from the transmission made a significant difference.
With the Roamer1 loaded up to a total of 6,800 lbs and the truck carrying three people, the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss reaching its limits, with nearly 800 lbs of tongue weight.
Overall, TFL gave the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado a 4 out of 5 star Ike Gauntlet rating, which means there’s still room for improvement. Though despite the performance on the Gauntlet, it’s hard to discredit the truck since it’s got such an outstanding tow rating despite being a midsize truck.