The 2023 Chevy Colorado is an exceptional truck. With class-leading capabilities, great pricing, and a completely redesigned cabin, this is my favorite midsize truck. But that new interior has one odd compromise: There’s no physical control for the truck’s lights.
To turn them on or off, the driver must open a sub-menu in the truck’s standard 11.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display. Since the truck has automatic lights, you don’t have to do this often. But when you’re on a windy two-track and reach a “Daylight Headlight Section,” you’ll have to fiddle with the touchscreen rather than flick a switch. And if that infotainment system fails, you’ll lose the ability to control your lights.
“The most important thing is, one, we understand that most customers put their vehicle[‘s lights] on automatic,” said Nick Katcherian, the chief engineer of the new Colorado Road & Lane. “And, fun fact, I learned yesterday in the rain that if your windshield wipers are on, your lights also turn on. So we’re looking at saving space and we have the opportunity to virtualize a lot of our switches, so we have really just took advantage of the opportunity with our new infotainment system.”
Katcherian says he’s not worried about bugs or issues with the light control, though we imagine some work truck owners might be skeptical. According to the engineer, the legal requirement to make the headlight switch always available means that the light control module loads on top of the rest of the infotainment system.
“There’s no such thing as bugs in a way that doesn’t give you the option to turn the headlights on and off.”
Katcherian claims that his team has removed all possible bugs from the infotainment system. He also noted that in the long run, software-based switches could help add features to vehicles after they’re sold or support optional add-ons.
“So I think you’ll see sort of a transition from more physical switches to more virtual switches in general because it gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of what you can update and how you can update it in the future,” Katcherian said said .