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2021 Chevy Colorado Updated to Look Grille-ier

The General's midsize pickup truck is freshened to keep pace with the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator.

Eager to explore rocky trails and sandy dunes in a midsize pickup truck? The Chevrolet Colorado is a solid option, and now emerging from a cloud of wispy desert dust is the updated 2021 version. The updates focus on appearance, and the mechanical specifications remain the same. That said, the new, more aggressive look brings the 2021 Colorado more in line with bigger Chevrolet trucks, and should help it stand out at trailheads or in the hardware-store parking lot.

Chevy says the WT, LT, and Z71 trims get updated front fascia with a new layout, logos, and skid plate. The first two get a Chevy bowtie badge finished in gold, while the off-road-oriented Z71 trim will have a black bowtie. All Colorados get a new tailgate with embossed Chevrolet lettering, much like what's seen on the Silverado 1500 and Silverado 2500 HD. Interestingly, Chevy has not yet released images of any non-ZR2 model, so it remains to be seen whether the front-end look will be as polarizing on those models as it has been for the 1500 and 2500/3500 HDs.

The top-level, trail-tuned Colorado ZR2 gets additional revisions to signify its toughness. Like before, a trim-specific fascia leaves the front tires more exposed for maximum approach angle. For 2021, the grille is wider and more open, featuring flow-through Chevrolet lettering to allow a bit of extra air to the radiator. Skid plates and red tow hooks help signify its purpose—as if the lifted suspension, wider track, and huge knobby tires weren't enough. Locking differentials and the phenomenal DSSV dampers from Multimatic carry over.

Also new and exclusive to the Z71 and ZR2 is a very en vogue "Sand Dune Metallic" beige exterior paint, which should only look better the dustier it gets. We're counting on the refreshed Colorado to be just as likeable as its earlier versions. Though pricing hasn't been announced and the ZR2 won't debut until the SEMA show in November, there's already a competition-ready version of the new Colorado. It's built up and ready to take on the 2019 Laughlin Desert Classic, an off-road race held in the sands of southern Nevada.

A version of this story originally appeared on MotorTrend.