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2023 Chevy Colorado headlights controversy: Do you need a dial?


The 2023 Chevy Colorado headlights are causing quite a stir. Not the headlights themselves, but how you turn them on and off.

While driving the new 2023 Chevy Colorado recently, I realized, along with many of my colleagues, there is no physical knob for the headlights. Rather, the Colorado has the headlight controls built into the 11.3-inch infotainment system.

How do you turn on the 2023 Chevy Colorado headlights?

Drivers have two choices to turn on the 2023 Chevy Colorado headlights.

First, there is a small icon on the top of the infotainment screen which looks like a light bulb. Tapping this icon pulls up a horizontal tab showing off, auto, parking lights and on in that order. Clicking on a circle next to one of these icons turns on that setting.

Another way to turn them on is a bit more complex. You start by hitting the home button or the vehicle icon, then select controls. In this screen you can do the quick selects for fog lights and auto high beams, or you can tap the lights icon and open up a more robust screen with various options.

Headlights have auto mode, so what’s the big deal?

Naturally this new way to turn on headlights has caused a controversy.

Those on #TeamKnob raise questions about what happens when the screen doesn’t work any longer. Also, many places in states like California require headlights on during the day through different sections of roads such as in tight caverns or routinely foggy areas. Fumbling in the screen makes a once-simple action more cumbersome.

Those on #TeamNoKnob suggest this new method will make more people keep their headlights in auto mode, thus causing them to be turned on more often — especially at dusk — and making the road safer for everyone. They counter that the real problem is the people who don’t turn their headlights on enough, and this is a good way to put that issue in the rear view.

What about brights?

Without the dial, there were also questions about the brights and whether or not you can flash other drivers or turn on your brights manually. Fortunately, you can still do this by pulling back on the solo stalk on the left side of the steering wheel.

The bottom line

The discovery of this new way to turn on the headlights caused my co-driver and I to have a lot of conversations on, well, do you really need an actual knob? It is plainly easier to put your hand on the knob and twist it. However, if the vehicle has headlights set on auto mode at all times with auto high beams, then do you really need the knob? It is an interesting question.

What do you think? Are you #TeamKnob or #TeamNoKnob? Comment below.

Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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  1. Jack February 16, 2023

    Yes, I need a dial or button! I have very dry skin and sometimes touch screens are a challenge for me. It will be frustrating enough paging through screens to change the light setting and doubly so if I need to repeatedly tap the screen because of my dry skin. I bet when it’s refreshed they bring back the button!

  2. Howard February 16, 2023

    The problem with auto-anything is that it’s a one-size-fits-all answer. Some engineer sitting in some office somewhere decided everyone driving everywhere needs the same settings under all conditions. My ’18 Colorado had an auto high beam setting. I got flashed more times using it than not. And driving up behind someone always resulted in me cancelling them long before they would shut themselves off. Making it hard to access the controls and acquiesce to a programmer’s whims is not safe. But so goes the nanny state.

  3. Daveplace February 17, 2023

    Didn’t Volkswagen go back to buttons and switches because the touch screen simply didn’t work in real life situation

  4. Mitch February 18, 2023

    Clearly no one on their engineering team is former military or worked on a military installation. At night, you have to turn off your headlights approaching military installation entry points. So you don’t blind Security Forces members. Very easy to switch from auto headlights to running lights with a physical knob, but not so much clicking through a menu screen. I hate it when some “know better than the masses” auto engineer moves common features to infotainment screen. On my Jeep Grand Cherokee, you had to access climate control on screen to activate Max AC setting. Something that is normally a single button click on climate controls. Please just stop it engineers. Crowd source opinions on these changes before implementing them.


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