Can the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Conquer the Big City?


We've taken multiple in-depth looks at the new 2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 — , , and even as a daily driver. When we were given the chance to drive one here in Chicago — home of — we leapt at the opportunity.

Chicago isn't exactly a friendly place for pickup trucks: Not only are the laws regarding trucks restrictive, but the streets can be narrow and the best parking options are often parallel parking on the street or using a parking garage. Those latter two situations can be nonissues of course, but not every available parallel parking spot is big enough for a pickup, and not every garage provides enough clearance or parking spot width.

How did the Colorado ZR2 fare in the Windy City? Remarkably well, thankfully. The off-road suspension ate up potholes without issue and even required some mental reminders to slow down for speed bumps — that's what they're there for, after all — even if the ZR2 would be perfectly happy launching itself over them as if it were an obstacle at an off-road park.

Thanks to the Colorado's overall length, parking didn't cause any real headaches, either. It's still shorter than just about any Silverado 1500, and narrower, as well. While the ZR2 we tested in Chicago came with a standard backup camera, it did lack front or rear parking sensors that we like. These may not be necessary in the world of parking lots, garages and driveways, but in the city, they're especially helpful if you don't want to end up in a stranger's YouTube video.

Our test unit was an extended-cab version with the longer 74-inch bed, which provided more than adequate utility for smaller loads — especially when you don't opt for the optional bed-mounted spare tire. The increased load-in height (thanks to the lifted suspension) made it a bit harder to get things into the bed, but that seems like a worthwhile trade-off in our view. (However, it did seem strange that a new extended-cab pickup still offers rear doors that only open 90 degrees.) Finally, in true fashion, one test load outing included 40-pound bags of water-softener salt and a fair amount of flashbacks to . The ZR2 took it all in stride.

Overall, the ZR2 is competent as both a highway daily driver and as a city vehicle. With a price that can push $50,000, that's great news for those who want an off-roader without having to purchase a second vehicle. photos by Christian Lantry



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Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and in 2013 and became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera, and to turn his 2021 Hyundai Veloster N into a tribute to the great Renault mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive hatchbacks. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

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